The Irony of Missions

missionsI remember listening to missionaries tell stories and share slide shows – not Power Point projections, actual slides on carousels. They were from “the mission field” a place with terrible roads, lack of electricity and unsafe drinking water. They worked with people that looked, dressed and spoke differently than we did. What I knew about missions as a child is that they were far away, in difficult to reach places, and we needed to fund missionaries to print Bibles and build churches. I also hoped, at a young age mind you, that God didn’t call me to the mission field because I didn’t want to go. Continue reading

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The Church at Work in Ukraine

Ukraine American news has been dominated by severe weather stories, and multiple channels of Olympic coverage plus round the clock internet streams provide more hours of winter games than one could possibly watch. Hopefully, however, you are at least aware of the violent instability and loss of life in the Ukraine.

Protests of that nation’s government have been going on for three months or so, and the government has recently responded with greater force. Local churches and IMB missionaries are not taking sides, but are in Kiev handing out scripture and offering prayer support. Tent ministries have been set up near the front lines, and as locals pray for peace in their country church workers pray for God’s peace in people’s hearts.

“Thousands of Scripture portions have been distributed and the prayer tent on Independence Square is very active,” said International Mission Board worker Tim Johnson (names have been changed). Johnson said all IMB personnel in Ukraine are safe and in contact with local believers to support their efforts to share Christ in the midst of the violence.

Read this story in full at Baptist Press News. 

Fred Luter’s Call for African-American Missionaries

Fred Luter with Tom Elliff

Fred Luter with Tom Elliff

Fred Luter is the first African-American to serve as SBC president.  But of the 4,900 missionaries serving the International Mission Board, only 27 are African-American.  That’s only 1/2 of 1%, despite the fact that 1 million of the SBC’s 16 million members are African-American.  There are far more Hispanic and Asian missionaries in the field, and Luter would like to promote change.

“A lot of our African American churches are in the ‘hood,” said Luter, who pastors Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, La. “It’s a daily fight every day. [People ask me], ‘Why do I need to go to Africa, Asia or Europe? We need to get people saved in this community.'”  “It’s a both/and approach,” Luter said. “We need to reach the people in our neighborhoods and get African Americans out on the foreign field.”

Read this article in full at Baptist Press.  

Gideon Sunday

Today was Gideon Sunday, at least where we live.  It may not be the same in every county or state, but once a year the Gideon’s spread out and each take a church to visit and share with.  For those that may not know, the Gideons is an organization that does nothing but print and distribute Bibles.  If you have ever been in a hospital or hotel room, there was probably a Gideon Bible there.  That’s only a part of what they do. Continue reading