TAYLORS, S.C. (BP)–“We do not have lofty goals of world success,” missionary Christine Moffett said. “Our desire is simply to live through Christ and to proclaim His message of grace and salvation.”
Moffett, a South Carolina native, was among 89 new missionaries appointed by the International Mission Board during a March 18 service at Taylors First Baptist Church in South Carolina, bringing the current missionary count to 5,569. The new appointees will serve throughout the world, joining missionaries in all of the board’s current 11 regions of service. The March appointment service would have been the IMB’s fourth-largest group of appointees had 14 more missionaries been able to participate. The 14 are being delayed because their stateside houses have not sold yet.
Moffett, a South Carolina native, was among 89 new missionaries appointed by the International Mission Board March 18 at Taylors First Baptist Church in South Carolina. She and her husband Andrew, who was appointed in 2002 to serve in Bolivia, now will minister in Argentina.
Before she married, God had been preparing Christine to go overseas full-time — first as an exchange student in Japan and then as a journeyman missionary in Peru. She returned to the United States to attend New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary.
“I started seminary in New Orleans, desiring to return overseas one day,” she said. “But I did not want to go alone. Early in my seminary studies God called me to release the condition I had been placing on my obedience to His call.”
When she did, God brought Christine and Andrew together and confirmed their call to missions — “first as individuals, now brought together in God’s timing,” she said.
Amy Fisher of Kentucky grew up learning about missionaries in the Girls in Action missions organization. But it wasn’t until she served as a journeyman in Bolivia that she understood the extraordinary need to share the Gospel. “God showed me firsthand a lost and dying world,” she said.
When she returned to the United States, Fisher began taking seminary classes at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, hoping to someday return to the field. Someday came sooner than she expected.
“I had the opportunity to finish my degree on the mission field, so I went as an International Service Corps missionary to Peru [in 2007].”
While there, Fisher had the opportunity to minister to people affected by an earthquake.
“An earthquake brought the hopelessness of a dying world even closer. Now I [return] to Peru to share the hope found in Christ.”
Like Fisher, Tyler and Jennifer Eiland weren’t planning to become missionaries until they participated in missions training in Zambia to serve for six weeks in the bush of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“God may be calling us to [full-time] missions,” Tyler told his wife.
Jennifer admits she was scared at first. Leaving the comfort of her home, family and country to start a new life halfway around the world was an overwhelming thought.
“But God delivered me from every fear,” she said, “confirming His call.”
The couple is leaving Alabama and returning to the Congo. “God knit my heart to Africa,” Tyler said. “I left Africa, but my heart never did….
“My life’s purpose is to make Christ known among the nations of the earth and to mobilize and equip others to do the same.”
God wants to “turn the hearts of people to what only Jesus can provide,” IMB President Jerry Rankin said in addressing the new missionaries.
Speaking from Colossians 1, Rankin encouraged each person to use the Apostle Paul’s prayer for spiritual provisions as an example — pray to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will, to always walk in a manner worthy of the Lord and to be strengthened by His power and presence.
Being a missionary is not just a job, Rankin reminded, but rather a witness for Jesus Christ, a representative for Him in a lost world.
The most effective witness of Christians is the way they live their lives. Believers need to “demonstrate peace in the midst of adversity, joy in all circumstances,” Rankin said.
Each new missionary carries the indwelling presence of Jesus Christ onto the mission field, he said. No believer is limited to his or her own strength and ability to handle difficulties.
“You folks are going to go through the fire again and again and again,” Rankin said. “But you can be certain your Lord will show up and see you through.”
Emilee Brandon is a writer with the International Mission Board.