On November 10, 2014, the Northwest Baptist Convention celebrated our first-ever international mission partnership. We are joining our IMB personnel in East Asia to push back lostness among peoples who have no knowledge of Jesus Christ and little access to His Gospel. Though we are only a few months into a many-year partnership, I want to give you a status update.
First, rejoice that the churches of the NWBC gave 25% more money ($101,000) to the Lottie Moon Offering for International Missions in 2014 than we did in 2013. That deserves a “Praise God, hallelujah!” In part, I believe this happened because 11 IMB missionaries joined us in October, conducting 9 EA1Day events across the Northwest, encouraging us and mobilizing us to join them in reaching the lost of East Asia.
Second, we already have about a dozen churches planning to take teams to East Asia in 2015 (that I am aware of), travelling to peoples and places where little or no Gospel witness exists. Go to http://www.nwbaptist.org and click on “East Asia” to read the specific requests our IMB personnel are making, asking your church to come and serve on a short-term project. When I say, “your church,” it means a small team from your church, comprised of 2-6 people, that actually makes an individual trip (though the entire church should be praying and supporting the effort).
Third, our East Asia IMB leadership has provided $25,000 to the NWBC to scholarship college students participating in one of our partnership trips. We have had several students apply for a scholarship of up to $500 each, but we have many more scholarships available so complete those applications. We want to spend every dollar this year, sending your students to East Asia, so go to the NWBC website and download the application from the East Asia page.
Fourth, two IMB couples will spend July-December of 2015 with us, helping our churches develop plans to participate in our East Asia partnership. What a blessing they will be!
Fifth, when a church does missions among the unreached, it nearly always results in increased evangelism locally. So, one reason to do international missions is that your local outreach will be strengthened. Doing missions can be, and should be, a part of the discipleship ministry of your church.
Visit the East Asia page at http://www.nwbaptist.org to learn more about the partnership. And please battle against the thought, “I can’t afford this. I can’t do this.” I have taken people on mission trips who earned their trip money by cleaning houses, mowing lawns, washing cars, and hosting bake sales and dessert auctions. In our churches, some will be unable to go themselves, but will help someone else go on mission. What I am saying is that doing missions is about the call and commitment to go, no matter your financial status. God truly does provide a way. No matter how small your church, or how meager your bank balance, you can travel to East Asia. Not only that, but the spiritual preparation for the trip, and the actual doing of missions, will help you grow in your faith. In East Asia you will visit with people who have never heard the name “Jesus,” literally. You will join God in His great work of making disciples of all peoples.
“Here I am Lord. Send me!”