Thursday, August 14, 2014Download All Stories
Conversation with pimp gives IMB missionary new perspective
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (BP) -- As an International Mission Board missionary, Martha Richards* ministered on South African streets among prostitutes, pimps, sex traffickers and drug dealers. In her journal "My Life on the Streets: A Journey of Hope," Richards shares some of the joys, sorrows and struggles she encountered during her outreach efforts."He was the enemy, and all I could see were the images of the battered and abused women of whom he and others like him took advantage," Richards wrote of the pimp she met.
Following is an excerpt from Richards's journal.
Change of heart
He didn't realize that I knew who and what he was.
I struggled to look at him, speak to him or even see him as God's loving creation. He was the enemy, and all I could see were the images of the battered and abused women of whom he and others like him took advantage. I saw the images my mind created of Lisha once I heard she was found beaten, broken and dead on a darkened city street. The girl I knew, however briefly, was gone.
I hadn't met Diallo before today, but he represents all of them.
My anger toward the pimps is overwhelming. To walk by them and [see] their smiling faces or hear their triumphant laughter. To see their disregard for the forced sacrifice of the women as they throw away the money earned on a bad hand of cards. To watch them feast as the girls they own go without food for a week. To see them laze in the sun or kick a ball -- playing while a young girl 20-feet away trembles in fear as she slides into a car with an unknown man.
Jesus tells me to love these traffickers and pimps. I want to ask why, but I already know the answer. Their sins are no worse than mine, and Jesus died for them as much as He did for me.
Today was the first step. I sat in the park for several hours talking with Diallo. Previously I had watched him from a distance and knew some of the girls he owned. For him, I was a prospective target, a potential prostitute and an unknown in his realm.
Diallo was eloquent and kind, full of laughter and flirtation. To all appearances, he was a good-looking young man who claimed to be a Christian -- once he found out I was one. He offered to buy me a coke or snack and even invited me to join him for church on Sunday.
... He was adept at truly listening, devoting every word and glance to the woman before him. Isn't that what all women desire? He is too good to be true.
Today was the first time I realized how easy it would be for me to be trafficked. I am optimistic and trusting, always looking for the good in people. That's not bad, but it needs to be tempered with the reality of the world around us. Read More
Israel 'friendship visit' slated by evangelicalsWASHINGTON (BP) -- A group of Christian leaders, hosted by National Religious Broadcasters President Jerry Johnson, will travel to Israel Aug. 17-22 to show support for the Jewish state's right to defend itself against attacks from Hamas and other adversaries.
SBC President Ronnie Floyd was invited to participate in the "Christians in Solidarity with Israel" trip, sponsored by NRB and coordinated by the Israel Ministry of Tourism, but had other obligations. ... Read More
FIRST-PERSON: Where the Bible comes aliveNASHVILLE (BP) -- I ventured to the Holy Land this summer for the seventh time, where it's said "the Bible comes alive." Indeed it does, but in a mixed way. There were, as always, both edifying and dispiriting aspects of the tour -- for the Bible is not just a "happy talk" book but also one of stern declaration. Read More
Campbellsville, KBC seek new partnership
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. (BP) -- Representatives from Campbellsville University met with Kentucky Baptist Convention leaders Aug. 13 to report the university's board of trustees has voted to remove the school from its covenant agreement with the KBC. Read More
Hillsong Church leads Dove nomineesNASHVILLE (BP) -- Music originating from Australia's Hillsong Church leads the list of nominees for the 45th annual Dove Awards. Other top contenders -- with five nominations each -- include Lecrae, Mandisa and Matt Maher. Read More
2nd VIEW: Golden Gate announces campus purchase; requests 'Gateway' name changeMILL VALLEY, Calif. (BP) -- Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary has signed a purchase agreement for a new primary campus site in Southern California east of Los Angeles near the Ontario International Airport. Read More
FIRST-PERSON: How can I reach other millennials?
College senior Myriah Snyder suggests ways for millennial Christians to step outside of their "comfort zone" to address the problems of alcohol consumption, drug use, immorality and homosexuality among their peers. Read More
Bible Study: August 17, 2014
NASHVILLE (BP) -- This weekly Bible study appears in Baptist Press in a partnership with LifeWay Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. Through its Leadership and Adult Publishing team, LifeWay publishes Sunday School curricula and additional resources for all age groups.
This week's Bible study is adapted from the MasterWork curriculum.
Bible Passage: James 4:4
Discussion Question: Why is it impossible to practice friendship with God while at the same time practi... Read More