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UNDERESTIMATE YOUR INFLUENCE
Rachel (Pendl) Strosnider ~ CB I ‘03b, CB II ‘04, SM ‘07
~ Missionary to the Deaf MO
Never underestimate the influence you have on lives during
deputation and furlough! You may never know until Heaven what
one statement you make can have on someone.
As an eight year old girl, BIMI missionaries Robert and Gail Huffman
came to the church where my dad was pastor. I don’t remember
much of their presentation, but God planted one phrase that they
said in the back of my mind that I remembered at later date. They
said, “There are hundreds of thousands of deaf people in France,
and not a single Baptist missionary is working with them!”
A missionary to Mexico, just dropping by our church because
he didn’t have a meeting, was invited by our pastor to preach.
Unbeknownst to them, God had been working in my heart the
night before at home about surrendering to serve Him, no matter
where He led. That missionary shared his testimony and mentioned
that he had to surrender his life to the Lord for God to use him. That
was what God used to help me surrender my life to Him.
The following year, God used BIMI missionary Dr. Kyle Guimon
to share his testimony in my church. Then he preached on Ezekiel
22:30. “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up
the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should
not destroy it: but I found none.” God spoke to my heart; there was
a gap for me to fill. I surrendered that evening to missions, not
knowing where the Lord would lead me.
After I surrendered my life to the Lord, my pastor recommended
CAMP BIMI to me. While attending CAMP BIMI I in 2003, God
used several things to help lead me to where He wanted me to be.
First of all, during one of the evening sessions, Bro. Ron Bragg
made this statement, “If God wants you somewhere, He won’t let
you forget it.” Secondly, God allowed missionaries to the Deaf in
Australia, Robert and Lisa Gunter, to be there during that week.
They mentioned that if you took the deaf population of the world
and combined it into one country it would comprise the third
largest country in the world. Already having a small interest in
deaf missions, that statistic blew my mind. Finally, during that
week, I was able to get contact information for Robert and Gail
Huffman so I could contact them again.
Throughout that week at CAMP BIMI, God kept bringing back to
mind the statement from the Huffmans about the Deaf in France.
In 2004, I returned for CB II. Following my SMART 2007 trip to
American Samoa and New Zealand, God closed some doors and
opened others. In 2008, I married missionary to the Deaf, Paul
Strosnider. We have been serving the Lord together as missionaries
to the Deaf at Ephraim Baptist Church for the Deaf in St Louis,
Missouri, for the last decade. The
Lord has done many wonderful
things in the lives of our deaf
people. He also blessed us with our
daughter, Abigail, in 2015.
God used these many lives to touch
mine for missions. Whose life is
waiting to be touched by you?
The Other Side
of the Screen
Jennifer (Vink) Holmes ~ CB I ‘97, SM ‘98, CB II ‘98
~ Christian School Teacher, wife, mom, blogger ONTARIO
I sat in my comfortable pew during a Wednesday night prayer
meeting. My pastor walked the aisles and in between the pews to
hand out the most recent prayers letters from our missionaries so
that we could pray for them. As he passed by me, I raised my hand
and was handed a letter from Estonia. I started thinking about all
the prayer letters I’ve written.
My very first letter was after my SMART Trip to Africa in 1998.
We had journeyed to South Africa and the Ivory Coast and my
seventeen year old brain was trying to process everything I had
learned and also to thank those that had sent me. The next letter
I wrote was at CB II later that summer. In the media workshop,
we made a video, wrote letters, designed a prayer card, and had a
lot of fun along the way. That training would prove invaluable to
me as I headed off to the Philippines to help start my home church’s
orphanage just a couple of years later. I wrote update letters for
the orphanage, designed flyers and prayer cards, and put all my
CAMP BIMI training into use.
I met my husband at that orphanage, although we had grown
up only an hour apart in Ontario. We stayed one more year and
then came home. Several years later I had the chance to write
letters again; this time for the church camp my husband led. The
computers were a little fancier, but the basics remained the same.
For almost six years I sent out updates and hoped that someone
would be reading them and praying for us on the other side.
These days I don’t write prayers letters. Over two years ago we
moved and I now serve as a music teacher at our church’s Christian
school. I write report cards, and I write online for women. Maybe
one day I’ll be writing prayer letters again, but for now, I read
them and pray for those missionaries, remembering what it was
like to be on that side of the screen.
When my pastor walks the aisles again, asking for prayer for those
precious missionaries serving far away, I’ll raise my hand, read those
requests, pray, and remember how much I love missions and how
much I’ve enjoyed having the privilege to be a small part of it. I pray
that one day my children - Jonathan, Arianna and Emma, will too.
MY ROADMAP TO SENEGAL
HE LED ME ALL THE WAY
Joshua Mead – CB I ‘99, CB II ‘02
Missionary At the age of 7, I received a VHS tape from my grandmother entitled “The Pilgrim’s Progress.” The film was a thirty minute cartoon adaptation
of the book written by John Bunyan. I must have watched that film a million times that day before going to bed. After what seemed like hours
of restlessness, I climbed out of bed and told my mom that I needed to be saved.
Several years later, I found myself in Mexico on a mission’s trip. At that point in my life, a full-time career on any field was the last thing on
my mind. I was simply enjoying the unique experiences of being in a foreign country. God had other plans. On the final day of our trip, God
touched my heart. As we made a final prayer, with my head bowed, I felt in my heart with undeniable surety that this is what I was going to do with
the rest of my life. God wanted me to be a missionary. Curiously enough, I almost knew immediately that I would be a missionary in Africa. There
was a yearning in my heart to go to Africa that I could not explain, until God called me to missions.
I was 16 years old when I attended CAMP BIMI I in 1999. God used CAMP BIMI to reconfirm in my heart and mind the calling of God for
my life. I loved every part of the experience. I was a teenage boy, so I had no issue with Mrs. Baughman insisting that we eat everything on our
plate. I took in everything I could. I loved the classes and the time spent with veteran missionaries. In a way, I felt that I was where I belonged. I
felt at home. CAMP BIMI, and especially the Baughmans, left me with a confidence that I would not only have a great support system as a future
missionary with BIMI, but that I had a family who would encourage me along the journey.
God used my second trip to CAMP BIMI to confirm the ‘where’ of my part in the puzzle of God’s Will. During my freshman year at Bible
college, a close friend of mine and I decided to randomly pick a country to go to as missionaries. Our mission class had an assignment where every
student chose a random country from a hat. We were then tasked with creating a missionary presentation which would be presented to the class
and would count as a significant part of our grade. My friend and I decided that whatever country he chose would become our future mission
field in real life! The only pre-requisite I had was that it had to be an African country. We also wanted it to be a country with limited Gospel access.
The country he chose was in Africa and was a pioneer country. However, it was and is closed to open missionary work. There was a country
near the border of this closed country that was open to missionary work despite being a majority Muslim country. We also discovered that there
were very few missionaries serving in this country, only one serving with BIMI. This BIMI missionary was living in the north in a city which
bordered our original country of choice. We made plans to move to St. Louis, Senegal and work with the BIMI missionary serving there.
That summer, I attended CAMP BIMI II ‘02. The first missionary to speak was Bro. Ron Bragg,
who was the African Director at that time and had served for seventeen years in Senegal. We had
told no one of our plan to go to Senegal. We wanted God to confirm this decision. That evening,
Brother Bragg read his text and announced the title of his sermon. “I want to preach a message entitled
What it takes to be a missionary in a country like Senegal, West Africa.” My eyes widened as I leaned
forward in my seat. How did he know our plans? He proceeded to preach a message that covered every
topic we had discussed during our school year that had led us to choosing Senegal. That evening, I felt as
if God placed His Hand on my heart, reassuring me that He approved of our plan.
My family and I have been serving with BIMI since 2006 as missionaries to Senegal. CAMP BIMI
played a large role in my preparation for the field. I wouldn’t trade my experience at CAMP BIMI for
anything. Sarah Briggs
~ CB I ‘11a November 03, 1993 — May 17, 2018
This World Is Not My Home. I’m Just a Passing Through.
“I have grown up in a Christian home and have always known what salvation is, but until I was 7, I never really accepted that one
man could die for all of mankind. We were visiting a church that Sunday and I had felt God pulling at my heart for a while before that
day. When the preacher started to tell how Jesus came to die for all of us to save us from our sins, I burst into tears because I didn’t
want to go to hell. My dad took me up to the preacher who then led me to the Lord. I accepted Jesus’ Gift of Salvation that day.”
(Above is Sarah’s testimony written in her own words on her CAMP BIMI 2011 application.) Sarah’s
mom shared this after her Home-Going: Sarah understood and believed the promise of God when He
said, “Whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Her faith in this Scripture
promise gave her great peace and enabled her to face death without fear.
From the time of her salvation, Sarah desired to serve the Lord. She felt God was calling her to be a
missionary or a pastor’s wife. In preparation for a life of serving the Lord, she started playing the violin at
an early age, worked with disabled children, taught Sunday School, worked in the nursery, was involved
with the church choir and orchestra, went on mission trips, attended Crown College of the Bible, and
became a CNA. She loved helping and serving others. Sarah is the 8 th CB alumnus to enter Heaven.