RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- It took trips to three different stores, an all-day wait for the dough to rise, and clever planning to use the electric oven despite the daily power outages. But Reece and Justina Dehn* knew it was all worth it when they watched a tiny Nepalese grandmother eat her first slice of pizza.
RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- On a chalkboard easel, Southern Baptist missionary Chad Pumpelly and his co-workers serving on two college campuses in Kenya write down names of students, categorizing them as "already a believer," "on the fence" and "would take a miracle."
RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- Southern Baptist missionary Ruth Lapos visits a riverside village in Thailand on Saturdays to work alongside Thai Baptists in starting a congregation.
RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- Sweating under the hot Southeast Asian sun, a young man watches fire ants swarm across the branches of a tree. He stretches out a gaunt arm and scoops up a handful of the red insects.
RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- They had been back in the United States for two years. They were comfortably settled in South Carolina, running a tourism company, working in their church and caring for their grandchildren.
RIDGECREST, N.C. (BP) -- College junior Lauren Dugas had never met an African American missionary prior to this year's Black Church Leadership and Family Conference.
RIDGECREST, N.C. (BP) -- College junior Lauren Dugas had never met an African American missionary prior to this year's Black Church Leadership and Family Conference. Neither had many of the other 900 men, women and children from predominantly black Southern Baptist churches who spent the week at LifeWay's Ridgecrest (N.C.) Conference Center.
[QUOTE@left@180=Don't let it take you to be elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention to go to the mission field.
-- Fred Luter]Of the 4,900 Southern Baptist workers serving overseas through the International Mission Board, only 26 are black; eight of them were on hand for the week's events July 22-26, encouraging others to engage in international missions. The theme for this year's conference was "Leave all, follow fully, make disciples." At the conclusion of IMB's July 24 presentation, Southern Baptist Convention President Fred Luter described how he met his first African American missionary at the conference years before. David Cornelius, a retired IMB missionary and staff member, had urged Luter to visit the mission field. But Luter never did, believing he was too busy. After his election as SBC president, part of Luter's role included going on an international trip. He spent two weeks in Africa. "It was one of the most rewarding times in my life," he said. "I regretted, pastors, that I didn't do this a lot sooner.... So let me challenge you: Don't let it take you to be elected president of the Southern Baptist Convention to go to the mission field. "Ask God right now, 'God, put upon my heart and upon the heart of my church a passion to go onto the highways and byways of life.' Pastors, the harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few," Luter said. "Let's take up the commandment and the commission of our Lord Jesus Christ. Let's make disciples." Raising the number Dugas sat in the audience and listened to various presentations as she flipped through a booklet about IMB. A student at Louisiana College in Pineville, La., Dugas knows God has called her to the international mission field. As a child, she was even dubbed "little missionary" by one of the men in her church. Her mother Tammy also attended the event, becoming more comfortable with the idea of her daughter serving overseas as the week progressed. She said meeting African American missionaries and attending breakout sessions was helpful. "I believe it's preparing me for what I believe God is doing in my daughter," she said. When Dugas arrived at Ridgecrest, she was surprised that so much of the conference revolved around missions. At an exhibit for Black Missions Link, a website of resources for African American pastors and their churches, Dugas spoke with several IMB workers ...
RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- Jerry Bates* attracts a lot of attention in Central Asia. As an American, he doesn't quite fit in. As a Christian who is African American, he topples the worldview of many of the Muslims he meets.