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Last night we concluded our annual Missions Conference. I must admit that this is one of my favorite times during the year. I enjoy hearing the, testimonies, seeing the slides, and learning about
God's working in foreign countries. It is always a
challenging time for me, as I ask myself what more should I be doing for
This year's three missionary families did an excellent job, and I was struck by the particular needs of their fields. Belarus, an independent state in the former Soviet Union, has had the Gospel withheld from its people for seventy years. Bro. McKinney spoke of passing out 12,000 tracts in four hours time, and none of them were dropped in rejection. Yet, continuing at that awesome rate, it would take over 600 hours just to stick a tract into the hand of every citizen in the city of Minsk alone. I t would take over five years to make sure that each person in the entire country received one. What a huge need there is there. The African country of Zimbabwe has no fundamental Baptist missionaries, and only one fundamental Baptist national pastor to serve its eleven million people. The medical community claims that over 60% of the citizens of
Zimbabwe have been infected with the HIV virus. This and other diseases are killing off huge segments of the population, the vast majority of whom have never heard a clear presentation of the Gospel.
The third field presented was France. Europe has always fascinated me for its historical significance, yet the need there is great too. Europe has had the Word of God, but they have rejected it. Bro. Mumford characterized France as being a "secular society. " Man is worshipped, God is rejected. Rationalism is exalted, spiritual values are ignored. Among 57 million people, less than five thousand could be considered Baptists. Truly the need there is overwhelming as well.
The question is: What are we going to do about it? There are several steps that each of us should take.
God has given us a wonderful conference. However, if it does not change our lives, it has not done us much good. Pray for our missionary families, and pray that God will make this church and each of its members committed to the cause of missions across the world.
1. Pray. Each of us should pray daily for the specific needs of our missionaries, for the needs of missions around the world, and for God to send laborers into His harvest field.
2. Surrender. Each of us should surrender our lives to the Lord that we will do anything that He wants us to do. Those of us who are parents should surrender our children to the Lord, arid make them completely available to His service.
3. Give. We are currently taking on new missionaries at a rate of $200/month. Do you realize that if each family that regularly attends our church increased their giving by as little as one dollar a week, we could take on two new missionaries? If each family gave one dollar a day to missions, that would translate into twelve new missionaries. If each individual who attended regularly gave one dollar a day to missions, then the number of new missionaries that we could support would skyrocket to thirty-four. Think of the work that could be done, for just one dollar a day. Would you be willing to do something like that?
Mark J. Montgomery