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Central America A Thought to Ponder By Mark Lockhart William Carey preached his “deathless sermon,” as described by his biographer S. Pearce Carey, on May 30, 1792. The place was Nottingham, England. At 10:00 a.m. the young cobbler/pastor from Leicester rose to address the small group. His text was Isaiah 54:2– 3, Lengthen thy cords…strengthen thy stakes. Then he rang out a fervent plea for missions. The two key thoughts he drew from that passage are “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.” One who was present tells us that Carey “was in an agony of distress” as he became spokesman for the perishing multitudes in heathendom. As the ministers “once more quenched the Spirit” at the meeting’s close and began to leave, Carey grasped the arm of Andrew Fuller and cried, “Is there nothing again going to be done, sir?” By the grace of God and the participation of countless churches and individuals, Baptist International Missions, Inc. (BIMI), has been doing something about worldwide missions for more than fifty years. I want to pose another question. What more can be done? My immediate focus is not on what individuals and churches can do but rather what the missionary can do. The work of missions is all about giving. Churches and individuals sacrifice time and prayer as well as money in order to send missionaries. In turn, these missionaries are responsible to emulate their sacrificial example. Most certainly, at first thought we are able to understand how the missionary accomplishes this goal in many ways. However, there is one avenue of sacrifice that is far too often seen only by the missionary. I am swiftly approaching the conclusion of a generation of service with BIMI as a foreign missionary. A generation is the sobering term I want to consider with you today. God has blessed us with four children who are growing into young adults. We recognize they will soon leave our home and with God’s help launch out into doing God’s specific will for each of them. Our expectation and anticipation is that they will be obedient. Nonetheless, parents are always concerned for their children, and quite honestly, we may even have been fearful they would choose some other venture in life rather than God’s will. We rejoice that all three boys have indicated that they have faithfully prayed about their personal life choices and they are convinced God would have them commit their lives to missions. That is a tremendous decision of victory. Our earnest prayer is that they experience further victory in performance and accomplishment. My desire is to convey the reality that missionaries often sacrifice their children to the work of missions in a good way. It is much more than a simple coincidental occurrence. Many missionaries pray for God to call their children to full-time Christian service and specifically that God would choose their children to serve Him as missionaries. Why would missionaries pray that way? I suggest three simple reasons: it is a worthy calling; it is a worthwhile investment; it is a welcomed outcome. Our missionaries at BIMI continue to offer their children these goals. I am well aware that we would fall well short of our aspiration without the prayer and financial support of many of you who are reading this article. However, I want to pose a question and 20 BIMI WORLD Number 2, 2015