For unto Whomsoever Much is Given…
By Terry Sharp
CAMP BIMI alumnus and BIMI missionary to the Canary Islands

Do you remember as a child when you found your first 5 or 10 dollar bill lying on the ground? I do! Remember the flood of emotions, excitement, and the thoughts that raced through your mind changing dreams to reality? I do! Today it would be more like finding a 100 dollar bill as a child, but you get the picture. I had a similar experience after my first trip to CAMP BIMI.

CAMP BIMI I helped me to see the reality of missions in my own life. It provided the right conditions to mix water (the Holy Spirit) with cement (the Word of God) to get something more concrete (faith) out of my life. CAMP BIMI II then built upon the foundation laid the previous year. In retrospect, it was all a spiritual work of God!

Before going any further I must make one point clear: “CAMP BIMI” is not a program…it is people! CAMP BIMI is composed of all those who give and sacrifice to interact directly with participants. From experienced missionary leaders to the maintenance staff and cooks and a host of veteran missionaries, everyone works like a well-oiled machine to impact lives for missions. At the forefront, of course, are Gerry and Diane Baughman. Their vision and organization of this ministry makes it the blessing that it has been to numerous participants, including me. There are too many names to mention, but every word spoken by these people paved a direct road from their hearts to mine. The investment that these people made in my life cannot be calculated in dollars and cents. I came to CAMP BIMI fresh out of Bible College already knowing I was headed for the Canary Islands. I went without expectations, only believing it was part of the Lord’s plan to prepare me for His work. Indeed it was!

Every alumnus can readily remember the busy schedule of activities that consumed our days and challenged our hearts. From the crazy morning wake up calls over the PA to our cooks’ colorful morning attire, everything was organized to start the day off with a blast. From the group devotions to the times of private prayer, the spiritual nature of this time was also clearly evident. Of course, the meat and potatoes of this missionary buffet were a day of classes and activities geared to giving serious insight into missions. (By the way, there was also a healthy infusion of fun and spontaneity. Every participant has a collection of favorite stories and funny memories.) The days always drew to a close with stirring missionary messages, followed by soul-searching moments of personal reflection and prayer.

CAMP BIMI I gave me a sharper picture of what it meant to leave my “comfort zone.” It also prepared me for CAMP BIMI II, where the practical exercise of producing a visual presentation and the work involved in deputation ministry helped turn what seemed like a dream into a reality. I was given tools and the knowledge to use them, but I am thankful that everything was bathed in prayer and nothing was to be expected without faith. I left CAMP BIMI II in a new “comfort zone of faith,” assured that God was able to guide and provide…in spite of my doubts and defects. The testimonies of experienced missionaries helped to turn my focus from self and failure to God and faith. CAMP BIMI was no doubt part of God’s plan for me.

Eventually, the Lord led me to join with BIMI to fulfill my life’s calling in missions. True to form, the capable and committed servants at BIMI continued to provide valuable advice concerning missionary ministry. This advice, combined with a good dose of old-fashioned hard work, led to a fruitful time of deputation. I encountered many surprising and interesting experiences, but none too discouraging compared to the stories I had heard at CAMP BIMI. Without CAMP BIMI, a missionary could easily slip into a wrong attitude about deputation. The right attitude is necessary to those that desire to be a blessing to the pastor, the church and the Lord. I learned to face stressful experiences of deputation with humor and the thought that “This will be one to tell the grandchildren!” Other more serious situations required faith. CAMP BIMI prepared me for both.

The next step in my ministry was language school. If the Lord uses CAMP BIMI to prepare a servant for deputation, I think He uses deputation to prepare us for language school! Learning a language can certainly be discouraging! There is no gift of tongues other than the gift of determination, dedication and discipline. I was successful in my former vocation through discipline, but why do we feel things will be easier just because we are doing what God wants us to do? Brother Baughman was quick to remind me that I left the “comfort zone” for the “battle zone,” and the front line at that! During times when the devil gets really upset at the Lord’s servants, it is a blessing to be connected to the CAMP BIMI prayer loop in addition to many church families.

Praise the Lord that I left language school with a basic grasp of Spanish, a solid foundation to build upon, and 14 converts! Two of those converts are now teaching children’s Sunday School in a local, Independent Baptist church. I could barely speak Spanish, yet God was able! (Five three-hour Bible studies with each convert also helped!) A while after they were saved, I asked them why they took the time to listen to me and my dismal Spanish. I was told it was because I was different than others. They respected the fact that I listened to them, laughed with them, worked with them, and helped them. They recognized the tradition and corruption of their own Catholic church but had never met another missionary that had given them more than just “another religion.”

I am now in the Canary Islands, learning the culture, establishing a good name, making contacts, and preparing to print carefully worded literature for this culture. As a single man, I was prepared to serve alone if necessary. However, through the network of CAMP BIMI, the Lord provided a wonderful family, also CAMP BIMI alumni, that has prayerfully decided to come and work with me. Lord willing, Shannon and Lorie Whitaker will be arriving later in the year and we will begin a larger outreach together and locate a building for church services. I truly thank the Lord for CAMP BIMI (the people) and BIMI (the people).

Happy 15th Anniversary CAMP BIMI! Thank you for investing in my life and ministry. When I think of how God has used you to influence my life, I am reminded of the Lord’s admonition: “For unto whomsoever much is given…much is required.” I pray that my life’s story will be a fitting testimony to your spiritual investment.

Missionaries of the Day
Sunday, February 14, 2016

2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

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Sunday, February 14, 2016