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Stories tagged with: missions

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  • Refugee stories stretch volunteer's 'narrow view'

    by IMB staff, posted Tuesday, December 11, 2018 (7 days ago)

    IMB photo
    RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- Remember back in 2015 when Syria's refugees were flooding out of the country in record numbers? Thousands died crossing a sea on what should have been a 45-minute boat journey. Rescue and relief organizations were out in record number.

    In the years since, many more refugees have filled the news cycle. More than a million Rohingya people have reportedly been forced out of their homes in Myanmar, taking shelter in Bangladesh, Malaysia and Thailand with no hope or plan for the future. Uganda is reportedly also hosting more than a million refugees from South Sudan. And refugees from Somalia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan and Nigeria join Syrians in their quest to somehow get beyond the reach of terrorist groups. Read More

  • Churches help keep Tanzania hospital running

    by IMB staff, posted Monday, December 10, 2018 (8 days ago)

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    KIGOMA, Tanzania (BP) -- At the end of a beaten-up road in Tanzania, a small hospital occasionally is filled to capacity with patients -- and then supplies begin to run thin.

    "One time we didn't have any more Ketamine, a drug used for anesthesia, and we had been doing a lot of C-sections," said Larry Pepper, an International Mission Board doctor who serves at the Baptist Hospital in the town of Kigoma. See related story. "Another time we didn't have enough suture material." Read More

  • WEEK OF PRAYER: Students coming back changed

    by IMB staff, posted Friday, December 07, 2018 (11 days ago)

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    EAST ASIA (BP) -- Pastor Keith said when he looks across his church and identifies the highest-impact individuals, the ones who are highly evangelistic disciple-makers, they have some unifying factors. One of them is that they've spent time in East Asia.

    "They come back, and their perspective on their life and on the world is completely changed," noted Keith, who serves as lead pastor of Resonate Church, a Washington State-based church with campuses in Idaho and Oregon. "They see lostness where they had just seen regularity, and they see themselves as missionaries more than when they left."

    Over the past three years, more than 80 students have participated in Resonate's partnership with International Mission Board workers in the East Asia region. Students travel there to serve for 10 weeks in the summer or two weeks on Christmas break. Read More

  • WEEK OF PRAYER: IMB workers, Summit Church reaching Ukraine

    by IMB staff, posted Thursday, December 06, 2018 (11 days ago)

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    UKRAINE (BP) -- In Ukraine, Southern Baptist missionary Russell Woodbridge often encounters people who fled their homes in the eastern part of the country when war broke out a few years ago.

    And in the midst of that heartbreak, the International Mission Board worker and Ukrainian believers -- along with help from his home pastor J.D. Greear and The Summit Church -- want to help locals find a hope that transcends the uncertainty of war.

    "A year and a half ago with the help of Ukrainians we started a new church plant that specifically tries to reach these people who have been displaced and lost everything," Woodbridge said. "We've seen people come to Christ and be baptized." Read More

  • WEEK OF PRAYER: 'No superstar' church a piece of puzzle

    by IMB staff, posted Wednesday, December 05, 2018 (12 days ago)

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    SÃO PAULO, Brazil (BP) -- In their home in São Paulo, Brazil, Scott and Joyce Pittman have a giant map of the city plastered across their wall. It's a picture of the work still to be done in the metro area of 22 million people. And now that image is plastered across the hearts of the members of Highland Baptist Church in Shelbyville, Ky., too.

    Ever since Highland Baptist began partnering with the Pittmans -- city strategy leaders with the International Mission Board -- several years ago, they haven't been able to get São Paulo out of their minds.

    "When you see that map, you can see the vision Scott and Joyce have for the city," said pastor Chris Platt. "They do a great job of explaining what it will take to reach it. Then when you go out into the city and meet the people, your love for missions just comes alive. You give more, you pray more, and you think more about missions." Read More

  • WEEK OF PRAYER: Hispanic church's 'miracle' partnership

    by IMB staff, posted Tuesday, December 04, 2018 (13 days ago)

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    JACKSON, Tenn. (BP) -- Daniel Tuchez remembers the day he got the call. The International Mission Board's director of Hispanic mobilization called and said, "I need you to pray about this city in Southeast Asia, because it is going to be opening up, and maybe there are opportunities,'" recalled Tuchez, who serves as pastor of Iglesia Bautista El Shaddai in Jackson, Tenn.

    It was a big deal. But the call itself wasn't a surprise. In the years before, Tuchez had accompanied IMB's Jason Carlisle on many trips.

    "The very big blessing is that Jason is not just challenging us to go to Latin America," said Tuchez, who is originally from Guatemala. "He wants us to be cross-cultural people who reach people in the last frontier." Read More

  • WEEK OF PRAYER: A small church's 'big dreams'

    by *Names changed., posted Monday, December 03, 2018 (15 days ago)

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    ANDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (BP)-- A few years ago, Steve Lakin's church budget had a line of numbers his heart couldn't reconcile. "I was meeting with the elder leadership here at the church, and as I was looking through our financial report, I saw we had a large surplus left over," said Lakin, pastor of First Baptist Church of Andersonville, Tenn.

    One of the elders grinned and said he was sure God had ways in mind to spend that money. Pastor Lakin agreed. "That thought just kept reverberating in my head for the next several days," he said. And as it did, those extra dollars fueled big dreams, Read More

  • WEEK OF PRAYER: Couple 'loses' themselves for lost

    by IMB Staff, posted Friday, November 30, 2018 (18 days ago)

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    AFRICA (BP) -- Larry Pepper thought he had been open to God's leading. He had been praying through the missions book Operation World. And he had been thinking more and more about his impact on eternity as he sat in church every Sunday. But one day the words came clear as a bell right where he sat in Houston, Texas -- "You've committed everything to Me except your job."

    Larry knew the thought had come from God. He took a deep breath, and he told God to put him and his family wherever He wanted them to be.

    "I was beginning to see the world through God's eyes in terms of lostness," he said. "For me, that meant seeing if I could use my medical skills in a way that had more kingdom impact." Read More

  • 83-year-old travels globally for Great Commission

    by Ben Hawkins/Missouri Pathway, posted Wednesday, November 28, 2018 (19 days ago)

    Photo courtesy of Jim Nicolls
    ARNOLD, Mo. (BP) -- Jim Nicolls thought he'd just been called to help the people of northern Mexico. Surely, that's why he wept through the night during his first mission trip in 2000, when he led a construction crew in building houses at a squatter's camp along the U.S.-Mexico border.

    "That first night, I just laid there all night, weeping," he recalled. "God broke me. I kept saying, 'Why, God, am I here, and they're there?'"

    More than the spiritual lostness, it was the "abject poverty" that existed along these borderlands that shocked him: "people literally scavenging," he recalled, "for what they could find -- a piece of cardboard to cover a crack in their cardboard shanty, cans that they could use, food and clothing that they could find in the dump. … Little kids were in the dump with their mothers, finding what they could find. If they could pick up a little toy that was thrown away, they were happy." Read More

  • 'Crazy' or called?: Missionary's death debated

    by David Roach, posted Monday, November 26, 2018 (21 days ago)

    Screen capture from CNN.
    ANDAMAN ISLANDS, India (BP) -- The last reported sighting of American missionary John Allen Chau was Nov. 17. Fishermen off the coast of India's North Sentinel island spotted what they thought was his lifeless body being dragged across the beach and buried by members of the Sentinelese tribe.

    The Sentinelese are an isolated people group known to rain down arrows on outsiders who visit their home island in the Bay of Bengal. Though he knew the danger, Chou, 26, went as a missionary to the Sentinelese because they are reportedly among the world's 400-600 unengaged unreached people groups ... Read More