Back to main magazine page now!! Volume 49, Number 1, 2013 2 6 8 10 12 14 16 19 20 23 25 Focusing on the Gourd Don't Let Fear Stop You Where Are the Laborers? Do You Have a Willing Heart and Helping Hands? Short-Term Missions for Time-Starved People Finding Love Is God Directing You to Open Door #6? A Sailor's Voyage to the Light A Mission Trip Around South America Journey to the End of the World Rebel with a Cause Vincent Has Done Well for Himself A Testimony of Discipleship in 4 Editorial Focusing on the Gourd By David H. Snyder The Biblical account of the prophet Jonah is very familiar to many of us. Recently, I was again reading through the Book of Jonah and God reminded me that much of Jonah's life applies to missions in the twenty-first century. Just as Jonah was com- manded to “Go” to Nineveh and declare God's message (Jonah 1:2), we have been commanded to “Go” into all the world, and preach the gospel (Mark 16:15). In response to God's com- mand, many today are David H. Snyder following the example of President/General Director Jonah by running from God's call for their lives. They have settled down into a place where they are comfort- able and have fallen asleep (Jonah 1:3-6). Although Jonah was disobedient, the Lord gave him a second chance. After a life chang- ing experience in the belly of a whale, Jonah was again commanded by God to preach to the people of Nineveh (Jonah 1:17–3:2). As Jonah proclaimed God's Word, the Ninevite people repented and God's wrath was abated. If the story of Jonah concluded with chap- ter three, there would be a “happy ending.” However, the fourth and final chapter of the book records the prophet's negative reaction to God's mercy on the Ninevites. The Bible tells us the salvation of Nineveh displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry (Jonah 4:1). After going out of the city, Jonah became exceeding glad because of a gourd God had prepared to give him for shade from the intense heat 2 BIMI WORLD Number 1, 2013 of the sun (Jonah 4:6). However, God also prepared a worm when the morning rose the next day, and it smote the gourd that it withered (Jonah 4:7). As a result, Jonah fainted because of the extreme elements and wished in himself to die (Jonah 4:8). The last three verses of the book of Jonah are revealing and convicting: And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd? And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death. Then said the Lord, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night: And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle (Jonah 4:9–11)? Instead of focusing on God, Jonah was focusing on a gourd. To say it another way, Jonah was more concerned about being shaded from heat than he was about the Ninevites being saved from hell. It is sad to think how many Christians today are focusing on a gourd rather than God. Gourds come in all shapes and sizes. Some are in the shape of a house while others have leather interiors and chrome wheels. There are shiny, coin-shaped gourds that are often held onto very tightly. Some gourds cannot be seen with the eye but are feelings and attitudes that are deeply rooted in a heart. Gourds reasonable that we forsake all and Jonah’s focus can even take the focus completely on Him. form of close family was on his own members or friends. God will often send gourds into comfort and Jonah’s focus was on our lives to help relieve some of the selfish desires. his own comfort and heat we are experiencing. However, selfish desires. This there are other times when God is quite the opposite of the example seen in prepares a worm to purify us in a refining the life of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. fire. Either way, we must keep our eyes on In obedience to the will of the Heavenly God and not the gourd. We must be able Father, Jesus set aside His own comfort to rejoice in both the gourd and the worm, and came to this earth. While here, He did being assured that God’s plan is always best not live a comfortable life but was a man (Romans 8:28). Just as God was concerned of sorrows, and acquainted with grief (Isaiah about every person in Nineveh, He is 53:3). After experiencing the excruciating concerned about every person in the entire pain and agony of a Roman crucifixion, world. It is obvious His command to “Go” Jesus died and was buried in a borrowed has not changed. Therefore, the question tomb. Three days later, He defeated death that must be answered is “Will we follow and rose triumphant from the grave. the example of Jonah or the example of Considering all Christ did for us, it is only Jesus?” W Will we follow the example of Jonah or the example of Jesus? I am so thankful for those who have followed the example of our Lord rather than the example of Jonah. Throughout this magazine there are several illustrations of those who have set aside their own comfort in order to obey the command of God. As a result of their obedience, many lost souls have repented of their sins and turned to Christ. BAPTIST INTERNATIONAL MISSIONS, INC., was founded in 1960 as an independent Baptist faith mission. BIMI is a fundamental mission agency, true to the Word of God in doctrine and method. The purpose of BIMI is to assist fundamental Baptist churches in fulfilling our Lord’s command to evangelize the world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our objectives are to establish indigenous Baptist churches and train national pastors and leaders. There are over 1,000 missionaries with BIMI working in 100 countries of the world. OFFICERS/BOARD OF TRUSTEES: Michael Edwards, Chairman; Robert Wall, Vice Chairman; David Snyder, President; JB Godfrey, Vice President; James Butler, Corporate Secretary; Al Goss, Treasurer; Jeff Amsbaugh, Andy Bloom; David Bragg; Tim Butler; John W. Collier; Bill Egerdahl; Kevin Folger; James God; CO Grinstead; Rodney Kelley; Mike Norris; Denny Patterson; David Pittman; James Ray; Jim Rushing; Don Sisk; Mark Stevens; Ray Thompson; Jim Townsley; Robert Vrandenburgh; Tom Wallace ADMINISTRATION/ FIELD DIRECTORS: David Snyder, General Director; JB Godfrey, Executive Director; James Butler, International Office Director; Doug Cunningham, Comptroller; Jeff Alverson, Assistant Military; John Bailes, USA; Gerry Baughman, CAMP BIMI*SMART; Roger Blevins, South America; Eric Bohman, Africa; Alan Brooks, Assistant Southeast Asia; Dan DeLong, Candidate, Deputation; Bob Green, Aviation; Malcolm Gregory, Assistant South America; William Griffin, Enrichment; David Harris, Far East; Ed Hembree, Europe; Terry Jones, Central America; James Kennard, Military; Robert Larson, Assistant USA; Jim Lilley, Estate Planning; Sean Lunday, Assistant Brazil; Robert Meyer, Southeast Asia; Jimmy Rose, Brazil; Don Sisk, General Director Emeritus; Gary Sprunger, Caribbean; Steve Stone, Far North; Ray Thompson, Executive Director Emeritus; Carl Vonnoh, CLAIM REPRESENTATIVES: Gailen Abbett, Roy Ackerle, Dennis Bellew, Ron Bragg, Pat Creed, Ed Gibson, Bob Green, John Halsey, Robert Johnson, Mark Logan, Michael McCombie, James Ray, Jerry Reece, Reggie Rempel, Clayton Revels, Clayton Shumpert, Ray Thompson STAFF: Don Arnold, Audio Visuals; Ken Catoe, Printing Services; John Ramsey, Missionary Finances; Kevin Wnuk, Computer Services BIMI World: David Snyder, Executive Editor; Ken Catoe, Editor; Don Arnold, Production Photographer; Jonathan Bergen, Designer Field Editors: Eric Bohman, Africa; Alan Brooks, Southeast Asia; Gary Craft, Military; David Harris, Far East; Mark Lockhart, Central America; Ed Johnson, Brazil; John Bailes, USA; Gary Sprunger, Caribbean; Steve Stone, Far North; Clint Vernoy, South America; Donald Thatcher, Europe Official Publication of Baptist International Missions, Inc. · All Scripture quotations are from the KJV. Shipping Address: 8614 Harrison Bay Road - Harrison, TN 37341 / Phone: (423) 344-5050 / Fax: (423) 344-4774 / / / BIMI Canada: P.O. Box 242 - St. Jacobs, Ontario N0B 2N0 / (519) 664-3242 Number 1, 2013 BIMI WORLD 3 Uganda Vincent Has Done Well for Himself By Matt Stensaas In the world's eyes Byaruhanga Vincent had “done well for himself.” He had built his own house, had land and animals and even had a building in town he was renting out to someone. Yet spiritually, he was poor and needy. His life was empty and without true meaning. He was born into a Catholic home, but as he got older, he began to see the hypocrisy and lies in that religion that caused him to look for truth elsewhere. Finding the charismatic churches to be exciting, he joined them and got involved but soon felt disillusioned by the many inconsistencies and deceptions of the leadership. One day, he was listening to Life Radio (started by BIMI missionary Bryan Stensaas) and he was struck by how different this preaching was to what he was used to in his church. This preaching actually used the Bible as its source and authority. At first he did not agree with what he heard but was intrigued and continued to listen. He started taking notes and asking his pastor about what he had heard. His pastor could not answer his questions adequately and told him not to listen to Life Radio, but Vincent began to realize what was on the radio was the truth. The Holy Spirit began working in his heart and very soon Vincent accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Savior. What joy filled his heart as he felt the burden of sin roll away! His next desire was to personally meet those who were preaching on Life Radio and learn more about the Word of God. Byaruhanga Vincent 4 BIMI WORLD Number 1, 2013 With great anticipation Vincent visited the Independent Baptist Church of Mbarara while I was teaching in the Bible institute there. He was delighted when I asked him if I could come and disciple him in his village of Rubindi. Both Vincent and his wife, Francesca, were excited to have finally found the Truth that satisfies and were eager to learn more about the Christian life. Above: Vincent studying with Matt Stensaas Months later after finishing the disciple- ship program, Vincent still yearned to learn more and decided to continue in the Bible institute training. At first he was determined to never be a pastor because of the lying and hypocrisy he had seen in the lives of religious leaders before he was saved. However, God began to work on Vincent's heart. When he began to see people who were searching for the Truth as he had been and the need for a Gospel voice in his home village, he surrendered to start and pastor an independent Baptist church in Rubindi. He realized that if he did not do it, who else would? Vincent is currently holding weekly services, faithfully going soul winning and discipling those he has led to Christ. Some of his disciples are already starting to disciple others. Praise the Lord for another indigenous church sharing the light of Jesus Christ on the dark continent! Vincent leading others in study. Yes, Vincent has “done well for himself,” not just in the world's eyes, but most importantly in God's. While his church may be small and little known, Vincent is making a great impact in his corner of the world. May God give us more “Vincents” who will thirst after righteousness and allow God to use them in ways they could never imagine! W Number 1, 2013 BIMI WORLD 5 Sudan Don't Let Fear Stop You By Shanan Kodi Born and raised in a Sudanese Suni Muslim family, I was the fourth child of 16. My father, a practicing polygamist, had two wives and, though illiterate, faithfully followed the Islamic religion. ey were strict but good parents, teaching us respect and obedience. In school we studied the Quran, which we were not allowed to question. It was difficult memorizing assigned verses, as Arabic was not our first language, and failure to do so resulted in punishment. I was a good kid, but I remember challenging the teacher, being slapped across the face and ordered to sit down. My dad's intention was that I grow up to be a good, strong Muslim person, but in my heart I still questioned this god who demanded blind, unquestioning obedience and fear. In 1983 we moved from the Nuba Mountains in the west to Khartoum, the capital city of Sudan. at same year, war broke out between Muslims of the north and Christians of the south. e government declared Jihad, or holy war, and military training camps The government were established to train declared Jihad… young children for battle. I was confused, so I would go to the mosque and pray. It was there that I heard the Imam ask god to give us power to slaughter our enemies, make their kids orphans and their wives widows. Other disturbing things were said, and my heart became burdened and heavy, grieving about my beliefs. To resolve this internal conflict, I began aggressively reading the Quran and other books, looking for answers. In the end, I was le weary and feeling dry so I avoided the mosque, prayers and Ramadan. Still, I felt a lot of pressure, not 6 BIMI WORLD Number 1, 2013 wanting to be perceived as an infidel by my family and community. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. One day I met a man who gave me a Christian magazine titled Step, where I read the Beatitudes. Among them were Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy…blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God. ese words brought me great comfort and effectively closed the door on Islam forever. A new door opened. Several days later, I heard sweet music floating through the air in the streets of Khartoum. I felt drawn to it and followed the sound to a building where a Christian exhibition was taking place. Cautiously I entered the premises and headed for the book section, where I found numerous back issues of Step. While I was flipping through the pages, a friendly woman approached me and asked, “Are you a Christian?” e question sent a strange chill through my body and I told her I was not, but neither was I a Muslim. She immediately took an interest in me and soon handed me an envelope containing a New Testament and some magazines. Before I le , she offered to pray for me. Her prayers brought tears to my eyes. When I got home, I locked myself in my room and began reading John 3:16, For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. I read many other verses; tears flowed from my eyes, and I knew I was lost. I was empty and needed God. A week later the same lady who gave me the Bible came to work with my company. We were surprised to see each other, and she invited me to church that evening. It was there that the Gospel of salvation was explained to me and I accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior. I no longer fear death or worry about tomorrow because I know He is with me every step of the way. You may be reading this and wondering what it means to you. It's quite simple. Jesus died for all your sins regardless of your age, religion or nationality. It's a free gi ; you don't have to do anything, just believe. In Revelation 3:20, Jesus said, Behold I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him, and he with me. W Reprinted with permission from “Finding Your Way,” published by Metro Baptist Church, Burnaby, British Columbia. MBC is pastored by BIMI missionary Russell Mackay. Number 1, 2013 BIMI WORLD 7 Far East Where Are the Laborers? By David Harris Since becoming the Far East Director last year, I have been privileged to learn more about the rest of our BIMI Far East family. We have some of the finest missionaries in the world. our numbers would double or triple. Our missionaries have done a great job in seeing souls saved and churches established, but there is a problem. Our missionaries are getting older. It is a blessing to serve with such dedicated servants who continue to go into all the world. Our 78 missionaries and their ministries saw over 15,000 people saved in 2011 and 108 new churches started. Believers are being discipled and missionaries are being sent out. Please do not tell them I said that. If we do not get some replacements, we are facing some major challenges in our BIMI Far East mission family in the not too distant future. When BIMI divided the countries into field designations, it was based on the number of missionaries. An arbitrary division was made between the Far East and Southeast Asia. Serving in the Far East are missionaries in Hawaii, Japan, Taiwan, the Mariana Islands, the Philippines, and several other countries that are difficult to enter. For example, one of the countries dear to my heart is Japan. There were 14 or 15 families when we arrived on the field in 1988. Since then, numbers have declined. Of the ten families and one single lady we had when we developed a prayer list a year and a half ago, we lost two families with only one replacement. Of the remaining eight families, five have been missionaries for over 20 years. Of those eight families, three have been serving for over 35 years and one for over 50 years. The majority of our missionaries are in Japan Although we would hope all of our 35 and the Philippines. Most of the other countries families and three single or places have only missionaries will live a few families. In all Who will fill their shoes? forever and continue of the South Pacific Who will take their places? serving, this is not possible. north of the equator, Some develop health we only have three problems. Some suffer accidents. Other families. Two of those are in the Mariana ministry changes occur. Islands of Saipan and Tinian, north of Guam. Hawaii and Taiwan only have one family each. I In August 2011 one of our men, Brother Dennis know each of these places needs more laborers Pyles, died saving his daughter and friend who to help them reach the teeming masses around were caught in a riptide. As we heard the story them. from Mrs. Rose Pyles, we learned just how close we came to losing Mrs. Pyles, their daughter We do not have missionaries in Bhutan, North and her friend in that tragic event. In February Korea, South Korea and many of the islands in 2012 we lost Brother Rick Conrad who went to the South Pacific. Recently, we approved a new be with the Lord after suffering a severe heart missionary family to Japan and a single young attack on the field. Who will fill their shoes? lady who desires to serve in the Philippines. Who will take their places? On deputation, we have two families and a single young lady. In the Philippines we had 17 families. Other than Brother Pyles, we lost one family who God has given us some great men and women returned stateside and have another family who serve faithfully. It is our hope and prayer 8 BIMI WORLD Number 1, 2013 with serious health issues that, unless the Lord intervenes, may not be able to return to the field. On another field we have a family who spent 39 years of faithful service. They are feeling God's leading to find a new ministry for the coming years. You may dislike hearing of missionaries returning to the States, but most have been faithful for so long. Of our 37 families, there are 15 families who have served for 20 years or more. Six more families are less than three years away from making this number 21 families. Seven of our 37 families have served for over 35 years. Granted, souls are being saved and churches established. God helped our missionaries and their ministries to see over 15,000 people saved and 108 churches started in 2011 (2012 data is not available). Yet there is so much more to do! Who will help us reach the many more places in our part of the world that need the Gospel? Would you like to help? Join our BIMI Far East Prayer Team. Visit our Far East website or go with us to see the need on the field. Pray for us as we work on an intern program on the mission field for young people interested in missions. Pray for the Far East that God will give us 50 new missionaries in the next five years. Over and over again as I meet with our missionaries, the answer to our question of what they need most is the same, “We need more laborers!” W The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest (Luke 10:2). Number 1, 2013 BIMI WORLD 9 USA Do You Have A Willing Heart and Helping Hands? by John Bailes There are many Christians who continually ask God to bless what they are doing, but the question that comes to mind is this: are we willing to do what God is already blessing? I would like to share some events that opened my mind to what can be done when Christians have a responsive attitude toward missions. In recent months we have had two Reseeding America church planters start churches. One was Lighthouse Baptist Church in Avondale, Arizona, and the other was City Baptist Church in Hoboken, New Jersey. When Sandy and I arrived in Phoenix, Arizona, to join Bob Larson and others to help Ron and Shelby Manuel prepare for their Grand Opening service, we were not surprised to find other local ministries assisting in this church plant. We were surprised when people started arriving from Georgia, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. Todd and Bambi Threlkeld, who had restarted the New Haven Baptist Church in Summerville, Georgia, just six months prior, were there to assist. There were five men from Valley Forge Baptist Temple in Philadelphia and a young lady from Central Baptist Church in Southington, Connecticut. The men from Valley Forge Baptist Temple had arrived in time to help distribute the last of the door hanger packets. Before flying home on Sunday night, they left the new pastor a generous love offering. They were a wonderful encouragement. Lighthouse Baptist Church launched September 16, 2012. God blessed with 77 people in attendance. Fifty, including the pastor's family, were from the local area. Souls are being saved regularly and they are looking to move out of a school into a leased building. In October City Baptist Church began in Hoboken, New Jersey, with Reseeding America church planting missionary Phil Rizzo as pastor. Many churches from the Northeast had a part in making this new church a reality. A building had to be gutted and completely restored just weeks before the opening service. All of the things needed to have a church had to be purchased and put in place. Door hangers and mailers had to go out. God had to bless in a place that knew nothing about the Gospel. The Grand Opening was fantastic! First Service, Lighthouse Baptist Church They had 51 in the morning service and 32 in the evening service. Between the two services there were ten salvation decisions! Pastor Rizzo writes, “We have no doubt that the ‘success' we saw on October 14, 2012, was a result of the prayers God heard from so many around the country.” And now the rest of the story: Super Storm Sandy Three Weeks Later Television viewers all over the world watched the devastation and desperation of those in the path of Sandy, the so-called Perfect Storm. Hoboken is a small but densely populated upscale city located directly across the river from downtown Manhattan. It was caught in the path of the surge that inundated the streets and knocked out electrical power. Three feet of water flooded the newly prepared church building, filling it with mud, oil and debris— ruining chairs, Bibles and drywall. Pastor Rizzo immediately began to assess the situation and took advantage of the opportunity to connect with people by providing generators to power cell phones. He also set up grills as people emptied their freezers and brought food to be cooked in front of the church. The call went out for help. Churches and individuals responded with contributions and laborers. Drywall was torn out and replaced. Ruined hymnals, Bibles and chairs were replaced or repaired. Helping hands from different churches once more came and did a good work so City Baptist could continue having services. Praise the Lord for willing hearts and helping hands! Number 1, 2013 BIMI WORLD 11 What prepares people in churches to manage their time and their material wealth in such a way as to become a blessing to God's servants and lost people that God loves? What makes them go from being a spectator to a participator? Let me introduce you to Peter Rall, a member of Valley Forge Baptist Temple where Dr. Scott Wendell is the pastor. After you read about his involvement in his local church, you will have a better understanding of what makes some Christians do what they do. Brother Rall sent me this article entitled “Short-Term Missions for Time-Starved People” after we had met in Avondale, Arizona, in September 2012. Short-Term Missions for Time-Starved People by Peter Rall In my job as a territory sales representative, I often mention the features and benefits of the product I sell—commercial truck tires and retreads. Taking note of the features and benefits helps to show the customer both the need and value of having the product. Are there features and benefits to us as church members in going on a missions trip? You better believe it! The feature, the distinctive part, of the missions trip is that we put ourselves on a foreign mission field, to allow God to work through us. The resulting benefits are these: missionary families are encouraged, church members of the churches we visit see lay people involved in Christian service, souls are saved and the Gospel is presented to others through preaching, soul winning and tract distribution. None of us question the need for missions. We are aware of the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:19–20. However, in addition to praying for missionaries and giving through our local church, have we considered actually going to visit one of the missionary families that our church supports? I took my first week- long missions trip in 1990. My pastor had my wife and me lead a team of teenagers and 12 single adults to Puerto Rico. We spent the week passing out tracts, visiting with missionaries on the island, preaching, singing and sharing our testimonies in Spanish. I do not know about everyone in the group, but I do know that two of the teens from that trip are serving full-time on the mission field today. One is in Australia and the other is a missionary wife and mother serving in Uganda. Since that first trip, I have been active in my local church in going on missions trips. During all of the 1990s, my job only gave me two weeks of vacation. I took one for missions and the other for personal pursuits. Just as we are to be good stewards of our money, we are also to be faithful stewards of our time. Are you giving back of your time to God? Ephesians 5:16 tells us we are to be redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Vine's Expository Dictionary explains this verse as “Making the most of every opportunity, turning each to the best advantage since none can be recalled if missed.” We need to ask ourselves if we are giving God of our time. In 2002 with no vacation time left for the year, an opportunity came for me to go to Peru. I said I could go but only for the weekend. I would take Monday off without pay. Five men and I left on a Friday night for Peru. We arrived on Saturday morning and we were back in Philadelphia on Monday evening. As a result of that trip, our church took on a new missionary for support. We have since sent two teams to do construction work for week-long projects. That was the start of my weekend missions trips. Since I live in the Philadelphia area, I have been able to access missionaries in South America, Canada, and Europe for a weekend. Maybe you do not have a lot of time, but do you have a weekend? Maybe you have accumulated some frequent flier miles and could fly for a weekend trip. You can be such an encouragement to a missionary family and to the people with whom they minister. Hebrews 10:25 tells us to exhort one another. Let's encourage our missionary families. from each other, but please know it was a real encouragement to us.” Can you take a week to visit a missionary family? How about a weekend? If your home church does not have a missions trip program, talk to your pastor about getting a group together to go and be a blessing to one of the missionary families your church supports. Not only will you be a blessing but also you will be blessed! W Pictured below: Peter and Lois Rall visiting Joshua and Melissa Booth, missionaries in Congleton, England. We were on a weekend trip to minister with them. Let me share excerpts from emails I received after weekend trips. “Thank you so much for taking time out to swing over here to France and preach and teach and fellow- ship. We appreciated your messages and testimony.” Another missionary sent an email to my wife. “I just wanted to say thank you for allow- ing your husband to come over to Wales and be a blessing to us here. I know it must be a sacrifice for you both financially and being away Below: Volunteers helping in new church plants 13 China Finding LOVE by Chun Duan When I was little, my father lived and worked in a city 350 kilometers (217 miles) from us and only came home twice a year. I was the middle child and o en overlooked by my busy working mother. Because of this, I felt lonely and unloved, and I developed deep feelings I felt lonely of jealousy toward my siblings. and unloved. I believed they received more attention and care from my mom than I did. To win my mother's love, I tried my best to obey her and have good school reports. I had learned that love was conditional; I had to earn it by doing something. from some high bars at a playground after school. I lost consciousness for a few minutes and got up with a bad, persistent headache. I dared not tell my mom or she would scold me. So, I decided to say I was tired and went to bed early, hoping sleep would help me overcome the pain. In the morning, I was totally unconscious and frequently throwing up. ey took me to a clinic, and, though still unconscious, I saw my mom crying over me and questioning my friends about my activities the day before. I realized that my mom did love me, and she was afraid of losing me. How happy I was! A er I recovered, my sister told me that Mom did cry beside my bed, but there was no way for me to see her crying, as I was unconscious. I was sure that my spirit came out of my body and I saw my mom crying. A er that, life continued as normal. I was a good student and did well in exams to please my parents. I made it to university in 1988, where I met my husband, John. Still, I had many other unanswered questions from a very young age. I wanted to know why I was here, why I wasn't somebody else, why I was born into this particular family and what was in my body that made me who I am. Despite growing up in Mainland China and being taught there was no God, and evolution and materialism were true, I felt there was more to life than that. I wanted real answers. After I completed an undergraduate program, my parents encouraged me to go for a master's degree, as they were both teachers and placed a high value on education. I agreed and began doing research at a university in Hong Kong; meanwhile, John went to America where he had been accepted at the University of Maryland. During that time, I began to question the theory of evolution. All my research told me we could not even create a new live germ, despite all the pioneering and design technologies we possessed. There's a saying, “Be careful what you ask for.” When I was nine years old, I fell head down I was convinced that this wonderful world did not come about by chance—but rather, required 14 BIMI WORLD Number 1, 2013 a designer. It was too complex and there were too many variables. I wanted better answers. Around Christmas of 1994, I was invited to a Bible study with some students and teachers. It was my first time reading the Bible, and I didn't understand why these educated people loved to study what I thought was a simple storybook. A er reading verse by verse through a chapter in Matthew, I told them I felt it was a waste of time. Although I didn't continue Bible study with them, I was le with a lasting impression of their kindness. In 1995 I went to the US with John, where I worked hard as a waitress to earn money for my tuition to study for a computer degree. During that time I met a Chinese lady who ended up carpooling with me from 1997–98. Despite having less than perfect academic scores and an unsettled family life, she seemed to possess happiness and peace in her heart. I found that compelling. One day, just before we were finishing school in 1998, I shared my thoughts with her on the way to school. She shared Jesus with me and invited me to her church to meet her fellow Christians. It was a Chinese church, ministering to students around the College Park area of Maryland. ey were very kind and told me that they were praying for me. It was nice to know someone I didn't know cared about me that much. at kind of care and love attracted me. I loved being with them and listening to them talking about That kind of care and God and the love attracted me. Bible. I learned that there is a loving Creator who made all things, and we do have souls. e Bible answered two big questions I had had from childhood: how was it possible that I saw my mom crying when I was unconscious, and where did everything come from? In time I started to realize that I was a sinner. I was not happy because of my pride and selfishness, but there was hope! God loved me so much that He came to earth, lived a perfect life, suffered and died on the cross for me, and then He rose from the grave for me a er three days; that through Him, I could be forgiven and made clean. is unconditional love from God was the thing missing in my heart that neither my mother's nor husband's love could fill. On Good Friday, April 10, 1998, a Chinese evangelist came to our area to preach. It was during that evening service that I strongly felt my Heavenly Father calling me to Him. I could not ignore it any longer. I had to be honest with Him and my heart. I wanted to make things right with Him. So, I raised my hand during the invitation and accepted Jesus as my personal Savior. How happy we were a erward when I told my church friends about my decision on that Easter Sunday! I shed my tears shamelessly with them in the church. I can't explain it; the tears just came out endlessly, but my heart was overflowing with joy. And that joy is what I had been looking for all those many years. Praise the Lord! W Reprinted with permission from “Finding Your Way,” published by Metro Baptist Church, Burnaby, British Columbia. MBC is pastored by BIMI missionary Russell Mackay. Number 1, 2013 BIMI WORLD 15 USA Is God Directing You to Open Door # 6? by John Bailes Last year at our annual Directors' Meeting, Dr. David Snyder, our President and General Director, announced his desire to launch a new emphasis on missions. It was to be called The Open Door Project. The idea for The Open Door Project comes from 1 Corinthians 16:9a where Paul writes, For a great door and effectual is opened unto me.  As in the time of Paul, so also today God has an open door for every person He is calling to the mission field. We are emphasizing eleven out of an endless number of open doors around the world. Our prayer is God will use the information we are presenting to speak to many hearts about full-time missionary service. An open door represents an opportunity. We are praying many Christians will respond to the opportunities we are highlighting. You can 16 BIMI WORLD Number 1, 2013 browse for complete information about The Open Door Project. For the USA it was decided that the Open Door location would be the Northwestern United States. This is an area in great need of being reached with the Gospel. It has been continually overlooked by those going out to plant churches. This became Open Door #6 along with ten other locations around the world. Brochures were printed and BIMI World published the information about The Open Door Project. A short time later, we received a testimony from an individual living in the state of Washington. Her name was Bernadette and she wanted us to know how God had impressed her through reading about Open Door #6. A testimony from the city of Tacoma, Washington, sent to BIMI: From: Bernadette W. Sent: Thursday, August 02, 2012 11:26 AM To: BIMI Last night our pastor asked me, right before the service, to witness to a visiting young girl who was sitting over on the side row when he gave the altar call. I felt ill the entire service but the Lord took care of that long enough for me to talk with her. I'm saddened to say she did not get saved tonight, but the Lord is willing that she be saved, so I'm going to keep asking for it. However, let me tell you how talking to this girl was an answer to my own personal prayer. I got the latest BIMI WORLD yesterday. I was reading about all these missionaries in far- away countries and obscure locations, and about the victories they are having in reaching the lost. I was thinking that it was a huge bummer that our family can't help more directly with such work, aside from giving money, when people in those countries are so open to hearing the Gospel. There was also a page inside the mailer that talked about The Open Door Project. They had a specific area of each country and/or continent listed to highlight the opportunity there to reach the lost. And they listed “Open Door #6” as the Northwestern United States. Right there, amongst the Far East and India and the Amazon…there was the good old Pacific Northwest. It goes on to list how the state of Washington has the highest percentage of people in the US claiming to have no religion, and how the Northwest is home to over 13 million citizens. I'm going to be honest here, I have never thought of the Northwest necessarily as an “open door.” I thought of Africa as an open door, and Honduras, and the other countries, but I feel like Washington is more of a closed door we are holding open by a crack with the heels of our feet. People don't want to hear the Gospel here, it often seems to me. Of course that doesn't stop any of us from telling them, and the Holy Spirit has done the work so that many have been saved in this area, regardless. But literally we do get a lot of doors slammed in our faces. Number 1, 2013 BIMI WORLD 17 Well anyways, while I was jogging yesterday, I prayed and asked God to please show my husband and me how we could be better “missionaries” to what BIMI called “Open Door #6.” I felt really convicted about it. I thought about the people in our state that I have met, and how true it is about our area, that a massive amount of people reject even the idea of God here. I thought about the REI hippies, and the Seattle grunge crowd, the environmentalists, the activists, and all of these identities people take on because they don't believe in God and so they have to believe in something else, like buying jackets that turn into tents, or cremating their dogs and making their ashes into a necklaces. (If you've ever lived in the Seattle or Oregon area, you'd know what I mean!). I'm getting off topic I know, but here's my praise: You know the girl I was privileged to talk to last night at church? After talking with her a few moments, I found out she is a self- proclaimed atheist. An atheist. I could hardly believe it. I was just praying about this exact thing and the Lord brings me an atheist to witness to. I have never directly witnessed to an atheist before. People usually have a vague belief in some sort of God, although not Christ. I almost laughed when she told me, but praise the Lord I didn't. I had a wonderful time talking to this girl, and my nervousness went away, because she was exactly the person God had laid on my heart to witness to earlier that day. She had no answers and no direction and she needs the Lord so much. And you know what? I found her to be just as open to what I had to say as any African or Honduran or Mexican. God is so faithful to grow me up in my walk with Him. Thanks BIMI :) Bernadette W. Make Your Plans Now BIMI is organizing an exciting twelve-day-trip to the Pacific Northwest region of the United States to see firsthand the church planting needs in the states of Washington, Oregon and Idaho. This is a wonderful opportunity for future church planters and especially men praying about planting a church in the Northwest. The men who make this trip will be with experienced church planters and pastors who have planted or are planting churches. They will travel with men who can answer their questions about planting churches. Everyone will also have soul winning opportunities during the twelve days of traveling. W Contact Dr. John Bailes, 423–605–4020, or Bob Larson, 423–605–6098, More details are available on 18 BIMI WORLD Number 1, 2013 at BIMI Reseeding America A Sailor's Voyage To The Light Philippines by Julius Provido I was born and raised in CEMBO, or Fort Bonifacio, a residential area for military men and their families in Manila, Philippines. As the second of four kids, I grew up with other army children, listening to stories of military encounters and adventures. Being tough was instilled in me from a young age, and I engaged in many fistfights. In my world you had to be tough to earn respect from your peers, friends and enemies. At home we had rules and discipline. My father was a man of principles, many of which he learned from the army and through experience. ough not a religious man or a regular churchgoer, he never went to bed without first praying. I loved and admired him very much. In grade six I remember playing cards with a friend whom I caught cheating. A er I beat him, he ran to my house and complained to my grandfather. Fortunately for me, my father was away and grandfather only pretended to punish me with his thick leather belt, just to appease my friend who stood outside listening and smiling. I knew that if my dad had been there, I would have been disciplined for real. Essentially, our family viewed itself as Christian. My mother took us to the Roman Catholic Church Sunday and Wednesday where we recited the rosary and practiced the novena, a devotion to the Virgin Mary. I also remember once being dressed in a dark red robe for the Feast of the Black Nazarene. On church days, I abstained from alcohol and gambling, as that seemed like the right thing to do. If anyone had told me I was not a Christian, I think I would have punched him in the face. One day a former classmate came knocking on my door. I hadn't seen him for many years, and a er catching up, he began sharing the message of Christ with me. I had never heard it that way, but I liked it. Still, I was not ready to accept the free gi of salvation. At 18 I le home to join my first ship as an Apprentice Marine Engineer. It was there that I embraced the motto “Wine, women and so long.” Despite this, God had other plans for me, consistently putting Christians in my life. e third engineer on my ship, and others, persistently shared the Gospel with me, even though I tried to avoid them, favoring my sinful life. I narrowly avoided committing murder during a drunken knife fight, and twice I was sent home for fighting. In 1987, while in Dubai, I finally surrendered to the Lord, clearly knowing I was a sinner bound for hell. I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior, and God continued to work in my heart, changing me. Seven years later, I was baptized at the International Christian Church of Dubai, Baptist. Looking back, I realize that God had planted a seed in my heart many years earlier when my classmate first introduced the message of Christ to me. God can change you too, if you'll let Him. W Reprinted with permission from “Finding Your Way,” published by Metro Baptist Church, Burnaby, British Columbia. MBC is pastored by BIMI missionary Russell Mackay. Number 1, 2013 BIMI WORLD 19 South America A Missions Trip Around South America by Clint Vernoy A century ago when missionaries said goodbye to their loved ones, churches and friends to depart for their fields of service, everyone understood it could possibly be the last time they would hear their voice or see their face. As travel time has shortened, mail service improved, internet service reached into the most remote corners of the globe, that reality has changed. Today, many churches take advantage of the technology available to reach out to their missionaries in ways they could not have two decades ago. What would Adoniram Judson have thought about a SKYPE contact with a supporting church during a service in Burma? David Livingstone would have loved a FAX machine or a GPS! Mail went by ship, taking months to traverse the globe, in peril of storms, pirates and so many unforeseeable mishaps. News that six months before was pertinent and important became mundane by the time it arrived. Something unheard of 50 years ago was a short-term missions trip to a foreign country to see the mission field firsthand. Travel was measured in weeks or months, not hours. Costs were astronomical compared to today. Now, missions trips in some churches are an annual event and beneficial to both the missionary as well as the one who travels. One might travel to Venezuela to be with Carlos Arce during their Annual Men's Camp. I have been many times and it is always a joy to see God work. This year at the closing campfire, a man gave testimony that his reason for Carlos & Susan Arce 20 BIMI WORLD Number 1, 2013 attending was to kill another camper, but during the week he received Christ and his life is now changed. He asked the other man to forgive his new brother. Yeah! That is something to remember. One of the greatest blessings is to see so many trained Venezuelan pastors who are starting churches throughout the nation. May God be praised! Moving to the Equator and the country of Ecuador one can visit the Lyon family who are studying the Ketchwa language so they can one day work among the Imbabura Quechua people. If you want to William & Laura Lyon learn more about their day-to-day life learning language and culture before your visit, you can read their blog at Earnhart Family Another destination is Peru where there are several missionary families. The Earnharts have a thriving ministry, but they have recently returned from a medical furlough. Several of their children are facing major medical issues. They definitely need your prayers. There is no need to leave Peru yet. We can visit with the Jon and Nisha Harris family. They have been in Peru just a few years. Each day they learn just a little bit more of the culture and language. 21 Training men for the minis- try is one of the greatest needs in any country and they look for- ward to the day when men they have trained will take the leader- ship of churches Harris Family in Andajuaylas, Peru. The Tom Pace family has been in Peru for 50 years. Having started churches throughout the country, they have many experiences to share. One is you never know whom you are going to meet or what might happen. I'll let Tom tell you about it in his own words. Forty-five years in Peru! Can Tom & Carolyn Pace you imagine how many interesting and wonderful people we have met during this time? One of them was Dr. Ian Paisley, the MP (Member of Parliament) from Northern Ireland who spent a few days in Lima in 1991. Before we met him, we knew he must be a great guy because of all the negative press he received in the USA. I had no trouble translating for him when he spoke to the Congress of Peru, as he spoke in normal English. But that night I invited him to preach to the new church that was meeting in our living room. As he preached a powerful Gospel message, the “Irish” came out and I had to stop him several times for clarification. The Peruvian government did not know he was coming until the last minute. They sent 21 fully armed security personnel to our home that night, so we invited them in for snacks. The next day Dr. Paisley invited them all to a meal at the Sheraton in order to share the Gospel. One police 22 BIMI WORLD Number 1, 2013 officer commented that they had never been treated so well by a dignitary. When Peruvian authorities realized that our visitor was very well known in Great Britain, they insisted on a quick tour of Lima with a police escort. I sat on an UZI submachine gun between two police in the front seat. Dr. Paisley and another Irish MP had a policeman between them in the back seat who constantly waved his pistol out the back window. On the passenger side in the front, the policeman held his machine gun out the window to help us through traffic. You can google Ian Paisley and read more about this unusual preacher and politician. Or you can come to the mission field and meet all kinds of interesting people! Bolivia is farther south and at higher altitudes so you will need to get used to the air or lack of it! Don't forget—if you go in summer—down here it is winter, so pack a coat along with the oxygen tank! The Jake Wiebe family is working in Santa Cruz. They have been there 20 years. They just returned from furlough and will be starting a new work soon. The exciting thing in 2013 is that a mission group is coming down with CWE (Construction for World Evangelism), They will build a new building for a church with the help of this organization. What an exciting way to be active and participate in missions work! In another part of Santa Cruz is the Henderson family. Tony and Sarah just celebrated their 13 th anniversary year in the church they started. They are seeking a pastor to continue the ministry there. After a furlough they plan to begin a new work. Pray the right man will be found. Henderson Family If one goes to Argentina, There are many other countries to visit and he can meet the Brosius missionaries to know. Paraguay, Uruguay, family or the Owens Argentina and Chile are the countries of family. My wife and I the southern cone. BIMI has missionaries went to language school in these countries in both the capital cities with these families back and the interior. in 1986. The Brosius family just had a project All of these missionaries whom you can DA & Debbie Brosius find listed at of distributing Bibles to the end of the world—literally! A group fiSouthAmerica.php have many years of went down and passed out Bibles in different experience. They are touching many lives and cities including Ushuaia, Argentina, the nothing could be done without the help of southernmost city in the world. More than their supporting churches and constant prayer 30,000 New Testaments were passed out. The support. Owens family is on the other side of Argentina in the historic city of Tucumán. They have In today's world we are as connected as we want a wonderful ministry reaching out to the to be—whether by internet or prayer letter. Get hundreds of thousands that live near the foot to know them, pray for them, remember them of the Andes Mountains. Thank God for their before the throne of God. Without you and faithful service over the past decades. God, the missionary can do nothing. W Journey to the End of the World by Roger D. Blevins We have been to the end of the world and back—literally! The End of the World Bible Project allowed us to take the Word of God to the remote city of Ushuaia, Argentina. Located on the island of Tierra del Fuego (Land of the Fire) on the southern tip of the South American continent, Ushuaia is universally known as the southernmost city in the world. More than 250 churches and individuals contributed to this project, helping us slightly exceed our goal of raising $125,000 and enabling us to print 50,000 New Testaments in Spanish. The generous response of God's people led us to expand our distribution plans to include the city of Buenos Aires. On October 10, 2012, our distribution team, consisting of 10 people from the USA and five missionaries serving in South America, headed for Argentina, finally arriving in Ushuaia after more than 13 hours of air travel. For the next five days the words Es gratis, es un regalo, no se cobra nada, (it's free, it's a gift, no charge), were heard coming from every team member's lips as we took to the streets of Ushuaia passing out Number 1, 2013 BIMI WORLD 23 thousands and thousands of special edition New Testaments printed with covers to commemorate the 128 th anniversary of the founding of that city. Virtually saturated with God's Word by the time we left Ushuaia, the majority of those to whom we tried to give a New Testament said, “You have already given me one!” Invigorated by our experiences in Ushuaia, the team moved on to Buenos Aires where we continued to distribute New Testaments on the bustling streets of Argentina's largest city. It would be hard to put into words the joy and excitement we felt as many thousands of people eagerly received the Word of God from our hands! During our 12 days in Argentina, our team passed out nearly 34,000 New Testaments, leaving the remainder of the 50,000 copies to be distributed by our resident missionaries. Please pray that the sowing of the seed of God's Word in Argentina through the End of the World Bible Project will soon bring forth a great harvest of souls. W 24 BIMI WORLD Number 1, 2013 Rebel with a Cause Canada by Kim Kennedy I was a lonesome kid growing up. We lived in a remote area of British Columbia with few kids in our neighborhood. Playing with friends required a 10-minute ride to somebody's house. My dad forbade me being on the phone yakking with my girlfriends, so I spent most of my time by myself. at helped me to become self-reliant and creative, but it also le me wondering where I belonged, since home was o en an unhappy place. prayed before the meal. In his prayer, he specifically thanked the Lord for our being there together and he asked God to bless me. I didn't know anything about God other than this was of highest importance to Gordon. It touched me that he would care enough to include puny me in something so important. I developed into a full-tilt rebel by the time I finished high school. I had perfected the art of I told Gordon that was the first time anyone living a double life. On the surface, I looked had ever prayed for me. His answer rang in like a bright young woman with an excellent my head like a bell. He told me, “No, that's just future, but inside I was in a constant battle with the first time you heard it. I have been praying perceived failure, depression, rage and anxiety. for you for a long time.” Over that summer, My whole life had been spent trying to earn my I started to meet Gordon and Helen every dad's approval but I never felt like I had made Sunday morning at their church, and finally it. If he had tried to say so, I certainly hadn't I felt like I was starting to understand my heard it. We wasted years butting place in the world as a child of God, I was stuck heads and hurting each other. I wish created with meaning for a purpose. feeling empty. On Sunday, September 17, 1995, I now I had been able to find more constructive ways to sort that out. accepted salvation through the completed work of Jesus Christ. I am so thankful for the e feeling that something was missing from preaching and teaching of the pastor who led my life colored everything that I did. I tried to me in that sinner's prayer. fill that void with a variety of friendships and In my early days as a Christian, it was easy other close relationships, yet I still felt lonely for me to understand that everyone has all the time. I always worked hard but never a sin nature, and that we must ask God's felt like my life was going anywhere meaning- forgiveness. Even if it weren't for my inborn ful. I was fragile emotionally and my temper sinful condition, I certainly knew that I had a was usually out of control. e years went by. lot to confess. e lesson that took longer for I was stuck feeling empty, and no amount of me to really learn was that God loves each of people, experiences, or stuff were ever going to fill that hole. us, even in the midst of our worst moments, in the fallout of our worst choices and even as But something amazing happened to me we're saying and doing the most hurtful things in 1995. Friends of my family moved to to ourselves and to each other. He does not like Abbotsford and invited me to come to church the sin, but He continues to love the sinner. It for Easter. I said yes to be polite, but I really took me a long time to understand the love of liked Gordon and Helen so it was easy to God is not earned and cannot be lost. His love spend some time with them. We went to their is not like human love that seems to depend on apartment for lunch a erward and Gordon our worth. It's just there—always there. And it Number 1, 2013 BIMI WORLD 25 is what belongs in that God-shaped hole in our hearts. We need to ask Him to fill it up. A little further down my walk as a Christian, I finally started to submit myself to God's will for me. I stopped trying to rebel against everything and that is when my life really turned around. I remember praying daily for the Lord to really show me what He wanted for me. When it was clear to me what His answer was, I honestly burst out laughing in disbelief. I was talking to a good Christian friend and she also saw the humor in it. My life at that point was really a mess, and the only thing it seemed that the Lord wanted for me to aim at was to be a godly wife and mother. But you know what? at is exactly what He promised me, and today that is exactly where I am. I have been blessed with a fantastic, godly husband who leads my family. My four children are growing up in a peaceful, safe and loving home with Christ squarely at the center of it all, and my heart has not felt empty in a long, long time. e God of the Bible is real, whether you choose to reject Him or serve Him. If you have never heard the Gospel, next time you have the opportunity, please listen with an open heart and mind. My prayer for you is that you will let Jesus Christ fill the God-shaped hole in your heart. W Reprinted with permission from “Finding Your Way,” published by Metro Baptist Church, Burnaby, British Columbia. MBC is pastored by BIMI missionary Russell Mackay. Leaston Curthburt (L.C.) Easterling was born on June 25, 1922, in Daisy, Georgia. He went home to be with the Lord on December 25, 2012, in Jackson, Kentucky. During WW II he served in the US Army signal corps as a radio coder. He saw action in the Pacific Theater and was stationed in Burma and India. The Easterling family had settled in Savannah, Georgia, where he met and married Phyllis, his wife of 62 ½ years who preceded him in death. He is survived by two daughters, a son, six grandchildren and eight great grandchildren. He rejoiced that his family circle was not broken since they all know the Savior. He was convicted of his sin while listening to a radio preacher, and on July 13, 1953, he trusted Jesus Christ as his Savior and committed his life to serve Him. L.C. and Phyllis were approved for home mission work with BIMI in 1965 while L.C. was still attending Tabernacle Baptist Bible College in Greenville, South Carolina. He graduated in 1966 and immediately moved to Owsley County, Kentucky, where he resided on Cow Creek. He later received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from the Clarksville Theological Seminary of Tennessee in 1994. L.C. Easterling started several churches and was the current pastor of Levi Baptist Church(Booneville, Kentucky) and Fountain Head Baptist Church (Grassy Branch, Kentucky). He was known as a man of fervent prayer, pure Bible preaching, a witness to everyone, and he had a heart for worldwide missions. Having an extensive nursing home ministry in the surrounding area, he will be greatly missed. His days were spent in Bible study, visiting folks, and prayer. He was a physical and spiritual help to everyone, but most of all it was known that he was Not Ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He faithfully served as a missionary with BIMI for 47 years.  26 BIMI WORLD Number 1, 2013 Memorial Gifts have been received in memory of: Faye Robinson by Reid Jewell by Glenn & Pat Copeland by Mrs. Leslie Clonts Daneth Brown by Baptist Church of Hobart First Sharon Livengood by Mr. & Mrs. Ardell Versaw Catherine Hudson by Bible Baptist Church by Carolyn Jackson Willard Jones by Bible Baptist Church Phyllis Ensley by Maple Grove Baptist Church Sara Duncan by Mr. & Mrs. Bobby Brown Joan Britton by Mr. & Mrs. Bobby Brown Norma Lee Truitt by Maj. Ret. Robert Smith Harold Smiley by Baptist Church Bible Dr E C Sheehan by & Mrs. Bobby Brown Mr. Mary Ann Hotalen by Bible Baptist Church Dr JB Buffington by Mr. & Mrs. James Robson Jr Sumner Wemp by & Mrs. Bobby Brown Mr. Gene Grimmett by & Mrs. Bob Green Mr. Evelyn Porter by Marion Porter Are you one of countless people, filled with sincere and relevant questions, wondering about God's calling and missions? CAMP BIMI can help. CAMP BIMI Reunion Week: June 22–29, 2013 CAMP BIMI I: June 29–July 6, 2013