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Chapman urges Christians to pray for IMB workers

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–Christians everywhere should be reminded of the importance of praying diligently for those who serve Christ in the insecure places of the earth, according to Morris H. Chapman, president and chief executive officer of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee.

Chapman’s request came in the wake of the Dec. 30 deaths of three International Mission Board personnel in Yemen. The IMB workers, along with a fourth, were shot by a Muslim extremist at the Jibla Baptist Hospital.

“No words could adequately convey the grief we feel over the murders of the missionaries who have devoted their lives to serve the people of Yemen in the name and spirit of Christ,” Chapman said in a prepared statement. “Yet, even in the depth of our grief, we find profound comfort that the Lord Jesus calls ‘blessed’ those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake.”

“Our hearts go out to the families of the slain, and we pledge to pray for them in the coming days,” he added. “We commend them all to the rich grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We, along with them, sorrow, but not as those who have no hope. Our hope, as these devoted servants of Jesus understood so well, is in the dear Lord.”

“We commend all our brothers and sisters who live out their lives in service to the Lord through the International Mission Board, and we call upon the entire Southern Baptist family to go often before the Lord for them,” Chapman said.

Chapman referred to a passage of Scripture in 2 Timothy 4:1-2 and encouraged Christians to claim the passage in the tragedy’s aftermath.

“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season,” the passage states.

“Holy Scripture reminds us of the need to see time in the light of eternity, and of the mandate to continue faithfully proclaiming the Word of God under difficult situations,” he said. “I pray that the Lord will permit us all to live our lives, and discharge our duties, in such a manner.”

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  • Todd Starnes