Back to main magazine page now!! Volume 50, Number 1, 2014 Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda Destruction in the Philippines ...p. 8 Making Ourselves Servants ...p. 2 New Church for Annapolis ...p. 4 Church Planting Conference ...p. 5 New Church Plant for Fairfield ...p. 6 The Open Door of Tohoku, Japan ...p. 12 I Want to See a Miracle in My Life ...p. 14 A Sock from Heaven ...p. 16 Lighting the Future of Fiji, part 2 ...p. 18 What We Leave Behind ...p. 24 By David H. Snyder The title of this editorial is the 2014 theme of Baptist International Missions, Inc. It is our desire to be Christ's servants for the sake of the Gospel. The idea for this theme comes from 1 Corinthians 9:16–27, which challenges us about our Commission, our Choice and our Crown. First, there is a Commission to be obeyed. In Mark 16:15 Jesus said, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” (emphasis added). The message we are to proclaim is the Gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Paul stated that he carried a sanctified burden—an urgent necessity to preach David H. Snyder the Gospel (1 Corinthians President/General Director 9:16). He knew he had nothing to glory of in preaching the message of Christ's death, burial and resurrection. Paul's message was not about himself but about his Savior Who became a servant to 2 BIMI WORLD Number 1, 2014 all the world so that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16). The Gospel is the message of hope to a lost and dying world. Unlike the message of false teachers, Christians have a message that actually brings eternal life. Because Christ lives, mankind can live. Thus, it is crucial that we take upon ourselves the sanctified burden of the Apostle Paul. We must be obedient to the Great Commission—proclaiming the wonderful truth of Christ's Gospel to the entire world. Second, as we are reminded about the Commission to be obeyed, we understand there is a Choice to be made. Paul made the deliberate choice to become a servant. He said, “I made myself servant unto all” (1 Corinthians 9:19). Obviously, this meant sacrificial service. No matter whom Paul was with, he wanted them to be saved. This truth can be seen in the following verses: And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to PURPOSE STATEMENT Understanding the importance of the Great Commission, our purpose is to assist independent Baptist churches in the establishment of like churches around the world. BIMI exists to serve the local church as it sends missionaries into God’s harvest field. As the church’s delegated servant, we provide accountability, training and assistance to our missionaries as they carry out their pre-field, on-field and furlough ministries. It is our desire to glorify God through the pursuit of excellence in every area of this worldwide ministry of faith. 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 Vradenburgh; 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; Gary Sprunger, Caribbean; Steve Stone, Far North; 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, Don Sisk, 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: 100 Ridgewood Ave. - Guelph, ON N1H 6C5 (519) 265-1950 them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law. To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak: I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some (1 Corinthians 9:20–22). Being a Jew himself, Paul could easily relate to the Jewish people. To the Gentiles, Paul would emphasize the fact that he was a Roman citizen. Becoming all things to all men meant that he gave up his own “rights” in order to win the lost—that he might by all means save some (1 Corinthians 9:22). We live in a day when it seems that When Paul made a so many Christians are concerned about their “rights.” However, conscious choice to be Paul was concerned about the a servant of Christ, he salvation of lost souls. When he gave up his own rights. made a conscious choice to be a servant of Christ, he gave up his own rights. Obviously, choosing to be a servant does not come naturally to anyone. As human beings, we would rather be served by others than be a servant to others. God does not force us to serve Him, but He gives us a choice. However, if we choose to serve Him, we can be confident that there will be a reward. This brings us to our final thought—a Crown to be obtained. This third consideration should catch our attention. Paul admonishes us to run so that we may obtain (1 Corinthians 9:24). He reminds us that temperance and self-discipline are absolutely necessary in order to win the prize. The crown we seek to win is not corruptible but it is incorruptible (1 Corinthians 9:25). Eternal rewards are the goal. Additionally, we do not run uncertainly, since every runner who does not disqualify himself may obtain a crown (1 Corinthians 9:26–27). In conclusion, I would like to emphasize 1 Corinthians 9:23 where Paul states, “And this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I might be partaker thereof with you.” Paul desired to be a “partaker” of the Gospel with the Corinthian believers. By this, Paul was saying he wanted to not only share with them in the blessings of the Gospel itself but also share in the blessings of reaping a harvest of souls. As they together became servants for the Gospel’s sake, many people would be saved and they could rejoice together in gaining the more (1 Corinthians 9:19). Let me invite you to join with us as we focus on Making Ourselves Servants for the Gospel’s Sake. We would count it a privilege to be a partaker together with you in the blessings of the Gospel. W Number 1, 2014 BIMI WORLD 3 USA New Church for Annapolis, Maryland By Ed Beard Having the privilege of being raised in a Christian home, I saw at a young age the impact a New Testament Baptist church could have on a community as I witnessed people being saved, baptized and discipled. I was also able to see an outreach ministry in action in our local church. Through the years I have witnessed and been a part of a church that is sending missionaries around the world and starting churches here in the USA. The Bible says in Proverbs 3:6, In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths. It is evident in my life that God had a wonderful plan to direct my path to where I stand today. My family and I are answering the call to plant a church in Maryland's capital city of Annapolis. The city has a mixture of business, tourism and maritime activities as well as state and county governments. Forty thousand people reside inside the city limits with another three hundred thousand living within a five mile radius of Annapolis. This does not include the forty-two hundred students at the Naval Academy and nearby St. John's College. Our goals include preaching, teaching and reaching as many as we can in this needy area. We look forward to what God is going to do as we plant this new church. Pray with us that God will use this new church plant to reach souls in our community as well as be used to plant churches nationwide and see missionaries supported and sent to the regions beyond. W Ed & Mary Beard, Reseeding America Church Planters 40610 Bishop Road Mechanicsville, Maryland 20659 edmarlysa@aol.com 301-475-3822 The Beards with Annapolis Cadets 4 USA Church Planting Conference at City Baptist Church Hoboken, New Jersey By Phil Rizzo As a church planter I recently went through the deputation process before planting City Baptist Church on October 14, 2012. Deputation was a unique experience for my family and we loved many parts of it. We met wonderful people, gained prayer support and refined our vision for City Baptist. We also had the opportunity to go to some church planting conferences held in different regions across the USA. Having gained personal experience along the deputation trail, I learned that church planting conferences provided a quick way to raise the most “financial” support for a church planter in the USA. Therefore, it became my desire to start having a conference in Hoboken, New Jersey, to help raise money for Northeast church planters. Without knowing what to expect, we had our first conference in December 2013. December 12–14 we had a financial commitment of $23,150 for six church planters! Evangelist Dr. John Hamblin preached Thursday and Friday services and Dr. Chuck Harding from Awake America preached the Saturday and Sunday services. The spirit of the conference was fantastic, and we had a great response from pastors in New Jersey and the New York City area. We have already scheduled the 2014 conference and are expecting God to continue to bless. I believe it is vital for each region of the United States to have a conference for church planters of that area. Regional pastors can get behind these men and create a network of support for the new churches being started. Benjamin Franklin said immediately following the signing of the Declaration of Independence, “Gentlemen, we must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” At this time of our nation's history, I feel this to be true for those of us who are passionate about our United States church planting movement. Our churches and pastors must join together to perpetuate the pioneering spirit of the local church to reproduce itself and evangelize the world. W Number 1, 2014 BIMI WORLD 5 USA New Church Plant Scheduled For Fairfield, Connecticut By John Lafreniere People of affluence are one of the most unreached people groups in the United States. Many churches are failing to evangelize the upper income class in their area. Reaching this group can be intimidating and often takes a great deal of perseverance. Unfortunately, many northeast suburbs that have an affluent population have been neglected by church planters due to the high cost of living. In a recent article “The Church Planting Helper,” Dr. Jim Townsley stated, From Bridgeport, Connecticut, to New York City there are only a few fundamental churches trying to reach this area. Fairfield County is one of the wealthiest counties in the United States. Perhaps for this reason it has the fewest number of fundamental churches in the state. Many corporate executives, hedge fund managers, and celebrities live in this area. It is an expensive area [in which] to live and many people are self- sufficient and do not need God. Fairfield County has almost one million people, yet it has less than ten independent Baptist churches. There are 16 towns in Fairfield County that do not have one Baptist church that holds soundly to the Scriptures. Along the coastal region of Fairfield County is Fairfield, Connecticut. It is among several towns that consider themselves to be “bedroom communities” for New York City. This close proximity to NYC allows more than 35% of Fairfield's workforce to be employed in Manhattan. Fairfield is one of America's most affluent towns. The average household income in 2013 was $136,808 and the average home price was $618,414. In 2012 CNN Money Magazine ranked Fairfield 64th in the top 100 best places to live in America. This is a result of the great school systems, the safe 6 BIMI WORLD Number 1, 2014 neighborhoods and the many recreational activities Fairfield offers its residents. However, one thing Fairfield does not offer is a Bible-preaching church that has not allowed Calvinism or unbiblical methods of worship to thwart their eternal effectiveness. In the fall of 2014, we will be planting Fairfield Baptist Church in Fairfield, Connecticut. Our family is currently on deputation and has raised over half of the needed funds to start the church. We have been ministering to the people of Connecticut for the past six years at our sending church, Lighthouse Baptist Church in Waterbury, Connecticut. Having both been raised in Connecticut, we understand the intricate social and cultural uniqueness of the area. I lived in Fairfield as a teenager and have family, friends and former coworkers who live there. Fairfield Baptist Church will not only focus on reaching Fairfield but also focus on the surrounding towns of Westport, Weston, Easton and Bridgeport, none of which have a Gospel-preaching church. In order to accomplish reaching this area, encompassing over 300,000 people, we plan to distribute 65,000 John and Roman packets this summer. We are relying on the Holy Spirit to help the people see that they have a need for God, for salvation and for church. Our future goals include: seeing the church become self-supporting within five years, starting a ministry that will reach the students attending the two universities in Fairfield and having a missions-minded atmosphere. Fairfield Baptist Church will also have the future goal of helping to establish more churches in the region. Abby and I are aware of the challenges we will face in starting the church in Fairfield, such as high real estate costs and ministering to a people who have to be convinced that they have a need for God. Our ministry verse is Mark 10:27 that contextually deals with reaching people of affluence: With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible. Recently, Abby was diagnosed with a rare ter- minal disease called ALS—more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Despite this diagnosis, we are determined to start a church in this needy area of the Northeast. Abby is determined that through this trial, God will get the glory. Perhaps seeing a young Christian family going through this difficult situation is exactly what is needed to bring some of Fairfield's most ardent skeptics to Christ. W Please pray for the Lafreniere (pronounced Laf-ren-ear) family in the following areas: 1. that God will soften the hearts of the people of the Fairfield area towards the Gospel, 2. that God will miraculously heal Abby from ALS, 3. that the Lafreniere family will quickly raise the rest of their needed support, and 4. that God would provide the appropriate place in which the church can meet. John & Abby Lafreniere Reseeding America Church Planters (203) 592-4889 Laffy130@aol.com www.fairfieldbaptistinfo.com Make your Plans Now Pacific Northwest Church Planting Survey Trip July 10-21, 2014 This will be an exciting twelve-day trip to the Pacific Northwest region of the United States to see first-hand the church planting needs in the states of Washington, Oregon and Idaho. This is a wonderful opportunity for future church planters and 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. Vans will be used to transport those who make the trip. Everyone making the trip will need to fly into Spokane, Washington, and rendezvous with us there. We will start the survey trip in the Spokane area. • Space is limited. Apply Now! (men only) • Cost per person is $200. Allow another $100 for meals traveling from one location to another during the twelve days. • Accommodations include homes, church mission rooms and motel rooms • Non Refundable Deposit of $50 is due by May 31, 2014. • Air Fare to Spokane, Washington, and back is the responsibility of the individual. • Deposit should be sent to Reseeding America, Baptist International Missions, Inc., P.O. Box 9, Harrison, TN 37341. Designate check for Northeast U.S. Survey Trip. • Scholarships are available to those who qualify. • For more information call or email Bob Larson or John Bailes at Reseeding America. Bob Larson (423) 605-6098 • blarson@bimi.org John Bailes (423) 605-4020 • jfbailes@gmail.com More details available on Facebook at BIMI Reseeding America Number 1, 2014 BIMI WORLD 7 Philippines Destruction in the Philippines By David Harris “Typhoon Haiyan, known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, was an exceptionally powerful tropical cyclone that devastated portions of Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines, in early November 2013. It is the deadliest Philippine typhoon on record, killing at least 6,183 people in that country alone. Haiyan is also the strongest storm recorded at landfall and unofficially the strongest typhoon ever recorded in terms of wind speed.” (Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Typhoon_Haiyan) At the World Missions Center in Harrison, Tennessee, our hearts were united in prayer for our missionaries and ministry friends who were in harm's way. I had just returned from three weeks of ministry in Manila with Missionary Mel Brown, observing the results of one family that was willing to go. Because Mel Brown went and because churches gave and prayed, there are now thriving ministries with souls being saved, believers 8 BIMI WORLD Number 1, 2014 being trained and churches being established both in the Philippines and around the world. Through their supporting churches the Lord helped the Browns to start their ministry and now there are 90 churches actively involved in the harvest—all with national leadership. These churches are now sending out scores of missionaries! I am convinced that when we give to missions, we may never get to see all that God is doing this side of heaven! But because of what I saw in these churches and others I have visited this year, I cannot help but think that there is coming a day—a day of great rejoicing—for those who gave their all for the cause of Christ! God is doing some remarkable things in the land of the Philippines. Many are serving faithfully in this fruitful yet difficult place. Many more laborers are needed and many more prayers are needed for ministries throughout this land. The devastation in portions hard hit by the typhoon is being described as a war zone. Yet, it is difficult for those of us who are on this side of the world to understand what ministries are enduring in the aftermath. There is death and destruction. There is a scarcity of food and supplies. There is no power in some places and it is being reported that this may be true for many months to come. Since it was difficult to know just what was happening, Don Arnold, our BIMI videographer, and I spent two weeks in January assessing the needs in four of our ministries. The hardest hit areas were Tacloban and Roxas City. Carl Sparks serves in Tacloban in Leyte and farther east. The other visit was to Roxas City on northern Panay Island where Rick Fannin's church is located. The storm did not affect the ministries of Rick Martin in southern Panay Island and Peter and Frank Denisi in southern Cebu Island. These men were able to visit the hardest hit areas soon after the storm and help pastors and churches north of their locations. Thankfully, the Lord protected all of our families. Though there was much destruction, these ministries are moving forward to help others in difficult areas. We heard many reports of people being saved and talked to many pastors and churches who are extremely grateful for your prayers and support. It will take many months to recover. Your prayers are needed for the ministries in the Philippines. Please help us pray for the health and safety of our missionaries as they minister to many in need, for souls to be saved in all of our ministries throughout this land, for many to be willing to go to help us not just with the recovery but with reaching this land with the Gospel. Number 1, 2014 BIMI WORLD 9 Will you pray? Will you go? What is needed are not spectators or sightseers but men and women willing to hazard their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Like Mel Brown and many others, God can use you to proclaim His Word, reach a town and see churches established for His glory! For truly, He IS able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. Let God use you so that unto him there will be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. BIMI exists to help local churches and their God-called men and women get to the field to do what He is calling them to do. We have a host of men and women who have the experience to help you every step of the way. Come, go with us! 10 A DVD presentation has been produced to help you see what God is doing with your gifts and what is needed ahead. To receive a copy of the DVD, please see the instructions on the back page. On behalf of our missionaries, thank you again for all you have done and are doing for the Lord. How To Help News coverage of this massive typhoon has come and gone. But the fact remains—that damage is massive and the aftermath will be a constant challenge for months and even years to come. Please pray that God will use these extreme conditions and circum- stances left behind by the typhoon to keep hearts tender and turning towards Jesus Christ. You can help with any of the following: · A love offering of $100 will support a national pastor for four months while he and his family continue to minister and rebuild their church. · Your gift of $300 can build an unfurnished home for one of the national pastors. · A gift of $1,000 can build a new church building. · No gift is too small. You can have a part in providing a basic item that will be used to furnish a national pastor's home. · Our missionaries are in desperate need of funds to purchase building materials to rebuild and repair their homes and churches. We have mentioned many needs but the greatest need remains the need for men and women to answer the call to reach the lost in the Philippines. W Number 1, 2014 BIMI WORLD 11 Japan The Open Door of Tohoku, Japan (Northern Honshu) by David Harris When the article “The Call for Laborers: The Urgent Need in Northern Japan” was written in early 2011, we had no idea what was about to happen. Just as the article came off the press, the earthquake and tsunami hit the eastern coast of northern Honshu. We were there, two hundred miles north of the epicenter. Though we were only a few miles from the coast, we did not know about the tsunami until the next day. What happened that day along four hundred miles of coastline were three catastrophic events at the same time: an earthquake of 9.1, reported to be in the top five ever recorded, a tsunami that surged in some mountainous areas to over 100 feet high, and a nuclear meltdown. It will take years for this area to recover, but as we helped people after the tsunami, another tragedy was found. There is an unbelievable lack of good Gospel preaching churches in most of the coastal towns in northern Honshu. Just after the quake and due to our need to get back for a meeting in Kobe, my wife, son and I drove over 30 hours in a small four-passenger car. The main artery of roads was damaged and we had to drive down the backside of the island. It was quite the adventure as gas stations only opened for a few hours each morning and food quickly became scarce in every store. After our meeting in Kobe, the church we were attending helped us shop for supplies. Churches stateside had already sent relief funds and we enjoyed filling over 10 shopping carts full of food and loading it in our van. Missionary Ron White and I drove 12 hours north to deliver the supplies to pastors in 12 BIMI WORLD Number 1, 2014 Fukushima prefecture. These men were living only 20–30 miles outside of the evacuation zone that surrounded the damaged nuclear reactors. This was the southernmost area of the Tohoku region that was not in our article due to their having the most churches and pastors (eight churches and six national pastors) of the six prefectures in Tohoku. The article highlighted the five remaining prefectures with a combined population of seven million people and only three independent Baptist churches. Sadly, now almost three years after this tragic event, these figures remain the same! After unloading, we drove another five hours north on badly damaged roads to join Missionary Dave Carter and a team of missionaries who were taking relief to one of the many hard hit areas. What we saw only a month after the tsunami remains forever in our hearts. Due to ministry needs, I continued north to preach in our church in Aomori City. On the return I ventured down the length of the coast back to the area where the team was working. The road rose and fell with the mountainous terrain. At each low point there were towns affected or erased from the landscape. Since then, many of our missionaries have made many trips to towns and villages. We did all we could do to get people some food and supplies and to give them the hope that comes in Jesus Christ. All of us were deeply affected by the devastation—the thought of the death of so many and the heartbreaking stories we heard. While we passed out supplies, the authorities were combing every piece of debris for thousands who were still missing. After all these tragic events, the thing that shocked us most was the absence of like-minded churches with whom we could work to help the people. This problem is true in most of northern Japan. In addition to 400 miles of coastal towns, northern Japan has 32 cities of 50,000 or more, 14 cities of 100,000 or more, 7 cities of 200,000 or more, 3 cities of 300,000 or more, and 1 city of over 1 million. Do you know how many like-minded churches there are in all of these coastal towns and in the cities referenced by this map? There are THREE throughout the whole area but only ONE in the cities listed on this map! From where do these numbers come? After discussing this situation with two independent Baptist missionaries who are with other missions agencies, the three of us came to the conclusion that there were only three like-minded churches north of Fukushima prefecture. Yes, we know there are other Gospel preaching churches for which we are grateful, but where are the young men from like- minded churches who are needed to respond to such great need? Thankfully, some are responding to God's call! As I write this article in January 2014, I have just enjoyed spending a week with Paul and Sarah Johnson. They flew to Aomori to see the city to which they feel the Lord is leading them. They are completing their language studies and, Lord willing, are headed to Tohoku region Aomori City 302,000 Aomori Prefecture Akita Prefecture Morioka City 298,000 Akita City 325,800 Yamagata Prefecture Yamagata City 254,000 Iwate Prefecture Miyagi Prefecture Sendai 1,033,500 Aomori in the summer of 2014. Josh and Amy Durden are blazing the deputation trail. We are in contact with others who are burdened about coming to help. Thank you for helping us pray for the great need in northern Japan and for the 10 missionary families we are asking the Lord to provide. But as you pray, do not let your prayers stop with northern Japan. All of Japan is in great need. There are millions in need—but so few preachers. Northern Honshu is an Open Door needing your help! Help us pray for more laborers. W Number 1, 2014 BIMI WORLD 13 South America I Want To See A Miracle In My Life Love is a divine miracle that we are commanded to perform every day. By Clint Vernoy Speaking in tongues during the early years of the church was a legitimate divine gift of the Spirit. It truly was a miracle. Granted, it is obvious that those in the Corinthian church had twisted its use and glorified themselves rather than God. It is for that reason that Paul spends so much time correcting the church of Corinth. He knew the gift would soon cease because its purpose had been accomplished. The apostle still thought it was important for the gift to be used correctly while it was legitimate. The point I want to concentrate on is the fact that it was an awesome miracle to be able to stand up and speak in a language you had never studied. Any cross-cultural missionary would love to have that gift. I know I personally would have loved that ability in three of the cultures in which I have lived. I am jealous of Paul who says that he spoke in tongues more than any of the church at Corinth. That is an awesome miracle and it would be great to have if it were a legitimate gift for today! Jesus Christ once told His disciples that with a faith the size of a grain of mustard seed they would have enough power to move a mountain. We can have that faith. That is a miracle of power that would demonstrate to the world that our God is real and active in our personal lives today. I want one of those miracles. I see many churches, large and small, that promise great miracles in massive crusades all across South America. They promise healing of the sick and the freeing of those enslaved to sin through some new experience—all for 14 BIMI WORLD Number 1, 2014 a seed gift of monetary worth to the ministry. I wonder how many miracles are actually delivered. Our church (in Paraguay) is studying through the Epistles to the Corinthians and we have now arrived at Chapter 13. Many call this the love chapter. I have read through it many times during my life for personal reasons as well as a part of sermon preparation. I was doing so again a few days ago, and as the Scriptures promise in Psalm 119:162, I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil, I found something I had not seen before. Paul's idea for writing Chapter 13 was to show the brethren in Corinth that all of their anxiety and hype over …even more one specific spiritual gift was unnecessary. important than He tells us we should seeking our gift look for our gift, and using our seek it diligently and gift was taking continually proclaim advantage of the Gospel while doing so. But even something we more important than had already seeking our gift and received—love … using our gift was taking advantage of something we had already received. I am talking about love. All those who know Christ have received love. Our lives were changed the day we became acquainted with the love of God. How could it not change us? To know that the God of the universe cared so much for us that He gave His Son is truly mind boggling. He is love, and through His love He gave us a new life. He gave us that love and tells us to show it and give it to others. His love changed me. That is a miracle! Now, I said earlier that I would love such a miracle; I want one of those. In fact I can understand the confusion and craziness of the Corinthian church. I only need to imagine sitting in church and seeing a guy speak in a foreign tongue that he has never studied or perhaps seeing a healing of a withered hand or leg. The congregation sees the gift being used, everybody hears what is going on and then they also see the after picture. I want some of that power; I want God to use me like that! Sadly, many Christians, through ignorance, are willing to do anything or believe anything, regardless of what the Scripture says, to chase and obtain a visible miracle in their lives. Some of those Christians fall away as they feel deceived or let down by God when that heavenly power the preacher promises never shows. Even more tragic is the fact that Paul clearly tells us at the end of Chapter 12 that he is going to show us a far greater way. But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way (1 Corinthians 12:31). The first three verses of Chapter13 clearly show that without a certain something, all that one says, teaches, does or gives is nothing. Nothing? Nothing! No wonder so many followers of Christ fall by the wayside when they do not get or see that gift or miracle materialize in their lives. They feel as if they have nothing. They walk away saying it is all a lie, it does not fulfill, it is empty, why bother—but the truth is that what they feel is a confirmation that the Bible is true. The Scriptures say that without that certain something, it is all Nothing. Vanity is the way Solomon put it in Ecclesiastes. Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity (Ecclesiastes 1:2). Vanity—vapor—today we would say, “It is just a bunch of hot air.” Having begun my ministry as the lead crier in the nursery over 50 years ago, I have been in services where I felt like Solomon. What was missing? Something definitely was. Paul told us what it is and it is so simple. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1–3 As Christians in the church, we are commanded to show, demonstrate, manifest and use the love that has been given to us in such a way that the world cannot miss the fact that God loves them. As Christians we use the excuse that “such and such are not my gifts so what can I do?” or “I'm not a gifted person so someone else will have to do that” when we feel inadequate to the task before us. The truth, however, is quite different. We have love—divine love—and it was bestowed upon us the day we met Christ. The Holy Spirit To use the love is within us. To use the of God towards love of God towards others everyday others everyday is a is a miracle that miracle that we have access to—now! We are we have access selfish individuals; we to—now! are egotistical; we are self-serving sinners and yet we can love others through the power of the Spirit in a dynamic and irresistible way. For the Corinthian church to impact its city, they needed to get their eyes off their own wants and desires. They needed to look at what others needed and what the world needed. That is the heart of missions, to look beyond ourselves, our own church and people and see that there is a world out there that has no idea of what the true love of God is really like. That is our miracle. When we love people as God has commanded, they don't see just us; they see God in us and through us. They see Christ. Every day when we follow the leading of the Spirit and show love to another, we can perform a miracle. I want one of those miracles—today and everyday—don't you? Number 1, 2014 W BIMI WORLD 15 Military A Sock from Heaven by Colonel (select) Allen R. Roberts It was Wednesday, July 5, 2000, when I unpacked the first of three suitcases inside the small apartment that would be my home for the next 12 months. My mind drifted back to less than 24 hours earlier when I had bid my wife and two small children the toughest farewell of my life as I boarded a plane headed for Kunsan, South Korea, and the Air Force's most remote, unaccompanied assignment. As the plane took off, I could see fireworks painting the night sky for Independence Day, but I was in no mood for celebration. My mind snapped back to the present because as I continued to unpack my meager belongings, a small child's sock fell from my handful of clothes to the floor and I immediately knew who owned that sock—my nine-month-old son, Zachary. Tears welled up in my eyes just as they had flowed countless times since I had said goodbye to my family and, once again, I found myself begging God for comfort. I had never been away from my young family for longer than a five-month deployment and it was taking a serious toll on me. I had always been strong, but now I was brought to tears with every little memory of them. Thankfully, God in His mercy and grace had called Pastor Bill and Linda Stewart to be missionaries to the military many years prior. The next 51 weeks proved to be some of the most memorable weeks of my life as God solidified his direction in my life. Pastor Stewart became the first missionary pastor to teach me how to follow a godly leader with a clear vision. He preached the Word in season and out of season; he encouraged me to love my wife and children from thousands of miles away (and taught me how); he taught me to memorize Scripture and he challenged me to minister to others in daily prayer. I will never forget the day God used Pastor Stewart to preach a message that spoke to my heart. God used that message to call me to full- time service and draw me to the altar where I surrendered to do God's will in His perfect time. To God be the glory! 16 BIMI WORLD Number 1, 2014 Nine years later, my family and I arrived in Germany. This time there were no tears but there were nerves—we had never been to Europe and had never lived in a foreign country together. We knew God would take care of us, but the unknowns were abundant. Where would we live? Could we still homeschool? Where will we go to church? We found ourselves praying to God for daily wisdom and protection as we took each step. Thankfully, God in His mercy and grace had called Pastor Gary and Karen Craft to be missionaries to the military many years prior. The next three years proved to be an amazing experience of watching God do what only He can do. Under Pastor Craft we grew as a family as we heard the Word of God taught and preached lovingly with conviction, unmatched clarity and practicality. He taught us not only how to love each other as a family but also how to love others, especially the lost who were looking from the outside and wanting to be a part of what we have inside. Together, the Crafts became mom and dad to most of us who were stationed far from family—they loved their church family as their own and taught us how to do the same. I realize now the seeds that were planted in Korea years earlier had grown and we were able to stand with and behind God's man to support him the best we knew how. Again, to God be the glory, great things He hath done! I think we still have that little sock somewhere in our keepsakes. It will always serve as a reminder of God's provision and how He taught us the importance of military missions. What is really amazing is that the young boy who used to fill that sock, Zachary, was gloriously saved while we were serving at the military ministry in Germany! Not only that but also our youngest son, Benjamin, was saved there, too! God is truly a God of overflowing blessing! W Colonel(select) Roberts was commissioned in 1992 at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and is a Command Pilot with more than 2,700 hours in F-16 and AT-38 aircraft. He is currently assigned as a student at Japan's National Institute for Defense Studies in Tokyo, Japan. Number 1, 2014 BIMI WORLD 17 Fiji Lighting the Future of Fiji Part 2 - Primary School Distribution by Ken Catoe The last edition of BIMI World detailed the Lord's providential direction in the initiation, funding and first phase of the Fiji Bible Distribution Project. If you missed that article, it begins on page four at www.bimi. org/onlineMags/133world/index.html. Phase one resulted in the passing out of more than 75,000 Bibles in almost every secondary school in Fiji. The second phase of this campaign began in mid-September and is nearing completion. The end goal of this phase is the placing of more than 130,000 Bibles into the hands of most of the primary students on the three main islands of Fiji. The following summary of highlights from Alan Brooks (BIMI Southeast Asia Assistant Director) is intended to give you just a taste of the joys, labors, trials and victories associated with this outreach. Primary schools in Fiji include grades one through eight. There are at least 725 primary schools in Fiji. This is four times the number of secondary schools reached in the first phase. A different strategy was necessary to make this distribution effective. Each day, Brother Brooks or another team member would visit the Ministry of Education office in Suva to pick up a prearranged list of appointments for assemblies at different schools for the next day. The list would be divided among several teams composed of missionaries and national partners to be 18 able to meet that day's quota of schools. There were days when the logistics seemed absolutely impossible but God always proved faithful in superintending the schedule. On one occasion a team went to the wrong school. Brother Brooks had a long witness with the headmaster who was hungry for the Lord. Had the team not gone to this school at this time, they would not have had the opportunity to have such a fruitful time with the headmaster. An assembly was scheduled the next day and more than 1,200 students heard the Gospel and received Bibles. God truly makes no mistakes! Clearly presenting the Gospel to younger students also required forethought and preparation. The team members developed a flip chart that was used to illustrate the Gospel from creation to the cross. This proved to be very effective in helping the younger students understand their need for the Savior. The team members all wore matching, brightly colored shirts so that the Fijians could quickly identify anyone who was associated with the Bible Project. It was not unusual for students to come up to them on the street and thank them for bringing the Bibles. One young man approached Brother Brooks and said, “Hello, Pastor. Thanks for the Baptist Bible.” Even students from the first phase of distribution would thank them. The shirt even aided in Brother Brook's safety as he went to a bank to exchange currency. A plain- clothes policeman approached him and said, “I watch people who watch people and you are being watched.” Number 1, 2014 BIMI WORLD 19 He was watching out for Brother Brooks and stayed with him until he was in a safe place. This was not the only instance of God's watching over and protecting team members. On at least two trips, vehicle accidents with large trucks were avoided at the last possible moment. The experiences in the schools were much the same as they had been in the secondary phase. The initial meeting was with the headmaster, and it was at this point that the team leader would be able to discern whether the welcome would be warm or cold. The range or reaction could be from excited to indifferent to hostile. One assistant principal told his students this was the fulfillment of the prophecy that the Gospel shall be preached in all the world. He firmly believed the team was hastening the coming of the Lord. At a large school they were told originally they could only give Bibles to the 550 Christian students. The headmaster was not present when the team arrived and his assistant allowed the team to give Bibles to all 1,000 students! Other headmasters emphatically denied the team the opportunity to hold assemblies and pass out the Bibles even though each team had written instructions from the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Education to be allowed to do so. In these cases at the instruction of the authorities, the Bibles were passed out to the students as they left school. By nature the Fijians are quiet and reserved. It was interesting to observe how the Lord gave the national partners the boldness to enter the headmaster's office and firmly state, “We have written permission from the Prime Minister to hold an assembly and give Bibles to each student. The Ministry of Education has set this as the time for this school. Please call the students for our presentation.” Rarely were they turned down. 20 BIMI WORLD Number 1, 2014 Brother Brooks had many opportunities to interact with the police. On one trip to Ba, he was pulled over for speeding (it is not unusual for the speed limits to change without notice). The policeman recognized him and rather than giving a ticket asked for Bibles. Brother Brooks did not have any whole Bibles with him at that time but promised to bring some on the trip back. On the return trip Brother Brooks was looking for the area so he could give out the Bibles. He found it by being pulled over for going one mile per hour above the limit! As a result he was able to give Bibles to every policeman in the division. No ticket was given! On another occasion an older policeman told him, “The Bible is the best weapon a man can have.” One of the Fijian partners was a young man with seven children who had spent ten years in jail for drug abuse. The Lord used him to give a testimony of how drugs had ruined his life but Jesus Christ changed him. He had stepped out by faith to serve the Lord. He works on a farm and sells his produce on Saturdays to try to make a living. His journey of faith has been exciting. To help with the project, he would travel to an area and camp out. The Lord met his needs in many wonderful ways. BIMI missionary Robert Rutta received a love offering at one service that he was able to pass on to this young man to help with expenses. Even a Hindu man gave him food for his family. An Australian man paid for his children to attend a Christian school. He gives praise to the Lord as he sees his faith and boldness increase. The schedule was packed day after day with a repetition of the process. Each team would visit six to eight schools per day. As many as 6,000 to 8,000 students heard the Gospel and received a Bible each weekday. At times the schedule seemed overwhelming but God always gave grace and strength. 21 Transporting the Bibles and the teams had its own set of challenges. On October 1, Brother Brooks and others passed out Bibles all day, then travelled 12 hours by boat to Savusava for scheduled distributions on October 3. After problems with two different rented trucks that required loading and unloading the Bibles three times, the Bibles were finally prepared (placing stickers with local contact information in each Bible—a four hour process in this case) and in the necessary places. The weekends gave opportunity to observe some of the fruit of their efforts. One teacher has been attending a Baptist church in the Nausori area. A man from one of the schools started coming to one of the churches and was saved as the result of a Saturday visitation from the pastor. One set of parents called a church to find out the Sunday school times because their three children said, “We have Bibles now, so we need to go to Sunday school.” They did show up! A teenager from Suva Christian School insisted that he and his mother (a recent widow) come to a Baptist church in Suva. One church had ten people attend as a direct result of the Bible Project. Churches all across the nation are seeing results. The last Sunday Brother Brooks was in Fiji, he had the opportunity to preach and two adults who were at church as a direct result of the Bible distribution were saved. One was a grandmother who came with her granddaughter who had received a Bible. There will be many other long- term opportunities as well. A national pastor has been asked to have a private Bible study with a Hindu headmaster. Another missionary has been invited to come every Wednesday to one of the schools and teach moral principles from the Bible. He has been doing that and having the opportunity to clearly explain the Gospel. Another Christian lay pastor who is the headmaster of a Hindu school wants someone to come on a weekly basis. He does not want the children bowing and praying to idols anymore. Sadly, there is no one in that area to go! 22 Because of a chance meeting between the Prime Minister and Alan Brooks, the Fiji Bible Distribution Project has been one of those events where we have been clearly reminded that God is at work. He is looking for obedient Christians to join Him in His work! The final score in this particular battle with Satan for the souls of men will not be known until the Judgment. The potential is far reaching. These young people represent the next generation of Fijians and now they have the powerful Truth of the Word of God in their hands. Pray that as the Bibles are read, the Truth will be transferred to their hearts and lives will be transformed. An entire nation could be set on fire for God—lighting the future for Fiji. W 23 South Africa What We Leave Behind by David N. McCrum John, Jacob and Katherine were born in Emalahleni, South Africa. To my little South Africans, America is a foreign country. While traveling the furlough miles, our beloved America continually fascinates us. Taco Bell and Pizza Hut delight our simple tastes. Warm, soft doughnuts are just marvelous. But for the missionary living in two worlds, the culture shock of returning to America involves more than relishing forgotten foods. When leaving one culture for another, the attentive missionary must distinguish his culture from his Christianity. Culture touches every part of our lives. It ranges from simple hairstyles to matters of idolatry. The missionary constantly wonders, “How much of my own culture do I remove?” and “What parts of other cultures need to be removed?” When exchanging one culture for another, how is one to sort through the confusion of what to leave behind? We must become Gospel-oriented. Cultural conflict thrusts itself into the missionary's everyday life. How far will he adopt local dress? What customs will he participate in? Will he hire nationals? What kind of music is appropriate? What is the best education for his children? Adopting another language and appearance brings affinity with the people of one culture while alienating others. Hudson Taylor's ponytail spawned new enemies. Amy Carmichael's coffee-dyed skin appeared peculiar to Western eyes. These situations pose more questions than the Burger King drink dispensing machine offering one hundred and twenty flavors. When Paul ministered cross-culturally, he left much behind. He confessed, Hudson Taylor Amy Carmichael 24 BIMI WORLD Number 1, 2014 I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. And this I do for the gospel's sake (1 Corinthians 9:22–23). He did not adapt for convenience or personal acceptance. Where the missionary's own culture unnecessarily hinders others from receiving the Gospel, he leaves it behind. The missionary adapts because he wants to influence. He crosses the Atlantic, not to make Americans but to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Where the missionary's own culture unnecessarily hinders others from receiving the Gospel, he leaves it behind. The missionary must also become God-oriented. Missionaries want to be liked as much as anyone. But if one's ministry is motived only by a desire to please people, he will certainly displease God. He crosses the Atlantic, not to make Americans but to make disciples of Jesus Christ. Consider these scenarios. At a village funeral when the goat is slaughtered in deference to the ancestors, what part should the missionary as the honored guest play? When applying the fourth time for car registration papers, does the missionary bring a gift? Particular jewelry and clothing items (or lack thereof) present problems of association and modesty. In each of these, David McCrum is a second generation missionary serving in South Africa with his wife, Julie, and their three children. Number 1, 2014 BIMI WORLD 25 the missionary asks whether or not his behavior is acceptable to local culture. But he must also ask whether or not his behavior is acceptable to God. The following passage specifically deals with cultural conflict: Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. Give none offence, neither to the Jews, nor to the Gentiles, nor to the church of God: Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved. 1 Corinthians 10:31-33 (emphasis added) Paul's missionary methods changed depending on his audience. With the Jews he reasoned from the Scriptures in the synagogues. With the Gentiles he preached in the markets, demonstrating the force of Truth (Acts 17; Romans 1:18). However, sharing Christ never necessitated the adoption of heathen behavior. The Corinthians were expected to forsake their lustful lifestyles (1 Corinthians 6). The Ephesians were awakened from their sinful stupor (Ephesians 2). The Thessalonians turned to God from idols (1 Thessalonians 1). We must not share Christ at the expense of Christianity. In every cultural conflict we exercise our minds to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men (Acts 24:16). My four-year-old regularly asks me if we can please go back to South Africa because he misses his cat. Bouncing between two worlds brings unexpected challenges, and one always leaves something behind. But the issue of adapting to another culture involves more than becoming comfortable. It is foremost about preaching the unhindered message of Christ. The rewards for this kind of adaptation far exceed what we leave behind. For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9 W Jack Francis December 31, 1938 — October 17, 2013 Jack Francis, BIMI missionary to the deaf, went to be with the Lord on Thursday, October 17, 2013. Jack and Dorothea Francis were accepted as BIMI missionaries in June 1994. They have faithfully served for 19 years in deaf ministries in Haiti, Ecuador and most recently in South Carolina. Jack had a great burden for the deaf, and he also had the gift of encouragement. Please be in prayer for Dorothea as she continues to minister to the deaf. 26 BIMI WORLD Number 1, 2014 Memorial Gifts have been received in memory of: Fred Newman by Walter Biddle by by Matthew LeGrand by Howard Barrigar by by Dale Taylor by by Helen Grey by Libby Sanchez by Arthur Brown Jr by Evelyn Porter by Daisy Hay by Rosie Lively by Jill Hess by Rosie Arrowood by Eugene Whelan by Frank Hyatt by Florence McCabe by Emmett Johnson by Mr. & Mrs. John Newland James Stewart Nancy Horton Mollie Wells South Baptist Church Community Bap Ch of Lansing Nick Ott Nick Ott Patricia Henderson Charles Frazier Patricia A Henderson Annonymous Charles Frazier Friendly Welcome Baptist Church Gary Hess Mr. & Mrs. Bobby Brown Mr. & Mrs. Bobby Brown David R Hughes Patricia A Henderson Patricia A Henderson 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 I, II, III: June 21–28, 2014 CAMP BIMI I: June 28–July 5, 2014 Change Service Requested BAPTIST INTERNATIONAL MISSIONS, INC. P.O. Box 9, Harrison, TN 37341 Non-Profit Organization U.S. POSTAGE PAID Permit No. 88 Chattanooga, TN 37412 To order your DVD: Email: ellen@bimi.org Phone: (423) 344-5050 ext. 2503 Mail: Attention: Yolanda Typhoon Relief DVD BIMI PO Box 9215 Chattanooga, TN 37412 Hear testimonies from four BIMI missionaries who were directly affected by Typhoon Yolanda. Run time: 11 minutes A donation is requested.