by John Ramsey

Nearly a year ago we at BIMI started talking about what we would do to celebrate our 50th Anniversary. Dr. James Ray asked David Snyder to head up a committee that included Ray Thompson, Alan Robinson, Jim Butler and me.

At first we met occasionally, then monthly, praying and discussing options, logistics, etc. It was quickly decided to have an open house from 2-4 p.m., a service at 6:30 and a reception afterwards. Then discussions about dates, locations and logistics followed. The final decision was to have it on June 8, 2010, during the Board Meeting and Candidate School on our property with an old fashion tent meeting theme. Dr. James Ray, President of BIMI, and Dr. Michael Edwards, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, were to be the speakers. Don Arnold was commissioned to produce a 50-year DVD, embracing as much of the BIMI world as possible.

As the year passed, minor glitches were resolved, the final logistics were determined and the real work began. Remodeling, painting, grooming, organizing and assigning various people to the tasks were done. The last minute panics over, the celebration was finally a go.

Now it is June 8. The cake has been baked, the punch made, the tent is up, the chairs put in place, the gifts on the tables, the literature printed, the fans and what air we could come up with in place. The yard was well-groomed by Dan, Sharon, Missy and their crew. The sound and lights are up and the DVD finished. The culmination of a year's work is now done. It is all over but the shoutin'!

The afternoon reception was a smashing hit. We saw people we had not seen in years. The place was packed all afternoon.

What a night! All the hours of preparation and prayers of so many were rewarded with a spectacular evening. To our delight more than 770 people arrived for the service. The choir music by pastors, staff, musicians, missionaries and candidates was just wonderful. Dr. Ray's message targeted God's blessing to BIMI because He blesses His people, not buildings or even organizations but people. It reminded us that our history from the early missionaries to today has been that way. Then Dr. Edwards spoke about our future. He used Barnabas to remind us that God works through people who are willing to change their plans for His, to encourage and assist others and do it to increase our passion for souls. If we continue this, our future not only looks great but will be as bright as the promises of God.

With Dr. Ray wanting to work with the 100 Nations and Bible distribution projects, the Board had asked Dr. David Snyder to be the President and General Director and lead into the next 50 years. It was certainly a stirring moment in the service when he and his wife, Barbara, were inaugurated. In these 50 years, he is only our fourth General Director. The staff was pleased with this choice by the Board for our next leader.

Finally, the DVD was shown. It was by far the greatest BIMI DVD ever made! Our heritage was there on the screen for all to see. It was awesome! There was Dr. Roberson on the screen reminding us "The one simple thing that spells the difference is the word compassion. Somebody has to care. We have to love people half to death." Also on the screen appeared BIMI heroes of the faith from all over the world, works from many countries and nations and saved people from nearly every tribe and tongue. WOW! What a presentation. What a fitting end to this glorious night. Every thought and prayer of the committee, trustees, staff, directors and anyone else who prayed for our 50th was answered. It was a most enjoyable evening. We could not have hoped for better. More than a few tears and shouts filled that tent. The celebration meeting was over, but the fellowship at the reception reminded us of how successful and blessed the 50th had been.

One staff member asked me, "What do you think of how it all went?" I cannot put into adequate words what I thought, but I know this: "To God be the glory, GREAT things He hath done!" But this is just my perspective.

How about yours?

Missionaries of the Day
Monday, February 8, 2016

1 John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.

Frank Denisi -  PHILIPPINES
Peter & Nenita Denisi -  PHILIPPINES
Arvin & Marsha Devers III -  SCOTLAND
Monday, February 8, 2016