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Lose yourself, embrace God’s mission, new missionaries urge Boston audience

FRAMINGHAM, Mass. (BP)–When a Christian gives up on the life he is trying to make for himself — and accepts the one God has in store for him — the whole world opens up, several new missionaries said during a May 7 appointment service in Framingham, Mass.

One new missionary recalled the night God first stirred his heart for missions.

“Christ confronted me with His Word: ‘Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it,'” he said.

His fears of being a career missionary soon subsided as he knew what he needed to do. “A year later I found my life in war-torn Bosnia as a short-term missionary,” he said. “I knew then that God wanted me in missions for the long term.”

This missionary was among 47 new workers committing to long-term missions that evening. It was the first International Mission Board missionary appointment service held in New England.

“I’m so excited that New England is being exposed to world missions,” said Jim Wideman, executive director/treasurer of the Baptist Convention of New England. “This mission task is so great. It is an honor.”

Speaking to the new workers, IMB President Jerry Rankin praised those who have chosen to dedicate their lives to sharing the Gospel with a lost world but said many more are needed to obey the call.

For some, the missions decision is not an easy one to make, Rankin said. All missionaries will go through a time of “discouraging dilemmas,” but they will not be alone in their time of need.

“You have made a dedicated decision, not just to be a missionary, but to follow God fully, trusting in His provision,” Rankin said. “It is His faithfulness and grace that will sustain you.”

One missionary, an alcoholic who conquered his addiction 19 years ago, knows firsthand how God can sustain a person in time of crisis.

“I sought Jesus as deliverer from alcoholism,” he said. “Ten years later, healed and on mission to the Ukraine, He revealed how that testimony would be used to witness to a world of perishing alcoholics.”

The needs of a lost world are greater than ever, Rankin noted. In India, there is only one Southern Baptist worker for every 9.6 million people.

“God desires for the nations to know Him and to be exalted among all people,” Rankin said. “His plan of redemption through Jesus Christ was not just for you and me.”
(BP) photos posted in the BP Photo Library at http://www.bpnews.net Photo title: CERTIFICATE IN HAND, HEART FOR THE NATIONS, TESTIMONY and SUSTAINING GRACE.

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  • Shawn Hendricks