The leader of the 400 Mawozo gang is demanding $1 million ransom be paid for each of the 17 missionaries they hold hostage or he has vowed to begin executing them. Pictures and video have been released that appear to confirm all 17 are still alive. The US State Department believes the video to be legitimate. Christian Aid Ministries does not want to make any comment that may endanger the lives of those missionaries being held. I have a pastor friend that has traveled to Haiti many times both for humanitarian relief and to train local pastors to be effective in their ministry. Haiti is an impoverished nation with government corruption and mismanagement of the highest order. Pray for the people of Haiti, these 17 missionaries in particular, and the political situation which prevents conditions from changing.Continue reading
Part 2 of Why Preach the Gospel?
We are sent to share the Gospel. In a statement known as the Great Commision (Matthew 28:16-20) Jesus told his followers to go to all nations. They were sent to proclaim the Gospel message and to make disciples; teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. Evangelism is more than having an audience raise their hands, repeat a prayer or sign a card. Making disciples goes beyond baptism. It’s an investment into people’s lives that involves building relationships and working together in ministry. Followers of Jesus are not to just promote him but to lead others into a life of following. To teach others all that Jesus has command we must first learn and understand ourselves. The two processes actually happen simultaneously. We continue on the journey of learning and being conformed to the image of Christ while recruiting others to walk with us. Go to all the world, preach/teach/share the Gospel, make disciples. To this task we are called. Continue reading
I 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
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 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.
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