NEW ORLEANS (BP) -- Joseph Somkhith* understands the plight of today's 60 million refugees. He once lived as one. Somkhith was 10 years old when he and his brother fled Laos after a communist takeover in the mid-1970s. The two boys crossed the Mekong River into Thailand, facing what Somkhith described as "insecurity and violence" along the way. Nearly a year later, Somkhith's family was reunited in a refugee camp in Thailand.
RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- International Mission Board missionaries and staff are expressing thanks for the way Southern Baptists have stepped up to provide offers of housing, vehicles and job opportunities to missionaries who have accepted IMB's voluntary retirement incentive. "Southern Baptists are not only catching the ball, they are running 99-yard touchdowns," said one missionary serving in Asia. " …
RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- Jeannie Elliff, wife of former IMB President Tom Elliff, died July 20 at her home in Oklahoma City following a long struggle with cancer. She was 69. "The entire IMB family and I praise God for Jeannie Elliff," said IMB President David Platt. "To use Paul's words from 2 Corinthians 6:10, we are filled with sorrowful rejoicing at the news of her passing. We grieve with Tom, the Elliff family, and countless friends who have known and loved this woman of prayer and model of faith."
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Monica Morley* grew up in a Muslim home. She had many spiritual questions as a child and young teen. For a time she attended a mosque, seeking answers from the religious leaders. "I wanted to know God and was curious about how sin can be forgiven," Morley said. "I did not find the answers I was looking for."
RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- Known by friends and colleagues for her willingness to "go the extra mile," missionary Shelley Foster died Dec. 13 in Garland, Texas, from complications with a bone marrow transplant. She was 62. Foster, who had served with the International Mission Board since 2001, provided member care to IMB personnel serving throughout Asia. Based in Seoul, South Korea, she and her husband Bill had returned to the U.S. earlier this year after Foster was diagnosed with leukemia.
PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic (BP) -- Facing what some called a "God-sized" challenge, a group of IMB missionaries far exceeded their offering goal of $100,000 for international missions. More than a quarter of a million dollars -- $277,217.92 -- was collected at a gathering of 240 IMB families serving among American people groups around the world. Of the total, $125,000 came from outside donations while $152,217.92 came from IMB missionaries.
STOCKHOLM, Sweden (BP) -- Good values weren't enough for Linda Hamfors of Stockholm, Sweden. Hamfors, who grew up in an atheist family, believed Jesus was "a really amazing guy" and learned values from her parents like forgiveness, acceptance and love. But, good values couldn't sustain the singer/songwriter through the tumultuous years when her parents began drinking more and pursuing materialistic gain.
OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. (BP) -- The reality of more than 2 billion unreached people living in more than 6,000 people groups is "totally intolerable," IMB President David Platt told an overflow crowd during an appointment service for 63 new IMB missionaries.
OLIVE BRANCH, Miss. (BP) -- IMB President David Platt outlined his five-point strategic plan while presiding over his first trustee meeting as head of the mission agency. In a plan based on five biblical goals which have led to four practical steps and three initial recommendations, Platt offered two important reminders to reach one all-consuming goal: glorifying God.
RICHMOND, Va. (BP) -- There are three qualities that many would say characterize former IMB president Tom Elliff: boundless energy, a passion for prayer and a heart broken over lostness.