Kate Gregory

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Cuban believers make disciples in Ecuador

MONTALVO, Ecuador (BP) -- The first Cuban Baptist international missionary couple under the Western Cuba Baptist Convention's Cubans to the Nations initiative has started an evangelical Bible study in an area where there had been none. The missions theme of the convention, "Christ's disciples making disciples," has taken root in South America. About two years ago, International Mission Board missionary Johnny Maust began arranging for partnering mission teams from the U.S. to have lunch at Lupita Diner in Montalvo, Ecuador. He had befriended the owner, Hermida Cabeza, 70, a Christian, and showed a video at the restaurant depicting the Book of Matthew, but he wanted to establish a more consistent presence there.

Family gives father ‘highlight of Christmas’

OAXACA, Mexico (BP) -- The Quinn family had agreed not to give each other any large presents last Christmas so they could send their father, Breese, on a mission trip to Mexico. So on Christmas morning when Breese saw his two children, ages 11 and 13, smiling at him as they stood beside a big wrapped present, he thought they had reneged on their pact. But when he opened the big box, inside was a scene (a diorama or three-dimensional miniature model) that featured the mountainous region of southern ...

WEEK OF PRAYER: Wherever you go, we go

OAXACA, Mexico (BP) -- Wherever you go, we go. First Baptist Church in Oxford, Miss., made this commitment to Jeff and Liesa Holeman long before they began serving as International Mission Board missionaries in 2008. It started a decade earlier when Jeff became student minister at the church, located in the town of the University of Mississippi. He led the youth group to make return mission trips to Brazil.

WEEK OF PRAYER: Training Christian leaders amid ‘ocean of idolatry’

SOUTH ASIA (BP) -- Donald and Helen McKinneys'* outreach to South Asians started in North America. They first got to know a South Asian people group in their church's backyard in New York state before becoming Christian workers on the other side of the world. Helen and her Sunday School teacher from Trinity Baptist Church in Niskayuna, N.Y., began visiting the homes of the church's neighbors, several of whom were from South Asia. Each Thursday over tea, they formed friendships with the families ...

‘Royal’ treatment helps family share true King

AMAZON REGION (BP) -- Most girls dream of becoming royalty, but few have the opportunity to realize that dream. For Naomi and Hannah Jansen,* teenage daughters of Southern Baptist missionaries among an unreached tribe in South America, it wasn't quite like the fairy tale of wearing bedazzled ball gowns and living in spacious castles. Their skin and hair, not their dresses, were what was decorated when they were inducted by the tribe to be ceremonial queens of the village, tribal peacemakers who hold positions of honor and reflect a high level of respect given to their parents.

Missionary retirees embark on new phase of service

RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- Most of the 56 missionaries the International Mission Board honored May 2 upon their retirement from full-time overseas service to emeritus status in the U.S. didn't start out as pastors or ministers on church staffs. Most were church members from diverse career fields who felt called to spread the Gospel around the world: an accounting clerk, advertising manager, attorney, beef producer, carpenters, critical care nurse, environmental control chemist, funeral home chaplain, house parents in a children's home, insurance agents, librarian, maintenance workers, physician, psychologist, radio announcer, rehabilitation counselor, teachers, truck driver and social workers.

Discipleship for boys & young women strengthens witness

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (BP) -- When Carlos Llambes was about 7 or 8 years old, he heard a sound he had never heard coming from a church before -- laughter. Churches had always seemed so formal and structured to the Cuban boy. Plus, times in the Caribbean island 90 miles south of Miami were somber and uncertain in the late 1960s in the years after the Cuban missile crisis. So when Carlos walked by Primera Iglesia Bautista (First Baptist Church) in his hometown of San Cristobal, Cuba, on a Wednesday night and heard laughter, the curious youngster peeked inside the doors. Members of the congregation were singing a joyful song and smiling.

Forsaking false saints for the true God

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (BP) -- Lily was scared for her life but didn't know why. It should have been a happy time, after the 25-year-old had been invited by her best friend to be inducted into a position of honor in their religion. The ritual -- which some of the religion's leaders charged as much as $10,000 to conduct -- was being offered to her "free" because she was told she was someone the spirits favored.

WEEK OF PRAYER: Demetrio quit running from God

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic (BP) -- Growing up in a rural part of the Dominican Republic, Mary wanted to move to the nearest city at age 18 to find work. When a woman offered to help, Mary thought it was too good to be true. Mary thought she would become a maid when she arrived at a house in the city, but it was a house of prostitution.

WEEK OF PRAYER: Nurturing ‘fishers of men’ in Ecuador

LAGARTO, Ecuador (BP) -- Amadeo Torres took Jesus' command in Matthew 4:19 literally: "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men." When contemplating how to share the Gospel with an unbelieving friend in an Ecuadorian fishing village, Amadeo asked IMB missionary Johnny Maust to help him buy a fisher's net for the friend.