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  • WEEK OF PRAYER: Students coming back changed

    by IMB staff, posted Friday, December 07, 2018 (2 days ago)

    IMB photo
    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 (3 days ago)

    IMB photo
    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 (4 days ago)

    IMB photo
    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 (5 days ago)

    IMB photo
    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 (6 days ago)

    IMB photo
    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

  • Greear gives Lottie Moon challenge

    by David Roach, posted Friday, November 30, 2018 (9 days ago)

    Screen capture from Facebook
    DURHAM, N.C. (BP) -- Southern Baptist Convention President J.D. Greear thinks Southern Baptists can exceed their $160 million goal for this year's Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO) for International Missions. So he's offering a lighthearted incentive to encourage a challenge goal of $170 million.

    If the 2018-19 LMCO hits that mark, Greear will perform a stunt suggested by Southern Baptists on social media, he announced Nov. 27 during a Facebook Live event, which had been viewed more than 6,100 times by midday Nov. 30. A video clip of Greear's challenge tweeted by the International Mission Board had been viewed more than 2,500 times in the same timeframe. Read More

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

    by IMB Staff, posted Friday, November 30, 2018 (9 days ago)

    IMB photo
    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

  • Jim Slack's 'Hello World!' now heard in eternity

    by Art Toalston, posted Monday, November 19, 2018 (20 days ago)

    BP file photo.
    RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- "Hello World!" was Jim Slack's enthusiastic greeting to coworkers and his exclamation whenever he learned something new.

    His "Hello World!" also reached the ends of the earth.

    An unassuming man always in good humor, Slack became one of Southern Baptists' most influential missiologists during a 50-year career with the International Mission Board.

    He died Nov. 15 at age 80 in Richmond, Va. Read More

  • IMB: Chitwood 'God's next leader' for entity

    by Julie McGowan, posted Friday, November 16, 2018 (23 days ago)

    IMB photo
    RICHMOND, Va.(BP) -- Paul Chitwood was elected unanimously as the 13th president of the Southern Baptists' International Mission Board on Thursday, Nov. 15, during trustees' regularly scheduled meeting near Richmond, Va.

    Chitwood, 48, who has served as executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, took office immediately as the president of the 173-year-old entity, the largest denominational missionary-sending body among American evangelicals. More than 3,600 Southern Baptist international missionaries serve worldwide, with 42 new missionaries approved for appointment by trustees Wednesday (Nov. 14).

    Since September 2018, Clyde Meador, former missionary and IMB executive vice president, has served as IMB's interim president. At Chitwood's request, Meador was approved by trustees to remain in the President's Office as interim executive vice president for several months during the transition. Read More

  • Chitwood as IMB pursued: 'OK Lord, I hear You'

    by David Roach, posted Friday, November 16, 2018 (23 days ago)

    IMB photo
    ROCKVILLE, Va. (BP) -- During the International Mission Board's presidential search process, Paul Chitwood knew departing from his role as executive director of the Kentucky Baptist Convention would be difficult. But he couldn't get away from Jesus' words in Mark 10:29 about leaving "house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children" for "the sake of the gospel."

    It came up so much, "I would not open my Bible to" it "because I didn't want to see that again," Chitwood said Nov. 15 following his election as IMB president at the board's International Learning Center near Richmond, Va. "And then the pastor would preach from it."

    "I finally had to say, 'OK Lord, I hear You.'" Read More