FIRST-PERSON: Burdened for a lost world
TAYLORS, S.C. (BP)--As I write this article, I will confess that my heart is full and burdened. I recently have returned from meeting with our Southern Baptist mission personnel in the South Asia region.
Did you know that one out of every four lost persons on this planet, more than 1.4 billion individuals, lives in South Asia? Did you know South Asia is home to more Muslims -- 422,000,000 -- than all of the Middle East and North Africa combined? Did you know that South Asia is home to 831,000,000 Hindus, who comprise the second largest non-Christian religion? Lastly, did you know that with 873 lost persons per square mile, South Asia is home to the greatest concentration of lostness on the planet?
These and many other facts have been brought to my heart and mind over these last few days. Yet in spite of these overwhelming odds, this region of our international mission work has one of the lowest attrition rates among all our fields. We have a large and increasing force of mission personnel doing a wonderful job for our Lord.
God is doing a great work! My heart is burdened with the number of lost people in this area. However, my heart is encouraged to see God doing great things with an amazing group of mission personnel. Pray for all of them, and especially for the regional leader, Dr. David Garrison, as they lead this mighty work.
As I will mention to you many times over the next year, please remember that the Cooperative Program is at the very heart of funding this great work. Please pray about your involvement in this cooperative mission task. These resources are doing great things for God!
Frank Page is president of the Southern Baptist Convention and pastor of First Baptist Church in Taylors, S.C. Visit his website at www.sbc.net/PresidentsPage.