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SBC DIGEST: Jim Shaddix receives treatment for brain tumors; Fusion celebrates 20 years

Shaddix to undergo surgery tomorrow to remove brain tumor

By Scott Barkley/BP

RALEIGH, N.C. (BP) — Author, seminarian and longtime Southern Baptist pastoral mentor Jim Shaddix will have surgery tomorrow to remove a third brain tumor, his son said today, Jan. 25.

Shaddix, senior professor of preaching at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, checked into WakeMed Hospital in Raleigh on Jan. 16 after symptoms including fatigue and nausea had increased since Thanksgiving. While there, a scan detected a golf ball-sized mass on his brain. Further examination actually revealed three spots of concern, Shane Shaddix wrote on a publicly-available Google doc updating his father’s status.

Surgery on Jan. 19 that stretched nearly four hours was deemed successful, with “all the tumor tissue that [the surgeon] was trying to get” removed, Shane Shaddix wrote, with another surgery to be expected for the final tumor.

On Jan. 23 the pathology report stated the tumors to be stage four glioblastoma, an aggressive and the most common type of brain cancer. The remaining tumor, it was determined, was too big for chemotherapy or radiation, thus making surgery necessary.

“We’re asking everyone to pray earnestly for Dad and for the surgeon (Dr. Khoury),” said Shane Shaddix. “This tumor is in a very delicate spot of his brain. It will be hard to get as much of the tumor as he needs to get and avoid clipping any of the nerves in this delicate area.

“In particular, Dad asked that you pray for my Mom, that the Lord would comfort her and encourage her, as this news has been especially hard on her.”

Jim Shaddix served as a pastor in Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana and Colorado and was dean of the chapel and professor of preaching at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. In addition to his current role at Southeastern Seminary, he also occupies the W.A. Criswell Chair of Expository Preaching and is a senior fellow for the Center for Preaching and Pastoral Leadership.

Shaddix has written several books, including “The Passion Driven Sermon” and “Decisional Preaching.” He most recently published “Expositional Leadership: Shepherding God’s People from the Pulpit” on Jan. 9 with Southeastern Seminary Provost and Associate Professor of Preaching and Pastoral Ministry, R. Scott Pace.

MBTS’ Fusion and IMB partner for 20 years

By Sue Sprenkle/IMB

KANSAS CITY (BP) – A 20-year partnership between the International Mission Board and Fusion, a missions program from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary and Spurgeon College in Kansas City, Mo., has helped students live a missional life. The two entities are excited to see this relationship grow even more in the years to come.

Erik Odegard, Fusion director and assistant professor of intercultural studies, explained the Fusion program began as a directional process for young Christians to embrace the call of the gospel. Now years later, many of these former students work long term with the IMB.

“It was a long run up to 18-year-olds growing up and taking their own families to the mission field, but we see it happening now,” Odegard said, noting he recently visited South Asia where 15 Fusion alumni are now ministering. “Our hope through these short-term assignments is to see our graduates serving with IMB for years to come.”

The formula for the program and partnership hasn’t changed much through the years. Fusion students get practical and hands-on training before spending weeks working alongside a missionary. They work all school year dabbling in the language they will live in, while learning security protocol for that region of the world. During the year, they form “cohorts,” or teams, and work through four training areas: spiritual, academic, physical and contextual. Within their cohorts, they immediately put this training to use within the Kansas City metro area.

Odegard said this hands-on aspect of the training helps work out any kinks, conflicts and nerves before the cohorts are deployed to their place of service that summer. They go to church together, live together and train for life-on-life discipleship. By the end of the year, the cohorts are ready to reach the lost with the Gospel. They arrive to the missionary teams ready to immediately plug in, or at least that’s the way it worked for Lamar Schubert, an IMB missionary serving in Eastern Europe.

Schubert worked with the cohort via video conferencing months before they actually arrived in his country. He made sure this group made up of high school students led by a college student and young professional could transition almost any conversation to the Gospel.

“Our Fusion team came prepared and hit the ground running,” Schubert said.

The team spent four weeks traveling Eastern Europe creating a digital map of potential ministry sites for new missionaries. The main idea behind mapping is to identify places within neighborhoods where people gather, what time and who it is. For instance, a group of young mothers met at the park for play dates every Monday morning but later that afternoon, several retired men gathered in the same spot to play chess.

The Fusion team also gathered information about religious beliefs with most of these discussions leading into a presentation of the Gospel. This allowed the team to gauge receptivity to the Gospel.

“They nailed it,” Schubert said, adding that this type of work is frontline ministry that sets up strategies for sharing the Good News with people groups who have never heard.

AND,” he emphasized, “they shared the Gospel with more than 200 people in four weeks.”

Read the full story here.

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