BROKEN ARROW, Okla. (BP)–In a fanfare from choir and orchestra, the congregation of First Baptist Church rose to their feet to welcome 55 missionaries being commissioned by the North American Mission Board in the Sunday morning service, May 15, in Broken Arrow, Okla.
Missionaries entered the worship center in parade fashion, each couple and individual led by a high school student bearing the Christian flag. The 55 missionaries were commissioned as church planters, mission strategists and campus ministers to reach people of various nationalities and cultures in the United States and Canada.
Two missionaries shared passionate testimonies about God’s call.
Sarah Lee, who serves as a church planter with her husband, Jason, in Louisville, Ky., spoke about their work among Muslim North African refugees.
After college, Lee worked as a nurse in Africa. Two years after returning home and marrying her husband, she was surprised to notice a group of North African women in their Louisville apartment complex. The Lees contacted NAMB to send missionaries to reach the 2,500 Somali refugees in the Louisville area, not knowing the Lord would call them to the work.
“We already had jobs and other plans,” Lee said, “but we learned that the plans for our life had to be the plans the Lord had made.”
Peter and Meeae Paik are natives of Korea who are seeking to establish a church for a very different culture in a community on the opposite side of the U.S. — the 40,000 unreached deaf people in the San Francisco Bay area.
In his animated testimony accompanied by American Sign Language, Peter described his dramatic life change when he found Christ at a church for the deaf in Korea. Paik then studied special education and moved to the United States, where he was exhorted by a fellow Korean Christian to start a church.
Though this request was not met with much confidence, Paik prayed and God answered, “I have trained you already.” Led to research the San Francisco Bay area, Peter discovered the great need among the large deaf community there.
“Now is the most amazing time because I applied to NAMB and now I get all your prayers for me,” said Peter, enthusiastically gesturing to the congregation.
“If we trust God, we have benefit,” he said. To demonstrate the great power and support in the family of God, Peter began to sing and sign, “Come and go with me to my Father’s house, where there is love, love, love,” and the entire congregation joined in.
Richard Harris, NAMB’s vice president of church planting, brought a charge to the missionaries, challenging them to “preach the potent Word of God without watering it down to serve human purposes.”
“How carefully would you handle a donated organ, or $10,000 or a written message from George W. Bush?” Harris asked. “This is how carefully we should handle the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“People are waiting, longing, looking for the truth and for you who will share it. God is sending you to them. Handle the message carefully and show them that the all-surpassing power is from God and not from you.”
First Baptist pastor Nick Garland echoed Harris’ charge to NAMB missionaries to his own congregation. “Dr. Harris’ message was so clear, and though it was directed at these missionaries, whenever we leave these premises we are going out into the mission field of Broken Arrow.”