Issue No. 29 | Fall 2020
W W W. G E N E R A L B A P T I S T. C O M
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CONTENTS No. 29 • Fall 2020
Virtual Missions Conference
Enjoy a missions conference through on-line resources
Honduras Update: Faith Home
What does Faith Home mean…?
Honduras Update: Clinic Opened God will make a way for His work to be done.
General Baptist Bible College: On the Cover:
55 Years of God’s Grace
Missionary Robin Lowry basking in the attention of Honduran children.
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CONTENTS 5 Mission Conference 2020 6 The Significance of Faith Home 10 God Will Make a Way 12 Is it Worth it? 14 An Urgent Mission in Niger
16 God’s Thoughts and Ways are Higher than Ours 1 8 Destination: Honduras 20 General Baptist Bible College: 55 Years of God’s Grace 28 Journey to Philippines 30 Making the Most of your Mission Trip 34 Asenath Brewster Christmas Offering 2020 35 Inside Out 2020
The General Baptist Messenger is published by General Baptist Ministries (General Baptist Council of Associations, Inc), under the direction of an editorial team composed of the denominational leadership team, and the Interim Executive Director. CONTACT GENERAL BAPTIST MINISTRIES: 100 Stinson Drive | Poplar Bluff, MO 63901 573.785.7746 Send mailing list updates attention: firstname.lastname@example.org VIEW THE MESSENGER ONLINE AT WWW.GBMESSENGER.ORG
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Danny Dunivan Franklin Dumond Mark Powell Linda McDonough Vicki Smith LAYOUT & DESIGN:
Stinson Press - Kenrick Nobles General Baptist Ministries
By Mark Powell
Make Ma ke a di f fe re nce. Sha re To d ay!
Please join us in September for a Virtual Missions Conference. The 2020 General Baptist M&M Summit became a victim of COVID-19 and was canceled. You may not know that M&M stands for Missions and Ministry, but missions has been an integral component of the Summit since its inception. General Baptist International Ministries places a high emphasis on the Summit each year offering many breakout sessions and offering General Baptists the opportunity to mingle with international missionaries and guests. We did not want to miss out on that opportunity in 2020, and so we asked each missionary family to produce a “break out” session for us to use in a “Virtual Missions Conference.” We’ve included a synopsis of each presentation in the pages of this edition of the General Baptist Messenger. Video presentations and additional information will be found at https://gbimissions.com/missionsconference-2020/. The possibilities for using these materials are endless but here are three suggestions:
1. Personal or small group. The video presentations and papers will be online, downloadable, and available for your personal or small group as you desire. We suggest the month of September.
2. Local Church Missions Conference. This could be over several days, a weekend, Wednesday nights, Sunday School, etc. The videos will be downloadable, and Word documents will be available for your own branding. Again we recommend September.
3. Facebook Live. A schedule will be published when each of these videos will premiere on Facebook live. These events will take place on Tuesday and Thursday evenings in September. As much as possible, we hope that the presenter will be available to join the “Live” event in order to chat with participants (the COVID-19 version of mingle). Follow the links provided to find the videos, handouts, and for some speakers, additional information. Use them as you wish: individual, small group, church wide conference, Sunday School. Really the sky is the limit! Don’t forget that Ed Stevens Day is on September 20, 2020. This year the offering will go to do some work on the campus of the Matigsalug Bible Institute which prepares pastors for indigenous ministry throughout the Philippine island of Mindanao.
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THE SIGNIFICANCE OF FAITH HOME By Christina Massey, Faith Home Administrator
aith Home was started over 20 years ago with the vision of a few godly men and women to minister to the children of Honduras. The guiding vision for our work at Faith Home comes from Luke 2:52, “And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” This is exactly what we have seen happen in the lives of the children who have passed through our gates to live at Faith Home, whether for a few weeks, a few years, or until adulthood. From missionaries, short-term teams, and especially the Honduran people, countless lives have been impacted for eternity.
What does Faith Home mean to you? For many, your first experience on the Faith Home campus a week of letting God pour into you as you poured into others, an experience that left each one craving more of a relationship with the Lord and a desire to be in the center of His will. For some, their time at Faith Home culminated in going back to bloom where they were planted and to become leaders in their churches and communities, guiding countless others to Christ. For some, a love for the Honduran people and the work God is doing among them was born. They went on to be missionaries, returning on countless short-term trips, or being financial supporters and prayer warriors for the ministry. Everyone who loves and supports Faith Home has been forever changed by the vision and ministry God planted in each of our hearts. 6 | General Baptist Messenger Fall 2020
What does Faith Home mean to the Hondurans? After watching the ministry and the children grow and mature over the last eight years, I have observed the difference Christ is making in this country and the lives of every child and adult who passes through our gates. I always ask questions to find ways to serve them better. I want to know how we can make a deeper impact in future generations and how we can impact more lives for Christ as our young adults go out into communities and workplaces and learn to do life away from the safety and security of their Faith Home family. How can we help them to be a light and to shine for Christ wherever they go? So I asked them, “What does Faith Home mean to you?” I must admit there are seasons in their lives when they are not exactly happy with their Faith Home experience. Usually, it is the moment they have to face the reality of life outside the gates and start to become independent. It sometimes hurts to hear their hearts and the resentment they have. But it is also a blessing to hear those same young adults come full circle, embracing the purpose God has given them, and coming back to express their gratitude for the ministry and their Faith Home family.
I recently asked several of our Faith Home alumni to tell us what Faith Home means to them. I want to share their responses: Rahem (24), Faith Home Alumni 1999-2015. “It is an incredible place with great people that taught me good Christian principles to be a good person. It means a lot to me because they are my family and my first home. I am thankful for all the people that supported and continue to support Faith Home. God bless you.”
Ada Leticia (22), Faith Home Alumni 2000-2018. “Faith Home gave me the opportunity to grow spiritually and succeed in my education. It is a place of God’s love and kindness. Thank you. God bless you”
Greyvi (21), Faith Home Alumni 2002-2019. “At Faith Home I liked to spend time with all the children and go to church. I received love and an education.”
Dunia (30), Faith Home Alumni 2000-2010. (widowed mother of 2 boys) says: “Faith Home for me is a good place to live. I give thanks for the missionaries because they are always there for me. I thank God for giving me this family. God bless you.”
Brayan (28), Faith Home Alumni 1999-2013. “Faith Home is a place of blessings and opportunity for a better life for the children. A place of God’s love and a real family. Faith Home is God’s purpose and plan to change the lives of many children with the hope and love of God.”
Alejandra (33), Faith Home Alumni 2000-2006. “Faith Home is God’s faithfulness and love. It was the place God used to transform me into who I am today. I learned that no matter the circumstances, He is always in control.”
Jorge (28), Faith Home Alumni 1999-2013. “Faith Home for me was a new beginning in my life. Thanks to God that He gave me a second opportunity to have a family there and to learn how to live a better life in Honduras.”
Allan (27), Faith Home Alumni 1999-2013. “I am very thankful to God because I had the privilege to be part of Faith Home where I had a beautiful family. I had the opportunity to have a better future and to be a better person in this life.” General Baptist Messenger Fall 2020 | 7
What does Faith Home mean to me? For me, Faith Home is where I have the opportunity to be God’s hands, feet, and heart in the lives of the children. I love seeing eternities changed and lives impacted for Christ. For me, Faith Home is a little piece of Heaven here on earth. I am humbled and blessed to be just a small part of what God is doing in Honduras. This is my home, my second family… my calling.
What does Faith Home mean to the kingdom of God? I think that Faith Home is part of God’s heart in Honduras. For over 150 children who have lived at Faith Home, there have been seeds planted that will continue to impact God’s kingdom long past our lifetime. We may never see the whole picture of what God has allowed us to be a part of here, but we see enough to know that He is still working and moving in the lives of every one of our Faith Home children.
What do we see at Faith Home? We see young women being amazing mothers to our Faith Home children as they break the cycle of abandonment and abuse they received before coming to us. We see young men stepping up to be the responsible fathers that they biologically never had. We see worship leaders and future pastors in the making. We see hearts that once were broken and cold, reaching out to serve others unselfishly. We see the current generation with a passion for the Lord, as we help guide them to their purpose in Christ. We celebrate the fruits that we can see while we trust the unseen to God. So we continue to be faithful in serving, supporting, and praying for this amazing ministry that was started over 20 years ago, knowing that Faith Home is part of God’s heart in Honduras. For more information and to connect with the video presentation please go to https://gbimissions.com/missions-conference-2020/ 8 | General Baptist Messenger Fall 2020
Erika (26), Faith Home Alumni 1999-2013. “Faith Home reminds me that God keeps His promises. Psalms 27:10 says ‘When my father and my mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me.’”
Mauricio (28), Faith Home Alumni 2004-2011 & employee since 2011. “Faith Home is one of the best things that happened in my life. It has been a place of much blessing to me and my family. I am very grateful with my God for being a part of this blessing. Thanks, Lord!”
Victor (25), Faith Home Alumni 1999-2013. “Faith Home means my first home. It means a blessing and opportunity where you can grow up feeling safe, truly loved, and valued as a person. It is a place that gives you a guide to be prepared for the future. Most importantly, it teaches you how to love God. If I can define Faith Home in one word it would be: family.”
Odalin (26), Faith Home Alumni 1999-2013. “Faith Home is a very special place for me. It means a place of second opportunities, no matter the past or the circumstances the child has faced before arriving at Faith Home. Whenever a child arrives at Faith Home, God is providing a second opportunity to this child of feeling loved, of receiving a quality education, of feeling safe, and also having a healthy childhood which is very important. But most important is that God’s word is planted in this child’s heart which prepares the child for a lifetime walk.”
Karen (22), Faith Home Alumni 2004-2016. “Faith Home means to me a lot of things. Like love, mercy, and hope. But one thing I want to talk about is change, because that happened with me. Not just with me, but with my family too. I am so grateful because God gave us the opportunity to be part of this place. Thank you so much and God bless you.”
Henry (25), Faith Home Alumni 2000-2015 & current employee. “Faith Home for me means many things. It means opportunities. Why? Because I grew up here, and I can say that at Faith Home you can find love and hope. You have the opportunity to study and to grow up with other kids and these kids are your family. You have the support of the people. You have people who instill in you principles, morals, and values. You can do many things like play, share with friends and the other kids. The most important of this place is you can meet God- you can find the love of God. For me Faith Home is wonderful. It’s a wonderful place. Thanks”
I also asked some of our current residents what Faith Home means to them. Here are their responses. Family • Hope • Opportunity • Love • Support A place to study • A place to share • A place to meet God A place to grow • A blessed place • Principles & Values
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GOD WILL MAKE A WAY By Teresa Walls
For more information and to connect with the video presentation please go to https://gbimissions.com/missions-conference-2020/ God has moved in miraculous ways since our return to Honduras in 2016. When God called us to return to the mission field, I wasn’t sure what I would be doing, but God knew. Mark Powell, GBIM director said, “Teresa, I want you to do something with the clinic, but there is no money.” For more than 10 years, the clinic sat there used mostly as storage. With the help of several Mission One team members, the clinic was cleaned up so it at least began to look like a clinic. In 2017, God began revealing the way by sending us a wonderful Christian doctor; Dr. Sharon Castro began seeing the children and staff of Faith Home. She now monitors their health weekly to catch illnesses quickly, to check the health of those with chronic conditions and to teach healthier choices. As we worked together we came to believe that we needed to be licensed. Licensing was not going to be an easy task, but we filed the proper documents and then waited for our initial inspection. Weeks later inspection day finally arrived without warning. At the time, Dr. Sharon was on maternity leave, and I was in the states for a conference. After several hours, the inspectors left, but they left behind a three page list of things to do before the final inspection for license approval.
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We got to work and months later we were ready for final inspection. The first inspectors seemed very picky, so we prayed that we might find favor with the next inspectors. God made a way once more. The second inspectors knew Dr. Sharon! She explained all we had done. They were gracious and very pleased. Before leaving, they said we would be licensed for 5 years. The 5 year license arrived on November 27, 2018. It took 14 months to happen, but God made a way. With license in hand, we legally began seeing people outside Faith Home. We started seeing our General Baptist pastors and their families. Then we opened up the clinic so that our pastors could make appointments for people in their churches and communities who needed to see a doctor. God has also made a way, so that to date, we do not charge for the appointments or for the medicines that we give. We also saw a great need for prenatal care. We began
planning prenatal visits in our clinic where we would provide education and vitamins. Only three ladies came to the first clinic we planned. Dr. Sharon explained to one young mother-to-be that to be a good mother she needed Christ in her life. With tears streaming down her face, she confessed that she needed Jesus. Although not many showed up that day, God showed up in a big way. Our plan was to go to each of our churches in the north to offer women’s health care on site since travel can be difficult. The pastors were excited and so were we. Unfortunately, Covid-19 changed all that, but we believe God will make a way to start again. We want to say thank you to everyone who has supported the clinic by participating in medical teams, contributing financially and by purchasing medical supplies— especially pre-natal vitamins. God will make a way.
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IS IT WORTH IT? By Dr. Rodney Walls
have been asked many times. Is it worth it to be a missionary and go to another country? And being transparent, I have wondered at times if it is worth the sacrifice of serving as a missionary for eight plus years. From a church perspective, is it worth the investment of doing and funding missions? As a denomination, is it worth it? It takes a lot of resources to keep the mission fields open. But here is the thing…it really does not matter whether I think it is worth it or not. It doesn’t matter what your church or the denomination thinks. What matters is what God has said, and that is easy to see and understand. All four gospels include it near the end of the story. We call it the “Great Commission.” Then the book of Acts begins with the similar injunction to be witnesses to the ends of the earth. Sure, seems that God wants us to get the point! Go make disciples everywhere! I have been a General Baptist minister for over 30 years, and God captured my heart for Honduras a long time ago I have been blessed to work alongside some great servants of Christ in Honduras. My main responsibility now is church and leadership development. Our Honduran pastors are committed to telling others about Jesus. They do not lack in intensity or in spirituality but they do lack resources. One of the doors God
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has opened for us is the Honduras Bible Institute (HBI). Our pastors long to be better trained and to be more effective. HBI opened two years ago with Pastor Miguel Ramirez, as the lead instructor. Miguel connects to the pastors and church leaders in ways that I never would. He has been with the mission for over 15 years. He is a pastor, and he is a good teacher. Currently, an average of nearly 60 people from our 11 churches in the north attend HBI classes. The Coronavirus has delayed our first graduation. Already, two young men have come out of HBI to pastor in our General Baptist works. HBI is poised to be pivotal in the future of General Baptists in Honduras. To God’s glory, in 2019 the General Baptist Church of Honduras was officially formed and is recognized by the government of Honduras. This is a huge step in the future of the work here as the pastors and churches are moving forward and assuming more and more of the responsibility of the growth of the work. In 2019, three new churches formed (two in the north at Las Laureles and El Plan and one in the south at El Carrizo). 2020 has slowed some things down, but these churches and pastors, even in the midst of difficulties (much more severe than here in the States), have continued to be the light of Christ in their communities. It also looks like we will soon have a new work in El Progreso. It is exciting to be a part of what God is doing and what God is preparing to do in Honduras. Is it worth it? Yes, it is on all levels! For more information and to connect with the video presentation please go to https://gbimissions.com/ missions-conference-2020/
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AN URGENT MISSION
IN NIGER By Kris and Nicole Yeomans
“His mother has died.” Those words stopped me in my tracks. “How can that be? I just saw her recently, and she was fine,” I thought to myself. She was our night guard’s mother and our neighbor. She greeted us at our gate each morning. She cheered, along with her family, when she received vitamins from us. She provided shelter for more than 10 of her family members. She was the one with the big smile, quiet, hard-working, and kind. But what stopped me in my tracks about her passing was that she was lost. Rarely do we get second chances, and we cannot predict life’s events. COVID-19 has impacted us all. The world has mobilized with a mission to stop the virus. This urgent mobilization reminds me of the urgency in taking the Gospel to those who have never heard. The measures put in place to stop the spread of the virus affected us all as governments across the globe raced to stop the pandemic. There was a sense of urgency because of the risk. Reflecting on this, along with the death of our neighbor, I found myself thinking: Sin affects all of us, and 100% of the lost will die and spend eternity separated from God. What precautions have we taken to ensure they do not live this life without hope and eternity without Christ?
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Our heart for West Africa has always been centered on people. God has given us the desire to share the gospel specifically with the unreached. Our ministry focus is on evangelism, church-planting, and meeting the needs of people as God provides the means. Recently we have been able to help facilitate the purchase of more than 30,000 pounds of grain (rice, millet, beans, and corn) for believers in West Africa facing severe food shortages. Believers who have received food assistance are generously giving portions to Muslim neighbors, a faithful witness for Him! Even while we have been stateside because of COVID-19, God provided a way for us to share the love of Christ and meet a physical need through the generous giving of many General Baptists and others across the country. As followers of Christ who are called to work in the poorest country in the world, we want to help meet physical needs. One day there will be an end to all the suffering, hunger, death, and injustice. We must keep our sights on eternity and offer the hope that only comes in Christ. When we left our home in West Africa for the airport to return to the USA, our neighbor was at her gate, seeing us off. March 31, 2020, was the last time we will ever have seen her. The message of the Gospel is a good message, but it is also an urgent message. Today is the day of salvation!
“WHERE IS THE CHURCH’S SENSE OF URGENCY IN SPREADING THE GOSPEL? WHERE IS MY URGENCY IN SPREADING THE GOSPEL?”
For more information and to connect with the video presentation please go to https:// gbimissions.com/missions-conference-2020/
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MINISTRY NEEDS Missionary Share - $10/ a Month Lydia Sewing Center - $100/ Sewing machine Good Shepherds Children Home - $30/month Support a Child Living Water Project - $1500/ Water Well Medical Ministry - $500/ Medical Camp Gifts for Pastors - $85/ Bicycle - $700/ Moped - $1000/ Motorcycle
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Covid-19: Relief for Poor – Any help is accepted and appreciated ($10 per family, buys groceries and vegetables for a week) Pastors Relief – Any help is accepted and appreciated Thank you all for your continuous prayers and financial support. God bless you. Join our Facebook Group The Vemula Family – GBM India
GOD’S THOUGHTS AND WAYS ARE HIGHER THAN OURS By Jessey Vemula India is known for persecutions against Christians. Satan uses fear, loss of family, loss of property, and other things to keep people from learning the truth about Jesus Christ. I have asked the question, “God how do I reach the unreached people here in the land of India?” Satan is now using illness, society, and the government to stop the gospel. Looking at these situations, it has seemed impossible to reach people in this unreached country. In order to reach the lost we are running programs like Lydia Sewing Center, clothes distribution, food distribution, and the Good Shepherd’s Children’s Home on a regular basis. But I wanted something bigger. My prayers were answered with God leading me to Medical Ministry and the Living Water project (Water wells). At our first Medical Camp in September 2019, I saw hundreds come seeking medical help. During their visits we preached the gospel several times. I saw people listening as they stood in line. As I was coming back from the camp the joy of the Lord filled my heart, and I thanked God for his new ministry. The Bible says in Isaiah 55:9, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” That day I learned that if your desire is to serve the Lord and make a difference in God’s kingdom, God always makes a way where there seems to be no way. The Living Water project is another one of my answered prayers. Every year thousands of people
die in India from dehydration. In 2015 one of our village churches asked us to pray for their situation. There are five Christian families in their village and 60 Hindu families. The Hindus ordered the Christians not to draw water from the village well. There was only one well in the village. So the Christian families could either move out of the village or draw from a river four miles away. Within two months of our prayers we had a shortterm mission team from the Philippines. When I took the team to this tribal village we all prayed together with those five Christian families. Before the team went back they sponsored a well for this village. This new well provided good water, and the old water well began to dry up soon after this. Now the whole village is depending on this well dug by Christians. After doing water well projects the village people always remember that they have drinking water because of some people who believe in a God called Jesus Christ. These wells have also helped people by providing water when no one was allowed to leave the village due to the lockdown. So far, we were able to do 22 water wells, and we still need 36 more in different areas. Each water well would cost around $1500. For more information and to connect with the video presentation please go to https:// gbimissions.com/missions-conference-2020/
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DESTINATION: HONDURAS By Robin Lowery
My name is Robin Lowery. I am a special education teacher from Southern Illinois with a daughter, Lauren, and the sweetest granddaughter, Emmerson. Teaching has been my career for 13 years, though I have worked with children in various settings for over 20 years. Most recently I taught a 3rd-5th grade cross-categorical special education classroom with an emphasis on communication. I was in my late twenties when I started attending the General Baptist Church in McLeansboro, Illinois. Once I started fellowshipping with fellow believers, I was encouraged to start reading my Bible regularly. I learned who Jesus really was and started on the journey to give my life to Him. This led to me volunteering in my church, mainly with children and youth ministries. Growing up I did not know about missionaries. I do not recall the church of my youth ever talking about missionaries or mission work. One day missionaries visited McLeansboro General Baptist Church. During their presentation I felt the Holy Spirit stirring in my heart but I did not know what it meant. I went home very confused. After praying, I finally concluded I was supposed to go on a mission trip. The next Sunday my church announced they were putting together a team to go to a place called Faith Home in Honduras.
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On my first trip to Faith Home in April, 2017 our team spent a week helping with construction projects. I learned so much about myself and serving God from this trip. We had the privilege to attend one of the Honduran General Baptist churches. The houses we drove by were small concrete block structures with holes cut out for window openings. I was shocked to see what real poverty looked like. Then we worshiped together. Though I did not know their language, I felt the presence of God during the service. Seeing His people who did not have much in material belongings praise and worship Him with such enthusiasm warmed my heart. It led me to start thinking about my faith a little deeper. Would I be able to worship and praise God so enthusiastically if I had so little? One day looking across campus the thought came that I could sell everything and move here. The next thought was, “Who does that kind of thing?” Back home that same thought kept popping into my head. I would be walking my dog, look at my house, and think, “I could sell this”. As part of my youth ministry duties, I volunteered as a dorm chaperone for the General Baptist National Youth Conference. During one of the sessions, a young lady talked about the two-month internship she did in Saipan. I started to realize that I could easily do a short-
term trip. I contacted the Mission One coordinator and made plans to return to Faith Home the following summer. June 2018, I traveled back to Faith Home with a team from Kentucky but I stayed for another three weeks. We were primarily a Bible School Team. After the team left I started working on campus in daycare, toddler and preschool programs. This second trip gave me the opportunity to realize that God will give me what I need to serve Him where He has called me to serve. I felt the confirmation of my calling to be a missionary at Faith Home. During the summer of 2019 I spent six weeks at Faith Home. I enjoyed my time working in the school on campus. My time on campus helped me see that Faith Home could become my home. I felt a peace that surpassed all understanding. I knew I was right where God wanted me to be, doing what God wanted me to do.
I came home in mid-July for the General Baptist Summit to be officially commissioned as a missionary to Honduras. I will have three main roles at Faith Home. I will take the daycare program and structure it to be a preschool program. I will also assist with teaching English. The role I am most excited about is offering an individualized educational program for the children who have academic deficits. I am so thankful and amazed when I think about this journey with God. When I look back, I can see there were job changes that I did not want at the time that gave me experience working with children of all ages. God kept pushing me out of my comfort zone when I volunteered in my church. Those roles gave me skills and confidence that are beneficial to me now. I am so thankful we serve a God who sees the big picture. He has provided me with the skills and experiences I need to serve Him at Faith Home.
For more information and to connect with the video presentation please go to https:// gbimissions.com/missions-conference-2020/
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GENERAL BAPTIST BIBLE COLLEGE: 55 YEARS OF GOD’S GRACE By Dr. Joyce Porcadilla-Rubia, President
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The General Baptist Bible College in Davao City continues to train men and women for leadership in the Philippines. Now in its 55th year the worldwide pandemic provides a new set of challenges.
ith all the challenges that we have faced this year, all of you continue to lift us up through your prayers and words of encouragement that we receive regularly. We thank you for being responsive to our needs. Every time we are faced with calamities, you are there willing to help. We continue to exist because of your partnership with us over the years, and we thank our Almighty Father because through and by His grace, He continues to use you to help us here. When we started school year 2019-2020 in June,
none of us expected all the challenges we would face. Before year 2019 ended we were shaken by a series of earthquakes. As a family, General Baptist Bible College (GBBC) reached out to our brethren in North Cotabato and Davao Del Sur to distribute food packs and relief goods. We did this in collaboration with General Baptist International Missions, General Baptist Church of the Philippines, Inc., General Baptist National Missionary Women’s Conference, and with the parents, students, and staff of GBBC.
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When we celebrated GBBC’s 55th founding anniversary in February, none of us knew our circumstances would change in March. Just before our school year would end our gates were locked and our campus closed in response to COVID-19. This crisis has taught us so many life lessons. Through this period of quarantine, we have learned to be content with what we have and with what God has blessed us. Just as our theme this school year says, “Grace Brings Beauty in Contentment.” We thank all of you who helped our pastors during this crisis. On behalf of the General Baptist Church of the Philippines we thank GBIM, through our Director, Mark Powell, who initiated this campaign and to those of you who responded and gave generously and sacrificially. More than 300 pastors received the financial aid and this meant a lot, especially since many of our churches are still not allowed to gather together. As we just closed school year 2019-2020, our Abba Father reminds us that while we do not know what tomorrow holds, we find peace, comfort and hope knowing that He holds our tomorrow.
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we Celebrated GBBC’s 55TH founding anniversary in February, none of us knew our circumstances would change in March.”
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GBBC’s MISSION AND VISION GBBC over the years has evolved from a small Bible school of 18 students to a multi-level educational institution training, equipping, and developing leaders to be deeply rooted in the Word of God and fully committed in making disciples, not just within the Philippines but around the world. GBBC is moving forward to face the challenges and opportunities of globalization and integration among neighboring countries by intensifying efforts to produce effective and efficient graduates of Christlike character. The Philippines, where GBBC is located, has borderless opportunities reaching countries in the Southeast Asia region and even in Asia Pacific where the most unreached people groups are located. This gives GBBC an open window of opportunity to be able to share the Gospel and
bring light and hope to this lost world. The bigger question is, how can we send if we do not train and equip? But GBBC is training and equipping disciples to be disciple-makers so that there can be people to be sent. The kind of training and equipping is done through formal theological and ministerial education. However, in the Philippines, not everybody has the opportunity for education or access to it. The biggest barrier for many young people in the Philippines is poverty. Due to poverty many students are forced to drop out and go to work. GBBC is much more than a process of imparting to boys and girls information or knowledge that will give them personal material advantages over others. GBBC provides the kind of education that has to do with one’s whole being, with all his faculties, his mind, body and soul.
FOUR WAYS TO PARTNER WITH GBBC II. BE A MISSION ONE ADVOCATE I. BE A PRAYER WARRIOR It is through the prayers of our partners around the world that the school is able to survive and thrive.
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You can also sign up via our GBIM Mission One program and be part of a leadership team that comes every October for the 360 Youth Leadership Forum or part of a teaching team that comes in April and October for the Stinson Institute.
FINAL CHALLENGE We need you to partner with us in this endeavor. Through valued partners like you, we can multiply your donation to keep students in school, provide a shelter for them while on campus, make available theological and ministerial education and above all strengthen and expand evangelism and discipleship efforts so that the Gospel will be heard not just by the unreached in the Philippines but eventually penetrate nations that are closed to the Gospel. While each one deserves the opportunity to pursue their dreams through education, every person also deserves the opportunity to hear the Gospel because Christ tasted death for everyone. Since the lock-down GBBC has struggled with finances to keep up with meeting the needs for staff salaries, maintenance, and utilities. The bigger question is, will we have students next school year? Will parents and students have enough money to pay for school fees considering that many people lost their jobs? If we don’t have students then the domino effect is, what will we pay our faculty and staff? Will we resort to retrenchment (staff reduction/budget reduction) or closure? Nobody knows the answer. Only God.
III. BE A DONOR You may partner with us by giving financially to our various needs.
“Since the lock-down GBBC
has struggled with finances to keep up with meeting the needs for staff salaries, maintenance, and utilities.” At this present time, God is teaching us to be still in His presence and trust His process. We urge you to pray for and with us that God will grant us His wisdom and His provision. Again, on behalf of our Filipino brothers and sisters, thank you very much! Stay healthy, safe, and make the most of this time to draw closer to our sovereign God! For more information and to connect with the video presentation please go to https:// gbimissions.com/missions-conference-2020/
IV. BE A STUDENT SPONSOR You can also help us by being a sponsor to our students.
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JOURNEY TO THE
PHILIPPINES By Cathy and Schuyler Brantley
Our journey began when we first attended the General Baptist Summit. We had been very active within our home church but knew that God was calling us to do more. As we listened to the speakers and attended the breakout sessions, we soon realized God was leading us to the mission field. At that point we were not sure when or where we were supposed to go. God had some plans in mind for our short-term future. He placed a strong burden to be debtfree. The next two years were spent prayerfully paying off our debt. During that time, our giving to the church increased dramatically. God showed us if we are faithful to Him, He will be faithful to us. Once we became debt-free, we began conversations with Mark Powell and Jim Pratt about steps to becoming full-time missionaries. Step one was short-term trips. In 2018 I (Cathy) went to Faith Home in Honduras. My time there was life changing. Up to that point I really felt that, Schuyler and I, would not enter the mission field full time until our children were out of school.
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While I was at Faith Home, God let me know that He intended for the whole family to serve. You see, our family has an interesting mix of skills. I am a nurse with 15 years’ experience, Schuyler is a pastor, Jeremiah, our 14-year-old son, can play multiple instruments, and Allie, our 12-year-old daughter, has an amazing gift with children. God has a plan for each of us in the field. Next step was Schuyler and Jeremiah to visit Jessey Vemula in India in November 2018. They spent ten days doing preaching circuits with Jessey. It was during their time there that we all felt God was calling us to spread the Gospel to unreached people groups. Early in 2019, we were given the opportunity to travel to the Philippines as a family for three weeks with Mark. We attended the General Assembly and Women’s Conference. We also traveled to Sinuda and stayed at the Matigsalug Bible Institute (MBI). We saw the difference between being on a short-term trip and a small glimpse of what full time mission work may look like. While at the Matigsalug Bible Institute, God placed the desire in our hearts to serve the Matigsalug Tribe. We will be ministering to the Matigsalug Tribe through Community Health Evangelism. Christians are all called to be missionaries. My family will be serving in the Philippines. Where will you choose to serve? For more information and to connect with the video presentation please go to https:// gbimissions.com/missions-conference-2020/
Unified GIVING ... . doing together what we cannot do alone
U N I T E D S TAT E S • H O N D U R A S • J A M A I C A • I N D I A • P H I L I P P I N E S • S A I PA N • G U A M • M E X I C O • N I G E R
Since 1823, General Baptists have been growing our ministry here in the United States, continually trying to reach new people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Since 1911, we have been sending missionaries overseas, to go where many of us will never go, to reach people groups many of us will never meet. This global ministry is only made possible through generous ﬁnancial support from General Baptist churches and individuals. The Uniﬁed Giving Fund was created to organize this support and give where it was most needed. We can plant new churches because of Uniﬁed Giving. We can send missionaries to new countries because of Uniﬁed Giving. We can aid in relief efforts because of Uniﬁed Giving. And people are being won to Christ because of YOUR gifts to Uniﬁed Giving.
General Baptist Ministries 100 Stinson Dr. | Poplar Bluff, MO 63901 573.785.7746 | www.GeneralBaptist.com
MAKING THE MOST OF YOUR MISSION TRIP By Dr. Jim Pratt
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General Baptist Messenger Fall 2020 | 31
often reflect back on August 2007, my first mission trip. My daughter who had just completed 9th grade wanted to go on the trip, and the church required a parent to go with any minors. That trip changed my life forever. Since then I have completed numerous international and national mission trips. I have given of my time, talents, and treasures. I have been forever changed. Little did I know when I completed that first mission trip that I would serve as Mission One Coordinator for General Baptist International Ministries. Our Mission One program exists to provide support and aid to our missionaries and nationals in the different fields. Our program provides opportunities for individuals to participate as members of mission teams, as interns, and as short-term missionaries. Our teams are as diverse as the people who participate on them. Some are highly professional, such as medical teams that provide dental, optical, physical, auditory, and medicinal helps. Other teams require construction expertise, educational training, servant evangelism, and leadership development. Our internship program is available to upper level high school and college age students. Our interns serve from two to eight weeks on one of our international fields. Their responsibilities depend upon the location and the needs as presented by the missionaries and national workers. In many cases, college credit is available. Short-term opportunities are available to adults. Our 32 | General Baptist Messenger Fall 2020
short-term missionaries usually serve from two weeks to one year. The responsibilities depend upon the skill set of the short-term missionaries as well as the needs of the field location. Having the proper resources and training for completing a mission trip is critical. It is the difference between going on a trip because you like to travel or it is on your Bucket List and allowing God to use you in a powerful way to make a difference in the life of people who are different than you. One of the resources we make available to team leaders for their team’s training is a book , When Helping Hurts, by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert. The book challenges its readers to learn to help alleviate poverty without hurting the poor. The authors share the following: “The average North American enjoys a standard of living that has been unimaginable for most of human history. Meanwhile, 40% of the earth’s inhabitants eke out an existence on less than two dollars per day. From the inner city to rural Appalachia, poverty continues to inflict pain, loss, and despair on the North American continent itself. Indeed, the economic and social disparity between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’ is on the rise both within North America and between North America and much of the Majority World located in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.” ( p. 13) They present the following challenge: “If you are a North American Christian, the reality of our
society’s vast wealth presents you with an enormous responsibility, for throughout the Scriptures God’s people are commanded to show compassion to the poor. In fact, doing so is simply part of our job description as followers of Jesus Christ.” ( p. 13) Another resource we make available to team leaders is a book entitled, Serving with Eyes Wide Open by David Livermore. Livermore states, “Love for people and love for God have to drive our short-term missions work. That happens only as short-term mission experiences become part of a life-long journey of seeking to love people cross-culturally, whenever and wherever we encounter them.” (p. 167) The success of Short-Term Missions (STMs) is dependent on three different groups of people. • GOERS are simply those people actually traveling to the mission location. • SENDERS are more than simply the ones who have committed their financial resources to the goer, they are the concerned family members (supportive and non-supportive) of the goer, the local church of which each goer is a part, those on their support teams, and the denomination or agency that is sponsoring the trip. • RECEIVERS are the missionaries serving in the host culture, national workers, the national church, and even the cultural natives. A short-term mission’s trip is divided into three segments.
• PRE-FIELD—the time before the trip. • ON-THE-FIELD—the time during the trip • POST-FIELD—the time after the trip. In order to gain the maximum benefit from each trip, training and development for each group in each of the time segments is critical. CultureLink, a training developed by Ben Laurence Ragan, lists a series of questions that the returning team member must answer. They are: What did I learn on this trip that will impact my future? How does God want my life to be different as a result of this trip? How can I give differently of my time, talents, and resources? How can I be involved in reaching the nations on a long-term basis? How can I best serve in my church and my community in order to impact the Body of Christ? Ask yourself these questions when you return from a mission trip. Maybe they will help you use your mission trip for God’s glory. Do not waste your trip. Resolve to make all of life your mission trip—here, now. May your life be forever changed. For more information and to connect with the video presentation please go to https:// gbimissions.com/missions-conference-2020/
General Baptist Messenger Fall 2020 | 33
Asenath Brewster Christmas Offering 2020 NIGER OUTREACH
The country of Niger is one of our newly opened mission of the inhabitants of the country being Islam. Education is free, but only a small proportion of children attend school. Currently Kris and Nicole Yeoman serve as General Baptist missionaries to the country of Niger. Several years ago, God placed a vision in their hearts for this country and the people that live there. The Yeomanâ€™s have a vision to construct a GB Ministry needed for land and to construct a building. The center will be a community center which will include education, basic needs (food and clothing distribution), as well as medical. The goal is to meet some very basic needs for the people in the local villages. Of course, the primary purpose is evangelism. The ABC Offering will go to financially support the land and for the construction of the GB Ministry Center. Churches are encouraged to receive ABC Offerings on December 6th or 13th, 2020.
Send your ABC offering to: General Baptist Womenâ€™s Ministries 100 Stinson Drive Poplar Bluff, MO 63901
10 Year Anniversary Celebration
Maryland Heights, MO
EARLY BIRD REGISTRATION: $70
October 2&3, 2020 AFTER JULY 24: $80
Includes: Awesome Speakers, Wonderful Worship, 1 meal & snacks To register for this event www.gbwomen.org or call 573.785.7746
MINDY PINCKNEY Associate Pastor Life Church in Ava, MO
Women’s Discipleship Director Freedom Church in Gallatin, TN Founder,Good News Girls
Women’s Ministry Leader Connection Point Church in Jackson, MO
BLOCK ROOM PRICING A block of rooms have been reserved for this event. FAIRFIELD INN & SUITES St. Louis Westport ($109-$119)
RESIDENCE INN St. Louis Westport ($119)
Hotels are connected with a walkway LAST DAY TO BOOK: Friday, September 4, 2020 For reservations call 1-888-236-2427, mention ISO block
NON-PROFIT ORG U . S . P O S TA G E
PA I D
POPLAR BLUFF, MO
G e n e ra l B a p ti s t M i n i s t r i e s 10 0 Sti n s o n D r i ve Po p l a r B l u f f , M O 639 01
PERMIT NO 164
G E N E R A L
B A P T I S T
S E C U R I T Y SI NC E 1974 CD OPTIONS WITH MINIMUM DEPOSIT $100 DEMAND
GENERAL BAPTIST INVESTMENT FUND, Inc.
100 Stinson Drive • Poplar Bluff, MO 63901
573-785-7746 Barbara Williams, Steve Naff,
The 2020 Summer Messenger is all about our exciting Virtual Missions Conference coming up in September!