May 9, 2023
Dear Friends and Family,
As Ronni and I have often said, we consider you our partners in the ministry, co-laborers in the work. We are so very thankful for what the Lord has accomplished and continues to accomplish through our work together! We have a very important ministry update to give you.
Have you ever worked on a puzzle and come to the place where you could see most of the completed picture, but there were still a few pieces missing and you were having trouble finding where they fit? That is how things have been in ministry for Ronni and I in recent days. After much prayer, study, and godly council, we have reached the decision to transfer from Kentucky Mountain Mission (KMM) to another mission board that will still allow us to continue working here in the hills of Beattyville, KY, as well as abroad on the road. As we sought the Lord’s guidance, we asked Him to make things so clear that we couldn’t possibly miss them…and He did! We praise Him for His clear direction! Though this has been a heartbreaking process, He has been so kind every step of the way!
We dearly love KMM and Youth Haven Bible Camp and have so many treasured memories of campers who accepted the Lord at camp and campers and Junior Staff who grew in discipleship at camp! These are eternal treasures! We are both so thankful for our time with KMM and the things the Lord accomplished while we served with KMM. Some of our dearest friends and spiritual heroes remain on staff with KMM. We look forward to still serving in the same community together, even if we are under different mission boards. We hope to have a good relationship with the mission, as we will still be serving in the same community, Lord willing. It is very, very hard to walk away from an official affiliation with a ministry that we love so much, but we know this is the leading of the Lord at this time.
So, what will missionary life look like for us with the new mission board? First of all, local ministry still continues. One of the things I greatly appreciate about KMM is their ministry to local churches who are not able to pay full time workers. Though we will no longer be with KMM, the leadership of both local churches that we serve have made it clear that they want us to continue working with them. I continue to serve as Associate Pastor of New Prospect Baptist Church, in Clay County, where I preach and Ronni and I lead the music. At home in Lee County, we continue to lead the Idamay Bible Church youth group on Wednesday nights during the school year. Secondly, the road ministry of speaking and doing music continues. We have felt the Lord definitively leading us to do more of this. Many of you, our supporters, have encouraged us along these lines as well and we are thankful for your guidance. There are various ministries, churches, and camps that have expressed interest in having us come and minister as guests. We are very thankful! Thirdly, having, roughly, three days a week, that were once spent doing grounds work at camp, that will now be available for other ministry, we plan on being able to do more study, writing, and music, as well as local evangelistic outreach and discipleship. These are all things that we know that you, our team mates, have affirmed.
Our last official day with KMM is May 31, 2023. KMM is still accepting support for us through June. We hope to be in touch soon to let you know about our new mission board and how you can continue to partner with us through your prayers and giving. We treasure our friendship and partnership with each of you! Thank you for being with us on this incredible journey and celebrating the Lord’s faithfulness with us!
Sam and Ronni Judd