Their lives, as they had known it, seemed out
However, God was very much in control.
Although this was an unsettled time for these
missionaries in a turbulent area, it was not an
ending but a beginning. The struggles there
in the Congo were only the birthing pains for
something new that God was starting.
On the other side of the Atlantic, the Congo
Gospel Mission (CGM) was struggling to
facilitate their missionaries, and the leadership
longed to extend their influence beyond the
Congo—they wanted to reach the world.
Through God's leading in the hearts of
like-minded men, it was agreed that the
CGM would dissolve into a new mission
board, one that would be Baptist in name
and international in scope. On June 28, 1960,
Baptist International Missions was born, and
only God could foresee how it would grow
from a handful of missionaries in Africa to over
1,000 missionaries encompassing the globe!
It was at this time that news reached
the Congo that all missionaries were to be
evacuated. Martha was able to reach America
in safety, which is more than could be said for
some missionaries who lost their lives in the
violent weeks that followed.
It soon became evident that Martha would
not be able to return to the land she loved.
Her heart was saddened as she had planned
to spend her life in the Congo, yet she knew
that she must keep going for God. She began
to pray that God would once again make His
direction clear for her life.
God did lead, but to a different continent
with another language. For eighteen years,
she served God faithfully in Nicaragua until
a government uprising forced all foreigners to
leave. Not being dissuaded by this, she went to
Guatemala where she served four years before
this country too underwent a political uprising,
and Martha was once again evacuated.
Nothing could cause Martha to lose her
heart for missions, and God was not finished
with her yet. In 1985, she was asked to work
at BIMI's home office where she still serves
today in various ministries. She works with
the Spanish ministry where she assists in
overseeing a Bible Institute correspondence
program that has over 650 students scattered
throughout the Spanish-speaking world.
Martha Kunberger, the last of the first
missionaries for BIMI, simply kept going
on. When asked if she would do it all again,
knowing all that she would face, she replied
without hesitation, “I'd go back tomorrow if
I could!” May God give us more missionaries
As we look forward to the next fifty years
of BIMI, may we never forget those who with
great faith and perseverance first blazed the
missionary trail for all of us to follow! May we
all keep going for God!
to god be the glory
great things he