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Do They Make Us
Bitter or Better?
Although I am an avid reader, I have always liked old detective TV shows. Columbo was
one of my favorite characters. His top coat looked like it hadn’t been cleaned in years,
and his Rambler car was just as nasty. But Columbo had a unique way of seeing a crime.
As scraggly as he was, he would notice the tiniest detail that would dissect and ultimately
solve the crime. Jake and the Fatman were quite the pair. Jake was the bulldog, and the
detective was the “Fatman.” Together they would solve the crime of the night.
When I get a rare chance, I enjoy watching Blue Bloods. The Reagan family is a multi generation New York City police family. In one
episode the commissioner’s daughter-in-law was missing. The entire police force was on the hunt. A burned car was found with a
charred body inside. As the commissioner’s son, also a NYPD officer, made his way to the scene, every emotion that one could think of
was felt. His facial expression told his story of the fear that it would be his wife. However, the body was not that of his wife and mother
of his two sons. With relief, his saga ended. I could identify with that episode having emotionally experienced something similar so
many years ago, except my story had a different ending. Yes, emotions are a part of our daily lives. There are those who cry at the drop
of a hat, while others seem to have no emotional reaction to a given situation. We’re all different.
King Saul had horrible bouts with depression. Those times usually came after direct disobedience to God’s laws or failure to follow
specific instructions concerning King Amalek, the Amalekites, and all they possessed. King David suffered depression after his sin
with Bathsheba. The difference between these two men was how they handled their emotions after their sin. Saul dealt with his sin and
retribution with anger and bitterness. David answered the revelation of his sin with brokenness, crying out to the Lord for forgiveness.
Very few men open up their hearts to the Lord as David did. (Psalm 139:23)
In this issue of the ENCOURAGER, you will read the back story of a young pastor who lost his wife to cancer. He jumped many
hurdles over time, has been blessed with a wonderful wife and children, and is faithfully serving the Lord in a growing church that
loves missions. You will also read about a family serving in a first world country where it is very difficult to see even one person come to
Christ. My younger brother, Clare, has served faithfully in France for 38 years, has refugees from many countries in his church, and is
now in a wheelchair 95% of the time. With every excuse to quit, he has not.
Every one of us has a back story to one degree or another. Do we dwell on it, or do we build on it? Do we become bitter because of it or
do we give it to the Lord and become better because of it?
Life as we live it can bring just about any scenario that one can imagine. Nothing happens without the Lord knowing it in advance.
How we respond after that uncertain emotional roller coaster ride can give us strength and closeness to the Lord that will enable us to
minister to those the Lord allows to come across our paths. I know this to be true because we have walked in many of your shoes, felt
your pain, wept with you, and prayed for you.
Here are three familiar words that can help you make your journey with joy.
1. Grace. The grace of God is sufficient at all times no matter what trial or heartache you are facing on your journey toward Heaven.
“And he said unto me, my grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is
made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my
infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” II Corinthians 12:9
2. Wisdom. The wisdom of God is always available. “If any of you lack
wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth
not; and it shall be given him.” James 1:5
3. Faith. “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is
the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” 1 John 5:4
CAMP BIMI * SMART: Dr. Gerry Baughman/Founder & Director
Diane Baughman/CAMP BIMI Office
CONTACT: bimi.org/campbimi • CAMPBIMI@comcast.net • 423.322.3790
ENCOURAGER: Jeremy Benbrooks/Editor • Ken Catoe/Design • Jonathan Bergen/Design
2 CAMP BIMI
MISSION STATEMENT: The ENCOURAGER is a magazine written by and for CAMP BIMI
alumni since 1993 to encourage anyone with a love and interest in missions.
Cover Photo by: Luiza Sayfullina
From My Heart
ALWAYS REMEMBERING THE ‘WHY’
OBEDIENCE IS THE VERY BEST THING!
A Tribute to My Husband, aka Brother B, a Man of Vision
It was early 1992 at our home in St. Catharines, Ontario. As clearly and strongly as the Lord could make it, He placed on Bro. B’s heart
the vision, purpose, and mandate to create the ministries of CAMP BIMI, SMART and CLAIM. Oh, he knew it was definitely thinking
outside the box! Would anyone even grasp the concept or understand the tremendous need for such ministries? Most certainly the Lord
would provide, and we chose to obediently follow Him on a journey that would prove to be beyond anything we could have ever imagined
at that time.
We sat at our kitchen table, and I rapidly wrote down everything Bro. B dictated: the classes that would be taught and why each was
important, who would teach each class and why, each step that would be added to CAMP BIMI and why. Every element was created from
having listened to missionaries who were quitting and why and to people who desperately wanted to help missionaries and why. It was
just yesterday, wasn’t it? Not 25+ years ago! I Corinthians 2:9 and Jeremiah 33:3 sum it up.
Since 1993 to the current day, as the Lord brings you to mind (and He often does), we think about each of you who has walked through
those CAMP BIMI doors—many returning more than once. It stirs our hearts to glance over your applications, to read testimonies of
when you were saved and where you were in your search to Find Where You Might Fit in Missions at the time you came. Would you be a
missionary or in full-time ministry in a local church or Christian school? Perhaps your fit would be a faithful layman or woman serving
and inspiring others to consider missions, but you were open and surrendered to His Will. The fact that you were even at CAMP BIMI
What did you see yourself doing? What was God’s ultimate plan for you and your life? Would you trust and obey? We knew no one could
make those decisions for you, but we committed to: 1) pray for you, 2) encourage and mentor you, and 3) be there to pick up the pieces
that would sometimes be broken along the way. Much like a family, there would be births, deaths, marriages, happy and sad times. There
would be visits to your home to hear about all the Lord has done—listening to your vision, purpose and mandate—seeing you off for
your first term on the field, reading your prayer letters, and watching with great joy as you hosted a SMART team and became the mentor.
Where has life’s journey taken you—to places and paths you never dreamed of experiencing—sometime good, sometimes not? Are you
where you thought you would be? All of us have times of reflection and reminiscing—sometimes with moments of regret and other times
being humbled by God’s grace and “Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until
the day of Jesus Christ:” (Philippians 1:6)
The vision of CAMP BIMI was to prevent missionary dropouts and casualties, and it went way beyond what Bro. B could imagine. The
purpose was to teach the reality of missions and watch God multiply the missionary force. He never forgot the why for CAMP BIMI. The
mandate was God’s blueprint, and it was spot on—that blueprint formed the basis for the classes still taught today. The result? People
around the world have been saved, churches and Bible institutes established, and CAMP BIMI alumni serve on all continents (except
Antarctica) and in CLAIM full-time. Students saved and mentored in your local church ministries have attended CAMP BIMI as have
children of CB alumni—now second generation. To God be the glory—great things He hath done and continues to do! (Psalm 40:5)
I often think back and wonder what would have happened if Bro. B had not listened to those hurting missionaries or been willing to allow
God to lead despite a lack of resources and complicated circumstances. So many things would be different today. The Lord could have given
that vision to anyone in the world, but He didn't. To look in that review mirror, to look at God's roadmap for us and all the mile-markers—
it brings me to my knees with gratitude. What if Bro. B had not been a man of vision and was not willing to surrender to what seemed at
the time to be a great sacrifice—dying to himself to help others find their way so that his efforts could multiply many times over?
Just like us, I believe that few are where they ever imagined they would be today, or that God would have used them to affect the lives of
others in ways that would count for Eternity. Yes, puzzle pieces do become a bit worn on the edges from life’s challenges, but wherever you
are, whatever you are doing, never doubt that we love you. Do you have regrets? Be encouraged that today is the first day of the rest of your
life. It’s never too late to be involved in missions in some way—never! That one you lead to Christ or mentor could become a missionary.
“I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers, Hearing of thy love and faith, which thou hast toward the Lord Jesus, and
toward all saints: That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in
Christ Jesus. For we have great joy and consolation in thy love…” (Philemon 4-7a). That is so true!