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SALT LAKE CITY (BP)–Baptist World Alliance President Nilson Fanini challenged Southern Baptists to help win America to Christ during a June 10 breakfast hosted by the Baptist World Alliance. Fanini, a pastor from Brazil, was elected president of the BWA in 1995 and has emphasized evangelism as the priority of his five-year term. Almost 75 Southern Baptist leaders attended the breakfast held during the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Salt Lake City. “The Great Commission is not an option,” Fanini declared. “We are commanded to preach the gospel to all the earth. I see the challenge today of 6 billion people around the world. It is a tremendous challenge, but never before have we had so many open doors to preach the gospel. Even in the Islam and Muslim worlds, God is working and many people are becoming Christians.” Fanini said he believes the revivals being experienced in places like Cuba and China are a result of churches being in the “homes and streets. In the U.S., you have big church buildings and many of the Christians in them are asleep,” he said. “America has done a lot for the other countries of the world,” he acknowledged. “Praise the Lord for America. But it is time to save America again. The United States is in need of a revival.” Fanini said prayer, compassion and commitment will be required for revival to take place. Fanini described the success of his church in Brazil: doubling the budget in one month, eight services each Sunday and thousands attending. “This success is not because of Nilson Fanini,” he stated, “but it is the power of God coming down because we are praying.” He noted the church often holds 6 a.m.-to-12 p.m. prayer vigils and read-through-the-Bible marathons. He defined compassion needed for revival as “crying on the inside when you see the multitudes of the unsaved.” Commitment must also accompany prayer and compassion, he said. “God saved me; God called me; God put me in the ministry,” he stated. “I want to be faithful to him until death. I’m ready to pay any price for my Lord and Savior. Fanini recalled the story of a Chinese pastor’s wife who had cancer. When she tried to leave her country to go to London for treatment, she encountered visa difficulties. Finally, an officer told her if she would leave her family behind and deny her faith, he would grant her a visa. The woman responded, “I will never deny my Lord!” She died three months later. “That is commitment,” he said. “It is so cheap to be a Christian in Brazil and in America. But there are people today who are paying a tremendous price to be faithful to their Lord. “Let’s work together to win America, Canada and all the world to Jesus Christ,” he pleaded. The meeting also included brief reports of Baptist work in Romania, Liberia and Indonesia. Denton Lotz, BWA executive director, also shared information about the June 22-26 Baptist World Youth Congress in Houston and the Jan. 5-9, 2000, 18th Baptist World Congress in Melbourne, Australia.
*Name changed for security concerns.

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