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IMB deepens partnership with Asian Baptists

Aslam Masih (right), church planter with the North American Mission Board, talks with Jeremy Sin during a recent gathering of Asian leaders hosted by IMB. Sin is executive director of the Chinese Baptist Fellowship in the U.S. and Canada and a church catalyst with NAMB. IMB Photo

RICHMOND, Va. (BP) — Asians remain the largest ethnic group of missionaries currently serving with the International Mission Board, but they still represent a relatively small number of Asian congregations in the Southern Baptist Convention.

Ezra Bae, IMB’s Asian church mobilization strategist, said among the more than 2,100 Asian congregations in the SBC, he continues to meet pastors and church leaders who aren’t familiar with the IMB. Bae began hosting Asian leaders across the convention last year and hosted another event March 26-27 in Richmond. Participants represented state conventions, associations and local churches and fellowships.

Ezra Bae, Asian church mobilization strategist, introduces Herbert Hong to IMB President Paul Chitwood, at an event of Southern Baptist Asian leaders March 26-28 near Richmond, Virginia. IMB Photo

“We want to do this together,” Bae said. “We want to serve the Asian churches well, so they will know the value of serving through the IMB. Many churches don’t know they can send missionaries overseas through the IMB.”

IMB has been increasing efforts internally to help ethnic missionaries feel valued for the unique gifts they bring to serving among the lost. Staff and field communications are now translated into Chinese, Korean, Spanish and American Sign Language.

In his work, Bae uses translated resources for Asian churches. For example, all Lottie Moon offering and Week of Prayer for International Missions materials are available in Chinese, Korean and Spanish, in addition to other mobilization and training resources. Bae said the challenge is making churches aware of all the IMB offers.

This is one of the reasons, Bae looks forward to bringing Asian leaders together. “This is a valuable time of learning,” he said. “Hopefully, they will take everything they learn and let the churches know in their communities.”

The March event included participants representing Korean, Chinese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Hmong, Pakistani and Afghan believers.

Jeremy Sin, executive director of the Chinese Baptist Fellowship in the U.S. and Canada, spoke in IMB’s Wednesday chapel service.

 “We look forward to working together for His glory.”

Sin traces his journey of faith to IMB (formerly FMB) missionaries in Hong Kong. Raised in a traditional Buddhist home, Sin met the Lord at a Christian school and made a profession of faith at Hong Kong Baptist University. He was baptized by an FMB missionary.

Jeremy Sin, executive director of the Chinese Baptist Fellowship in the U.S. and Canada, spoke in IMB’s weekly chapel service on Wednesday, March 27, 2024. Sin was visiting Richmond as part of an Asian leaders summit hosted by the IMB. IMB Photo

“I express my personal gratitude to the IMB,” he said, sharing how he had been personally transformed and called to ministry because of the legacy of Southern Baptists serving in Asia.

Sin has also served as a national church catalyst with the North American Mission Board since 2004.

During the three-day conference, Asian leaders stayed at IMB’s missionary training campus near Richmond and toured the home office, where main sessions took place. Involvement of Asian Southern Baptist churches in missions is closely tied with work among the diaspora — reaching internationals within the U.S. Many Asian leaders are currently starting their own cohorts through the Diaspora Missions Collective to engage their communities with the gospel.

The event included presentations and discussion with IMB leaders in church mobilization, global engagement, human resources and missionary assessment and deployment. Bae designed the meetings with IMB staff to provide a strong overview of what Southern Baptists have available to them through the IMB and how partnerships can strengthen the fulfillment of the Great Commission.

Asian fellowships and leaders are encouraged to write [email protected] to be directed to Ezra Bae for more information and resources for sharing the gospel among the nations.

 Please visit imb.org/asian-church-missions for stories and resources to promote Asian church missions opportunities.