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Lottie Moon offering 4.1% above last year's paceRICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- Southern Baptists' support of international missions through the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering is 4.1 percent ahead of the same time frame as last year, according to a report by Rodney Freeman, IMB treasurer and vice president of support services.
At the end of December 2017, IMB had received $15,221,629 for the 2017-2018 campaign, which began Oct. 1 and continues through Sept. 30. The total is $600,027, or 4.1 percent, ahead of last year's October-December pace. Read More
IMB's Platt: When we pray, God worksRICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- No matter what the story is, whether it's a family planting a church in a doctor's office in Japan or a young man sharing truth over coffee with university students in Mexico City, International Mission Board president David Platt says two things are true: God is at work through missionaries around the world and praying for them matters.
"This isn't just a rushed or mechanical exercise. God has ordained our prayer as a means to accomplish His purpose in the world," Platt said. "We've got to be aware that our praying for boldness for missionaries is actually going to affect whether or not they have boldness. God ordained it that way. When we pray, God works." Read More
Hearts drawn to Gospel: Missionaries see God at workRICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- It was as vivid a dream as it could possibly be, and she didn't know where it came from.
Dilara* hadn't been asking anyone questions about Jesus or researching Christianity. But in her dream, Jesus picked the woman up from her bed and started walking her through the streets of her town.
"We eventually came upon this building, and He opened the door for me," she said. Then she realized it was a church. Read More
WEEK OF PRAYER: Family finds calling in 'young people's haven'LONDON (BP) -- Shane Mikeska's missions calling and plane ticket didn't land him in London -- a tropical illness did. "It definitely wasn't part of our plan," he said. "My wife, Lindsay and I started out in Southeast Asia on an agricultural farm. We loved the people, and we loved the language. But long story short, I got sick."
He needed to be in a place with a colder climate, and after much deliberation, it looked like England was the place. So the couple moved, and the difference was stark. It wasn't just the climate that was cold; Shane said the people seemed cold toward Christianity. And the pace of life in England's cities felt chaotic and hard to engage. Read More
What Lottie Moon taught me about injustice, GospelRICHMOND (BP) -- I've met injustice face to face.
She was a trafficked woman who stood beside me at a train station in Asia, her pimp glaring from a few feet away. Everything within me wanted to grab her hand and rescue her. But our conversation ended abruptly, and I don't know where she is today.
I heard injustice cry out on the edge of an African village as 10-year-old girls were "circumcised" as part of a village tradition. The village women sang in celebration, and my heart split between anger and compassion. The need for justice and the Gospel weighed heavy on my soul. Read More
WEEK OF PRAYER: Hope for the forgotten refugeeEUROPE (BP) -- Six years ago, one of Seth Peyton's* good friends paid a high price to escape the violence and famine of his home country.
Like hundreds of other North African refugees, he gave his savings to a smuggler who packed him into a standing-room-only truck for a long, miserable trip across the Sahara Desert followed by a dangerous boat ride across the Mediterranean Sea.
Many don't make it -- their bodies wash up on the shore of Europe's coast. But Seth's friend said he wasn't sure the fate he found in surviving was better. Read More
WEEK OF PRAYER: Gospel vision anchors Mexico City teamMEXICO CITY (BP) -- From Todd Beel's house in Mexico City, he can spot planes coming in every five minutes or so. "Each time, that's another couple hundred people coming in from Europe, multiple cities across Europe, cities across South America, many cities in the United States and Canada," he points out.
Each time one lands, the city of more than 28 million opens its arms to a little more diversity, and each time, for Todd's team of 12 International Mission Board missionaries, the task gets a little bigger. But that's exactly why they're compelled to be there. Read More
WEEK OF PRAYER: Prayers back home boost new Japan churchJAPAN (BP) -- From the minute Tara Jones walked through the door of her new pediatrician's office, she knew something was going on that was bigger than the fact she had a sick child.
Tara and her husband Jared had been praying for years for God to start a fire in the hearts of the people of Japan, where the couple serves as International Mission Board missionaries. They had been praying for God to open very specific doors -- doors that many people had told them were sealed shut. And they had been praying for God to soften hearts in a country many consider hard, cold and closed. Read More
WEEK OF PRAYER: Ministry among Muslims in MoscowMOSCOW, Russia (BP) -- Argun* is tough. He and his friend Carlos*, a businessman who moved to Russia to share Christ with Muslims, spend many nights at a martial arts club in Moscow.
And when they do, Argun doesn't lose very often.
When he first met Carlos, Argun was very closed to the Gospel, even hostile. He associated Christians with the Russian army, the ones who bombed his childhood home in Chechnya. But ever since Argun moved to Moscow, his friendship with ... Read More
WEEK OF PRAYER: Mountaineering family weathers Nepal challengeNEPAL (BP) -- Radford Bagby* has long heard mountaineering referred to as a "selfish" sport -- it can be risky and expensive, and climbers tend to like to keep to themselves.
But Radford found the more he got into it, the more God put a passion for other people on his heart.
"I got my bachelor's in sports education, and we watched a lot of mountaineering documentaries," he said. "The people interviewed in the films kept talking about how the mountains represented certain gods to them, and I kept thinking somebody needs to go and share truth with these guys." Read More