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Meador probes missions call among students

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (BP)–Clyde Meador, interim president of the International Mission Board, asked students at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary to seek the Lord for confirmation about a calling to international missions.

Meador, a graduate of Midwestern, spoke from Isaiah 45:18-23 during the last chapel service of the semester on the Kansas City, Mo., campus. Despite the false gods, idols and self-reliance prevalent in the world today, Meador said there is only one true God.

“Most of the world does not understand this basic truth,” Meador said. “It is God’s desire for everyone in the world to know and understand this fact. God desires the world to be inhabited by people who will worship Him, fellowship with Him and glorify Him.”

The career missionary recounted how IMB efforts to proclaim the Gospel to unreached people groups are beginning to affect places where results have never been seen before. For example, the Songhai people of West Africa, who had never previously been reached with the message of Christ, now have more than 200 believers.

Meador underscored the urgency.

“God is working to bring truth all over this world,” he said. “The doors open rapidly, and we must quickly move in to take the Gospel where there is opportunity. The doors also shut rapidly. Each year an average of three countries increases restrictions on the missionaries who proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ.”

Such limitations, Meador said, are not deterring the movement of God, and Southern Baptists are responding. The IMB’s theme this year, “Are we there yet?” is intended to ask the question, “Are we at the point where every person and people group on earth has access to the Gospel of Christ?” Meador said so far the task remains unfinished.

The IMB estimates the number of unevangelized people groups at around 6,400, and Meador said that to qualify as unevangelized, the number of believers within that people group totals less than 2 percent.

“The challenge we face is large, but it is God’s desire that all should hear,” Meador said. “He wants every individual on the face of this earth to have an opportunity to know the truth of the Gospel and have an opportunity to come to faith in Jesus Christ.”

In support of Meador’s message, Midwestern leadership emphasized the need for students, faculty and staff to give sacrificially to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions. The seminary set aside the last four chapel services of the semester to focus on prayer and offerings for world missions.

“The total amount collected for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering goes directly to international missions,” said R. Philip Roberts, Midwestern’s president. “Now is not the time to be slow in giving to Lottie Moon. Because of reduced offerings the past couple of years, the numbers of missionaries being sent have decreased.

“The Lord is making significant inroads in many nations whose people are hungry to hear the Gospel message,” Roberts added. “It is truly important to maintain a strong focus on this vital offering so Southern Baptists can continue to carry out the Great Commission.”
T. Patrick Hudson writes for Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.

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