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Southwestern

Michael Logan

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Remembering the martyrs at Jibla Baptist Hospital

JIBLA, Yemen (BP) -- It's been 15 years since I walked the dry, stony grounds of Jibla Baptist Hospital in Yemen, where a lone gunman murdered three International Mission Board medical missionaries on a December morning in 2002. Southern Baptists had invested their lives in this medical center for more than 35 years as they cared for thousands of people in this struggling Middle Eastern nation. I arrived shortly after the Dec. 30 attack to cover the tragedy. Just days after the ...

IMB’s Clyde Meador to retire after 41 years

RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- Clyde Meador, who retires May 13 from the International Mission Board, is known -- along with his wife Elaine -- among missionary teams for steady, unflappable leadership. Yet 41 years of service, with Clyde most recently serving as executive advisor to IMB's president, appear to testify to the Meadors' simple steps of obedience even more than to their strategic insights and leadership. "When you look at Clyde's and Elaine's lives, it's step-by-step obedience in the same direction towards the Father's will for their lives," said John Brady, vice president for Global Engagement.

Foster mom loves children only to let them go

THAILAND (BP) -- Instead of receiving flowers on Mother's Day last year, Susan Quaid* marked the day by giving away a child. Susan, who cares for at-risk children in Thailand as an International Mission Board worker, recalls when she traveled to another country last year to help facilitate the adoption of a child she had reared since it was four days old.

IMB leader Jerry Rankin announces retirement

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (BP)--International Mission Board President Jerry Rankin announced today (Sept. 16) he will retire July 31, 2010, ending a 17-year tenure marked by sweeping organizational changes and a steady personal calling.       "Everything I have done has been driven by an unequivocal sense of a call to missions, to make my life count and to make the greatest impact possible on reaching a lost world for Jesus Christ," Rankin said.       Rankin told IMB trustees during his report at their Sept. 15-16 meeting in Jacksonville, Fla., that his presidency should not be judged for the accomplishments of the organization under his leadership but for how the organization is poised for the future.       "For the second time in my tenure we are implementing a radical paradigm shift in organization and strategy," Rankin said. "This is not because of past failure and ineffectiveness but a vision of the changes needed to ensure relevance and effectiveness in the future."       Such sentiments are consistent to Rankin's approach in leading the 163-year-old organization. Early in his administration Rankin began placing a greater emphasis on the work remaining in world evangelization than what had been accomplished.       "It's not ... our size or annual statistical report that should drive us," Rankin said. "We need to be driven by a vision to bring all peoples to a saving faith in Christ and what it takes to get there."       Yet there has always been a need to track progress. When Rankin took over leadership of the IMB in 1993, the Southern Baptist mission organization saw nearly 4,000 missionaries help start more than 2,000 churches in 142 countries. Last year more than 5,500 IMB missionaries helped plant nearly 27,000 churches and engage 101 new people groups for a total of 1,190 engaged people groups.       The move from tracking countries to focusing on people groups reveals another area where Rankin worked to change the IMB. Country counts faded during the past 10 years as the organization shifted to finding the best ways to engage new people groups and population centers.       "I think moving us to a people group focus helped us learn to innovate," he said. "But probably the most radical innovation of all has been the process of moving us to a mobilization perspective."

Muslim population in Russia grows quickly

MOSCOW, Russia (BP)--Outside Resurrection Gates, the northern entrance to Moscow's Red Square, tourists stand on a bronze plaque, toss coins over their shoulder and make a wish.

Armenian immigrant surrenders to Jesus

MOSCOW, Russia (BP)--Kathy Walton* knows the joy of sharing the Good News in Moscow. During her two years there, she has been drawn to immigrants from former Soviet republics.

Kazakhstan believers share Gospel amid rising wealth

ALMATY, Kazakhstan (BP)--Much has changed in the former Soviet Republic of Kazakhstan since Gulia* was featured on The Commission magazine's March 2001 cover. For starters, both she and her homeland have prospered. Kazakhs discovered oil, and Gulia found that her homemade roach repellent, produced as a desperate measure for her family, was a hit in local markets.       Kazakhstan's proven oil reserves of 16 billion barrels and the possibility of another 60 billion barrels off its Caspian Sea coast, have pumped millions of dollars into the economy. On a smaller scale, Gulia's business has moved from a makeshift effort into a family-wide enterprise with corporate contracts and pending patents. The nation's newfound wealth launched a wave of materialism, while Gulia's success has allowed her to proclaim Christ in wider circles.

Uzbekistan’s restrictions on freedoms fail to curtail faith

UZBEKISTAN (BP)--There was a time when Maksud's* heart raced each time the telephone rang. He recalls gripping the receiver and working up his courage to simply say "Allo" (hello). He felt exposed and at risk even behind the locked door of his Uzbekistan home.       Usually, within a heartbeat, a friend's voice on the line cut the tension. Yet Maksud had to steady his own voice to sound casual and normal as he talked into the telephone.

Turks from Russia look for hope in the United States

KRASNODAR, Russia (BP)--Not everyone in Krasnodar, Russia, celebrated the unveiling of a nearly 40-foot monument to Catherine the Great.       To be sure, most people in the city center enjoyed themselves at the September 2006 ceremony lauding Catherine the Great's generosity to the Cossacks in the 18th century in giving the northern Caucasus city to them for their loyal service to the czars.       Cossack men paraded in old uniforms from a bygone era. Most men wore heavy full-length coats trimmed in gold and red, along with baggy trousers stuffed into tall black leather boots. Perspiration trailed down the cheeks and necks of most of the Cossacks from underneath their wide fur hats.

Christian foreigners depart war-torn Lebanon, but leave behind thousands changed and being changed by the Gospel

LIMASSOL, Cyprus (BP)--Southern Baptists and many other foreign Christians may have left Lebanon -- but the Gospel hasn’t.