HOUSTON (BP)--While celebrating the largest number of missionaries under appointment in recent years, trustees of the International Mission Board also heard some cautionary finance reports during their Nov. 10-11 meeting in Houston.
The potential effects of investment losses, a weakened dollar and flattened giving to the Cooperative Program and Lottie Moon Christmas Offering could have a significant impact on the board's work next year.
These economic pressures forced board members to approve a budget for 2009 that includes no room to exceed the total number of missionaries currently under appointment. Attrition in the missionary force (completions, retirements, resignations and deaths) creates the need to appoint new missionaries each year, but IMB President Jerry Rankin said the ability to expand the missionary force beyond current levels rests in the hands of Southern Baptists.
"God has always proved His faithfulness through the giving of His people that His mission might be carried out around the world," Rankin said. "Even in these austere economic times we must press forward in our vision to reach a lost world and be obedient to our Great Commission task.
"God continues to call missionaries from Southern Baptist churches, and we pray Southern Baptists will not be deterred from providing the support needed in spite of the personal sacrifice ..." Read More