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NOBTS students seek to buoy missionary couple’s Christmas

NEW ORLEANS (BP)–Students involved with the Baptist Campus Ministry of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary are sending a Christmas care package to International Mission Board missionaries in Kenya as part of an effort to see Christmas from a more global perspective.

BCM director Leslie Parvin encouraged her students at the beginning of the fall semester to pray for a different unreached people group each month. They spent the month of September praying for the Gogo people of Tanzania, specifically asking God for Bibles written in their language, for missionaries and for the people’s food and water needs to be met in the desert-like climate.

In November, Parvin met IMB representative Felicity Burrow during her visit to the New Orleans campus. Parvin learned that Burrow’s mother-in-law and father-in-law are the only Southern Baptist missionaries working with the Gogo and was inspired to have her students share Christmas encouragement to them through a care package.

Missionaries Olan and Lynn Burrow have served in southern Africa for the past 25 years and are currently living in Kenya. They have spent a large portion of that time investing in the Gogo, a previously unreached people group. While Lynn travels regularly from Kenya to Tanzania with a team of Kenyan missionaries to minister to the Gogo people, Olan teaches at a Baptist seminary in Kenya, all with the intention to disciple the people to lead and start their own indigenous churches.

The NOBTS students’ care package includes gum, candy, Christmas ornaments, a daily devotion guide, Scripture cards and hand-written letters of encouragement.

Felicity said the letters the BCM is sending to her in-laws will be particularly encouraging to them, as missionaries need to be reminded that they are being prayed for. At Christmas, she said, it is especially important to remember the work of missionaries around the world.

“Jesus’ birth was to be a great sign for ‘all peoples’ — that means all people groups, or ethnic groups on earth,” Burrows said. “So it’s natural to remember the missionaries who are taking the good news of Jesus to the people groups who do not yet know about peace with God though Jesus.”

Through a partnership with the Louisiana Baptist Convention, NOBTS began its BCM in August 2001. Parvin can be contacted at (504) 282-7945 or (504) 282-4455, ext. 3321. For more information about the work of the IMB among unreached people groups, visit their website at https://imb.org or call the 24-hour prayer line at 1-800-395-PRAY.

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  • Joanna Miley