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SPOTLIGHT / THE MISSIONS HEARTBEAT OF TEXAS BAPTISTS pg. 16

Volume 6 ∙ Issue 3

Reaching the next generations for Christ pg. 8 So all may hear along the Amazon pg.18 The transforming power of God in prisons pg.26 El poder transformador de dios en las prisiones pg.36


TEXAS BAPTISTS EVENT CALENDAR Sun

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Pastor Financial Retreat, El Paso

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Childhood Ministry Certification Program, Dallas Hispanic Men’s Retreat, Glen Rose African American Evangelism Conference, Dallas

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SAVE THE DATE FOR 2019 ANNUAL MEETING, WACO, TEXAS NOVEMBER 17-19

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TEX AS BAPTISTS LIFE / VOLUME 6 • ISSUE 3

CONTE NTS FE ATURES

6 8 12 34

PUBLICATION TE AM FINDING LA MANO DE DIOS IN SOCCER La Mano de Dios, a group of soccer tournaments across Texas, introduces the Gospel to soccer players and their families.

REACHING THE NEXT GENERATIONS FOR CHRIST Discover the differences between the emerging generations and how churches can effectively minister to them.

Joshua Seth Minatrea, Director of Communications Kalie Lowrie, News Director Jeremy Honea, Art Director Kirsten McKimmey, News Writer Jordan Parker, Multimedia Specialist Kristen Clardy, Graphic Designer Brittany Thomas, Communications Assistant

SHE CHOSE LIFE One mother’s journey from despair to joy through STCH Ministries.

10 REASONS FOR A WILL Bill Arnold, president of the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation, presents 10 important reasons for creating a will.

You are receiving a free copy of Texas Baptists Life because of your generous support of the Cooperative Program. To subscribe or update your subscription preferences, call 214.828.5232 or email subscriptions@texasbaptists.org.

SPOTLIGHT

16 18 23 26 29 30 32

THE MISSIONS HEARTBEAT OF TEXAS BAPTISTS From ministering to German immigrants in the 1850s to present-day mission work in Texas and beyond, Baptists in Texas possess a cooperative heartbeat for missions.

SO ALL MAY HEAR ALONG THE AMAZON Twenty-eight Texans partnered with MAP missionaries along the Amazon River to share the Gospel and strengthen the ongoing work in Brazil.

pg.12

BOUNCE STUDENTS BRING HOPE TO HOUSTON AFTER HARVEY After months of hopelessness following the destruction of Hurricane Harvey, Houston homeowner Gaye Stephens was shown compassion and joy for the first time through middle and high school students.

THE TRANSFORMING POWER OF GOD IN PRISONS Prisoners lives are being transformed as their fellow inmates are living out the call of the Great Commission to start ‘Philippi Churches.’

pg.23 THE BIBLICAL CALL TO MISSIONS Josue Valerio shares Biblical commands for believers to be on mission with God.

GENEROSIT Y TOUCHES REFUGEES, TEACHES GO NOW MISSIONARY Jaclyn Bonner shares her life-changing experience serving as a Go Now missionary in Uganda.

EL PODER TRANSFORMADOR DE DIOS EN LAS PRISIONES Las Iglesias Filipos son grupos de presos que se reúnen para orar, adorar y testificar del amor y el poder de Dios dentro de las prisiones.

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PUTTING GOD’S WORD TO WORK 2017 LEADERS IN TEXAS CP GIVING Worship Attendance of 99 and below First Baptist Church Pecos Kevin G. Mitchell, Pastor Worship Attendance of 100-199 Central Baptist Church Carthage Monty Pierce, Pastor Worship Attendance of 200-499 Acton Baptist Church Granbury Mark Roath, Pastor Worship Attendance of 500-999 Pioneer Drive Baptist Church Abilene Stan Allcorn, Pastor

African American Fellowship The Fort Bend Church Sugar Land Byron C. Stevenson, Pastor Chinese Fellowship Chinese Baptist Church Houston Dan Ho, Pastor Hispanic Fellowship Northside Community Church San Antonio David Thompson, Pastor Vietnamese Fellowship Christ the King Vietnamese Baptist Church Hewitt Hung Nguyen, Pastor

Worship Attendance of 1,000 and above Green Acres Baptist Church Tyler David Dykes, Pastor

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TT EE XX AA S SB B AA PP TT I SI S TT S SL ILFI E FE

APRIL 2018

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Hello, Texas Baptists!

¡Hola, Bautistas de Texas!

It is clear that the heartbeat of our pastors, staff and churches remains missions and evangelism. These two mandates have been at the forefront of who we are and what we do from the beginning of our Convention. There are several ways our Convention, collectively, and our churches, individually, do mission work.

Es claro que el corazón de nuestros pastores, personal ministerial y las iglesias continúan siendo las misiones y el evangelismo. Estos dos mandatos han estado a la vanguardia de quiénes somos y lo que hacemos desde los comienzos de nuestra Convención. Hay varias maneras cómo nuestra Convención, conjuntamente, y nuestras iglesias, individualmente, hacen obra misionera.

For nearly 100 years, the Cooperative Program has been the primary funding source for Baptist missions and ministry work. Today, your CP giving enables the work of 16 Texas Baptists missionaries along the Texas/Mexico border. These men and women are doing great work on both sides of the border. I hope you'll prayerfully consider working alongside them soon. In addition to CP giving, our Texas Baptists family also funds state, national and international mission work through a number of special offerings. In 2017, our BGCT family gave almost $20 million to these offerings. Your generosity is notable and praiseworthy! I encourage you to continue giving generously to the Mary Hill Davis Offering® for State Missions. We are grateful for our Texas WMU and the wonderful new leadership they have in Tamiko Jones. Many churches across our Convention also coordinate their own mission trips and send missionaries to places and people groups all over the world. I'm so proud churches are involved. We are working to help these efforts prosper in the days ahead. Mission work through the local church and with the state Convention is not an either/or proposition but a both/and endeavor. Keep up the good work, Texas Baptists. Finally, our developing and expanding Missionary Adoption Program (MAP) is having great success (see pg. 22). We have 50 Texas Baptists missionaries along the Amazon River region of Brazil. These missionaries are jointly supported by a church here in Texas and a church in Brazil. Other countries are interested in working with us as well, so please consider adopting your own missionary. Missions is who we are and what we do. Thank you, Texas Baptists, for your heart for missions. Please be generous and we'll trust the Lord for the results! BLESSINGS AND BENDICIONES,

D AV I D H A R D A G E E XECU TIVE DIRECTOR DIRECTOR E JECU TIVO

Durante cerca de 100 años, el Programa Cooperativo ha sido la fuente de principal para proveer fondos para las misiones y la obra misionera bautista. Hoy día, sus ofrendas al Programa Cooperativo hacen posible la obra de 16 misioneros Bautistas de Texas a lo largo de la frontera de Texas y Méjico. Yo espero que usted considere en oración trabajar junto a ellos pronto. Además de sus ofrendas al Programa Cooperativo, nuestras familias Bautistas de Texas también financian la obra misionera estatal, nacional e internacional a través de ofrendas especiales. En el 2017, nuestra familia de BGCT aportó casi $20 millones a estas ofrendas. ¡Su generosidad se destaca y es encomiable! Le exhorto a continuar ofrendando generosamente a la ofrenda Mary Hill Davis para las misiones estatales. Estamos agradecidos por nuestra UFM de Texas y el maravilloso liderazgo que tienen en la hermana Tamiko Jones. Muchas iglesias a lo largo de la Convención también coordinan sus propios viajes misioneros y envían misioneros a lugares y a grupos étnicos alrededor de todo el mundo. Yo estoy muy orgulloso de que las iglesias estén participando. Estamos trabajando para ayudar a que estos esfuerzos prosperen en el futuro cercano. La obra misionera a través de la iglesia local y con la Convención estatal no es una propuesta de uno o el otro sino un esfuerzo de ambos. ¡Continúen haciendo un buen trabajo, Bautistas de Texas! Por último, nuestro Programa de Adopción Misionera (MAP) en desarrollo y expansión está teniendo gran éxito (vea pg. 22). Tenemos 50 misioneros Bautistas de Texas a lo largo de la región del Río Amazonas en Brasil. Estos misioneros son respaldados pro una iglesia aquí en Texas y una iglesia en Brasil. Otros países también están interesados en trabajar con nosotros; así que, por favor, considere adoptar a su propio misionero. Las misiones son quiénes somos y lo que hacemos. ¡Gracias, Bautistas de Texas, por su corazón por las misiones! ¡Por favor, continúen siendo generosos y confiaremos en el Señor por los resultados!


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“Any Sunday morning, if you go to a soccer field, it will be packed,” said Director of Hispanic Ministries Rolando Rodriguez. “I have families from my church who won’t come on Sundays if their kids have a soccer game. Soccer goes beyond culture. It’s part of their lives.” Rodriguez said that for years he fought against the soccer craze, at least when it came up as a priority over spiritual growth. But he found another approach.

make decisions to follow Christ. But a lot happens before the day of the big game.

Clinics, Camps and Trainings Before the tournament, participating churches offer clinics, summer camps or trainings. The clinics help the children grow in discipline and respect and the Christian faith is always incorporated into every training.

Rodriguez said that his job is to ensure “Instead of trying to get soccer out of their that the Gospel is shared in all of the lives, I want to take Jesus to them where trainings. He asks that trainings begin in they are,” he said. “La Mano De Dios gives prayer and end in devotional. Devotionals me the opportunity to take the Gospel almost always involve soccer illustrations. where people are. In Matthew 28:19 and 20, Jesus said, ‘Go and make disciples.’ He said “One of the things I do is use the soccer go where they are. That’s what La Mano de ball,” he said. “With the soccer ball, we ask Dios is about. It’s about going to the people questions: ‘What can you play with this who aren’t normally coming to church.” ball besides soccer?’”

Soccer isn’t just an aspect of Hispanic culture, it’s part of the identity of the Hispanic people. La Mano de Dios (the Hand of God) is the name given to a group of soccer tournaments for children under 18, a ministry recipient of the Mary Hill Davis Offering®. The tournaments are held across the state of Texas and in two cities in Mexico during the summer. The main goal is to introduce the Gospel and help soccer players and their families grow closer to God. “God’s plan to change the world is to go and make disciples,” Rodriguez said. “The problem of this world is not finances. If it was finances, God would have sent a financial expert. The problem is not education. If that was the case, God would have sent an educator. The problem of this world is sin, and God sent a Savior. That's what this is all about - taking the Gospel to these people and making disciples.” Since its inception five years ago, La Mano De Dios has seen hundreds, if not more,

All of the training time that is spent leading up to the tournament is not only training the players to compete at optimum level, it is planting seeds to present the plan of salvation and guide them to Christ.

Tournament Day This year, tournaments will take place in Fort Worth, Texarkana, San Antonio and two in Mexico: San Luis Potosi and Guanajuato. At the end of the tournament, either Rodriguez or a guest speaker presents the Gospel. La Mano De Dios will also take place within two retreats for men and youth where 700 to 800 people will be present. “I take advantage of camps happening in the summer and have a soccer tournament within the camp,” Rodriguez said, adding that another tournament will be held during a summer youth camp where at least 400 children will be present. Rodriguez emphasized that none of this would be possible without the generous donations made to the Mary Hill Davis Offering. Funds from the offering cover the cost of honorariums for the speakers who share the Gospel during the tournament. The offering funds also cover the cost of Bibles, devotionals and “Jesus Saves” tracks with a soccer theme, in addition to promotional flyers.

“They will answer baseball, basketball, dodgeball, and we’ll tell them, ‘You’re right. But the ball is a soccer ball and is made for soccer.’ Then we go into Psalm 139, where it says that we were fearfully and wonderfully made. He created us for one particular purpose. ‘It’s the same with the “I have two soccer players who played prosoccer ball. You might be able to force it fessionally in the past and they are great into doing something else, but it might get speakers,” he said. “One of them is Pastor damaged. It won’t reach its full potential. Fabio Jimenez from First Baptist Church Neither will you outside of the will of God.’” in Longview. He played soccer for Bolivia and Argentina. Thanks to those funds, I Another illustration describes the function can bring someone like Fabio. When you of the red card. announce that an ex-player will be there, a lot of kids are going to come, so that’s part “In soccer, when you get a red card, it of what we do.” means you’re out,” he explained. “We use this as an analogy for Romans 3:23. THE 2018 WEEK OF PRAYER FOR TEXAS When we sin, we basically get handed MISSIONS & THE MARY HILL DAVIS a red card in life. But Jesus came and he OFFERING® IS SEPTEMBER 9-16, 2019 took your red card and he said, ‘You are WITH A GOAL OF $3.6 MILLION. VISIT not out. You are in. I am giving my life WMU.ORG/GIVE TO LEARN MORE. for you.'”

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BY KALIE LOWRIE: NEWS DIRECTOR

As the upcoming Millennial and Gen Z generations grow in numbers and influence, it can be beneficial for church leaders to understand the characteristics of their mindsets and worldviews. Over the next few pages, we share statistics, insights from Millennial church leaders and exciting work with which Texas Baptists staff is engaged, all aimed to equip you as church leaders in effective ministry with these emerging leaders.

Nick Maddox | Associate Pastor Baptist Temple in McAllen


Born between 1999 and 2015

Born between 1982 and 1999

6 trends to know about Gen Z

57% USE SCREEN MEDIA FOUR OR MORE HOURS A DAY

1. They are screenagers 2. Possess a post-Christian worldview 3. “Safe Spaces” are normal 4. Real safety is a myth 5. They are diverse (49% are not white) 6. Their parents are double-minded

6 trends for Millennials 1. Constantly connected to technology 2. Crave global, 24/7 relationships 3. View careers as a place to serve 4. Spiritual but not religious 5. Possess an optimistic view of the future 6. YOLO - make the most of this one life they’ve got

YOLO YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE

Sources: Elmore, T. (2015) Generation iY: Secrets to connecting with today’s teens & young adults in the Digital Age. Atlanta, GA: Growing Leaders, Inc. : Photo by Mac Downey creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0

Barna Group. (2018). Gen Z: The culture, beliefs, and motivations shaping the next generation, p. 36.

Gen Z perceptions about Church

Millennials at Church

+ Postive

+ Postive

Church is a place to find answers to live a meaningful life

I go to be closer to God 44%

82%

The church is relevant for my life

I learn about God there 27%

82%

I feel like I can be “myself” at church

The church does good work in the world 77%

The people at church are tolerant of those with different beliefs

8%

My friends are there 5%

63%

- Negative

- Negative The church seems to reject most of what science tells us about the world 49%

The church is overprotective of teenagers 38%

I find God elsewhere 39%

It’s not relevant to me 35%

Church is boring 31%

The people at church are hypocritical 36%

The church is not a safe place to express doubts 27%

It feels like God is missing from church 20% Barna Group. (2013). Millenials at church. Retrieved from barna.org

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Emerging Millennial Church Leaders Nick Maddox | Associate Pastor Baptist Temple in McAllen

Evan Duncan | Teaching Pastor First Baptist Church Temple

How has God uniquely gifted you for ministry?

What does community look like for you?

I believe I am uniquely gifted to communicate the story of God. I am a preacher. For me, a preacher must captivate the imagination of men with the story of God. The beautiful thing about stories is there are some common themes that transcend culture and have universal appeal. I try to leverage that as I share the truth of God. The Gospel is a story that should be told everywhere.

To me, healthy community looks like mutual flourishing. I like to ask “How can we mutually flourish, by doing life together in realizing that our connection—whether across age or any demographic line—is good for both of us?” It’s about mutual benefit, mutual flourishing.

What is something you wish church leaders knew as they ministered to your generation? I would actually say three things to church leaders. 1. Be patient because we didn't get how we are overnight. I am afraid that our ability to get the things that we want instantly has produced a very impatient generation. It would be beneficial to see biblical patience modeled 2. Be consistent. Many leaders try to change with every trend, and there are times when changes are necessary, but our generation can tell when something is a gimmick and done just to be trendy. I would encourage leaders to be consistent in preaching the whole counsel of God. Be consistent in walking in repentance. This generation knows the church is imperfect, I believe they’re waiting for us to stop acting like we are. What better way to reach a generation than to provide the life giving word of God consistently and repenting openly when we ourselves don't live up to it? It shows that we need Jesus just like everyone else. 3. Be a bridge. The wonderful thing about a bridge is that it acknowledges a great gap between two places. It just won't accept that fact so it connects those two places.

What is something you wish church leaders knew as they ministered to your generation? The key is to see how to create relationships with younger leaders within your context and with your people. Look around and see who the people are you can pour into. At the end of the day, growth is going to come from relationships in your midst and context. They (Millennials) are waiting for someone to ask what they think and give them opportunities to serve and lead.


s

TEXAS BAPTISTS ENGAGING IN INNOVATION WITH MILLENNIALS BJ Ramon

Houston Regional Coordinator, Texas Baptists

We are responding to two values of the Millennial generation: change the world and connect glocally. This generation is largely determined to change the world and stand for justice, and that means those who are also not-yet-believers. Specifically we are engaging college students with opportunities to mentor kids in Title I schools close to the University of Houston. They receive a life-changing experience of mentoring a young kid who does not have a lot of positive influence in his life, and we get to walk alongside the mentor and help them process as they see that the way they've grown up is very different than the life of the mentee. As we develop trusting relationships with the mentors, we’re able to engage in discipleship with them and help them understand that–to come to those who are marginalized and poor and to rescue the afflicted is at the heart of Jesus' commands. They join Jesus’ mission, then join Him in relationship just like the first disciples. Additionally, we really believe in monastic ministry where people choose to live communally and intentionally serve their neighbors. We have three houses, called House of Peace, where people are living together in lower socio-economic areas than what they've grown up in (and oftentimes a different culture than what they've grown up) to

engage with neighbors. Residents of House of Peace have a weekly family dinner, regular organic engagement with their neighbors and casual events to get to know their neighbors. The residents learn and grow from the strengths and assets of their surroundings and help others utilize those assets to develop and strengthen the community. The Millennial generation cares deeply about restoring wholeness to brokenness- such as caring for the marginalized and connecting deeply across racial and socio-economic barriers. We are engaging the generation in those places they value and in doing so, are involved in a new way to minister to this generation.

Elizabeth Biedrzycki

South Texas Regional Coordinator, Texas Baptists A friend of mine reminded me of a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote that I believe embodies what generational work involves: “The future of a thousand forests is in one acorn.” As I think about how to reach and engage emerging generations, I believe it involves more than understanding and knowing the nature of the metaphorical acorn translated into that specific generation itself. It involves understanding the history of the forest around it and the future that could come from it.

“THE FUTURE OF A THOUSAND FORESTS IS IN ONE ACORN.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson Generational outreach and transformation must incorporate deep understanding of existing root systems developed over decades and even

centuries, as well as rings within tree trunks telling a story stretching over time. But generational outreach and transformation also requires the knowledge of proper cultivation and foresight for potential growth in order to strategically create metaphorical gardening techniques manifested in leadership development projects. Our work for Texas Baptists regarding Millennials has looked like many different initiatives. It involves hosting conversations in San Antonio centered around hope, justice and restoration in order to gauge the community’s understanding of faith. It has looked like developing a curriculum alongside San Antonio Baptist Association to help churches better understand the dynamics of millennial engagement and cross-generational collaboration. It has looked like hosting a conversation in Dallas with Millennial church leaders from across the state who are converging church and culture in innovative ways. Most recently it has looked like launching a new program called Good Neighbor to help churches think strategically about community engagement. This work continues to morph and adapt as I receive feedback and pioneer new work resulting in some successes but also in some minor failures. It has been a blessing for the Convention to trust me with experimenting in this way to reach a generation we are struggling to engage. Our leadership has provided proper accountability to my work, while also allowing the creative space to try new things. This is resulting in a vibrant network of young millennial church leaders who were not previously connected. And it looks like launching new programming to resource churches in ways we hope provide enrichment.

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By: Vicki Hewitt, STCH Ministries

When 28-year-old Ashley Kaufman discovered she was pregnant in 2016, she was devastated. She and her two young sons had recently escaped an abusive marriage, but not before Ashley lost custody of her daughter from a previous relationship. Heartbroken and afraid, Ashley struggled to think about bringing another child into her world. 12

TEXAS BAPTISTS LIFE


Ashley Kaufman delights in the life of her son, Isaiah.

Ashley and her two sons arrived at Homes for Families in Goliad, Texas, on Valentine’s Day 2017. She was given a vase of flowers with a card that said, I love you. From God. “It was like God was saying to me, ‘You can breathe now. It’s okay.’”

“My life was in shambles,” Ashley said. “I hated myself and couldn’t understand why I kept making bad decisions. I started thinking about an abortion. I thought it would make everything easier.” Growing up in Santa Rosa, California, Ashley had never known stability. Her father was a musician and she, her mother and an older half-sister often traveled with him. She was only seven when her parents divorced. “My mom was addicted to drugs, and she often left my sister and me alone for weeks at a time,” Ashley recalls. “I felt so scared and alone. I also got sexually molested by a relative during one of those times.” During high school, Ashley left home and eventually dropped out of school. She became pregnant when she was nineteen and had a son, Jaden. She then met another man and within a year gave birth to Alexis, her daughter. After five years in that relationship, Ashley returned to Jaden’s father and had a third child, Adrian. Ashley began to sense God’s conviction and started going to church on her own. “I wanted so badly to try and make my marriage work so my sons could be with their father,” Ashley shared. “I thought I could fix him, but he never stopped his abusive behavior.” One Sunday morning after leaving her husband, Ashley went to Bear Creek Baptist Church in Katy, Texas. She became so upset during the service that she ran out and asked if there was someone

who could help her. She was told that STCH Ministries offered counseling services at Bear Creek and was soon able to talk with a counselor. “What I really wanted was for someone to tell me abortion was okay…that it would be the best choice for me. Instead, the counselor told me abortion isn’t okay and if I went through with it, I would feel more pain in the end than if I chose to have this precious baby God was giving me.” The counselor also told Ashley about another program of STCH Ministries called Homes for Families, a place that could give her the support she needed to face her pregnancy as she worked toward a more promising future for herself and her children. Although leery from her experiences of staying in shelters, Ashley finally made the phone call. Theresa Klacman, program coordinator at Homes for Families, was ready and waiting. “The counselors let me know that this was a young woman contemplating abortion, which is something really close to my heart,” Klacman said. “I had an abortion when I was seventeen, and I know that you never ever forget the experience. Ashley shared about her situation and we talked about the power and forgiveness of God, and His hope and redemption. I believed Ashley really wanted this child but was overwhelmed by all the obstacles. She needed someone to tell her that she had options, and that she wouldn’t be in this alone.”

Ashley poured herself into Phase 1 of the program, a time devoted to the restoration of body, mind, and spirit and developing a more intimate relationship with God. Four months later, Isaiah was born, bringing a new peace Ashley had never known. “I am so glad I didn’t go through with the abortion and that I have Isaiah!” Ashley exclaimed through tears of joy. “Being here has been the best experience of my life. The hardest part was facing myself and the issues inside, like pride and unforgiveness. The staff here have held my hand and guided me. They taught me what it takes to have a personal relationship with God, and how to truly lay down my life for Jesus. I knew it was time. I just hadn’t known how.” Ashley’s resident coordinator has witnessed an amazing transformation in her. “Ashley is a dedicated mother who loves her children more than herself. She takes every situation to God in prayer and has attained a wonderful resilience. I believe one day God will use her strong personality and joyful spirit to lead others.” Ashley is so grateful for all God is doing in her family. Jaden is in fourth grade and loving his new school. Two-year-old Adrian is cared for at the Homes for Families onsite childcare, and baby Isaiah stays with his mom during the day. Soon Ashley will begin taking classes that will prepare her to enroll in college, where she plans to study nursing. “STCH Ministries has helped create a foundation for the rest of my life,” Ashley said, “and I know two things for sure. Every single day I am here, I am in God’s will, and every day He is healing my brokenness.”

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SPOTLIGHT / TEX AS BAPTISTS MISSIONS

T H E G R E AT E S T POSSIBLE Back in 1848, at the first Baptist state convention in Texas, a handful of words were used to describe the primary purpose of the group gathered. Later on, in 1886, those same words were incorporated into the Baptist General Convention of Texas constitution at its formation. Today, Baptists in Texas

missions

continue their cooperative efforts to live out the Great Commandment and the Great Commission with a commitment to those same words: "The object of this Convention shall be to awaken and stimulate among the churches the greatest possible activity in evangelism, missions, Christian

THE MISSIONS HEARTBEAT OF TEXAS BAPTISTS B Y: K A L I E L O W R I E , N E W S D I R E C T O R AL AN LEFEVER, DIRECTOR OF HISTORICAL COLLECTION

Ann (Luther) Bagby was instrumental in forming the Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas.

education and benevolent work and enterprises; to cultivate a closer cooperation among the churches and promote harmony of feeling and concert of action in advancing all the interests of the Redeemer’s Kingdom." [Article II - Object, Constitution of the Baptist General Convention of Texas]

The mission work of Texas Baptists pre-dates the existence of an organized state convention and emcompasses a strong desire to share the Gospel to the utmost regions. When the first Baptist convention formed in Texas in 1848, two endeavors were at the heart of their work—missions and education. One of the first people groups the convention sought to minister to were German immigrants around Schellenberg and Fredericksburg. Frank Kiefer, a German immigrant, became the first missionary and evangelist through the Baptist State Convention, after hearing the Gospel from a Baylor University professor and becoming a Christian. Kiefer planted Ebenezer Church, the first German Baptist church located in Brenham in 1861. In the 1870s, Baptist women began to organize mission societies. Ann Luther, who later married William Bagby, was interviewed in 1880 to become a missionary to Brazil and the couple was appointed as the first Southern Baptist missionaries to the country. She was instrumental in forming the Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas and the couple was credited with awakening Texas Baptists to the foreign mission challenge.

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Texas Baptists were church planters from the very beginning, keenly aware of the mission field around them. From 1846 to 1860, Baptists in Texas planted more than 500 churches through a vital mission effort. As the Baptist General Convention of Texas formed in 1886, a merging of five conventions consolidated into one, with a shared passion and purpose, and church planting through missions was central to their work. Correspondence from the 1890s to 1920s from state missionaries describes the vital church planting work with many leading two and three churches in neighboring communities, as the desire for churches overpowered the number of pastors available. By 1914, there were 482 state missionaries who led revivals, formed missions, assisted pastorless churches and expanded missions education around Texas. The turn of the 20th century led to expanding mission work beyond European immigrants to the growing populations from Mexico and African countries. Mary Gambrell, wife of JB Gambrell, BGCT corresponding secretary at the turn of the century, was one of the first recorded Texas Baptists to lead mission work to Hispanic communities. Associational missionaries in the 1920s spread the Gospel through the aid of railroad expansions, from Western farming communities to the coastal regions. One of the most notable leaders in Texas state mission work was Mary Hill Davis, who saw the need not just to carry the Gospel around the state, but also to strengthen churches from 1906-1931 through her leadership with WMU. Davis began pivotal discipleship and training programs in churches through the creation of Royal Ambassadors, Girls in Action and a young women’s mission organization. She built an infrastructure to keep the mission momentum in the local church going for decades. The mission work that continued across Texas throughout the 20th Century was in large part due to young men and women leaders who came out of those church mission programs. The words Davis spoke in 1924 ring true even today,

Mary Hill Davis’ leadership with the Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas from 1906-1931 laid a transformative framework for missions in Texas.

“There was never such an opportunity in the world’s history as we face today. The doors of every nation have swung open to the gospel message, and beckoning hands invite us to enter.” — Mary Hill Davis, 1924

Mission work on college campuses began in 1919 through the Baptist Student Union (now Baptist Student Ministry). Official initiatives for River Ministry along the Texas and Mexico border began in 1957. Partnerships with Baptists around the world have existed for decades and missions giving through the Southern Baptist Convention Home and Foreign Mission Boards (now NAMB and IMB) now totals into the billions. Today, through the Mary Hill Davis Offering for State Missions, the Cooperative Program, BGCT Worldwide, Texas Baptist Missions Foundation and many other avenues, Texas Baptists are sharing the Gospel through new churches, disaster recovery, on college campuses, in prisons, through sports initiatives and Christian education, job training, hunger ministries and other life-changing work. The cooperative heartbeat of Texas Baptists to work together in mission endeavors has multiplied efforts to share Christ and show love with millions who need to hear the Good News. And there is still more work to be done in an ever-changing state and world.

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So all may hear along the Amazon B Y: K A L I E L O W R I E , N E W S D I R E C T O R

PHOTOS BY KIRSTEN MCKIMME Y


When Terry Johnston, pastor of First Baptist Church of McGregor, met his adopted missionary on the Amazon River, it was an emotional experience. Johnston’s church adopted Rhuan Kaique exactly one year before through Texas Baptists’ Missionary Adoption Program (MAP).

Members at FBC McGregor pray fervently for Kaique’s work and when he walked onto the boat, Johnston immediately recognized him and ran to embrace him. Throughout the week-long Texas Baptists Amazon mission trip from May 28-June 5, the men worked alongside one another. “I got to see Rhuan in action,” Johnston said. “He was interacting with young men in the communities we visited. I could see his heart for the riverine communities through the way he built bridges and relationships.” Kaique is one of 50 missionaries in the Amazon who are supported by Texas Baptists churches through the MAP partnership with Brazilian churches in the Brazilian Baptist Convention. Twenty-nine Texas Baptists traveled on the Barco O Missionario (The Missionary Boat) from Manaus to several communities along the Amazon River, where Brazilian missionaries were engaged in work with unreached people groups in impoverished areas.


The team–led by MAP Director Jair Campos and Eddy Hallock, from Tallowood Baptist Church in Houston–was comprised of pastors and church leaders from 14 Texas Baptists churches and four Go Now missionaries. “There are things you can plan for when you go on a mission trip, but God is the only one allowing us to harvest the results. It was of great impact to be on this first Texas Baptists trip to the Amazon and work alongside the missionaries adopted by Texas Baptists through the Missionary Adoption Program,” said Campos. For four consecutive days, the team embarked on new communities and divided into groups for dental work, an eye clinic, children’s activities and evangelism. Many people came to faith in Christ and were given Portuguese Bibles. The new believers were then connected with the local missionaries for future discipleship. A worship service was also held each night, with a message presented by one of the Texas Baptists pastors and joint worship with the believers in the village. On the first day of mission work, the team visited the communities of Aguia and Botofogo. Three missionaries, Sarah Lane, Raquel Minowa and Gabriela Muzy, have served in these communities for the last year. They left most of their possessions behind, coming to the mission

field with very little, in order to connect with those whom they would serve. In communities like Aguia and Botofogo, the people have very little access to the outside world and few material possessions. While the physical poverty was apparent, the spiritual poverty in the communities was even greater. When the missionaries first arrived, very few of the residents had heard the Gospel. Through their work over the last year, many now know of Jesus Christ and several have come to faith in Him. The missionaries are looking forward to baptizing seven new believers in August. As the missionaries guided the Texans through the main street, children flocked to the group. Lane, Minowa and Muzy greeted the children by name, with hugs and smiles. The affection for one another was clearly mutual. “I really loved seeing the work that the MAP missionaries were doing,” said Grant Stansbury, from Cornerstone Church in Nederland. “It’s obvious that the communities have been greatly impacted by their labor, and it makes the short-term mission trips more impactful to have them there to continue to make disciples.” On Friday, the boat docked in the community of Jaiteaua for the first time. The local leader had seen the boat pass by many times and heard stories of the dental and medical services

Children anticipate ‘kids club’ in Aguia, where MAP missionaries Sarah, Gabriella and Raquel have been living for over a year

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provided from neighboring community leaders. An invitation was given to welcome the boat of missionaries to Jaiteaua.

“I would like to thank, first, each brother and sister that has collaborated with me on this project since the first month I got here. Since I started my training, you have adopted me as your missionary. I am your missionary, from the Texas Baptists churches, and I thank you, my dear brothers and sisters, for your contribution to my ministry and to the work being developed here.” Gabriela Muzy, MAP Missionary Serving in Aguia and Botofogo

Top: MAP missionaries, Samara and Luciara, celebrate the baptism of three new believers in the community of Vasco.

During the day, the dentists saw 88 patients, 84 of whom required tooth extractions. Normally, residents must travel three hours by boat for dental work and the cost far exceeds their means. The missionaries were encouraged by the reception in the village and will plan future trips to the village to ensure regular dental care is provided as well as plans to commission two missionaries to begin work there. In the community of Vasco, the team saw three new believers baptized in the river. These believers were discipled by the radical missionaries and participated in baptisms as outward expressions of their new faith in Jesus. That evening, the team worshipped alongside fellow believers at the local church. On the last day of the trip, the team traveled to the Projecto Amazonia missionary training center where many were able to meet their adopted missionaries. As the Texans met the Brazilians, hugs were exchanged and stories were shared about God’s work in the villages in which they serve. The team then headed back to Manaus, leaving the Go Now missionaries at the center to undergo two weeks of training before being sent out to local communities for the remainder of the summer. This marks the first time for Go Now missionaries to serve in the Amazon and partner alongside the Brazilian Baptist missionaries.

The MAP missionaries are engaged in daily discipleship, church planting, training and equipping local leaders, spreading the vision of church multiplication and providing relevant social services. There are currently eight bases for planting churches in the Amazon, with an aim of reaching the 113 unreached people groups in the region. In July, a new training will begin for the upcoming missionaries. During the 452-hour course, missionaries are trained in evangelism, discipleship, theology and basic survival skills for living in primitive communities. “The Holy Spirit brought 14 Texas Baptists churches together as one church to open opportunities for new churches to be planted and to encourage those who are in the frontlines of the mission field,” said Campos. “Many lives were saved, and churches united and empowered to continue to fulfill the Great Commission in the Amazon.” Currently, Texas Baptists have adopted 50 MAP missionaries along the Amazon and 18 more are waiting to be adopted. MAP partners Texas Baptists churches with churches in a host country to jointly sponsor a missionary. Through gifts of $150 a month, a church can provide training and resources for one missionary, as well as lodging and basic necessities. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ADOPTING A MAP MISSIONARY, VISIT TEXASBAPTISTS.ORG/ MAP OR CONTACT JAIR CAMPOS, DIRECTOR OF MAP, AT JAIR.CAMPOS@TEXASBAPTISTS. ORG OR 713.494.2841.

Middle Left: Terry Johnston, pastor of First Baptist McGregor, and his adopted missionary, Rhuan Kaique, meet for the very first time. Middle Top Right: Brenda Hallock , from Tallowood Baptist Church in Houston helps with the daily eyeglass clinic, helping townspeople see clearly for the first time.

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Giving BEYOND Texas. The Texas Baptists Worldwide offering gives churches the opportunity to do missions and ministry from the heart of Texas to the ends of the earth. Worldwide gifts are above and beyond Cooperative Program giving, and allow churches the opportunity to work with a trusted partner to make a Kingdom impact across the world.

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BY: KIRSTEN MCKIMMEY, NEWS WRITER

An exposed house frame and remnants of personal belongings showed what once was a beautiful, two-story home. An abundance of light shone through windows placed at the uppermost part of the wall, illuminating the rubble-filled living room, while sounds of sheetrock and nails hitting the ground filled the home. Gaye Stephens stood in the middle of what was left of her kitchen. A team of middle school and high school students from BOUNCE Student Disaster Recovery worked around her, bringing the first signs of life and laughter into a bleak situation. The first words she spoke, as she took a moment to look around, were simply, “this gives us hope.”

THE EVENTS OF THE STORM Gaye, her husband, Jack, and their dog lived in the Bear Creek community of Houston for 30 years. The community was known for their friendly neighbors, exemplary school-system and magnificent tree-lined streets. But a community that was once full of life became completely desolate. On Aug. 25, 2017, Gaye’s home, like thousands of others, was hit by Hurricane Harvey.

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She recalled the day of the storm. “We were picked up in a boat. There was six feet of water in the street, right at our front door. We went to a shelter that evening, then to Austin to stay with family.” Two weeks later, Gaye and her husband returned to Houston to see what was left of the place they called home for decades. As they drove through their neighborhood and opened the door to their house, they were hit with a heartbreaking reality. Their home had been filled with sewer water for two weeks. Furniture was still floating inside. “We lost everything,” she said.

FATHER AND SON:

PIKE & NASH WISNER

GOD’S SOVEREIGNTY IN LOSS She shared her story alongside David Scott, director of BOUNCE and Pike Wisner, pastor of First Baptist Church of Tyler, whose students were helping repair her house. They both listened compassionately to what Gaye had to say. As Pastor Wisner looked at her, he explained how her house was a last-minute redirect for his team. He was expecting to be putting up sheetrock at another home, but an unaffiliated group showed up unannounced and completed the work. It wasn’t until the night before that he had discovered where they would be going.

“the hope is that we can rebuild not only our home, but the whole community” He continued to talk to her, speaking of the Lord’s faithfulness to put his team exactly where they needed to be amidst changing plans. “This is where God has brought us,” he said. Incredulously, Gaye thanked him.

BOUNCE BRINGS HOPE Gaye described the current state of their neighborhood as a “ghost town.” Families have moved and many homes have been broken into. “It’s really not even about the stuff. It’s the memories, the friends, all of the most important things that are the hardest to lose,” she said, fighting through tears. “We bought our home here because of the community, and now our friends are moving out. But the hope is that we can rebuild not only our home, but the whole community and get the neighborhood back where it was.” During the three Spring Break BOUNCE mission trips, 477 BOUNCERS, representing 24 Texas Baptists churches, had 47 spiritual conversations with homeowners. As a result, there were 15 professions of faith. FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT HOW YOUR CHURCH CAN BE A PART OF BOUNCE STUDENT DISASTER RECOVERY, VISIT TEXASBAPTISTS.ORG/BOUNCE.

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“This is our churches’ third time at BOUNCE and my first time as the pastor to come. My 6th grade son, Nash, is also here with me and this is his first time to do something like this.” “Having my son here with me is awesome. I wanted him to see what life does and what we’re able to do to help. Getting to meet the homeowner, Gaye, was huge for him. Now it’s not just a house that was destroyed, but it’s a life that was hugely impacted. He has seen that and was exposed to true service. And for our students in general, they see that because of our hope in Christ, we get to serve others and share that hope with them. It’s been huge.” “What I hope our students would say is not ‘oh, several years ago one time I went on a trip and helped somebody,’ but ‘this is what I’m called to do in my neighborhood. If someone needs help, I help them.’ This isn’t a project you do every so often. This is a lifestyle.”


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THE TRANSFORMING POWER OF GOD IN PRISONS BY: KIRSTEN MCKIMMEY, NEWS WRITER

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.” Matthew 25:35-36 26

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With a heart for the oppressed, Dr. Ted Lindwall has treasured the words of Jesus in Matt. 25 with complete sincerity, allowing them to drive his current ministry - meeting with prison inmates across Texas to plant what are known as ‘Philippi Churches.’ Philippi Churches are gatherings of prisoners who pray, worship and testify to the love and power of God, just as Paul and Silas did during their time of imprisonment. While Philippi churches are often smaller than traditional churches, they are much more active. They meet every day, praying, singing and studying the Bible together. They should be the greatest influence within the unit for helping prisoners with their problems, encouraging obedience and resolving conflicts among fellow inmates.

sure to explain three foundational beliefs “Jesus Christ is Lord, the Bible is the Word of God and God answers prayer.” Lindwall continued, “The men immediately took those material back to the dormitories and began to teach them all over the jail. It was a wonderful response. In the process, they became Christians and people they taught became Christians. We’ve had a continuous revival in the jail ever since.”

A COLLECTIVE EFFORT

THE MAN BEHIND THE MINISTRY

After Lindwall and a few other volunteers made their way into about 15 prisons, he approached Mario Gonzalez, director of Texas Baptists’ Multi-Housing/House Congregations, for help as the ministry was growing beyond their capacity. Texas Baptists officially began a partnership with the ministry in 2014.

Lindwall served as a missionary with the International Mission Board in Guatemala for 45 years. While there, he developed a series of Bible study materials, crafted for individuals that had no previous knowledge of Scripture. Lindwall explained that the materials are both interactive and simple. You sit down with a person or group, read a Bible story and are guided through a series of questions to understand the story.

"There lies an immense, yet often forgotten, potential to reach the lost inside our own prisons,” said David Miranda, Philippi Church liaison. “The focus of Philippi Ministries is to equip those in the prison system to share their faith, disciple and even start churches. Through our letters and correspondence with the prisoners, we have seen their hunger for the Word of God and a passion for propagating the Gospel.”

In 2005, when Lindwall finished his time on mission in Guatemala and moved to Texas, he discovered that these materials could be repurposed for an entirely different ministry within the walls of prisons.

Since the partnership began, the work has continued to grow tremendously. The Philippi Churches are present in over 50 prisons across the state. However, with only six outside volunteers helping within the prisons, there is a tremendous lack of personnel. For the vision of having a Philippi Church in every Texas prison to come to fruition, much more help is needed. One solution is partnering with other existing prison ministries.

The first prison Lindwall ever visited was Collin County Jail in 2008 where he inquired about working with the Hispanic men, which make up approximately 35 percent of that prison. There, the ministry was born. During one of his first meetings with the men at Collin County Jail, Lindwall recalled, “The Lord gave me a strange word. There was a group of about 20 Hispanic men, and I told them, ‘I’ve come to train you to be missionaries.’ Well, they didn’t bat an eye.’” Then he began to train the men by showing them how to utilize the materials he developed overseas, making

“Unlike most organizations, we can come alongside people already working in prisons,” said Lindwall. “They can continue their current ministry and be our contact person for us to provide the Bible study materials to the prison.”

or hour and a half with the prisoners, but with our materials, the prisoners are able to grow and minister to one another. It really is a fulfillment of their call, whatever their call may be.” Another solution is churches and individuals coming alongside these prisoners, sponsoring their Philippi Church. These sponsorships provide a Philippi Church with a study Bible, a Bible dictionary and a year’s worth of individual discipleship materials in the inmate’s preferred language. Along with that, churches are encouraged to begin a prayer ministry or a pen pal ministry with the inmates. “With these ministries, prisoners know that they have a friend that they can write to,” said Lindwall. “And just as we pray for prisoners, we can turn it around and send our own prayer needs to the prisoners, and they’ll pray for us too.”

ONGOING MINISTRY Lindwall currently works in two jails. Inmates often tell him that over the course of a year, they read the entire Bible three or four times. “You see these people just growing tremendously. I tell everybody that prison is a spiritual paradise. These inmates have lost everything, but they do have time.” In fact, prisoners from Fannin County Jail have told Lindwall that had they not come to prison, they would have never known God. “It’s a powerful ministry, and a joy to be in,” he said. “And it’s interesting - the only people I’ve ever seen go to volunteer in the prisons are Christians. The rest of the world just kind of blows them off. While the world has little use for prisoners, Jesus has made a very big issue of it as he said, ‘I was in prison and you came to visit me.’”

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW YOU OR YOUR CHURCH CAN PARTNER WITH A PHILIPPI CHURCH, VISIT TEXASBAPTISTS.ORG/PHILIPPI.

He continued, “When this happens, the workers’ ministry is enriched because it’s not just what they’re doing in their hour

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70

UNDERGRAD DEGREES

30 MASTER’S DEGREES

2

DOCTORAL DEGREES


THE BIBLICAL CALL TO MISSIONS B Y: J O S U E VA L E R I O , D I R E C T O R O F M I S S I O N S

The Lord Jesus Christ called and sent the church to all the world to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything He has commanded. And He promised to be always with His church. Matthew 28:19-20 The church is multicultural because God’s people are formed in Christ in different contexts and sent to be His witnesses and represent God’s reign in all nations. Every person who has been reconciled with God in Christ is called and sent to fulfill His commandment. One of the greatest missionaries who exemplifies this is the apostle Paul: “I am sending you to open their [Gentiles] eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” Acts 26:17-18

to convey the Gospel in a culture different than theirs. What difference does it make for your church to be involved in missions? • Missions is about making disciples of all nations • Missions is about your church going beyond their comfort zone • Missions is about transforming lives of those on the receiving end as well as those being sent • Missions is about fulfilling the mission of God in our generation so that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is proclaimed and shared with future generations in all nations. How do you get started? It is time to accept the call to be on mission with God. We as the church live in relationship with God, with each other and with others (those who are not yet God’s people). The best way to

“THE CHURCHES THAT ARE DOING MISSIONS BEST ARE INTENTIONAL ABOUT HAVING A LOVING AND HONEST RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, WITHIN THE CONGREGATION, AND WITH THOSE WHO ARE NOT YET THE PEOPLE OF GOD.” Top: River Ministry missionary Vanessa Lerma (right) prays with Brenda, a fellow believer in the Valley. Bottom Left: Eddy Hallock and Dedra Curtice evangelize to the people of São Paulo, a small village along the Amazon Bottom Right: BOUNCE students help with home repairs in Houston.

The churches that are doing missions best are intentional about having a loving and honest relationship with God, within the congregation, and with those who are not yet the people of God. The passion and motivation for missions emerges from the interaction of these three relationships. Missions implies the crossing of different types of boundaries such as cultural, linguistic, socio-economic, geographical, and any other type with the purpose of sharing the life of Christ with others. Many pastors and churches experience a type of frustration in ministry because of the challenge

get involved in missions is with a group of people. Jesus sent the disciples out in two by two, not alone (Luke 10:1-17). You are not alone, the Texas Baptists Missions Team would love to partner with you wherever the Lord is calling you to be His witness and to represent His reign. Let us know how we can be of help. VISIT TEXASBAPTISTS.ORG/ MISSIONS TO CONNECT WITH THE MISSION TEAM STAFF AND FOR ACCESS TO MORE RESOURCES TO SUPPORT YOUR CHURCH AND MINISTRY.

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generosity touches refugees, teaches Go Now missionary B Y: J A C LY N R . B O N N E R , G O N O W M I S S I O N A R Y

“When I am there, I feel like I am at home,” reflected Edith* when talking about her time at Refuge and Hope International in Kampala, Uganda. I could not agree with her more. We both came to Refuge and Hope last fall – she as a refugee, I as a Go Now missionary. Although drastically different circumstances led us to a place we would come to call “home,” we both left with a greater understanding of God’s goodness, provision and care. Texas Baptists played an underlying yet significant role in showing both of us these things.

Texas Baptists supported my trip and taught me about God After accepting my Go Now Missions appointment to Uganda, I began praying for three primary things – for God to confirm my calling by providing the means for me to go, for God to bless my time there with deep relationships and meaningful connections and for God to teach me more about Himself through this ministry opportunity. I can confidently testify that He answered each request, blessing my time on the field more than I could ask or think.

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The generosity of Texas Baptists, my family and friends overwhelmed me. The gifts of Texas Baptists impact the trip of every Go Now missionary. Your faithfulness to give showed me that God was providing for my time in Uganda before I had even considered going. What many people do not realize is that your giving also touches the entire ministry of Refuge and Hope International, a recipient of Texas Baptists Hunger Offering funds.

The heart and hands of Refuge and Hope, the help of Texas Baptists Refuge and Hope serves displaced nationals and urban refugees from more than a dozen countries. The ministry focuses on empowering vulnerable individuals through educational, professional and personal development opportunities to become leaders and catalysts for change in their communities and home countries. Refuge and Hope provides vocational training, apprenticeships and employs refugees in sustainable businesses and staff positions. Because Refuge and Hope uses a holistic approach, the needs of the whole person

are addressed – academic, professional, psychological, physical, relational and spiritual. Through grants, families that are transitioning to their new homes and struggling to have enough to eat are given emergency food bags to nourish them for a couple of weeks. Hunger Offering funds also contribute greatly to the Refuge and Hope family ministry and youth program. The family ministry department is essential to facilitating services for marginalized segments of the population, specifically women and children. Every time I visited my friends at the shelter, they insisted, with a sense of dignity and pride, that they cook for me. Meals at the shelter are provided by your gifts to the Hunger Offering. “I have hope. My future, tomorrow, will be okay,” Edith told me once when I was tutoring her in English. “We learn many things that can help us in our future,” she said of Refuge and Hope. “When I finish I want to look for a job or have a business.” Your giving is not only buying ingredients and nourishing the young adults, but it is also helping people think differently and become servant leaders. The ministry of Refuge and Hope never fails to inspire me, nor does the global impact of the body of Christ. My role as a Go Now missionary is one I will always cherish. I am blessed to testify of God’s goodness and your faithfulness. *names changed for security


SEPTEMBER 9-16, 2018 | STATE GOAL $3,600,000

2018 Week of Prayer for Texas Missions & The Mary Hill Davis O ffering But you are the ones chosen by God for the high calling of priestly work… speak out for Him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you. 1 Peter 2:9-10 (MSG)

wmutx.org/give I 214.828.5150

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EL PODER TRANSFORMADOR DE DIOS EN LAS PRISIONES P O R : KIRSTEN MCKIMMEY, ESCRITORA DE NOTICIAS

“Porque tuve hambre, y ustedes me dieron de comer; tuve sed, y me dieron de beber; fui forastero, y me dieron alojamiento; necesité ropa, y me vistieron; estuve enfermo, y me atendieron; estuve en la cárcel, y me visitaron” Mateo 25:35-36

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Con un corazón por los oprimidos, el Dr. Ted Lindwall ha atesorado estas palabras de Jesús con completa sinceridad, permitiendo que impulsen su ministerio— reunirse con presos a lo largo de Texas para plantar lo que se conocen como “Iglesias Filipos”. Las Iglesias Filipos son grupos de presos que se reúnen para orar, adorar y testificar del amor y el poder de Dios dentro de las prisiones, tal y como Pablo y Silas lo hicieron durante su encarcelamiento. A pesar de que las Iglesias Filipos por lo regular son más pequeñas que las iglesias tradicionales, son mucho más activas. Se reúnen todos los días para cantar, orar y estudiar la Biblia. Ellos deben ser la influencia más grande dentro de la unidad para ayudar a los presos con sus problemas, fomentando la obediencia y resolviendo conflictos entre otros presos.

EL HOMBRE DETRÁS DEL MINISTERIO Dr. Lindwall sirvió como misionero en Guatemala con la Junta de Misiones Internacionales durante 45 años. Allí desarrolló una serie de materiales de estudio bíblico, diseñado para personas sin ningún tipo de conocimiento previo de las Escrituras. Lindwall explicó que los materiales son interactivos y simples. Uno se sienta con una persona o grupo, leen una historia bíblica y son guiados a través de una serie de preguntas para entender la historia. En el 2005, cuando Lindwall terminó su tiempo en misión en Guatemala y se mudó a Texas, él descubrió que estos materiales podían ser usados para un ministerio completamente diferente dentro de las prisiones. La primera prisión que Lindwall visitó fue la Cárcel del Condado de Collin, en el 2008, donde preguntó acerca de trabajar con hombres hispanos, quienes componían aproximadamente el 35 porciento de la prisión. Allí nació el ministerio.

desarrollado en el extranjero, asegurándose de explicar tres creencias f undamentales- “Jesucristo es Señor, la Biblia es la Palabra de Dios, y Dios responde a las oraciones”. Lindwall continuó: “Los hombres inmediatamente llevaron los materiales a sus dormitorios y comenzaron a enseñarlos por toda la cárcel. Fue una respuesta maravillosa. En el proceso, se convirtieron en cristianos y las personas a quienes enseñaban se convirtieron en cristianos. Hemos tenido un avivamiento continuo en la cárcel desde entonces”.

UN ESFUERZO CONJUNTO Después de que Lindwall y otros voluntarios se abrieron camino en alrededor de 15 prisiones, él se acercó a Mario González, director of Congregaciones Bautistas de Texas en Hogares/Apartamentos, pidiendo ayuda según el ministerio crecía más allá de su capacidad. Los Bautistas de Texas oficialmente comenzaron a colaborar con el ministerio en el 2014. Existe un potencial inmenso, pero con frecuencia olvidado, para alcanzar a los perdidos adentro de las prisiones”, dijo David Miranda, intermediario para los Ministerios Filipos. “El enfoque de los Ministerios Filipos es equipar a los que se encuentran en las prisiones para compartir su fe, discipular e iniciar iglesias. A través de nuestras cartas y correspondencia con los presos, hemos visto su hambre por la Palabra de Dios y pasión por propagar el Evangelio”. Desde que la colaboración comenzó, la obra ha continuado creciendo tremendamente. Hay Iglesias Filipos en más de 50 cárceles a través del estado. Sin embargo, con solamente seis voluntarios externos ayudando dentro de las prisiones, existe una tremenda falta de personal. Para que la visión de tener una Iglesia Filipos en cada prisión en Texas sea una realidad, se necesita mucha más ayuda. Una solución es colaborar con otros ministerios que ya existen en las prisiones.

Durante una de sus primeras reuniones con los hombres en la Cárcel del Condado de Collin, Lindwall recuerda: “El Señor me “A diferencia de la mayoría de las organizaciones, podemos unirnos a otras dio un mensaje extraño. Había un grupo personas que ya están trabajando en las de como 20 hombres hispanos, y les dije: prisiones”, dijo Lindwall. “Ellos pueden ‘He venido a entrenarlos para que sean continuar con su ministerio actual y ser misioneros’. Bueno, ellos ni se inmutaron’”. nuestro contacto para proveer materiales Entonces, comenzó a entrenarlos enseñánde estudio bíblico en la prisión”. doles cómo usar los materiales que había

Él continuó: “Cuando esto sucede, el ministerio de los obreros se enriquece porque, no es solamente lo que están haciendo durante una hora y media con los presos, sino que con nuestros materiales, los presos son capaces de crecer y ministrarse unos a otros. Es realmente un cumplimiento de su llamado, cualquiera que ese llamado sea”. Otra solución es iglesias e individuos colaborando con estos presos, auspiciando su Iglesia Filipos. Estas colaboraciones proveen a una Iglesia Filipos con una Biblia de estudio, un diccionario bíblico y un año de materiales de discipulado individual en el lenguaje de preferencia del preso. Junto a esto, se anima a que las iglesias comiencen un ministerio de oración o un ministerio de correspondencia con los presos. “Con estos ministerios, los presos saben que tienen un amigo a quien escribirle”, dijo Lindwall. “Y, según oramos por los presos, podemos compartir peticiones de oración con ellos, para que ellos también oren por nosotros”.

MINISTERIO ACTUAL Lindwall actualmente trabaja en dos cárceles. Los presos con frecuencia le dicen que durante el curso de un año ellos leen toda la Biblia tres o cuatro veces. “Uno ve a estas personas creciendo de una manera tremenda. Les digo a todos que la cárcel es un paraíso espiritual. Estos presos han perdido todo, pero lo que sí tienen es tiempo”. De hecho, los presos en la Cárcel del Condado de Fanin le han dicho a Lindwall que, si no hubieran caído en la prisión, nunca hubieran conocido acerca de Dios. “Es un ministerio poderoso, y es un gozo ser parte”, él dijo. “Y, es interesante que las únicas personas que he visto ir como voluntarios a las cárceles son cristianos. El resto del mundo como que los abandonan. A pesar de que el mundo tiene poco uso para los presos, Jesús les dio importancia cuando dijo: ‘Estuve en la cárcel, y me visitaron’”. PARA INFORMACIÓN ADICIONAL EN CÓMO USTED O SU IGLESIA PUEDEN COLABORAR CON UNA IGLESIA FILIPOS, VISITE TEXASBAPTISTS.ORG/PHILIPPI. J U LY 2 0 1 8

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10 REASONS FOR A WILL BY : B I L L A R N O L D , C F P ®, P R E S I D E N T, T E X A S B A P T I S T M I S S I O N S F O U N DAT I O N Even for a Christian, planning what to do with your estate after you’re gone is not an easy task. It seems that no one likes to make the decisions about what to do with the “stuff” that God has allowed them to accumulate over their lifetime. In fact, in Texas, about two-thirds of the people who pass away each year don’t even have a will. Why is it so important? What is going to happen to my “stuff” if I don’t have a will? Well, in Texas (or wherever you live) the state has been gracious enough to write one for you. The problem is that the way the state will divide your assets may be very different from the way that you would want them divided. Some family members, close friends and charities that you might have wanted to remember won’t get anything at all. So, what are some other good reasons for having a will?

1

It allows you (and not the state) to decide which family members and friends get a share of your estate. There may be family members that don’t need or want what would be their appropriate share, while there may be friends that have been closer than a brother that you want to remember.

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allows you to create a trust that will you to decide who will handle 2 Ittheallows 8 Itbenefit family members for years to dissolution of your assets and distribute them in accordance with your wishes. If you do not select the person that will fill this important role, someone that you might not prefer could be appointed instead.

come, help insure that they spend it carefully, and then go on to benefit Texas Baptist causes. It can be a legacy that serves as a periodic reminder to your family of what was important to you.

It reduces the cost and time that it you to name a guardian for 3 Ityourallows 9 takes to settle your estate. When the minor children. For parents, a

will allows you to specify who you would like to take care of your children.

4 needs that may be present in your

It allows you to consider any special

family. Perhaps you have a mentally or physically challenged child that will need care after you are gone; a will can create a trust that will provide for that care. will allows you to provide for the 5 Afinancial management of your assets

where that may be necessary. If your estate contains a variety of asset types or you want to create a charitable trust, it may take a will to provide for that. allows you to deal with special sit6 Ituations such as divorce and blended

families. While families like this can be complicated during life, they can be even more complicated when one of the family passes away. A well-written will can bring some clarity to what may be a tense situation.

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It allows you to leave something to Baptist causes like the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation or your local church. It is a great way to make a difference in God’s kingdom for generations to come.

Lord calls you home and you don’t have a current will, the settling of your affairs will be both time-consuming and expensive, leaving less of your assets to pass along to your heirs.

you to have peace of mind 10 Itandallows heart knowing that you have distributed the things that God has allowed you to accumulate in the way that’s pleasing to Him.

One of the most important reasons for having a will is that it is perhaps your final act of stewardship. It represents your acknowledgement that God owns everything, and we are just the caretakers. One of the freedoms the Lord gives us is the privilege of deciding how the “stuff” He has allowed us to accumulate will be distributed. Nobody knows better what the Lord wants you to do with it than you. AUGUST IS MAKE YOUR WILL MONTH CONTACT THE STAFF OF THE MISSIONS FOUNDATION FOR MORE INFORMATION. VISIT TEXASBAPTISTS.ORG/TBMF OR CALL 214.828.5173.


WHO WE ARE WHAT WE DO For more than 130 years, the Baptist General Convention of Texas (Texas Baptists) has helped churches fulfill the Great Commission and the Great Commandment. Today, we are more than 5,300 churches working together in harmonious cooperation to share Christ and show love.

GREAT COMMISSION TEAM

MISSIONS TEAM

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CONNECTIONS TEAM

CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT TEAM

Area Representatives Bivocational Pastors

African American Ministries Associations Hispanic Education Initiative Hispanic Ministries Intercultural Ministries Project: Start

The ministry of the Convention is organized into teams that inform and inspire churches through events, resources, consultations and more. Through gifts to the Texas Baptists Cooperative Program, you and your church enable missions and ministry across the state and around the world. Because you give, love is shown, the Gospel is shared and lives are transformed. Learn more about affiliation at texasbaptists.org/affiliate, and learn more about the Texas Baptists Cooperative Program at texasbaptists.org/cp.

Center for Ministerial Excellence

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In addition, we proudly partner with education, advocacy and human care institutions around Texas.

J U LY 2 0 1 8

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Profile for Texas Baptists

Texas Baptists Life, Volume 6 - Issue 3  

The Missions Heartbeat of Texas Baptists

Texas Baptists Life, Volume 6 - Issue 3  

The Missions Heartbeat of Texas Baptists