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FIRST-PERSON: The shopping trip from heaven

RICHMOND, Va. (BP)–Not in my wildest dreams would I have thought that a shopping trip in South Africa with Christian author/speaker Beth Moore would turn into a movement of prayer — and a missionary devotional book called “Voices of the Faithful.”

I had never met Beth or heard her speak in person until the eventful week in 2002 when she came to teach Southern Baptist missionary women from all over southern Africa. We went shopping one afternoon during some free time, and Beth asked me all about my missionary work. As the conversation developed, she found out that I, too, was a writer.

“I’ve always wanted to write down missionary stories,” she said. “Would you be interested in collaborating with me on something like that?”

Honestly, I didn’t know what to say. But that day started a year of prayer and seeking God on the matter.

In 2003, when we were both sure that God was calling us to write “Voices of the Faithful,” the process began of collecting stories from International Mission Board missionaries. Over a period of four months, missionaries submitted hundreds of stories — and I was swept into what God is doing across the world through my colleagues.

I was especially touched by a story concerning the baptism of a Chinese girl, performed by her father. He asked her four questions: “Do you believe in Jesus? Has He forgiven your sins? Do you promise to walk with Him always? When they come into our house and take us away, when they beat us and try to get us to deny Him, will you still follow Jesus?”

Other stories amazed Beth and me. Stories of the miraculous, stories of the power of prayer, stories of the grace and faithfulness of God came pouring in like a flood. We have no doubt that God authored this book and that He wants His people praying for His work throughout the world.

“Your tenure on this earth will be incomplete without engaging with God across the globe,” Beth says.

She encourages readers through 13 introductory pieces in Voices of the Faithful. All along, we have believed that God was creating a tool for the church. Not only will readers be exposed to missions, but they will weep, grow spiritually and respond to what they read. We’re finding that churches are ready to get involved, and Integrity Publishers has developed this project into an exciting group of resources — including a music CD, worship DVD, facilitator’s guide, future student edition and future children’s book.

We think God is up to something: He is calling all of us to pray for the nations.

Since this has been His book from the very beginning, it didn’t surprise me when Beth insisted on giving all her royalties from the project to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. She is totally committed to seeing God’s Kingdom advanced.

It’s been a wild ride. I told my husband that good things happen when you go shopping! I’m not sure he agrees with that, but on this particular shopping excursion in South Africa, God certainly had a purpose bigger for us than buying curios.

Through Voices of the Faithful, I believe He will raise up thousands of prayer supporters for world missions.
Kim P. Davis worked with Beth Moore as the compiling editor of “Voices of the Faithful” and wrote the companion facilitator’s guide. She and her husband, D. Ray, served as Southern Baptist missionaries in southern Africa for 13 years and currently reside in Richmond, Va. Voices of the Faithful is available through local retailers and through the International Mission Board atwww.voicesofthefaithful.com or -1-800-999-3113. Special pricing is available for bulk orders. After Sept. 1, the facilitator’s guide will be available for free download atwww.voicesofthefaithful.com.

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  • Kim P. Davis