Back to main magazine page now!! Volume 49, Number 2, 2013 Interdependence among Independent Baptists The Bible's teaching that a church should be independent from the control of any type of outside human hierarchy is clear. Without a doubt, the Lord Jesus Christ is the head of the church (Ephesians 5:23). However, what does the Bible teach about a church's interdependence? Is it biblical for churches to work together in accomplishing God's will—particularly when it comes to the Great Commission? As we consider the life and ministry of the Apostle Paul, we find a biblical pattern for missions. Although there were times when Paul had only one supporting church, this was not the norm (Philippians 4:15). We are probably safe to assume that Paul and Barnabas were supported financially by their sending church in Antioch (Acts David H. Snyder 13:1–3). Additionally, God used the churches in Macedonia to help President/General Director meet Paul's financial needs. Concerning the church in Philippi, it is directly stated that they sent once and again unto the Apostle's necessity (Philippians 4:16). Paul also mentions that he robbed other churches, taking wages of them in order to serve the church at Corinth (2 Corinthians 11:8). Then, in the following verse we find that which was lacking to Paul, the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied (2 Corinthians Voluntary fellowship and 11:9). After Paul's exhortation about giving, cooperation among sister one would hope that the church at Corinth cheerfully joined with the other churches in churches for common goals financially helping to preach the gospel in the and needs have been obvious regions beyond (2 Corinthians 10:16). since biblical times. It is interesting to note that the collection of the offerings given by the churches was organized. There was an unnamed spiritual brother who was chosen of the churches to help with the collection and distribution of the money that was given (2 Corinthians 8:18–19). One of the purposes for using this brother was to provide for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men (2 Corinthians 8:21). The role of the spiritual brother mentioned in 2 Corinthians 8 describes one aspect of the ministry entrusted to Baptist International Missions, Inc. BIMI has been “chosen” by some 7,000+ churches to distribute the offerings given by grace to over 1,000 missionaries in approximately 100 fields around the world. Our Mission was officially started in 1960 when several local churches saw the need to coordinate and expedite the process of getting independent Baptist missionaries to the field. 1 To this day, BIMI is governed by more than 20 independent Baptist pastors who serve as Trustees. In his book Issues in Missions Today, Dr. Les Frazier writes about the role of a mission board: The autonomy of a local church and the isolation of a local church are two different things. Voluntary fellowship and cooperation among sister churches for common goals and needs have been obvious since biblical times. This practice can be seen in 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 among the churches of Macedonia and Achaia. They united their hearts and efforts to meet the need of the saints in Jerusalem and Judea. There was no organization with centralized power or with control over finances in the 2 BIMI WORLD Number 2, 2013 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 fields 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; 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, 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, John Bailes, 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, 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 Info@bimi.org / www.bimi.org BIMI Canada: P.O. Box 242 - St. Jacobs, Ontario N0B 2N0 (519) 664-3242 churches. There was simply a voluntary response to a need….There was no coercion or united budget, but there was voluntary cooperation among autonomous churches to meet the need of others. This is, in essence, no different from a mission board that has been established by autonomous churches to accomplish the common goal and responsibility of giving a lost world the Gospel…. Not only can a missionary give accountability to the several churches supporting him but also the several churches can maintain their autonomy and accountability by not having to send their mission money from one autonomous church to another autonomous church. In such a setting autonomy, as well as mutual accountability, breaks down. One church has a tendency to become dominant. The smaller churches are eclipsed Interdependence and their autonomy becomes less prominent. This is not among independent the case through a mutually Baptists is both established mission board…. In conclusion, it must be possible and biblical. acknowledged that isolation brings limitations. Cooperation within the context of mutual autonomy of the churches through a mission board established by the churches is scriptural in principle and example. 2 As in Paul’s day, so also today the goal of church planting is to establish indigenous, autonomous independent Baptist churches. Missionaries serving with BIMI seek support from independent Baptist churches in order to see that goal accomplished. A missionary will typically have more than 50 different supporting churches. These supporters are not only independent Baptists but they are also interdependent Baptists. They are relying on one another and working together to faithfully support missionaries. The common goal is obedience to the Great Commission. Indeed, it is possible for churches to enjoy interdependence and independence at the same time. This has been happening since the time when the brother mentioned in 2 Corinthians 8 began helping with the administration of the gifts given by multiple churches. Consequently, interdependence among independent Baptists is both possible and biblical. W 1 Dr. Mary Ray has written a book entitled Embracing the World that gives a detailed history of BIMI. To purchase a copy of this book, go to http://www. bimi.org/storePayPal/book_MaryRay.php. 2 Frazier, Les. Issues in Missions Today, pp 98–101. This book may be purchased at http://www.bimi.org/storePayPal/book_Frazier.php. Number 2, 2013 BIMI WORLD 3 Mexico I Found the Way— After Searching in the Wrong Places When I entered college, I began to desire to know God as He really is and not how man wanted Him to be. I searched for Him among Jehovah's Witnesses, Mormons, Monks, Dominican Friars and many others. In each group I saw hypocrisy—a lack of congruency between what they preached and what they did. One day I went to a market and saw an elderly man walking barefoot on the hot asphalt—begging. However, when I went by him, he looked at me and said, “Courage, don't give up.” Evidently, I had such a forlorn look on my face he believed I was the one needing encouragement. He made me realize that I was the one who was poor and needy. Several weeks later I heard the Gospel for the first time. With tears in my eyes, I realized that Christ was the One for whom I had been looking. That night I found the Way, the Truth and the Life. I've grown to realize that it isn't simply a privilege to serve Christ, but an honor. I have had the opportunity to preach in prisons here in Mexico City, to witness to young people I meet at the parks and in the streets and to understand that I can do nothing in my own strength. I believe God has called me to the ministry and I have begun to prepare for that calling. My desire is to know, understand and handle God's Word correctly and precisely in sound doctrine, serving in the local church. Paulo and Adita's testimonies were first published in BIMI missionary Mark Whiffen's March prayer letter. Paulo From Near Death to Real Life When I was born, my  mother was a widow and handicapped. She was unable to care properly for me and gave me up for adoption. I was adopted by a Catholic family and educated in a school run by nuns. It was discovered I had musical ability when I was six years old. I received opera training for the next several years that included frequent tours and time away from family. I met a Christian girl who invited me to her church when I was ten years old. My parents found out and became angry and returned me to my biological home. However, they rented an apartment nearby so they could keep an eye on me. At the age of fourteen, I met a man who was seventeen years my senior. I fell in love and my adopted mother supported the relationship because he was Catholic and she hoped this would return me to the Catholic faith. I had not received Christ yet and had no sense that this relationaship was wrong. I became pregnant. One day the man beat me in a rage and left me on the floor, bleeding and dying. As I was lying there, I cried out to God and asked His forgiveness for my sins and asked Him to give me a chance to live and to live for Him. The day I nearly died, I began to really live. I lost the baby but was able to experience true forgiveness and to forgive my family and the man. I was able to lead my biological mother to Christ soon after my own salvation. A few years later I met a wonderful man of God with whom I now share my life. Each day our desire to know and share God's love, faithfulness and forgiveness with the world grows. It is a privilege and an enormous blessing to serve Christ! W Adita 4 GREENLAND #5 Door Open Far North By Steve Stone “You wouldn't believe such a place existed until you have seen it. I've traveled a lot and this is amazing!” This quote from a tourist sums up the uniqueness of Greenland. It is one thing to hear about a place or people group, but it is another thing to see it first hand. As field director for Alaska, Canada and Greenland, I am burdened that BIMI have a church planting family working in Kalaallit Nunaat (the official name of Greenland in the official language), “The Greenlander's Country.” As we spin a globe, Greenland's immense size gets our attention. Near the top of the world, it is the largest island on the planet. After visiting 160 countries, Don Arnold (BIMI's videographer) states that Greenland is now his favorite place to visit. Many know this tidbit about Greenland: “Greenland is ice, and Iceland is green.” When many start to talk about Greenland, Iceland automatically becomes a part of the conversation. One young boy readily knew Greenland received its name to entice settlers to live in Greenland's icy mountains— it was even written into a missionary hymn. Almost 60,000 people live in this land of dog sledging (Greenlandic for dog sledding), northern lights, ice and snow, whales and pioneering people. Only the southernmost part of Greenland is actually green. One can see lambs in the pastures and potatoes being harvested. I saw a picture of a tractor in the field with icebergs floating by in the background. Erik the Red had a good idea—call it Greenland and others will join me in this wonderful place. Ilulissat 5 Our survey trip was April 16–28, 2013. Don Arnold and I flew from Chattanooga to Atlanta on to Amsterdam and then to Copenhagen. There we stayed overnight. From Copenhagen we flew into Kangerlussuaq, Greenland. I asked several Greenlandic women to pronounce the name of this last town for me. They all said it a different way. I learned K sounds like G and my tongue needs to be in a different place in my mouth than it has ever been before. My first surprise was that we flew from Copenhagen to Kangerlussuaq on an Airbus 330. The former air base had a long runway to accommodate such a large plane. We stayed overnight in “K-town” (as Don named it) and flew the next morning to Ilulissat to visit the Shull and Arnold families at the first Baptist church established in Greenland. Ilulissat is a beautiful town of 5,000 where multi-colored houses overlook a harbor filled with fishing boats. The rocky mountain is the foundation for these houses from which one can see icebergs floating in the harbor. Each day the view changes as the icebergs move out to sea. The “calving” glacier provides a steady supply of icebergs of various sizes that keep the tourists visiting from all over the world. The highlights of these days were fellowshipping with these pioneering missionaries, preaching my first message in this country to the four adults and eight children and attending the Baptist church service where Chris Shull preached in Greenlandic. Brother Shull is praying for more laborers for the 77 other communities in Greenland. He is open to teaching the new missionary the Greenlandic language in a church setting while fellowshipping with likeminded believers. What a wonderful opportunity for the family that walks through this open door to do the will of God—sent from their local church with the assistance of BIMI's 50 plus years of experience. After our brief visit in Ilulissat, we flew to Nuuk, the capital and largest city in Greenland. Nuuk is described as an “Arctic Metropolis.” Here we encountered what the end of winter/first of spring can give a person at the “top of the world.” As we tried to shoot on-location video, a blizzard hit with a vengeance. Thick snow with wind gusts up to 80 miles per hour shook our rental car like a toy as 6 BIMI WORLD Number 2, 2013 we sat high on the hill at the airport. We prayed for a break in the weather to get video. We retreated to the shopping center to talk to those willing to speak to the “American with the camera.” Flights were canceled all day on Thursday. Don had met a man named Peter through ham radio. God used this connection for us to tour the airport on Friday as we waited for our delayed flight to have enough ceiling to fly from Nuuk to Kangerlussuaq. We were able to shoot on-location inside the hanger next to an Air Greenland Dash 8. Though the circumstances were challenging to us God answered prayer and we flew out late Friday to get our connection to Copenhagen. That extra day Don had built into the schedule was a necessary blessing. After a few hours of sleep in the Reindeer Inn, we were up at 2 a.m. and bussed to the airport. What a blessing to see that Airbus waiting to take us to Copenhagen and on to Chattanooga! Nuuk made an impression on us with over 16,000 inhabitants and more moving into the city. High-rise apartment buildings are under construction to accommodate people migrating from other areas of Greenland and around the world. There are significant numbers from the Philippines and Thailand. Mining exploration sets the stage for a greater population of workers moving to Nuuk. This city is a prime location for the next Baptist church plant. One can live in an urban setting where modern technology and ancient traditions mix into a Greenland that may surprise a person. One may get to ride on a dog sled (I should say a dog “sledge”) with a Greenlandic guide talking on his Smartphone. Don Arnold BIMI's videographer Number 2, 2013 BIMI WORLD 7 Greenland is independent from Denmark. Self-rule was achieved in 2009. The political and cultural association with Europe for more than 1,000 years is seen in the life of the modern Greenlander. American influence is seen in the dress, as people of all ages wear denim jeans as a fashion statement. There is a Bible in the Greenlandic language, but the truth of it has not influenced the culture like the state church religion has for centuries. As I spoke to a retired priest, I asked him, “If I came to you and asked you how to go to Marty & Masey Arnold & family working with the Shulls 8 BIMI WORLD Number 2, 2013 Steve Stone (in the back) sledging Chris & Carole Shull pioneer missionaries in Greenland Kari & Bertheline Heningsen faithful members of Brother Shull's church heaven when I die, what would you tell me?” His reply was, “No one can know if they will go to heaven.” The souls of Greenland need preachers to go and give them the truth of God's Word. They need to know the truth of 1 John 5:13, These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God (emphasis added). As you read this, are you the answer to our prayer for laborers for Greenland? The door is open! Is God putting it in your heart to walk through this open door? As Nehemiah heard of the broken wall and burned gates of Jerusalem, God touched his heart to go. He told those around him that GOD HAS PUT THIS IN MY HEART. God put it in my heart to travel to Greenland—to relate to you the great need of Baptist church planters to go—to tell you that the door of Greenland is open. Will you go through this open door? W *Open Door #5 refers to Greenland's position in the list of Open Doors highlighted at www.bimi. org/opendoor. Please browse there for a detailed explanation of the Open Door Project. Number 2, 2013 BIMI WORLD 9 Granny's Faith Goes to the End of the World by Roger D. Blevins The little country church in rural southwest Virginia had never had indoor plumbing. Dedicated to the Lord in 1893, the small, white wood-frame building that is home to Wassum Valley Baptist Church sits on a hilltop overlooking acres of prime farmland and hardwood forest. In the spring of 2008, Pastor Mark Blevins and his congregation wanted to drill a well and put in indoor toilets, but there was not much money in the church account for such a project. That is when 82-year-old Sister Katie Hutton, better known as “Granny Hutton,” decided to take a step of faith. Granny Hutton brought a little cardboard box to church. She had cut a crude hole in the top. On a piece of masking tape stuck to the box, Granny wrote the words, Water Bathrooms For Church,” and inside the box Granny placed her offering to get the project started. She simply left the box at the front of the church and challenged others to put in their offerings as well. No one could have guessed that day the tremendous impact that what came to be called “Granny's Box” would eventually have in the local community and around the world! It did not take long for “Granny's Box” to bring in enough money to drill a 640-foot deep well and construct the bathrooms. Next, a project to build a ramp to assist the handicapped in accessing the church was paid for from “Granny's Box.” Not long after that, two of Granny Hutton's grandsons felt the Lord wanted them to go on a missions trip to Costa Rica and it was that little cardboard box with 10 BIMI WORLD Number 2, 2013 the hole in the lid that raised the funds for the boys to go. God was using the faith of Granny Hutton to do wonderful things. “Granny's Box” has been instrumental in providing funds to assist tornado victims, help needy families in the community and pay for supplies for Vacation Bible School and other church activities. But as stated earlier, “Granny's Box” was destined to reach far beyond the little community of Wassum Valley, Virginia. I never had the joy of meeting Granny Hutton. She went home to be with her Lord in December 2008. But in April 2012 I saw for the first time that little box that had done so much. BIMI was in the midst of raising money to print and distribute 50,000 Bibles in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and in the city of Ushuaia, Argentina, the southernmost city in the world. Pastor Mark had invited me to visit his church to present the need for funds to print and distribute these Bibles. It was then that “Granny's Box” reached out farther than anyone had ever imagined as it produced an offering of $1,171 to help take the Word of God to the city that lies—literally—at the “end of the world!” From the little white church in Virginia to one of the most remote regions of the world, “Granny's Box” continues to make a difference. Granny Hutton's faith was great, and it lives on through that little cardboard box with the hole in the lid. I imagine Granny's reward will be just as great as her faith. W World Missions Center By Dan DeLong As David prepared to take on Goliath in 1 Samuel 17, he made a statement concerning God's call in his life. Setting no conditions and asking no questions, David simply stated, Thy servant will go. Oh, that Christians today would be so eager, willing and ready to say to our Lord, Thy servant will go— servants who will go to take the Gospel to a lost and dying world. With great joy BIMI welcomed 35 new missionary candidates to the 2013 Candidate School. Each new missionary is fully committed to the Lord's service and has whole-heartedly stated, Thy servant will go. The candidates experienced a full week as they completed the screening process, received approval and attended numerous classes on various topics involving missions. Each missionary enthusiastically anticipates reaching their God-called mission fields as quickly as possible. BIMI is thankful to both the Lord and to the candidates' sending churches for each missionary attendee. Please join us in prayer for these servants as they strive to reach their mission fields. Please specifically pray the Lord of the harvest will equip and prepare them in a bountiful and abundant way. They will face varying degrees of difficulties and challenges and will need the Lord's wisdom, guidance and strength. May we all endeavor to speed these dear ones on their way, and may we likewise be willing to say, Thy servant will go. W Number 2, 2013 BIMI WORLD 11 12 BIMI WORLD Number 2, 2013 Number 2, 2013 BIMI WORLD 13 14 BIMI WORLD Number 2, 2013 Number 2, 2013 BIMI WORLD 15 16 17 Medical A New Partnership by Carl Vonnoh Sometimes physicians are praised. Sometimes they are scorned. And sometimes they are told: Physician, heal thyself. The Scriptures record at least 27 specific times the Lord Jesus, the Messiah, brought healing, health and life to the needy. As John testifies in John 21:25, if all that Jesus did was written down, even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Through physical healing the Holy Spirit chose to introduce Jesus as the Great Physician, the one who would cleanse and save the sin-sick soul. In John 4 a nobleman's son was healed and the nobleman and his whole house believed on Christ for salvation. Again in Luke 8 we read how the Lord healed the demon-possessed man of Gadara. Then the man is seen sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind. Jesus reached the wealthy, but it was difficult—not for Him but for them. But the poor, who are always among us, seemed to hold a special place in His heart. And before the healing of their souls, He often healed their sicknesses. His ultimate goal was and is the salvation of lost souls. Imitating the kindness of the Father who sent Him, Jesus graciously balanced this goal by attending to physical needs. 18 Bradley & Kelleigh Edmondson Balance by Bradley Edmondson Perhaps it was to teach us by example the truth of the verse that states that it is the goodness of God that leadeth…to repentance. The partnership of medical professionals, non-medical laborers, missionary church planters and the Lord becomes vital, vibrant and vigorous when one thinks of the task. What is the task? It is to share the saving Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and thus see people saved through that good news. It is vital in order to go to heaven. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, vibrant means “pulsating with life.” The very message of the Gospel pulsates with life for the hopeless and needy. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary also defines vigorous as “carried out forcefully and energetically.” The Scriptures summarize the task aptly in Luke 14:23 when the master of the house instructs his servant to Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. To get involved in medical missions through the Helps Ministry of CLAIM, please contact Carl Vonnoh at cjvclaim@gmail.com or call 423–313–5391. W Ministry, like life, is successful when we learn to keep a proper balance. Nine years ago Bradley and Kelleigh Edmondson had a vision of balancing church planting with medical missions work. God had called Bradley to the ministry and given his wife the compassion and skills to be a Family Nurse Practitioner. After working with a group of medical professionals in Peru and coupling the medical work with evangelization, the Edmondsons were burdened to assist missionaries and church planters all over the world. Based on firm biblical principles, Medical Missions Outreach (MMO) is determined to use medicine as a means to draw people to a place where they can receive medical attention and more importantly, spiritual attention. MMO partners with medical and non-medical volunteers from all over the US and Canada to work alongside missionaries to reach their communities for Christ. The goal is not only to see people trust Christ but also to get them “plugged in” to a local New Testament independent Baptist church. We know our time, resources and skills are limited, but if we can provide some help and give them hope in Christ, we have accomplished much. g 19 MMO endeavors to work in a different country each month all over the world. This is a lofty goal but can be attained with the help of folks like you. Even if you have no medical training, the Edmondsons ask you to pray about joining them on a trip. They can teach you some basic things to help involve you in this amazing ministry. Just last year alone, the ministry had the opportunity to treat over 11,000 patients—each of them hearing the Gospel one-on-one in his own language. Most importantly, over 3,700 trusted Christ as their personal Savior, two churches were planted and multiple churches were strengthened by this ministry. Why not get involved? Perhaps you know of a medical professional in your church to whom you could pass this information or even invite to join you on a trip!  With a trip almost every month, there are plenty of opportunities to get involved!  Check out www.medical-outreach. com for more information. Medical Missions Outreach was blessed to partner with BIMI this past December and is proud to serve as a ministerial arm of the CLAIM ministry. The Edmondsons are sent from Rosedale Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland. W 20 Cambodia Tom Garra, MMO team member Help for the Body, Hope for the Soul By Stephen Benefield There is a saying many have heard: “Many hands make light work.” Well, it's not always true! Sometimes a job is so big that even with lots of people helping, it's still heavy. Such was the case recently when we partnered with Medical Missions Outreach (see previous article) to host a 4-day medical clinic. God blessed with a great turnout, and we were able to treat over 800 patients during the four days! The Participants of the Clinic Many hands (and there were many!) definitely didn't make the work light; however, many hands made the work possible. There were six distinct groups of people who were involved in this outreach in some way, shape or form. 1. Medical Missions Outreach team The MMO team of ten people included eight medical professionals. These dear folks took time off work and paid money to go somewhere else and work for free. The team provided competent and sound medical care for the body while at the same time touching hearts with their gracious and compassionate demeanor. 2. Team of volunteers from Singapore Missionaries Chantha and Susan Chhim brought a group of 11 people from Singapore. They were a huge help providing logistical support in areas like triage, lab, pharmacy and escorting patients around the clinic. 21 A group of sweet grandmothers waiting for their prescriptions 3. People of Good News Baptist Church of Phnom Penh Our people were so excited about this clinic, and they participated in a myriad of ways. They helped in the weeks leading up to the clinic by distributing hundreds of appointment cards to their families, friends and neighbors. Many of them also gave some time to help prepare the facility. During the actual clinic, our church people helped by translating for the medical team, greeting guests, guarding mopeds, registering patients, passing out tracts, witnessing, running errands, setting up chairs and straightening them over and over and over, and cleaning each night after the clinic closed. I'm blessed to pastor such busy and hard-working people. 4. Fellow missionaries here in Cambodia Several missionary friends cleared their calendars and came to help every single day, and others helped for a day or two. These missionaries were absolutely invaluable and were used in every conceivable way. I am both proud and humbled to call them friends. 5. My family The biggest sacrifice they made for “the cause” was having to live with me for the past couple of months. Seriously, I am very grateful for the ways they helped. My wife cooked excellent meals, cleaned and watched young children for most of the clinic. My older girls helped in countless ways including translating, taking blood pressure, calling patients and holding babies. I'm so thankful for a hard-working family. 6. Prayer warriors all over the world The exact number of prayer partners is known only to God. However, I know many people from all over the world wrote to us and told us they were praying. 22 The Pattern of the Clinic In the days immediately following our clinic, as I pondered all of the happenings, the Lord brought to my mind several comparisons between our clinic team and Christ and His disciples. 1. Apostles' availability Peter and John went to the temple to pray, and they saw a lame man begging by the temple gate. Peter and John had no money to give to the man, but they did have something. They had the apostolic power to heal! Right then and there, they gave the man what they had and then introduced him to the Lord Jesus Christ. I shared this story with our church the day before we opened the clinic and challenged them to be like Peter and John—not to heal people, for that's not a power that we possess, but to be willing to just give what we do have. And that's exactly what happened during the clinic. People who could translate translated! People who could pass out tracts passed out tracts! People who could sweep swept! Every person has different abilities, and God simply asks us to give from that which we have. 2. Christ's compassion Jesus was always reaching out to those with infirmities, but perhaps nothing demonstrated His great compassion more than when He would reach out and touch a leper! Now, it's a well-known fact that Cambodia is not known for cleanliness and sanitation. In fact, it was a bit ironic that we had a team from Singapore (where chewing gum is illegal) ministering in Cambodia (where garbage is literally piled high in the streets). I cannot think of a greater contrast in cultures. But when I peeked in the lab (think urine, blood, etc), there were two ladies from Singapore just working away like they had been doing it all their lives. It can be shocking to see children defecating on the street. It can be nauseating to see grown men urinating against every wall in town. It can be a bit upsetting when a child has such a bad case of head lice that one can see it from several feet away. But during our clinic I saw people looking beyond these things to the hearts and souls of men—just like Jesus. Missionary Kounaro Keo sharing the Gospel 23 Four members of Good News Baptist Church with Emma Benefield and MMO team member Ira Daclan (in blue) 3. Disciples' distribution When Jesus fed the 5,000, He had the disciples seat the people in groups of 50s and 100s. Then the disciples distributed the food to every person. Not a person was missed, and that probably had something to do with the way they organized the crowd. But even the best of plans will not work unless someone gets the burden to “work the plan.” Thankfully, every last team member (Cambodian, Singaporean and American alike) caught the vision, and the people were received and helped decently and in order. The Product of the Clinic Hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars went into this clinic, so perhaps you are wondering what the clinic produced for the cause of Christ here in Cambodia.  1. Servants stirred I have long been of the opinion that oftentimes the people who receive the most benefit from an event like this clinic are not the ones being served but rather the ones doing the serving. Nothing rekindles the flame in our hearts quite like getting our eyes off ourselves and onto others. I am thrilled to say that in the days following the clinic, our church folks have had a renewed excitement about serving God and reaching people. God also used the clinic to work in the hearts of my older daughters. As a father, I want my children to have soft hearts towards all people but especially towards the vulnerable and the needy. I thank God that I saw the hearts of my girls grow more tender as a result of this clinic. One of the most memorable moments of the week for me was when one of my girls witnessed a woman being told by the doctor that her little baby had Down's Syndrome and would not be like other children. The woman cried and cried, and my daughter went home and cried and cried too. As much as I hate to see my children with broken hearts, even worse would be to see them with hard hearts that can't be broken. 2. Souls saved Several of our soul winners had the chance to win people to Christ during the clinic. Here in Cambodia (as in most of Asia) we rarely see a person make a profession of faith in Christ in one sitting. It usually takes at least a couple of sittings and sometimes many, before a person understands the 24 For additional pictures of the clinic, please visit www.themissionarymemo.blogspot.com Gospel sufficiently to make a decision to trust Christ as Savior. But at the clinic God brought several people in who had previously heard the Gospel and our counselors were able to lead them to Christ. Not only did some of the patients get saved but also one of our volunteers did too! Seenan, the son of a long-time church member, came with his brother each day to help guard mopeds outside the gate. Seenan had spent four years as a Buddhist monk, and he seemed a bit skeptical of Christianity when we met recently. However, seeing the love of Christ displayed so vividly during the clinic seemed to spark a flame of interest in his heart, and just a few days later he trusted Christ as Savior. 3. Seeds sown Every patient at the clinic received a couple of different Gospel tracts from one of our soulwinners. Every patient also received a 37-page, full-color booklet that plainly and thoroughly presents the plan of salvation. Some of the patients were witnessed to one-on-one (depending on their interest level), and many of them agreed for us to come to their house and teach them further. It reminded me of Acts 17 when after hearing the Gospel, the people of Athens said to Paul, We will hear thee again of this matter. We have already begun several salvation studies as a direct result of contacts made at the clinic, and we expect to start more in the coming days. Even people who are not currently interested in the Gospel have opened up to me since being treated at our clinic, and that is definitely a step in the right direction. It seems so basic, but sometimes we forget that “People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” It appears that God is using this gesture of Christian love to soften hearts towards the Gospel. Conclusion The clinic was a ton of hard work, but it was worth it! The teams from America and Singapore integrated beautifully with our team from Cambodia. Different languages, different cultures, different life experiences, different talents and abilities...but all serving the same Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ! W Dr. Steve Henson, MMO team member, sharing a laugh with a little girl 25 Brazil—Deaf Ministry How Shall They Hear If They Cannot Hear? By Carl Johnson Romans 10:14 says, How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? (emphasis added). But what if they cannot hear? Such is the case of thousands of deaf people in the city of Goiânia, Brazil. We answered God's call to reach the deaf of Brazil and moved to Goiânia in 2002. Our first deaf work was established on April 13, 2003. It has been amazing to see God work in my life as well as the lives of many deaf people in this city of 1.3 million people. Even though I have been working with the deaf for nearly 20 years, I am still learning the differences in language, culture, way of thinking and lifestyle. To effectively reach the deaf, one must understand their language and their way of thinking. The Brazilian Sign Language is completely different from the American Sign Language. There is no Universal Sign Language! I grew up in Brazil as a missionary kid and am fluent in Portuguese, but the sign language is not simply the Portuguese language put into signs. It is one thing to learn the signs to all of the words, but it is a whole different story to be able to speak in sign language following its own grammar. So now that I am fluent in Brazilian Sign Language, what am I supposed to do when I come across a deaf person that does not even know his own language? That is when I have to teach signs and at the same time use gestures to effectively communicate. Such was the case with Francisco. He is a deaf adult who could not read and knew very little sign language. He used mostly homemade signs. Through the help of his deaf wife, Waine, I was able to communicate with him. After several visits in his home and much time witnessing to him through different visual aids, he finally understood Carl, Cindy, Andrew Carol Ann & Luke Johnson 26 Brazilian Sign Language Alphabet that his sin was taking him to hell. No words can convey the feeling of joy that overcame my soul the day he trusted Christ as his Savior—not that he wasn't willing to do so sooner. He just didn't know how to be saved! In sharp contrast to the deaf who have no education and only rudimentary skills in signing, there are others whom we have reached who are college graduates and highly skilled in signs. A challenge I face every week is preaching and teaching to a mixed group of deaf people. There are some who barely know signs, some who are skilled in signing but cannot read, and a few who can read and sign well. We just held a conference on April 12–14, 2013, celebrating our deaf ministry's 10 th anniversary. Deaf pastor James Liebrecht came from the States to preach for us. As he preached in American Sign Language, I interpreted into Brazilian Sign Language and voiced in Portuguese. The Lord blessed in a mighty way. The hearing people were truly blessed as well! We had nearly seventy visitors. The church was packed on the last service with around four hundred people, sixty of whom were deaf. We are grateful for the eight souls saved during the conference. To God be the glory! Pray the Lord will send forth laborers into the harvest. We need more people to help us reach the deaf in Brazil. Pray the laborers will be able to grasp the Brazilian Sign Language fluently and be able to think like the deaf in order to better communicate with them. Many of our interpreters are not able to witness very well to the deaf because it is a whole different way of thinking. Pray we will be able to train deaf people to reach their own people. W Francisco & Waine Number 2, 2013 BIMI WORLD 27 Central America Credibility Through Consistency by Mark Lockhart Pat Russell, my friend and BIMI missionary in Senegal, West Africa, stated that one thing he has come to understand is that “consistency creates credibility.” Many will be reading this article this summer while my wife and I will be reflecting on the time we were accepted as BIMI missionaries twenty years ago. Nonetheless, we were latecomers. Many before us have paved the way toward a measured level of acceptance as foreign missionaries in Mexico. They continue to go forward in ministries that were not anticipated so many years ago. What do missionaries gain through a long consistent ministry? Our first thoughts as pastors, missionaries and even participants in missions through Faith Promise missions giving will probably focus on success. However, in my interviews with missionaries who have trudged through the work of a missionary for decades, none have ignored their trials. One stated to me that if it were not for God, he would not have stayed. He also said in the midst of trials that one cannot quit and run. If he does, he will leave others behind who are still lost. As American missionaries, some of these trials are tremendously humorous. Humorous or not, they are still difficult challenges. The less Americanized a particular region or people, the more complicated it becomes for missionaries to retain their own values and opinions of what is important. For instance, I recall an invitation to celebrate a birthday party with some church members. We were accompanied by friends whose daughter really enjoyed the soup. She requested a second portion. Our hostess asked her which one she would like. The young missionary said, “What kind is there?” “Well, sweetie, you can have the kind with tongue or the kind with brains.” That is when the heaves began! Odis & Betty Seals (family picture circa 1967) 28 BIMI WORLD Missionaries Odis and Betty Seals arrived in the Yucatán Peninsula of Mexico in 1967. Their testimony of longevity on the mission field is riveting and soul stirring. Brother Seals told me that in order to reap the benefits of prolonged service, one must have goals, ideas and a continual desire for outreach. He acknowledged that not staying is problematic and that it is crucial that the people see us identifying with them. It is key that they know who we are and where to find us. Acts 4:13 says, Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus. As Brother and Mrs. Seals have persisted in the ministry of missions for more than forty-six years, they have given this testimony that they too had been with Jesus. Brother Seals said that a missionary is not the one who lives in the big white house on the hill and comes down every Number 2, 2013 once in awhile. One is not a missionary because of pleasantries or tacos but rather because it is the will of God. The Seals are servants who have reached out through the years to the particular needs of the people of the Yucatán Peninsula. They voluntarily cared for numerous children in their home, and the National Service of Integral Development of the Family brought children to their home seeking their assistance. The Seals have endured, served and sacrificed! They have trained each of their three children to love God and serve Him. Over the years they adopted four additional children. They love each of them and consider them as their own. Two of their adopted daughters are now full-time missionaries serving in the Yucatán Peninsula and reaching their own people. John, Martha & Rebecca Ridings John Ridings Betty Ridings Obviously, children are a concern. Those children grow and eventually go away and no longer remain under our care. Such is the case of John Ridings. Brother Ridings lost his first wife, Martha, to illness on the foreign mission field. His daughter Rebecca lost her mother. Unwilling to quit, Brother Ridings persevered despite top: Joe & Melissa Marshall the obstacles. He also family—BIMI Australia buried his second wife, bottom: John & Rebecca Betty, in 2004. He has, Gilbreath family—BIMI Mexico by the grace of God, continued to be faithful. His daughter Rebecca, along with his son-in-law and grandson, is now a missionary serving with Brother Ridings in Juárez, Mexico. Another daughter Melissa serves with her family in Australia. Perhaps it would be appropriate to ask: “What if he had quit?” A testimony of consistency will have an impact on the local people no matter who they are or what their nationality. This truth is borne out through the accounts of untold veteran missionaries. Our mission is united in Christ and that mission is the fulfillment of the Great Commission that we strive to carry out together. While we do so, we are witnesses to the triumph found through a persistent presence and are granted an exhortation and a promise in Galatians 6:9: And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Our own children are a part of that harvest. The individuals we personally lead to the cross through longsuffering and commitment are a part of that harvest. However, we cannot know the extent of the harvest until that glorious day of His appearing. Perhaps you are a missionary, pastor or faith promise partner who has been through trials or maybe you are just tired. Consider Luke 21:28: then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. This is our hope, but have we garnered credibility through consistency? W Number 2, 2013 BIMI WORLD 29