2013: Lottie Moon Christmas OfferingFound 34 stories for this story collection.
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Christ is worthy of your allRICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- Years ago, in my wife's home church, the pastor received an unusual call on Sunday afternoon from the chairman of the church's finance committee. That morning, the church had begun collecting its annual Lottie Moon Offering for International Missions. ... Read More
Baptists help Kenyans transform livesRICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- On a chalkboard easel, Southern Baptist missionary Chad Pumpelly and his co-workers serving on two college campuses in Kenya write down names of students, categorizing them as "already a believer," "on the fence" and "would take a miracle." Read More
Students at FUGE camps relish each year's missions infusion
RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- More than $11 million. That's the amount of money given to missions at LifeWay camps since 1984.
"It's incredible," said Mark Robbins, FUGE camps coordinator for LifeWay Christian Resources. "Just incredible."
The collection is, indeed, incredible especially considering the offerings come from students ranging from third grade through high school.
Summer 2014 will mark the 35th anniversary of the FUGE mission offering. Centrifuge, now called FUGE, is a summer camp for seventh- to 12th-grade students which began in 1979. Campers gave their first offering for missions in 1980. Since then, LifeWay has divided the offerings between the International Mission Board and the North American Mission Board.
LifeWay campers -- 100,000 this summer -- donated more than $600,000 to missions. For the North American Mission Board, the offerings will fund missions efforts in the Bronx and in Canada.
For the IMB, 2013 donations will help meet needs of orphans in East Asia through a project called One Child, in a new focus on age-appropriate projects, said Jeremy Echols, who leads LifeWay's CentriKid team.
Meanwhile, the 2013 CentriKid partnership (grades three through six) provided $65,009 to orphans in East Asia living in isolated and difficult conditions, reported Tobias Jones*, an IMB student strategist in the region. In an environment where $10 will feed a child for a month, and $30 will provide clothing and thermal underwear to keep kids warm throughout the long winters, the offering literally changes lives.
"Many of these kids were orphaned because their mothers died during labor or their parents died because they didn't have basic medical care," Jones said. "Spiritually, these kids have almost zero opportunity to hear about Jesus. They need to see His love and hear His love."
Christian workers among the orphans are praying for more opportunities to show God's love, such as meeting their most basic needs, Jones said.
"FUGE has partnered with IMB for years and years," Echols said. "Sometimes the projects like True Love Waits and HIV awareness were a better fit for teens than for kids. It's been great this year for CentriKid to focus on meeting the physical needs of kids in an orphanage in East Asia."
When CentriKid began in 2001, LifeWay combined the FUGE and CentriKid offerings and gave them to support student projects through IMB's International World Changers (IWC). In 2006, LifeWay and IMB also began identifying specific projects that allowed students to "pray, give and go" to a specific people group.
"The 'pray, give, go' tag keeps kids from getting confused with the details," Echols said. "Praying is something they can all do. Giving is something they can all do, and they can go now or go later." Read More
WEEK OF PRAYER: Burmese immigrants find 'living water'RANONG, Thailand (BP) -- It rains eight months out of the year in the Thai province Scott and Alyssa Branding* call home.
For many of the country's 2.5 million Burmese living in the southern part of Thailand, monsoon rain is their only dependable water source. But drinking the rainwater can make them sick. Read More
WEEK OF PRAYER: Prayer intertwines Ark. church & South AsiaCENTERTON, Ark. (BP) -- Shanti* was the only believer in her village. The Bedia woman prayed in secret every day for one year. Read More
WEEK OF PRAYER: Our journey to the BediaCENTERTON, Ark. (BP) -- He was so small, so quiet and so humble. He didn't even come up to my shoulder. And yet to me, Sahaji* was larger than life."Here he is!" IMB representative Clifton Melek* exclaimed, patting Sahaji on the back. "Here is the first baptized believer since you began praying for the Bedia five years ago." Read More
WEEK OF PRAYER: Church sees unreached 20 miles away
SAN PABLO TIJALTEPEC, Mexico (BP) -- Renan, a 10-year-old boy in southern Mexico, isn't an orphan. But in many ways, he might as well be.It's been more than three years since Renan's parents, bound for the United States, left him in the care of his uncle in Mexico. It likely will be months or even years before he sees them again.Renan and his family are from the Tijaltepec Mixteco people group in the isolated community of San Pablo Tijaltepec, nestled among the jagged mountains of southern Mexico. Most residents are subsistence farmers, growing the food that their families eat. Because jobs are scarce, many of these Mixtecos leave home to seek work in the U.S. But not everyone can make the journey, and families like Renan's often end up split between the two countries for years at a time.
Until recently, the Tijaltepec Mixteco were a people group yet to be exposed to the Gospel. But not anymore.
In 2011, Valley Baptist Church of Bakersfield, Calif., selected the Tijaltepec Mixteco people to "embrace," accepting the long-term responsibility of reaching them with the Gospel. Since then, the project has transcended the boundaries of culture and country, linking the Mexican mountainside and the Californian Central Valley in ways the church never imagined.
The starting place
Valley Baptist faced the initial challenge of choosing from among more than 3,000 unengaged, unreached people groups (UUPGs) in the world. UUPGs are people groups that have no continual access to the Gospel through any evangelical church planting efforts (unengaged) and those in which less than 2 percent of its population is evangelical Christian (unreached).
Church members researched people groups via gettingthere.imbresources.org an IMB website that charts UUPGs and their locations using dots on a map.
"And the first thing that struck me was how many were clustered in southern Mexico," co-pastor Phil Neighbors recalls. "I mean, I was thinking that we were going to be going to some far-flung corner of the world. I couldn't believe that right here in our hemisphere there was this huge cluster of unreached people groups."
To find out more about the people groups, Neighbors contacted Chris Ammons, an IMB missionary in Mexico that Neighbors had known since they attended Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary at the same time. ... Read More
WEEK OF PRAYER: Glasgow's troubles stir missionary's heartGLASGOW, Scotland (BP) -- If you listen to Gena Wilson imitate the Scottish brogue, you'll think she was born in Glasgow. After 17 years, the woman from Beaufort, S.C., can speak in a Scottish accent that even the locals mistake as their own. She used to stick out as "the American" who for some inexplicable reason chose to live in one of the city's poorest areas.
Now, she's just known to them as Gena -- a friend, a mentor, a follower of Jesus.She's led assemblies at the local high school, but most teenagers there have gotten to know her over a basketball or volleyball game, hamburgers at a café or Bible study in her apartment. Read More
WEEK OF PRAYER: Quichua farmer tithes his life to GodSOUTH ASIA (BP) -- There was little in life to predict that Cebrián Bolívar* would one day become a missionary in one of South Asia's most populated cities. He grew up on a farm high in South America's Andes Mountains where his parents and siblings still scratch out a living from the soil.
But that was before he met Sam Cordell.*
Cordell was a Southern Baptist missionary with a plan. In less than a decade he trained a cadre of 200 Quichua Indian believers to plant churches among the scattered mountain villages of their people. And Bolívar was one of the best; he planted 26. Read More
WEEK OF PRAYER: Hearing church reaches Deaf MalagasyANTANANARIVO, Madagascar (BP) -- Mason Barrett sits wide-eyed in a tiny, crowded living room in Madagascar's capital city, trying desperately to understand what anyone around him is saying. Hands fly in a flurry of conversation, mostly get-to-know-you type questions: What's your name? Are you married?
Were you born deaf?
That last question might sound strange if this wasn't one of the thousands of Deaf communities that Barrett has come to serve. The real estate agent is part of a team from Warren Baptist Church in Augusta, Ga., that's traveled more than 9,000 miles for a single purpose: sharing Jesus with the Deaf Malagasy. Read More