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New Cooperative Program video: Missionaries are ‘real people’

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–“A Mission You Share,” a videotape designed to introduce Southern Baptists to individual missionaries supported by Cooperative Program gifts, was premiered before SBC agency and state Baptist convention leaders in Nashville, Tenn., Feb. 18.

The 12.5-minute video was produced by the Stewardship Commission’s Cooperative Program office in cooperation with the Home and Foreign Mission boards. Convention leaders viewed the new video during the 25th annual Cooperative Program Fellowship Luncheon, sponsored by the Stewardship Commission and held in conjunction with the February meeting of the convention’s Executive Committee.

James Powell, Stewardship Commission executive vice president for Cooperative Program promotion, said the video is designed to show Southern Baptists how their Cooperative Program dollars are used in mission efforts at home and abroad and to motivate them to continue to support this financial lifeline for missions.

“Through the media technique known as ‘morphing,’ the audience is introduced to a succession of missionaries who share the gospel of Christ in difficult and challenging situations at home and abroad,” Powell explained. “On the video the missionaries speak to Southern Baptists via telephone interviews from their specific mission fields.

“The Cooperative Program is truly a mission shared by every person who contributes to their local church through the Cooperative Program,” Powell said. “We hope this video will form a human link between individual Southern Baptists who support Cooperative Program ministries with their gifts and the more than 9,000 real people who serve as missionaries on the field.”

During the course of the video, viewers are introduced to missionaries who share Christ’s love and message of salvation in such places as:

— Brazil, where Karen Grey ministers to patients with AIDS.

— Boston, where Betsy Draper ministers to college students, including more than 25,000 international students.

— Nepal, where Robert Watson travels many hours by bus and on foot to minister to patients in remote hospitals.

— Fresno, Calif., where Ron Climer shares a message of hope with juveniles serving time for violent crimes.

— The Philippines, where Harold and Joyce Watson have labored for 30 years to help poor farmers improve the soil, their crops and their lives as they eke out a living on small plots of eroded land.

Powell said the production of the video is testimony to the fact that even in the midst of a reorganization of the SBC, convention agencies are working together as partners in Cooperative Program promotion and to provide educational and motivational resources for local churches.

As a part of the convention’s “Covenant for a New Century” restructuring, the Cooperative Program promotion office will be moved from the Stewardship Commission to the SBC Executive Committee where it has been assigned, effective at the close of the Southern Baptist Convention meeting this June in Dallas. Powell will serve as director of Cooperative Program relations and Jim Austin, vice president of Cooperative Program promotion for the Stewardship Commission, will serve as director of Cooperative Program promotion.

Copies of “A Mission You Share” videotape in 1/2-inch VHS format can be ordered for $7 each, plus shipping and handling, from the Cooperative Program Promotion Office, 901 Commerce Street, Nashville, TN 37203. Phone orders can be placed by calling 1-800-722-9407.

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  • Tim Fields