News Articles

10/2/97 Cooperative Program gifts support 10,000-plus Baptist missionaries

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–What, exactly, is the Cooperative Program?
Far more, say Southern Baptist workers, than dollar amounts of any kind — as crucial as those amounts may be year after year.
The Cooperative Program is both the ministry Southern Baptists do cooperatively as well as a key channel of financial support for the work of more than 10,000 missionaries sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ globally and across North America.
The human side of the Cooperative Program is reflected, for example, in “Missionary Moments,” a resource published by Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee’s Cooperative Program office.
The booklet provides brief missionary accounts for each Sunday morning and evening worship service of the year — accounts that can be used in offertory prayers and also in various other settings, such as Sunday school and meetings of deacons, Brotherhood, Woman’s Missionary Union and/or stewardship committees.
A few examples of home and overseas missionary work recounted in the 1998 edition of Missionary Moments:
— “Amidst dental services, X-rays, a pharmacy, and IV-infusion manufacturing is the simple message of Jesus Christ. Missionaries Mike and Carol Ewing work in the Kogoma Baptist Hospital in Tanzania. The (surrounding) population is almost 90 percent Muslim. Through Cooperative Program gifts, the hospital provides affordable, quality health care to these people while sharing the good news of Christ. Carol leads a Sunday school class of more than 60 children. Without these Cooperative Program- funded ministries, many of these patients and children would not hear about Jesus.”
— “Support through the Cooperative Program is making it possible for people who have been enslaved by the traditional voodoo religion to know freedom in Christ. Church planters Jess and Peggy Thompson work among the Ife’ people of western Benin, helping Benin Christians develop and establish churches where there was no evangelical witness before. A man who recently accepted Christ as his Savior told the Thompsons he was able to sleep without fear for the first time in years, and that he ‘awoke to a different world of peace’ that he never knew existed.”
— “James and Patsy Myers serve as missionaries to Idaho. The religious background of their neighbors is uncertain at best. Some are Catholic while others have ties to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints (or Mormons). Others simply have no church involvement at all. The Myers began working in Idaho in 1964 as church planters and have helped establish nine missions in the area. The needs of these missions range from mission pastors to music ministry workers to Sunday school teachers. … James and Patsy(‘s ministry) is made possible by Cooperative Program gifts.”
— “Based in the San Francisco, California area, home missionary Howard Burkhart travels the state helping to set up deaf churches and interpretive ministries. Many deaf people feel isolated and long for social interaction with other hearing-impaired individuals. In Howard’s area, there are four deaf churches led by deaf pastors and 27 interpretive hearing ministries in churches, ministering to approximately 425 people. None of this would be possible without the support of the Cooperative Program.”
Copies of a catalog of materials to support the Cooperative Program, such as Missionary Moments, can be obtained by calling 1-800-722-9407 or writing to Cooperative Program Office, 901 Commerce St., Nashville, TN 37203.