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By Bryan Baggett
What is the Military Ministry about? It is about people. Specifically, it is centered
on the people who have chosen to serve the United States of America in the Armed
Forces. Since 1968, Baptist International Missions, Inc. (BIMI), has endeavored to aid
in the establishment of local Baptist churches near military installations worldwide.
Missionaries have moved to foreign countries in order to share the Gospel of Jesus
Christ with the servicemen and women living there. As the United States changes
its foreign policies and actions over the course of time, so, too, our ministry is always adapting
to the differing situations and movements of our troops. However, our mission objective remains
the same—to be ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ to our military personnel as well as to the
nationals of their host countries. Below are two examples of the way the Lord is using BIMI’s
division of Military Missions to reach people for Christ. Missionary/Pastor Jeffery Wright gives
the following testimony:
“Having been raised in a severely dysfunctional and abusive home and spending time
in the foster care system, I felt the Marine Corps appeared to be everything I had ever
needed. It gave me structure and stability. I graduated with honors from boot camp and
felt like my life finally had fulfillment and meaning. After I graduated from Combat
Engineer School, the United States Marine Corps (God) sent me to the island of Okinawa,
Japan. I had the perfect job and was in the perfect place to succeed, but I felt empty and
lonely. I had structure in my life but no comfort, so I went back to what I always knew—
self-destruction and substance abuse.
God began to work on my heart through a series of events and a godly friend in my
Marine Corps Unit. In December 2009, I heard the Gospel for the very first time and was
convicted of my sin. That night, I took a terrifying drive back to my house, knowing that
if I were to die, I would spend an eternity in a place called Hell! When I arrived at home,
I got out of the car and sat on the curb, bowed my head, and asked Christ to save me. At
that moment I finally felt accepted and at peace. Everything I ever longed for was given
to me at that moment.
The next Sunday, Pastor Bob Monteith (a missionary serving with BIMI to the military)
baptized me at Maranatha Baptist Church in Okinawa, Japan. Through his preaching and
teaching I began to understand the Christian life, how to walk with the Lord daily, and the
importance of Christian service.
22 Number 2, 2020
Under Pastor Monteith’s discipleship, the Lord quickly began working on my heart
towards ministry. Within the next few months, I surrendered to the Lord’s will for my
life and felt a calling upon my life into full-time ministry. After much prayer, God made it
clear He wanted me to reach military families overseas.
At the conclusion of my four years of service, I separated from the Marine Corps. As a 22
year old, newly saved Christian, I moved to Lancaster, California, to begin my freshman
year at West Coast Baptist College for the fall semester 2010.
While in college, I met Andrea and after two years of dating we were married in 2013.
Andrea grew up in Davao City, Philippines, and was led to Christ by a faithful missionary’s
wife when Andrea was 12 years old. Our family is a product of missions and we are grateful
that God allows us through the help of BIMI and our local church to take the Gospel to
the servicemen and women serving in Sasebo, Japan.
Sasebo Baptist Church, where I serve as pastor, has been through a transformation in the
past 18 months. We have seen souls saved, families discipled, lives changed, marriages
restored, people called to ministry, and several construction projects completed. I praise
the Lord for all He is doing in Sasebo. People see where we are now but not from where
God has brought us. This is my story, and I cannot help but say, this is the Lord’s doing; it
is marvellous in our eyes (Psalm 118:23).”
Yojana K. Garcia’s testimony is as follows:
“I was born and raised in Nepal. I grew up in a home with domestic violence. My family
were Hindus; as such, our way of life was deeply influenced by Hinduism. Society
reinforced a strict social rule that made it impossible for my mother to leave my father.
My brother was the first one to leave the country. With his financial and emotional help,
I left Nepal in 2006 to pursue higher education. My father was against it, but he somehow
allowed me to go to the US alone.
I arrived in Lewiston, Idaho, to attend college, but needed a place to live. That is when I
met Alene Tutcher. I did not know she was a Christian at first, but once I started living
with her and her family in 2007, I knew she was a devout follower of Christ. She never
forced me to be a Christian. She invited me to church, and by doing so introduced me
to a God who wanted a personal relationship. I enlisted in the Navy in 2010, a week
after I graduated with my master’s degree. I was a foreign national and was provided
the opportunity to join the Navy under a special program that guaranteed citizenship in
return for four years of service. Grandma Alene was my biggest supporter.
I got saved in 2010 at a church in San Diego. Grandma Alene was the first person I called.
I thanked her for showing me the truth and introducing me to my Lord and Savior, Jesus
Christ. Life has been incredible ever since. I have a Heavenly Father who loves me despite
my sinful nature. My relationship with God restored my faith in marriage.
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