The coronavirus has left virtually no country unaffected. Unrelenting and indiscriminate, the COVID-19 pandemic has threatened the welfare of millions and has wreaked havoc on economic infrastructures worldwide. Countless families have lost work and income, making it next to impossible to acquire adequate food and daily supplies. Even in the world’s hardest-hit corners, the donations, prayers, and support of Southern Baptists have delivered life-saving resources.
RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- IMB leadership in Sub-Saharan Africa has announced a five-year goal to engage 55 unengaged, unreached people groups (UUPG) in five years. Each UUPG selected has a population of more than 100,000. "A people group is unengaged and unreached when no indigenous community of believers who is able to engage this people group exists and there is no strategy for church planting consistent with evangelical faith and practice taking place," said Daren Davis, Sub-Saharan Africa affinity group leader.
RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- In light of the continuing global expansion of the COVID-19 virus (coronavirus), the International Mission Board's coronavirus task force and senior leadership recommend that mission volunteers from U.S. churches postpone international mission-trip travel through April 30. This date could be extended and will be reevaluated by April 15. IMB also recommends that people who have not yet purchased tickets for future travel wait and monitor continued risks of travel before buying tickets. Individuals with pre-existing conditions or immunocompromised health issues are encouraged not to travel.
QUEBEC, Canada (BP) -- Jacques* had a head full of questions. He had wrestled with them his whole life, and when he joined the soccer team at his university, he brought them with him. Robert Pinkston saw them -- and he knew he had answers.
SOFIA, Bulgaria (BP) -- George remembers the secret police raiding his house twice when he was young. He went to secret Christian meetings, and his family tucked their Bibles away so they wouldn't be found. "We were a persecuted Christian family," he said. But despite his family's gritty faith, George's heart hadn't experienced real change. Christianity was a cause to him, not a relationship. It wasn't until after the fall of communism when IMB missionary Bill Wardlaw came and preached at George's church that he heard the Gospel differently.
SOUTH KOREA (BP) -- Im-Sara is a believer -- a preacher's kid too. But she had never been involved in missions. So when Hun Sol asked her if she wanted to be part of the six-month-long student missions program he runs, she wasn't sure. "I prayed that God would move her," said Hun, an IMB missionary.
EAST ASIA (BP) -- Peter Station* lives his life chasing after cows, camels, and gers -- large, round, felt tents that seem to move more than they sit still. His country has more than a million nomadic people scattered across a land mass about half the size of the U.S. To say they're hard to find is an understatement, and to keep connecting with them once you find them is even harder. They're cattle herdsmen who live off the land, and what they need from the land is ever changing with the seasons. They pack their tents up on their camels and move as often as once a month.
RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- Whether "metro surfing" in one of the world's megacities or bumping along dirt roads, a missionary's daily commute can look -- and feel and smell -- very different from typical transportation in America. Sometimes it's eyes squeezed shut and a prayer on your lips as your bus careens down the road. Sometimes it's like a real-life video game, dodging obstacles on a motorbike. And sometimes it's just a normal car ride -- on the left side of the road.
TAIWAN (BP) -- Ming Wei* is a firm believer in the power of prayer. When she moved to her husband's hometown eight years ago, she began to pray for the opportunity to make a difference in the city of 50,000 with only two Christian churches but countless temples. Two years later, the opportunity to work with children provided the perfect chance. Wei and others taught Bible stories and songs and held camps and other activities to share Jesus' love with the children and their families.
MIDDLE EAST (BP) -- He is a local believer who is faithfully leading a Bible study for a group of his friends in the Middle East. These men all grew up following the teachings of Muhammad, but now they have made the life-altering decision to follow Christ. They face persecution and discrimination because of their choice.