Throughout our 175-year history, Southern Baptists have maintained an uninterrupted witness among the nations, in spite of famines, wars, civil unrest and — as we have all experienced this year — even a pandemic. This commitment has not come without sacrifice by your missionaries, and their continued witness cannot continue without your sacrifices of support.
The financial challenges we are facing at this moment are significant as we seek to care for missionaries and take advantage of open doors to impact the lost. Your continued gifts through the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering are absolutely vital for us to continue to advance the gospel. We cannot continue our work without the support of your prayers and your gifts.
What impact is made when you pray and give? More than half a million people heard a gospel witness last year, resulting in nearly 90,000 new believers!
- In Central Asia, IMB teams created gospel-witness videos for 99 different languages. Production has begun on gospel videos for the last 11 languages of Central Asia which have no Bible tools of any kind.
- Deaf Southeast Asians have set up a studio for Scripture translation, and the local Deaf church is working with IMB colleagues to evangelize, plant churches, work on Bible translations with other new believers and complete Bible stories in all the neighboring countries of Southeast Asia.
- In North Africa and the Middle East, evangelism has happened in a clinic, a gym, a living room, a coffee shop, a barbershop, a park, a classroom — all places where your Christian workers normally interact with people in their communities on a daily basis.
- In South Asia, small congregations dedicated 30 minutes a day for 30 days to talk to people intentionally about Jesus. Over the course of one month, these faithful individuals shared with more than 7,000 people!
- The Lord has worked mightily among a traditionally animist people group in the mountains of East Asia: The church has grown, and there are hundreds of believers among this remote group. Now the church is working to send out missionaries to reach other unreached groups with the gospel.
We know that every second, two people die without knowing Christ.
Has everyone heard? No, everyone has not yet heard. We know that every second, two people die without knowing Christ. We know that 25 percent of spoken languages do not have Scripture to share the gospel in their heart languages.
Thank you for continuing to give, even as you are navigating these unexpected challenges. Your commitment makes a difference! I recently received a message from one of your IMB missionaries, Joyce Pittman, a member of the São Paulo Gateway City Team who has served with our company for 23 years:
“This morning … I was struck with the thought of how supported we have been during this COVID-19 crisis by the IMB. … It is a difficult time to do our job and feel productive. We are all seeking the Lord daily for guidance, but sometimes we let the enemy accuse us of not doing enough or not being useful right now. Not once though has any pressure been put on us by the IMB or any accusation been made of not adequately doing our jobs. Instead, what has been expressed over and over during this challenging time is care, concern and encouragement.
“That is why I wanted to take this opportunity to thank the IMB and commend all the leadership for the way you have treated us during the pandemic. You have made us feel loved and understood. You have shown you trust our dedication to the calling God has on our lives as missionaries, even in the midst of an unprecedented situation such as the one in which we are all living. So thank you for the way you have responded to this crisis and how you have consistently upheld your missionary colleagues. You are in our prayers!”
The care our missionaries feel is care your support makes possible. Thank you for helping missionaries such as Joyce shine the Light in a dark world — especially in a year when a pandemic threatens our economic stability.
The nations are waiting. Will you give now at imb.org/give? Thank you for doing your part.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was first published by the Southern Baptist Texan news journal and is used with permission.
by Paul Chitwood / President / International Mission Board
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