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‘Open doors’ create need for new missionaries

RICHMOND, Va. (BP)–A call for new missionaries — “as many as you can send” — has come from Baptists in Russia and Ukraine, where until recently doors were closed to foreign missionaries. Seventy years of communist domination strangled Russia’s more than 1,000 Baptist churches, many of which have no trained leaders, no buildings and little literature.

The collapse of communism freed Russian Baptists to teach and train and share the gospel openly. As a result, they’ve issued an open invitation to Southern Baptists to send as many as 150 new missionaries to help train and mobilize Russian Baptists to proclaim the gospel while there is freedom. Among the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board’s priority personnel needs for 1997 are requests for church planters, teachers of theological education by extension, religious education consultants and strategy coordinators to serve in Russia.

The countries of the former Soviet Union aren’t the only places where doors of opportunity have opened suddenly. In one country, Southern Baptists have been offered the use of more than 40 visa slots another missionary organization has been unable to fill. For more information about “open door” opportunities, call 1-800-999-3113, ext. 1635.

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