May - June 2014 ::: The World of BMA Missions
BY: JOHN DAVID SMITH | MISSIONS
elcome to the “BMA World Tour” issue of Mission:World magazine. What an incredible opportunity for our supporters and readers to enjoy a glimpse into some of the ministries in major regions of BMA global missions. Truly, the Lord has blessed the joint efforts of our churches in helping to make His name known in almost 85 countries through the ministries of approximately 1,000 missionaries. In no way is this window into the major regions of BMA global missions an exhaustive look. There are many dynamic ministries that will be highlighted in future issues. On recent trips, this writer has witnessed visionary leadership and
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ministry multiplication in Latin America, the finetuning of faith among very fruitful brothers and sisters in the Middle East, and churches right here in the United States taking steps to plant new churches. Our hearts are rejoicing in all that God is doing for His sake through BMA churches. Allow this issue of mission:world to be your passport to various mission fields. Greater yet, allow it to be the open door into the presence of a missionary God. May our collective response to the reports and stories of this “BMA World Tour” be worship and thanksgiving.
mission:world Volume 2 - Issue 3 May-June 2014 www.bmaamerica.org Editor Donny Parrish
Managing Editor Phillip Rice Design & Layout Jared Eakin Published bi-montly by the Baptist Missionary Association of America, 9219 Sible Hole Road, Little Rock, Arkansas 72209 Entered as Periodical Rate at Little Rock, Arkansas. Periodical Postage paid at Little Rock, Arkansas and at additional mailing offices. USPS 575-320 POSTMASTER send address correction to Mission:World P.O. Box 30910 Little Rock, Arkansas 72260 501.455.4977 FAX 501.455.3636 Email: email@example.com Website: www.bmamissions.org Subscription rate is $7.50 per year 65 and older, $1.00 per year Church Plan, 50 cents per month per family
SEMINARYâ€™S GLOBAL REACH
A look at how the BMA Seminary is making a global impact for Christ
BMA Family of Ministries
LIFEWORD Lifeword continues to impact people across the globe
MEDICAL MISSIONS How BMMI serves as Ambassadors for Christ
DiscipleGuide............................................................28-29 Americas.......................................................................4-9 For contact info, websites, and more on the BMA family of ministries, visit BMALife.com
Asia-Pacific................................................................32-37 Europe.......................................................................20-23 Middle East...............................................................38-40 West Africa................................................................16-17
GUATEMALA BY: DAVID MARROQUIN | GUATEMALA
n 2002, my wife and I felt God calling us to begin a new work in Guatemala City. The vision God had placed in our hearts was to win souls for Jesus, disciple them and establish cell groups and eventually a church that would train her members to continue the process. Through the cell groups, our desire was to establish additional cell groups that would become new missions, which would eventually develop into new churches. Through Godâ€™s infinite grace and mercy, as of this year we have established a 200-member church that has reproduced herself into seven missions. Another special blessing has been the beginning of a new evangelistic outreach to a different cultural group, a group that was originally unknown to us. Six years ago, God permitted a church member, Estuardo Cobar, to present the gospel to Jaime MejĂa, a Garifuna young man. Jaime received the Word of God with great joy and immediately began to display a great love for the Lord. For our church, this was a completely new experience, but Jaime was joyfully received into our congregation and God has given us a special love for this new brother. Unknown to us, God was about to show us a great need. We discovered that in the area surrounding our
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church there were several Garifuna families. It was then that we understood God had sent Jaime to us to make us aware of His concern for them. We immediately began to pray and seek a way to approach the Garifuna community whose belief system includes occult practices and non-Christian ceremonies. We spoke to Jaime, and he was very interested in reaching his Garifuna family for Christ. We began an evangelistic effort, and Jaime was named as the person in charge of the project. Due to the cultural and religious background that has characterized the Garifuna people for many years, it has been a very difficult project for him. Jaime has been a faithful young man and has persevered in evangelism. We praise God because He has added thirteen Garifuna people to our church. Brother Jaime is now studying at the Bible institute, preparing himself so that in the future he can take the gospel to a city in Guatemala called Livingston where there is a large Garifuna population. Today, the church supports Jaime and continues to work with the Garifuna people in our area. We thank God for the love that He has placed in our church for this cultural group that has such a great need for the salvation that only Christ can give.
n an article that appeared in a previous issue of mission:world magazine (November/December 2013 Issue - Short-Term Trip, LongTerm Impact by Angela Rice), you read about how my wife, Angela, has made her visits to the grocery store a missions outreach effort. As a result of Angela’s persistence, God has saved a couple and restored their marriage. It’s a beautiful thing to observe the Lord weaving everyday situations into something awesome that BY: JOHNMICHAEL POULIN | PERU displays His glory. The story of Betto and Melisa is another ongoing saga from the grocery store. After seeing the change that God produced in the lives of another couple who began to attend our in-home Bible study, they decided to start attending the Bible study as well. When they first arrived with their five-yearold daughter, everyone assumed they were married; however, we soon discovered they were not married, just living together. We also discovered that Betto had a serious drinking problem. Despite all of their problems, we began to have one-on-one Bible studies with Betto and Melisa. One of our church ladies studied with Melisa, and one of the guys did the same with Betto. The Bible studies
were twelve evangelistic lessons that we call “El Sembrador” (The Sower). Shortly after starting the Bible studies, God saved both of them. Even though he was a believer, Betto was still struggling with his drinking problem. He asked me if I would be willing Betto and Melisa’s wedding ceremony to conduct a personal Bible study with him and, married, so when I was asked to of course, I agreed. The first perform their wedding ceremony, time I met with Betto he told me he once again I was glad to oblige. didn’t want to be a drunk any more The growth in Betto and Melisa and that he wanted to be a good is amazing. They both now have father and a good husband (even a desire to be baptized (a very big though he still wasn’t married). deal here in Peru). Both share their He also explained that he could go faith with friends and families on without drinking for a while, but a regular basis. Betto has started then he would feel the need to show taking on the role of spiritual leader he had victory over the drinking. So in his home. He has a daily time he would drink again, not intending of prayer and Bible study with his to get drunk, however, each time he wife and daughter. One of the most fell victim to alcohol once again. But exciting things that I see God doing after just a few Bible studies, God in the life of Betto is preparing him revealed to Betto that he needed to be a future leader. His help to gain victory over the A few days ago Betto asked, liquor and that if he really wanted “Johnmichael, do you think God to succeed he would not be able to could ever use me as a leader?” drink at all. Praise the Lord it has I quickly responded, “Of course.” been months since Betto has had a Then he said, “Johnmichael, I can’t be drink. a leader. If God is going to use me, He Betto and Melisa also came to will have to do it all.” the realization that they were living And to that I said, “Amen!” in sin. Due to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, as He spoke through His Word, they felt the need to get May - June 2014 | mission:world ::: 7
MISSOURI BY: JOHN HERRING | NIXA, MO
e were excited to see Matt and Kiley, along with their daughter Madi, show up for small group several months back. They had been faithful since the first week of our group meeting, but this was a huge step for them. To understand, you’ll have to know a little more of their story. Matt is the manager of a local restaurant in Nixa, Missouri. From the first time we met him there, he was always very friendly and polite. Our family began to know him better as we intentionally went there weekly or every other week not only to eat, but also to get to know Matt more. During our visits, we also got to spend time with his wife and daughter when they were at the restaurant. On one occasion, my wife Alisha gave Kiley an invite card to our small groups. She didn’t say much at the time, but over the next few weeks we began to understand more about her background. Kiley was not raised in church nor had she ever participated in church to any degree. Matt had been sent to Vacation Bible School and other church events when he was a kid, but hadn’t spent any time in church since he was ten. They both knew it was something that was missing in their lives as adults and wanted to do something about it. Both were uncertain about what to expect in a church environment, but the laid back atmosphere of a small group environment appealed to them. On that first night of group, Matt was very open about the fact that they hadn’t really been exposed to the Bible and hadn’t been in church much before. However, they were eager to learn and were thankful to be in a place where they didn’t feel like outsiders. He continued on to say that they had tried a couple
of other times to be a part of a small group or church environment, but always felt like they were coming in on the middle of the conversation and didn’t know the first part of the story. There were gaps in the conversation where “church-goers” just automatically understood the topic. I’m so thankful that one thing we do in any of our environments where we’re studying Scripture is that when we talk about a Bible story, we tell the story. When we bring up a name, we give some information about who that person is in the Bible. It fills in the gaps and lets everyone be a part of the conversation. We don’t just mention David or Goliath or Peter without telling more. This has helped Matt and Kiley as well as others in the groups. Additionally, it has helped give credibility to the truths that are being taught. Matt and Kiley are growing in their faith journey. He continues to thank us for letting them be a part of what is happening at Refuge Church; however, I have to thank them for coming and being involved. In turn I get to brag about what I see God doing in their lives. He is drawing them into His presence and has big plans for their family. Not too long ago, they heard the story of the birth of Christ for the first time in their lives as we read from Luke 2 and were excited about the message of it. When Matt expressed that he had never heard the story before, it reminded me that we are
Matt, Kiley, and Madi
surrounded by people every day who have never heard the full story of Jesus and what He can do in the lives of people. There is such a fresh excitement as Matt and Kiley hear all of these stories for the first time that many of us have heard for years. We’ve let Matt and Kiley know that we are all on a faith journey. None of us has arrived to where it is God wants us to be in this life. He is using Matt and Kiley to encourage me as well as to help me grow in my faith and understanding. My wife Alisha often uses the following quote from The Church Planting Wife by Christine Hoover: “Church planting isn’t about you, but it’s for you.” Because God is allowing us to pour our lives into different families, we are growing more than we could have ever imagined, and God is using this journey to stretch our faith every day. He is transforming our lives, along with the lives of many families in the Nixa area.
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MYANMAR BY: RAMA | MYANMAR
any listeners from the northern part of Myanmar [also known as Burma] are very angry with me because I preach that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only way to escape hell. But the good news is that those people continue to listen to Athetsaka (Lifeword), and they write letters to me very often. One of our listeners from that region… is a man named Ko Kyi. He used to invite his neighbors to
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listen to our program with him. He would say, “Come if you want to know about the Chin god.” (Chin is one of the eight main tribes in Myanmar.) There were three or four people who came together to listen to our program with Ko Kyi. After, they would make fun of the message. But the story did not end there. Ko Kyi wrote me another letter. In this letter there were not many words. He said he was still
listening to Athetsaka every week and asked these questions, “Can Jesus, the one you preach, really save people from hell? Can Jesus really save man from hell? That’s all I want to know.” After I wrote him back I didn’t hear from him again. Then, one of our trained leaders there heard from a church member that a man named Ko Kyi was baptized and became a member of his church!
He said that when Ko Kyi gave his testimony, he said he came to know the Lord Jesus Christ by listening to Athetsaka. Another story I would like to tell you is about a man named Min Hlaing from the Kale area of the northern part of Myanmar. One night as he could not sleep he was tuning his radio and found Athetsaka. He said he continued to listen [week after week] and he
accepted Jesus as his Savior. He went to the church nearby him and people from that church asked him, “How did you become a Christian?” He replied, “I listen to Athetsaka and I believed in Jesus as my Savior several months ago.” He says that some Christians came to him and invited him to be baptized and join their church. But [because he thinks there are some significant doctrinal differences] he still remained
unbaptized and unchurched. Min Hlaing wrote me a letter recently asking me to come and baptize him. The village where Min Hlaing lives is about 19 hours away by bus. Thankfully we still have one faithful worker there and he is in good contact with Min Hlaing and they have Bible study every week. Please pray for us.
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Lifeword Listener Responses in Myanmar “I have seen Jesus’ picture but I never heard why he died on the cross. As I listen to your radio program I came to know Jesus died for man’s sin. It is very interesting.” -- Pin Seng “I thought Christianity is just like all other religions. But listening to Athetsaka I have learned that Jesus died for the sin of the world and it is different from my own religion.” -- Tun Yi “I am a listener to your radio program. I have listened to your program many times and I have learned Jesus is the God who saved. But my question is, can I believe Jesus without giving up my ancestors?” -- U Pyi “I have been listening to Athetsaka for almost three years. I agree with you that man cannot live a sinless life. Glad to hear through the years about Jesus that came to save sinners and guarantee man’s life after death.” -- Ko Zaw
reaching the spanish speaking world W BY: RICKY ROBINSON | LATIN AMERICA
hen we sit down and consider the fact that we are fighting the battle of all battles; that our enemy is the most well-equipped, prepared and organized army to be found; that he has no scruples, no regard for age or gender; and that he simply likes to fight dirty, we realize that without Jesus there is no possible way to win. Even so, we surrender our lives to Him and seek, moment by moment, to be obedient to His will, knowing that our only other option is defeat. In obedience to His will we set out to make disciples of all nations, realizing that it is Jesus (by way of His Body the Church), who must accomplish this. Each member has his special function and task to fulfill. Mine is to make disciples in Spanish-speaking nations. I have the privilege of working side by side with many other members (some who don’t speak a word of Spanish) to fulfill this task. What an adventure! Part of our Spanish-speaking, spiritual military strategy to make disciples comes in the form of air strikes. Lifeword Media Ministries has two Spanish-speaking
broadcasts. El Contacto Cristiano (The Christian Contact) is a fifteenminute broadcast that shares sound biblical principles from God’s Word and offers a free discipleship course at the end of each Ricky Robinson recording spanish broadcasts program. Palabra Viva (Life Word), is a one contacts; consequently, the BMA minute format that specifically now has a strong, sound presence in targets nonbelievers in a catchy, the country where many disciples innovative way to make them are being trained and sent out to aware of their need for Christ. begin new missions and churches. Both of these broadcasts have Because of the quality and content allowed us to enter and continue of both radio programs, many of to have a presence in areas where our established works use them as the BMA has no work. The BMA a means to open doors, identifying has had a presence in the country themselves as congregations with of Cuba for many years through sound doctrinal teaching. Others use El Contacto Cristiano. Many have them as witnessing and discipleship been saved and discipled by way of tools, having added the local church correspondence, without us ever tag to the end of the program in order having a physical presence on the to follow up and provide the new island. believer with a home. Regardless of Peru is another country where the intention, Satan’s forces are being our association had no established defeated and the Great Commission work. God used El Contacto is being fulfilled. What an adventure! Cristiano to open doors and make May - June 2014 | mission:world ::: 13
Join us on Lifeword Sunday October 26, 2014 a day to pray and give Walk for the World is a thirty-four year old fundraising event to support Gospel programming around the world in languages and 50 different formats. 34 langu What can your church do for Walk for the World?
LISTENERRESPONSES 1. I am very glad to let you know that my mom and dad now confess Christ as their personal savior. They are now enjoying the program. They are even inviting some of their friends to listen to the program. - Adam Salamu Winyam 2. I live in a village and the population is about 25,000. 90% of them are Islamist and through the Viim Yele radio program, I am able to connect about 45 people to Christ and I need your prayer support so that the Lord will help me to reduce the 90% to 60%. - Aboudoulai Adama 3. I am called Mahamadou Buokari and I am glad to inform you that through your program I have been able to start a church in my village with 123 people. We need a Pastor and we need your help. - Pingra Adamma 4. Praise be to God, because of the Viim Yele radio program and through your prayers, I have been called back home which has allowed me to invite more people to come and listen. Since then, 7 people have confessed Christ. - Zenabou Ayinbono 5. I wish to inform you that we are a group of students who came together to win souls for Christ, but the Em mam of the village is trying to stop us by given warnings to our parents. We need your prayer support. - Brouramani Bosiwinde 6. We will be very glad if you could kindly add some of the days to the radio program so that we can engage the people we have won to Christ and win more souls. - Safoura Winyam 7. The Viim Yele radio program is now gaining grounds in my village and many people are confessing Christ as their personal Savior. - Gilbert Salamou 8. We are very sad to inform you that one of our listeners has been arrested because he has been able to convert most of our village people to Christ. We have the hope that the living God will save him from Islamist. - Some Ayire
GHANA BY: DALE BROOM | WEST AFRICA
ometimes you will hear stories of how people were surrounded by darkness and then they saw a small light in all of the great darkness. This is one of those stories of the light that is seen in the darkness and that can be seen by all. Africa is known as the Dark Continent where there are many different types of worship for many different gods. There may be a witch doctor in one village, but 16 ::: May - June 2014 | mission:world
in the next village a group may be serving the gods of the river or the traditional gods of their fathers. In addition to all the different gods to worship, life in Ghana is very difficult for most of the people, and the darkness is blinding. However, there is hope, and I have seen a light in all of the darkness of Ghana. That light is in a man that I call my brother and
friend, Jackson Hayford. I have spent a lot of time with him and have learned about some of the troubles he faces every day. Hayford is a pastor in Kenyasi, which is a very difficult place to live and to be a pastor. Despite the difficulties and hardships, his church is growing. He has been training others in the church to do the work of a leader. This discipleship training has helped
the church to move forward even on those days that Hayford has to be away doing his other jobs for the BMA of Africa. Hayford is also a missionary to Ghana, which takes him away from his church and family at times. He is married, and his wife Loretta stays at home to care for their family. They have four children, Rodney, Joseph, and a set of twins named Matilda.
Yes, they both have the same name. He has two other children who are away at school. Missionary work calls for him to be away sometimes for a week at a time, which is a hardship for the whole family and for his church, but he still finds things to laugh about in the middle of the trouble. One day after being gone for a while, he came home and began spending time with his boys when someone asked his son Joseph his name. Joseph told him that his name was Joseph Edwin Dale Broom Hayford. As Jackson was telling me the story of what his son had said, I could see his face light up with pride in his son and the honor that he felt because his son wanted to be named after the missionary from the states. On those days that he is working as missionary to Ghana, he gets up at 4:00 a.m. to secure a taxi and doesn’t return home until after 9:00 p.m. When we go to other areas in Ghana to train and look at places to start new churches, he may be gone from his family for days. Most days he does not eat in the mornings because either they have nothing to eat or no money to pay for food, so they save what they can in order to eat at least one meal a day. When he works with us and we are away from home, we feed him three meals a day; it is enjoyable to watch him try new things to eat! He will say, “Whatever my man is eating will be OK with me.” We have eaten Spam so much that every time we travel, Hayford asks if we brought the Spam. He says that he loves Spam.
Now, Hayford has added even more work for himself by enrolling in the new degree program that started this year at the BMA of Africa Bible Institute. He loves learning and wants a better life for himself and his family. Even in the middle of all of the work that he does, he finds the time to study God’s word and to pray for God to lead him. This man is a light that lives in a dark world. I am so glad and honored to be called his friend. I hope this story of the light here in Ghana may shine from the lines of this article into your heart that you may see the light that I see, the light that is working for God through the BMA of Africa. I am asking you to look closer at the lights that are shining in the darkness.
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Ambassadors for Christ
BY: DR. RALPH IZARD | BMMI
ow then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us; we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God” (2 Corinthians 5:20). At the Congress of Vienna in 1815, ambassadors were sent from three classes of diplomatic agents who were formally defined and recognized. These ambassadors were deemed to represent the person and dignity of the Sovereign (head of State) and were entitled to personal access to the Sovereign by whom they were accredited (Britannica vol. 1 p. 316).
Baptist Medical Missions International, commonly called BMMI, recognizes that it is a great honor to be named an ambassador. To be named an ambassador for the sovereign creator of the universe carries a great responsibility not to be taken casually. The goal of each BMMI team is to represent our sovereign Lord with the message “be ye reconciled to God.” 1 John 3:18 admonishes, “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.” Jesus Christ has commissioned each one of us to be an ambassador for Christ. BMMI has proven to be an excellent way for many to carry the message of the love of Jesus Christ to the distant parts of the world. BMMI is set up so that a team member can reach out and plead with others “to be reconciled to God.” Team members realize that they best represent Jesus Christ when they show compassion to those who have no way to repay them for their time or services. In fact, the team member who helps
a teenager with cerebral palsy into the clinic or washes a dirty, infected foot wound makes a lasting demonstration of the love of God to that person and all those watching and waiting to be examined by a physician. The members of a BMMI team feel strongly that each person who comes to the clinic, whether he or she responds to the message of the Lord Jesus Christ while in the clinic or not, should be followed up by someone locally. For that reason, BMMI only responds to the invitation of our missionary on the field for a medical mission team. There are many ways to be part of a BMMI team. First, BMMI desires the prayers of all whose greatest desire is to see the love of Jesus Christ proclaimed to the ends of the earth. Second, we need all medical providers such as physicians, nurses, pharmacists, EMTs and anyone with experience in caring for patients. In addition, there is a great need for all types of support personnel who can fill in wherever they are needed.
Also needed are those who are willing to share with the patients the message of Jesus Christ and how to be reconciled to God. The third way, and just as important as the first and second way, is by financially supporting BMMI. The financial support of BMMI is needed to purchase medicine and other needs of the BMMI ministry. These funds not only provide help for many who do not have the resources, but also for those that the Lord has placed on their hearts to go and plead with others to receive Christ. BMMI also sponsors programs for helping children with vitamins and parasite medicine to improve their health, and with “Making Everlasting Smiles” a Christmas shoebox program providing Christmas gifts to children as a way to share the love of Jesus Christ with them. I have found that being an Ambassador for Christ always leads to people.
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hen I thought about what God has allowed us to be a part of here in Clermont-Ferrand since arriving at the end of July 2013, my initial thought was, “There is not very much to write home about.” But as I really began to reflect on our time here in Clermont, I realized that God has allowed us to be part of much more than I initially realized. Since the theme of this issue is “BMA World Tour,” I am amazed at not only how God has used us, but at how many different people groups we have been working with. You could say that God is allowing us to go on our own “world tour” right here in Clermont. First of all, let me tell you a little about Clermont-Ferrand. Clermont is the worldwide headquarters of Michelin tires. Every six months or so, couples and families working for Michelin are either arriving in Clermont or heading back to their home country. All of the ex-pat Michelin families have their kids enrolled in the same international school where our kids are enrolled. This has given us many opportunities to speak with other parents before and after school from all over the
BY: MIKE CROSS | FRANCE
Mike and Rachel Cross
world. We have had the privilege of getting to know many different people, but God has allowed us to develop closer relationships with two couples in particular. One of them is a French couple that has lived in Clermont for a few years. They are the owners of a restaurant in downtown Clermont. Rachel has had coffee with the wife on different occasions and our girls have had play-dates at each other’s houses. Even though they are incredibly busy with the restaurant, I have been encouraged by their friendliness towards us. The other couple we met through our daughter’s class. They are an American couple that arrived last summer and they work for Michelin. We recently had them over for dinner, and I am so thankful for the time that God gave us with them. They come from a somewhat stringent
religious background believing that church is nothing more than a social club where people go to “see and be seen.” After a conversation about religion the wife said, “Even though we have only known you guys for a few months, I feel like we can talk to you about anything.” I cannot tell you the excitement that Rachel and I shared after dinner that night. For God to confirm through a couple we are trying to reach that we are on the right track was such an encouragement. The other interesting thing about Clermont is that they love their local professional rugby club. While soccer may be the most popular sport in France, rugby is king in Clermont. The rugby team ASM is one of the best clubs in France. I have always enjoyed rugby and felt like it would be a great way to meet people. It was during the first home match that I met a couple from England. They live outside of Clermont and have been coming to the matches for years. During that first match, after having introduced ourselves in French I overheard them speaking to each other in English. To make a long story short, I asked them if they spoke English, and we quickly become friends. Praise the Lord that more and more of our discussions are about Jesus. Another great relationship that began at a rugby match happened through a set of circumstances that only God could have put together.
Sitiveni Sivivatu is a pro rugby player for ASM. He is originally from Fiji and has played over forty matches with the New Zealand national team. Siti grew up a Christian but had admittedly gotten further and further away from God. In September, the two of us began to meet almost every week for times of encouragement, Bible study, and prayer, and now he feels that God wants him to become a pastor back in Fiji after his rugby career ends. In fact, he has already started pastoring some of the guys here in Clermont. He will be changing teams next year, but he is excited to see how God will use him with his new team and beyond. God is allowing us to work with people from France, Fiji, England, and the United States. This is in
addition to the work we are doing with our church in Riom where Rachel and I are both active in teaching. Representatives from many nations are truly everywhere, and we are blessed to be working with people from all over the world. We are definitely on our own BMA World Tour! May - June 2014 | mission:world ::: 21
erhaps you remember reading last winter that Ukraine was suspended in an extremely tense and precarious balance as anti-government protests spread throughout the country. Violent responses from riot police in the capital city of Kyiv provoked protesters to entrench themselves, build large barricades and haphazard survival camps. The center of Kyiv, normally filled with historical monuments, buildings, and neatly swept squares, became like a war zone throughout the long winter. Riot batons and rubber bullets met hurled bricks and Molotov cocktails.
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BY: JEFF FRANKS | UKRAINE
Never before have Coleen and I seen the Ukrainian people longing for peace and security as during those troubled months. There is a temptation during such times to see governmental upheavals as the main thing, as the big picture, but this is far from the case. All these political intrigues are but a smaller story, a background setting for an infinitely greater story. Like the famous movie we can truly call it “The Greatest Story Ever Told”. That’s right! Politicians come and go, nations rise and fall, even empires fade like the flowers and grass, “but the Word of the Lord abides Jeff and Coleen Franks
forever”! Something in the Kingdom of God is always happening that “the eye has not seen”, and though our ears do not hear it, we know it is real, we know it is life giving, and we know it is growing. Even in Ukraine’s “greater story” there are different levels of ministry and focus. For gifted Ukrainian evangelists, the testimony of every new believer is like a magnum opus from the Master’s own hand. In this number are men like Sasha Pavelchuk who shared the gospel with riot police amidst the tumult of “Euromaidan” and women like Nadia Tishenko who has been teaching child evangelism throughout the Russian-speaking world. Their motto may well be “just
Sasha Pavelchuck (left) ministering during “Euromaiden”
one more soul” - is that not reason enough for rising in the morning? What troubles and trials in the “smaller story” could have stopped them? For many church planters in Ukraine all that matters is “just one more church”. Some of you may know Slavik Nedzelskiy in Uzhgorod and Volodya Ponomarev in Kyiv, missionary pastors whose congregations have a “mother’s mindset”. Slavik is reaching out to Gypsies and the drug addicted of Ukraine’s Trans-Carpathia region. Volodya just led a team from his church to run an evangelical camp in Tajikistan. Certain others
Nadia Sirenko with her trainees in Children’s evangelism
widen their lenses even further. Pavel Pochapsky’s vision stirs the soul with a sense of urgency: “62 churches in 62 villages”! I have lost count of the evangelists, pastors, and missionaries who “bought into” Pavel’s vision and so found their calling right there in the Lityn region of Vinnytsia district. Like the trees of a forest, every soul and every church is precious to the Lord, but there is also the forest, the broader landscape of associations of churches, like the BMA of America, the Baptist Unions of Ukraine, and the former Soviet countries. They need vision and leadership as well. My urgent prayer for the pastors of Ukraine and CIS is to see their churches with a mother’s heart, beating with love for the birth of a daughter church. With your prayers and mine, their passion, born on the wings of heaven, can foster a church-planting movement that no “smaller story” from this world can stop. Passion born from above stirs you and me to author today’s “Acts”, today’s chapters of the “Greatest Story”, a true saga greater than anyone can think or imagine! May - June 2014 | mission:world ::: 23
hroughout the pages of the Bible, there are undeniable evidences that God created the universe and everything in it. The scriptures are clear that God created all things for His own glory. I am convinced that people all around the world are created by God and exist for the purpose of bringing Him glory and honor (Isaiah 43:7, 21). The sad thing is that the majority of people in this world are not living for the purpose that God created them, bringing Him glory and honor. They live to bring glory and honor to themselves or false gods. Some people groups have turned their backs on their Creator and instead, worship creatures. So it is with many people in Thailand whose main religion is Buddhism. Paul said, “The god of
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BY: JO YAEBEANG | THAILAND this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God,” (2 Corinthians 4:4). I believe that the only one who can cure that blindness is God. The one who said in the beginning, “Let there be light” in the darkness must be the one who shines the light in their hearts and removes their blindness. They are spiritually dead, as are many other people all around the world, and they can do nothing about it. They are like
Lazarus who was dead for four days and rose from the dead because of the voice of Christ who cried out to him, “Lazarus, come forth!” That same voice is the only hope of the Thai people. Therefore, the message of the person and work of Jesus Christ is needed more than anything else.
Jo and Jesse Yaebeang
To carry out this mission, my passion is planting a biblical church in Thailand. Though we as the church will be involved in many areas, there are three main areas that the church will strongly emphasize. First, the church will commit to the pure preaching and teaching of the Word of God. I believe that Scripture is the highest and most powerful treasure that Christianity or even the universe has. Scripture is the Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16), so I see that more than anything else, pure preaching and teaching of the Word of God is crucial to the church. Paul told Timothy to “preach the Word” in 2 Timothy 4:2. I believe that the Word of God is powerful (Hebrews 4:12). The Word of God, working through God’s Spirit is not only the best means, but is the ONLY powerful means for the church. If there is anything that will change and transform Thai people, it will be God’s Word working through God’s Spirit. Nothing can do that except His Word. The church will be devoted to the exposition of the word of God verse by verse. The church will faithfully proclaim the message of the cross, which is the
center of all. I believe as one of our church fathers said, “When the Word speaks, God speaks.” Second, the church will commit to making disciples. 2 Timothy 2:2 says, “The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” We will invest our time and energy in making disciples who will in turn go out and make other disciples. The new church that God will help us plant will be the base for all other works in Thailand in the future. We will be the mother church who will send disciples throughout Thailand. The Great Comission of Matthew 28:19-20 will play a primary role in our church. Last, but not least, the church will be devoted to biblical evangelism. Paul told Timothy to “… do the work of an evangelist,” (2 Timothy 4:5). Peter said Christians should always be “ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you…” (1 Peter 3:15) The practice of evangelism should be the natural product of a healthy church. We as the church want to be faithful
in proclaiming the message of the person and work of Jesus Christ to Thai people on a personal level as well. This church will be the center of all the future work in Thailand. I confess that it’s a great task and it’s not going to be easy, but my confidence is in knowing that God is in Thailand and that He will accomplish His purpose for His glory. I thank God for BMA Theological Seminary and for their devotion to training and preparing His servants for His service. It’s a blessing for me to attend here and receive education from faithful professors, all of whom have emphasized that bringing glory to God should be the Christian’s purpose, and that certainly includes our mission in Thailand. I desire to see Thai people flee from all idols and run to God to love Him, worship Him and seek to bring Him glory and honor. Our prayer is, “for from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen,” (Romans 11:36). The Lord willing, I plan to move to Thailand in June 2014. Please remember us in prayer and the work in Thailand. May - June 2014 | mission:world ::: 25
BY: CRISTIAN GONZALEZ | STUDENT
was born in a Christian home and was blessed to have parents who taught me the Word of God and how to fear Him. Growing up I became familiar with many stories in the Bible, but I didnâ€™t really understand the story of Jesus. I came to a point in my life when I feared not being able to enter into the kingdom of God. This was a concern of mine
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because I felt as if I was not good enough to get into heaven. When I was eight years old, I learned how to share the Gospel, and it was then that I understood what Jesus did for me on the cross. He paid the penalty for my sins, rising from death and purchasing a place for me in heaven. So at the age of nine I understood that, but it was just head
knowledge for many years. I was not searching for His will in my life, and I still continued to do the things of this world. I truly accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior when I was about eighteen. At that time, I repented of all my sins and committed my life to follow whatever Jesus wanted for me. I told God that I would allow Him to guide every step in my life.
After that, my life changed dramatically and, more importantly, my relationship with Jesus began to grow in an amazing way. God gave me this new desire to read and meditate on Scripture and to seek God’s will. Soon after my salvation I began to realize that He was calling me to serve Him, but I didn’t know how. All I knew was that I had this overwhelming amount of compassion for the lost. I now had this new purpose for living and a new set of priorities. I began sharing the Gospel as a way of life and in every conversation. I was also blessed with being able to teach evangelism at my church. I just wanted to serve Him more and more. When I started college, I decided to study business administration with the plan of having my own business and having time to serve God and support missionaries. But one year later He called me to serve full-time as a missionary. So now, instead of supporting missionaries, I am a missionary. After a time of praying and reading more scripture, I decided to believe in His promises and serve Him full-time all the days of my life in the ministry of evangelism. It’s amazing the way God has been using my life to guide people to Jesus and encourage people to share the Gospel. Two years ago I began teaching in my church with the youth group, and praise God that now all of them are serving with passion. One year ago I began teaching evangelism to pastors and leaders and at first I was not very confident because most of them had more knowledge than I did in the
Evangelism Explosion staff in the Dominican Republic
Scriptures, but God helped me to overcome that fear after reading the book of Jeremiah. When God called him at a young age it gave me hope, because I am still young. I have seen His power through me, and I’m just very grateful for His mercy and faithfulness throughout my life. Now I’m working with Evangelism Explosion, and I want to continue working in it to serve Jesus by reaching the world. I first met Dr. Attebery, BMA Theological Seminary Dean, at the 50th anniversary of the BMA of Mexico in April of 2013. We discussed the possibility of me attending the seminary. My father, Juan Carlos Martinez is pastor of Iglesia Cristiana Agape in Mexico City and the Implementation Field Worker Coordinator for Evangelism
Explosion (EE) of Mexico. He had worked with Dr. Attebery in conducting EE training at the BMA Bible Institute in Aquismon, Mexico. My father is also a student at the seminary taking distance courses. My motive in attending seminary is to know the Bible better and to be better prepared to teach it. My plan is to find a church where I can serve during my time as a student at the seminary and train people in Evangelism Explosion there. After graduation, I plan to return to Mexico and teach Evangelism Explosion to churches and individuals. My goal in this life is to be more like Jesus every day and know Him better as well as the Holy Bible. I would like to use my knowledge to teach others.
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MISSION TEAMS SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASSES SMALL GROUPS www.discipleguide.org
YOUR BAGS ARE PACKED BUT ARE YOU READY TO GO?
s a minister I am constantly bombarded with the next “must have” material. I am typically skeptical of most Bible studies that are given to me. I actually have a stack of them about five feet away from where I am typing this article. I must say that it was the same with the Xplore Bible study that was handed to me recently. It sat with several other books/Bible studies for a month or so until a couple of the guys I work with here at the church mentioned that it was a pretty good study. So I studied through it and I was pleasantly surprised with such a small book. It is made up of only six lessons. The intent of the book was to Xplore God’s plan for creation through God’s book, the Bible. Of course, as I have said this is only six lessons so the intent was just to be an introduction. After reading the material I decided to cover very broadly the lessons as they were laid out in the book with our youth and college age students. This was important to me because of the task that our church was about to undertake. We had decided a few years ago to adopt Jeremy Hambrice as our missionary to an unreached people group. Jeremy helped me teach the students through this curriculum just before he and his family left for Papua New Guinea. I wanted the students to be introduced to God’s plan to reach the nations and also to our church’s desire to see it happen. Our experience at First Baptist Church, Magnolia, Arkansas with the Xplore Bible study has been a great one. Because of how it spoke to them, we have a group of young men who are currently doing
this study with other young men on Friday mornings. The reason this book made such an impression on them was not just the lessons that it taught but also the application of those lessons that it requires. At the end of each study there is a LIVE IT section that challenges the reader to put into practice what he/she has learned in the book. The book introduces a method for recalling and even praying for non-Christian societies in the world by introducing the THUMB method (sorry I am not giving you the answer here on what that stands for, just get a copy of the book). Then in the PRAY IT sections at the end of each of the last five lessons the Xplore study introduces (briefly) the reader to a nation that is considered to be an unreached people group and gives the students prayer points. Those two areas of application, praying it out and living it out, were very impactful for our students. I chose to teach through the lessons in more of a lecture style with occasional interaction, but this study could be very useful in a small group study, a churchwide missions emphasis, a sermon series for a pastor, or even a personal Bible study. The writers have done a great job with this curriculum in making it easy to study, easy to remember, and easy to practice with interactive application throughout. I am pleased that DiscipleGuide Church Resources and BMA Missions have put out this great resource for our churches. I would encourage you to consider this as a personal Bible study, family Bible study or church resource. Thanks for this resource! - Dustin Wisely, FBC Magnolia, AR
JULY 1-3, DALLAS, TEXAS
ANDY COMER PJ NOLAND
FOR KING & COUNTRY
Philippines BY: DANNY BALLARD | PHILIPPINES
hat is “Discipleship”? It is the intentional process of helping someone establish a relationship with Jesus Christ and instructing that individual in the life of faith, or to put it simply, doing life together with other people, investing in their spiritual life, training them in ways, so they can invest their lives in others, also. The Apostle Paul tells Timothy in 2 Timothy 2:1-2, “You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” Discipleship is one of the main focuses of our ministry here in the Philippines. It all begins by intentionally building strong relationships with the Filipino people. The group of students at the BMA Bible College is one area that we feel the Lord has placed on our hearts to minister through discipleship. Students such as Gino, Jack and Jasper have grown spiritually and have begun to model this lifestyle before students. Then we have young ladies like Rose, Chelly and Lovelyn whose faith has also grown immensely. Our goal is to train these individuals, along with others, the way Jesus trained His disciples to eventually begin their own discipleship ministry with the Filipino people. There is one young lady in particular that has become an important part of our lives. Her name is Lovelyn. She is a twentythree year old student studying at our BMA Bible College. When Rita was diagnosed with cancer, she needed someone to help her
Lovelyn (center) pictured with Danny and Rita Ballard
once a week with things around our house. God, through His sovereignty placed Lovelyn in our lives to fill this need. This relationship was the beginning of God’s plan for a unique opportunity of discipleship. Rita and I have been able to spend quality time praying, crying, rejoicing, and sharing life with Lovelyn. Her desire to serve the Lord has increased dramatically, and her love for the children at Redeemer’s Missionary Baptist Church fills her heart with joy as she uses what little income she has to help meet the children’s physical needs as well as their spiritual needs. Lovelyn has begun to follow Paul’s example and exhortation from 2 Timothy 2:2 by intentionally investing her time, knowledge and resources into the lives of the children and youth of Redeemer’s Missionary Baptist Church. She has grasped the concept of what Paul is talking about in
1 Corinthians 11:1 when he said, “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” Our bond with Lovelyn has grown into a bond of family. She was able to spend Christmas break with us and for the first time in her life she had a Christmas stocking (she called it a sock)! Little did we know that it was the first time in her life that she had ever received gifts on Christmas! She continues to mature in faith as we continue to disciple her. Her weekend work with young children in impoverished areas, as an outreach from Redeemer’s Missionary Baptist, is growing. It is a tremendous blessing to see how God is using her, along with the other students at the Bible College to reach out to the lost, to model what Christianity should look like and live out the 2 Timothy 2:2 way of life. That is what discipleship is all about!
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reetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! It brings us great joy to let you know about the amazing work that God is doing in the nation of India. We deeply appreciate BMA Missions for their partnership. Rich in diversity and culture, India is made up of many states, and each state has its own language and dialect. Cities, towns and mostly villages make up each state. India as a nation is taking the lead in the twenty-first century in many
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BY: GEORGE LUTHER | INDIA sectors, especially the informational technology sector. Though the urbanization of cities is growing, the real Indian population still lives in the villages, and some of them lack basic amenities like water, electricity and transportation. Presently the population of India is 1.27 billion, and geographically it is about one third the size of United States. We have been called to serve in the state of Karnataka which is located in the southern part of India. The population of our state
is nearly 60 million. The focus of our ministry, mainly to villages, includes training leaders, equipping them for the work of the ministry, increasing evangelistic outreach, planting churches and strengthening believers through discipleship programs. The vision is to fulfill Christâ€™s missionary mandate by passionately multiplying disciples in the context of the local church and producing quality disciples and leaders who will multiply themselves.
The ministry work is located in three places: Raichur, Gulburga and Hospet. We are a part of the training center that is in Gulburga, the purpose of which is to disciple and prepare leaders for the work of the ministry and send them to their respective villages to plant churches. It also gives us access to these villages for evangelistic outreach, making disciples and multiplying churches. We have two young leaders in our training program. We came in contact with them last year. Their names are Reuben and Joseph (they changed their names after they became believers). They belonged to a nomadic group. These nomadic groups are communities that travel from place to place for their livelihoods and live in tents. Before they became believers, Reuben and Joseph dressed themselves in Indian mythological attire and traveled around in trains and buses asking for money to make a living. They
George Luther (left) with children at a church plant in Karnataka, India
had absolutely no clue about Jesus Christ and the gospel, but their lives were totally transformed when they encountered Jesus Christ. Today they are still a part of the nomadic group and are very zealous to share the gospel with their people. They make their living by selling pots and developing other small businesses. They still go out in trains and buses singing Christian songs and sharing the gospel. Through them, we are able to reach their communities which are spread across our state. Another place that we work is Raichur, a city surrounded by many villages which is the focus of our work. We work alongside our co-worker Kumar, a very zealous young
man. He gathers all the young people of his community and conducts Bible classes every day. There are two churches in this area. We intend to reach many other surrounding villages in the coming days. We have begun a new work in Hospet, a historical place known for its ancient temples. Our coworker is Shantraj, a visionary leader. There are three churches in this area. The main church gathers in a home, but the members have outgrown the facility and they are praying earnestly that God will provide a bigger facility and a place of worship. We thank everyone at BMA Missions who has stood by us in praying for our ministry in India. Please continue to pray for us as we labor for the advancement of Godâ€™s kingdom.
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BY: ALICE | HONG KONG
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hen God calls, He makes a way! Matthew 6:33 says to “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” The Lord has used this verse to erase all my doubts and fears responding to His calling in my life. In 2007 I went to a polytechnic college to get a degree in English education. While there I met Brother Jojo and his family. They were helping interested students improve their English through ISHELP and I was one of those who came. Through ISHELP, the gospel reached into the hearts of many, including me, and I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior. During my three years in college, I was brought into a deeper relationship with the God of the Bible. Because of Brother Jojo’s faithfulness in teaching God’s word, and the visiting partners, Lifeword, Volunteer Student Missions and the ISHELP team, I’ve grown strong in my commitment to the truth of God’s Holy Word along with others who are now serving the Lord in different areas. I spent my last two years in college serving as an ISHELP facilitator. Through the help of Reverend Doyle and Linda Moore I got special training at the BMA Bible College of the Philippines in 2011. This furthered my knowledge in the Bible and enhanced my ministry skills. I believe that it prepared and equipped me to serve the Lord more effectively together with my pastor and our “tent-makers” in China. Today I am serving as the BMA Philippines’ Hong Kong Representative in China, and a missionary-member of Refuge Baptist Church, Hong Kong. I am privileged to do ministry in my
country assisting and connecting with churches through English camps and youth training, using church planting modules. October 1-3, 2013, twenty-eight students who have trusted the Lord as their personal Savior were baptized. Through the partnership of Evangelistic International Ministries we were able to provide bi-lingual Bibles to college students. We also appreciate the audio cross MP3 Bibles in our language provided by Brother Louis Powell of Unless They Hear Outreach and Lifeword. The Christian resources are such a great help and blessing as we reach out and disciple the youth which is my
primary goal for my ministry. It is also my prayer that my family will also come to trust the Lord and serve Him. I am so glad that this last February 2014, during the Bible Conference and Church organization of Refuge Baptist Church in Hong Kong, my sister Wendy came with me to attend this event. I am praying that the Lord will continue to use me to minister to all of my family. Spreading the gospel in my country is not easy but through your faithful prayers and support we all are striving together to carry it to the lost ones.
English Camp 2013 Praise God for the twenty-eight (28) candidates for baptism after making profession of faith and undergoing Bible lessons. Help pray for their spiritual growth and commitment in reaching others for Christ. To God be all glory.
Lebanon BY: CHARLIE COSTA | LEBANON
irst things first: God has blessed us with a grandchild, Anthony. I think if I had known grandkids were so precious, I would have had them first. Mona and I are truly blessed. I am grateful for the prayers of many on our behalf. Your prayers have been answered beyond measure. Brother Sam Jordan made it back. I am very grateful to the churches that supported him and graciously hosted him. I am also indebted to the support he received from the BMA Missionsâ€™ directors and staff. We purchased a vehicle for him, but had to take out a $22,000 loan facilitated by BMA Missions. We do need your help to pay this back speedily.
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Charlie Costa with his grandchild, Anthony
We enjoyed a visit by Brother John David Smith here in Beirut. I was personally encouraged by his visit. I am sure he will share with the churches his observations especially of our ministry among Syrian refugees. He challenged our church to keep forging ahead with its mission to the needy for Christ and for food and shelter. When he visited the refugee church, we had close to a full house, standing room only (about 130 people). God is touching lives. Brother John David witnessed folks asking questions about Christ and others asking for prayers. What a time we live in. I am so proud that BMA churches and BMA Missions are on the move responding to such needs. More is needed if you can help. While here, Brother John David witnessed another snapshot of our day. An army patrol came by the church in the morning to warn us of an SUV driving around the neighborhood laden with explosives. Glorious morning, eh? Then army intelligence came by later to download surveillance footage from the security cameras of the church. The reason? To review another vehicle suspected of carrying a suicide bomber. Try planning, going out and doing ministry in such circumstances. We are no heroes, but let me tell you how we think about this. Like suicide bombers make a pact with their god that they will blow themselves up to
Sam Jordan (left) with John David Smith (right)
get to paradise where the virgins are waiting for them (heaven for them is where they fulfill all the forbidden pleasures of earth), we have a pact with our living God that we have surrendered our lives to Him and go out knowing that should we die, we don’t kill others but bring life to others through the message of the Gospel. Our culture is a culture of life while theirs is a culture of death, temporal and eternal.
Brother John David walked outside our church after preaching Sunday morning only to find the building guarded by four army Humvees full of troops. Kind of reminiscent of what happened to Elisha in the city of Samaria, twenty-first century version. With that in mind, be not surprised that we continue to plug along without thoughts of exit and withdrawal because when Christ had that opportunity he did not shy away from paying the ultimate price to give all of us life. Should I ask you for support? I think these words should give you the motivation. Thanks in advance.
“...when Christ had that opportunity he did not shy away from paying the ultimate price to give all of us life.”
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Ex-thief as Janitor BY: CHARLIE COSTA | LEBANON
t was after 3 am. The dogs outside started stirring, then their barking got louder. Moussa was fast asleep, only to be awakened by their growls and barking. He ran outside to find that the four dogs had cornered a middle-aged man carrying cables and mics that he had stolen from the sanctuary of Anjara Baptist Church in Jordan. Moussa quieted the dogs, asked the man to lay down the loot, and then invited him into the house. Afraid of the dogs, he complied. Moussa started quizzing him only to find out that this thief was a fresh graduate of the local prison. After his release no one wanted to hire him. With a family to feed he resorted again to crime. Then Moussa assured him he was not going to call the police, but instead shared with him the message of the gospel. The thief sat spellbound listening for the first time in his life to the story of someone who came especially to pay his debt of sin. He started to ask questions, and Moussa pulled his Bible out and started reading the answers of Scripture to this destitute man. Then he prayed for him. â€œWow, what is this?â€? the thief wondered. It was almost 5 am by now. Moussa got up and cooked breakfast and fed this new-found friend. They sat there eating, drinking hot tea and sharing about their families. Then at day break, Moussa told the man to take what he needed from the loot. The man stood there with his mouth open. What in the world? The following Sunday this man and his children were in church. The following week, Moussa hired him to tend the yard and do the cleaning. In Anjara today, the Baptist church has an ex-thief as its janitor. Hallelujah!
A review and preview of missionary news around the world
Philippines: Danny Ballard Many have heard about our story of how the Lord has performed a miraculous work with Rita’s cancer treatments, surgery and healing. We serve an awesome sovereign Lord and Savior who uses everything to bring Him honor and glory. I would like to take a moment to share another chapter to that wonderful story. Rita has been a tremendous inspiration to me, our family, and our church family here and in the U.S. Her illness has not deterred her from sharing the good news of our Lord and Savior to anyone she comes in contact with. It could be the person sitting next to her on the plane to Manila for treatment or it could be the doctors, nurses and staff at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Manila. One day it was the young man that came to install screen doors at our
house. He was taking a break and Rita offered him a glass of water to drink and at the same time she began to tell him about the One who has the Living Water. When he was finished I took him home. We continued to talk about Jesus and what He means to us and why he needed to have a personal relationship with him. I could go on and on about how grateful I am for the godly wife the Lord has blessed me with and how she has faithfully continued to serve the Lord during these times of illness. A couple of passages of scripture that really have come to life during this journey is first, James 1:2-4 “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” And secondly, Isaiah 64:8 “But now, O Lord, You are our Father, we are the clay, and You our potter; And all of us are the work of Your hand.” We are thankful for all the prayers and support given during this special journey of our lives.
Thailand: Eliezer Brito-Semedo Sawadee from Chiang Mai, Thailand. We are pleased to inform you that we’ve made some progress in learning the Thai language. We are improving our reading and writing skills slowly but surely. Needless to say, we keep working on our “tones” and speaking abilities. As you can understand, we will be another year in language school to finish our studies. We have started traveling and researching our place of ministry. We came to Chiang Mai for language studies, but we believe the Lord is burdening our hearts to work where there are less churches and where very few have heard His Story. Will you join us in prayer for this matter? We can’t thank you enough for your love, prayers and support. Feel free to contact us via email if you would like to receive our bi-monthly Newsletter at missions.thailand@ gmail.com.
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Arkansas:Brandon Cox Grace Hills just celebrated our second anniversary since launching services in a movie theater. On this big day we launched a second morning worship service and started a new teaching series entitled Healing: Recovering from Life’s Hurts, Habits, and Hang-ups. We had a record attendance. 240 people came, 47 of whom were kids, and 2 young adults received Jesus as their Savior and now want to follow through with baptism and get into small groups. THAT never gets old!
Ukraine:Jeff Franks Greetings all from Ukraine! This is a banner year for us as we celebrate two events. One is our 30-year wedding anniversary and the other is our 20th year 42 ::: May - June 2014 | mission:world
in Ukraine. Each 10 years it is our plan to do a special trip and though we haven’t decided where (writing you in winter), you can pray for that, if you would. Please also pray for our upcoming summer camps and teams that come from the states, for trainings in Ukraine and surrounding countries, and also for our local church in Bucha. It’s been through many troubles in the last year and we hope things are settling. The devil has been hard at work to divide and disperse. Pray for me and the other leaders as we try to take this church forward in the love of Jesus Christ. Lastly, we are grateful for you and your prayers. We thank God that He has allowed us to be a small part of this work. Thank you to all who have sent art/craft materials and financial support. We couldn’t do this work without you!
Dominican:Jesse Hales We have now finished our second of three trimesters here at language school. It has been such a blessing so far to have this opportunity to get a good base for our Spanish. There have been times when we both were
wondering what we got ourselves into, but as always, God provides what we need when we need it. We thank you for your prayers. They have certainly helped us along this journey. Please continue to pray for us, as we get ready to start our last and most intense trimester yet. Pray for strength, wisdom, and good health. Pray for Colton that he will continue to grow and develop as God intends. Last but certainly not least please pray for the pastors and churches in the Dominican Republic as they continue to follow God and see souls saved. Thank you.
Missouri:John Herring We are seeing God move in the lives of people here in Nixa as we continue to reach out to make a difference. We currently have three small groups meeting throughout the week. These groups are made up mostly of people who have never been in church, rarely been in church, or have been out of church for many years. God is allowing us the privilege to pour our lives into these families and we are excited to be able to invest in them. We have started monthly worship services at
the Community Center here in Nixa and are excited about how God will continue to use these to make a difference in people’s lives and grow His church. As we move forward in faith daily, I am humbled by how I see God work to bring glory to His name. There is seldom a day that goes by that I don’t see God do something that far exceeded my expectations. I am reminded more and more that mission work isn’t about me, but about how great our God is. We’re always looking for more help on the field, if your church is looking for a place to bring a missions team, we’d love to talk with you about the details.
Mexico:Grady Johnson In a recent ophthalmology campaign we had the opportunity to share Eternal Life with the patients and their families. It is so wonderful to see people receive the gift of Eternal Life. It warms the heart to see a grandmother get to see her grandchildren for the very first time. Until then she had only been able to hear their voices and feel their faces because of the dense cataracts that had formed in her eyes. Another man received sight that day spiritually as well. Only after
he left did we learn that he was the terror of his town and had allegedly taken many men’s lives. Both physical and spiritual sight, all in one trip! Praise the Lord!
BMMI:John Ladd We enjoyed a great visit back home in Mexico with the clinic staff and church family. High on the list of activities was the annual clinic Christmas party... lots of food, laughing, gift exchange, and fellowship. Not so enjoyable was the experience of getting rid of over 40 years accumulation of “stuff ” in preparation for selling our house. Please pray for the clinic staff as they continue to serve the Lord through the ministry of medicine, nutrition, and evangelism. Our work with BMMI continues to be a blessing. In 2013 we were able to share the Gospel through medicine in 13 different countries, and 2014 promises to bring more of the same. Even though you may not be able to serve on a team, you can be a vital part of the ministry by praying for team members’ safety, wisdom in each contact made, and Spirit led evangelism efforts.
Florida:Boris Lebedev All the Russian churches celebrated the New Year on their knees in prayer. We prayed about individuality, spiritual growth, and the spread of the Russian ministry in America. Last year was a blessing in our ministry. Two people were baptized, and we are preparing a few more for baptism. I am really glad to announce that my son, Daniel, has decided to be baptized also, and is going to be a big help to the ministry. I am excited about the international ministry, a group that is led by Brother Brett. There are many new people that come to the group. They are reaching out to people of the city, and hope to bring new people into the group. This year, I am teaching a group of future Russian leaders. I am praying about this, and would appreciate it if you joined me in prayer. Thank you for all the support that you give us.
Philippines: Doug Lee This is now the closing of our second year at the Bible College here in the Philippines. It is hard to believe so many new experiences in such a short May - June 2014 | mission:world ::: 43
time. We have watched these students grow not only physically but spiritually as well. What a humbling experience to think that God would let us be a part of such an awesome ministry. Even at our age we continue to grow in the things God plans for us. This kind of opportunity is open to anyone that will walk through that door. We will be in the States during April and May for our annual medical checkups and to raise funds for the many needs here. Every day brings on new challenges. Our students at the Bible College are now working in Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, China, Thailand and the Middle East. If you would like to be a part of this growing and exciting ministry, please contact us at 601427-0128.
Thailand:Brandon Lingle We are currently about 9 months into the language learning process here in Bangkok, Thailand. The complexity of the Thai language is at times overwhelming, but we know with time and by God’s grace we will come to know it. We praise Him for sustaining us through the difficult times, and bringing 44 ::: May - June 2014 | mission:world
friends into our lives here. For those of you who continue to pray for us and support us, thank you! The love and encouragement we receive from back home is definitely a grace that keeps us going. We are humbled and grateful to be sent here with the gospel. If you would like to contact us or know more please feel free to email me at brandon. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Philippines:Don Newsom We have been busy lately trying to help some of the many who have been badly affected by the typhoon. We were very fortunate here, where we live. The early forecasts were for it to hit us directly, but thankfully it changed course. Unfortunately, it caused terrible destruction in other areas very near us. We want to thank those of you who have earnestly prayed for, and sent offerings to help our people recover. Many are still traumatized by the memory of that monstrous storm. Angela and I are hoping to come to the States in August. According to the judge, the adoption should be finalized by the time you read this, which should give us time to get her a passport and visa before then. I am looking forward
to introducing my youngest daughter to you. God is good!
Cambodia:John Page The cold wind could not dampen the excitement and interest on the faces of the men and women at the In Village as they sat around the campground and asked questions about having a personal relationship with the God of all creation. Five of our boys that we’ve been discipling went and taught stories and songs from the Bible. What a great sense of fulfillment to see disciples making disciples. We’ve noticed a great desire from them to take leadership roles and share with other villages what Christ has done for them. The BMAA, BMAP and BMMI have been working with this village for 8 years. Countless individuals have prayed for, given, and ministered to them. This past year, 10 followed the Lord in Believer’s Baptism and have partaken of their first Lord’s Supper. We would like to say thanks to all the ones that have ministered to this indigenous tribe and continually prayed for them. Thank you for partnering with us to reach Cambodia for Christ.
New Mexico: Anthony Pennington It has been a blessing getting to know our neighbors. Most of them have religion but not a personal relationship with Jesus. The couple that lives next door is young with a new baby named Jonah. We have gotten to know them over the last year. They are like a lot of young couples today, living together but not married. Mary made the new baby a little Denver Broncos blanket since his mom is a Denver fan. It opened the door for us come and see little Jonah. I asked if it would be ok for me to pray a blessing for the little fellow. I took him in my arms and prayed for him and for his parents to bring him up to know and love Jesus. Hopefully they will come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior soon! Hopefully by the time you read this article, we will have a weekly Bible Study going with some of our neighbors that we have been building relationships with the past two years.
Canada:Mike Poirier We had a very cold winter with temperatures between -20 and -35 degrees. In spite of that, the Lord was and continues to be at work. Visitors are coming and we have new Bible studies. Our young people are bringing friends to the services. It is a blessing to see them work trying to reach their friends for the Lord. In Haiti, the church attendance has gone from 72 to over 200. Souls are being saved, baptized and added to the church. Our trips to Haiti are always expensive. Please pray for this ministry and participate as the Lord leads you.
Texas:Matthew Prather It is exciting to see what God is doing in Celina, TX. We continually meet people who
are not Christians or have not been to church in many years. It is amazing as we continue to build relationships with people that have moved to Celina from different states all across the United States. Many of them do not have a support system here in Celina. We have had the opportunity to encourage them and to share the Gospel with them. Through this we have seen several new families become a part of our community groups and are beginning to see their lives change as they are learning to study the Bible and trust God for answers and direction in their lives.
Mexico:Ricky Williams Dr. Charley Holmes and Dr. Carlos Pacheco were well received in Bolivia as they taught Theology of Worship and Charismatic Fallacies, respectively. The class of eleven students expressed thanks to both professors for taking the time to travel to Bolivia to teach the classes in person. The entire week of classes was full of food, fellowship, and some thought provoking discussions. The week ended with Dr. Pacheco May - June 2014 | mission:world ::: 45
preaching the sermon for Missions Sunday in Bolivia. Some three weeks later, Dr. Ronnie Johnson taught from our own BMA Theological Seminary, a course on Pastoral Counseling to twelve students via Google Hangouts Live. Students from Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Bolivia benefitted from this highly practical class. Of course, as usual there were some bleeps in the technology but as the saying goes, “live and learn.” I might add, “and pray abundantly”! Several churches have given special offerings in the recent past for different projects. Let me update you. The Internet connection at the Bible Institute is working very well. A church
in southern Mexico now has a new floor, new restrooms, and other improvements thanks to a generous church in Texas. Just today I received word that funds had been given toward doing some remodeling in the boy’s dormitory at the institute. We send a very special thanks to those churches.
Missionaries on Furlough: Prashant Prakash (India) April - June Doug Lee (Philippines) April-May Mike Cross (France) June - August
Find more Missionaries and learn how you can be praying for them at bmamissions.org/missionaries
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Cole Morris*, Ecuador Brazil Nationals Anthony Pennington Partnership, Albuquerque, NM Indonesia Nationals Burkina Faso Nationals Dominican Republic Nationals Mrs. Jerry (Sue) Kidd*, Missions Office Michael Barton Ministry, Canada Mrs. Ali (Anetta) Chambers*, Memphis, TN Micah Rose*, Language School in Costa Rica Mr. & Mrs. Steve (Daura) Crawley**, Lifeword, Conway, AR Mr. & Mrs. Matthew (Amy) Prather**, Celina, TX Angelina Jordan*, Zarka, Jordan Cambodia Nationals Brad Faulk Partnership, Pasco, WA Korea Nationals Ethan Prather*, Celina, TX Brooklyn Greenhaw*, Northwest Arkansas Mrs. Dale (Celia) Broom*, Ghana, Africa Mr. & Mrs. Ali (Anetta) Chambers**, Memphis, TN Emily Rice*, Conway, AR Mr. & Mrs. Joe (Diane) Ward**, Lifeword, Conway, AR Mr. & Mrs. Trevor (Nafisa) Morris**, Ecuador Jared Eakin*, Lifeword, Conway, AR Andie Kathcart*, Kansas City, MO Jerry Kidd*, Missions Office Drew Cox*, Northwest Arkansas Mr. & Mrs. David (Shelley) Dickson**, Magnolia, AR Mrs. Jesse (Maria) Garrido*, Bell Gardens, CA Mr. & Mrs. Phil (LaJuana) Knott**, Missions Office Mr. & Mrs. Jesse (Rebecca) Hales**, Language School in Costa Rica Grady Johnson*, Mexico Panama Nationals Newly Elected Missionaries Missionaries serving in CAN (Creative Access Nations) Jamie Morgan*, Missions Office Eric Johnson*, Mexico Chile Nationals Mrs. Mike (Ruth) Poirier*, Canada Matthew Prather**, Celina, TX Mr. & Mrs. Andrey (Liya) Kravchuk**, Maitland, FL
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Peru Nationals Ghana Nationals Haiti Nationals Mr. & Mrs. Doug (Ellen) Siler**, Lifeword, Conway, AR Elias Ortega*, Conway, AR Mr. & Mrs. Neil (Lauren) Greenhaw**, Northwest Arkansas India Nationals Mr. & Mrs. John (Margaret) Lindsey**, Ghana Mr. & Mrs. John David (Kim) Smith**, Missions Office Mr. & Mrs. Jeff (Coleen) Franks**, Ukraine Filomeno Kakilala*, Hawaii Mr. & Mrs. Larry (Shelby) Barker**, Missions Office Mike Poirier Partnership, Canada Ken Gipson*, Conway, AR Carly Allen*, Philippines Nate Johnson*, Creative Access Nation Mr. & Mrs. Mark ( Heather) Malone**, Lifeword, Conway, AR Mr. & Mrs. Rick (Angela) Russell**, Lifeword, Conway, AR Mr. & Mrs. Hal (Glenda) Sellers**, Lifeword, Conway, AR Mr. & Mrs. John (Brenda) Bienlein**, Swartz Creek, MI El Salvador Nationals Nick Jacobsen*, Lifeword, Conway, AR Mr. & Mrs. Brandon (Angie) Cox**, Northwest Arkansas Phil Knott*, Missions Office Brenda Bienlein*, Swartz Creek, MI Jazmina Robinson*, Houston, TX Paisley Hambrice*, Papua, New Guinea Mike Poirier*, Canada Rita Ballard*, Philippines Mr. & Mrs. Anthony (Mary) Pennington**, Albuquerque, NM Audrey Johnson*, Mexico Ashlyn Crawley*, Conway, AR Mr. & Mrs. Jeremy (Mandy) Hambrice, Papua New Guinea Puerto Rico Nationals Michael Cross*, France Mrs. Jonathan (Hannah) Stone*, Celina, TX Mark Malone*, Lifeword, Conway, AR Rick Cummins*, Conway, AR Myanmar Nationals Benjamin Chambers*, Memphis, TN Mr. & Mrs. Ron (Kathy) Boyd**, Missions Office Ricky Williams*, Mexico Mrs. Charles (Janis) Attebery*, Lifeword, Conway, AR Mandy Hambrice*, Papua New Guinea Guatemala Nationals Nicaragua Nationals
mission:world P.O. Box 30910, Little Rock, Arkansas 72260 Periodical Postage paid at Little Rock, Arkansas and at additional mailing offices. USPS 575-320 POSTMASTER
MAKING EVERLASTING SMILES Begin a Grin that never ends. God sent His Son for us, giving us the most precious gift of all. You have an opportunity to give a child a shoebox filled with material gifts, but more importantly, itâ€™s a chance to meet Jesus Christ as their savio This year, we will be sending personal savior. shoeboxes to Nicaragua and El Salvador. To find out more about what items to place in the shoeboxes and how to wrap, ship, and pay for them, visit us online at bmamissions.org/shoeboxes or contact us at 501.455.4977.
CHRISTMAS SHOEBOX GIFTS ARE DUE SEPT. 1, 2014