Tears, Courage and New Beginnings
by Guest Author — September 15, 2014
Andrea Nedorostova was born and raised in the second biggest city of Czech Republic called Brno. Playing tennis competitively her whole life brought her to the United States when she received a scholarship to attend Northwestern State University of Louisiana. Upon graduation with a bachelor’s degree in communication, she moved to Austin, TX to pursue a master’s degree in journalism at The University of Texas at Austin.
When she visited West, she immediately felt like she belonged. West residents treated her like one of their own. Andrea was captivated by their kindness, and mainly, by the way they handled a difficult time in…
Seeds of destruction: the city of West
by Guest Author — September 8, 2014
Andrea Nedorostova was born and raised in the second biggest city of Czech Republic called Brno. Playing tennis competitively her whole life brought her to the United States when she received a scholarship to attend Northwestern State University of Louisiana. Upon graduation with a bachelor’s degree in communication, she moved to Austin, TX to pursue a master’s degree in journalism at The University of Texas at Austin.When she visited West, she immediately felt like she belonged. West residents treated her like one of their own. Andrea was captivated by their kindness, and mainly, by the way they handled a difficult time in…
A fascinating day in the Quilombola village
by Guest Author — September 4, 2014
On August 9, Linda Freeman (a member of First Missionary Baptist Church in Fort Worth) and Bertha Vaughn (a member of Bethany Baptist Church in Houston) joined seven other Texas Baptist church leaders through the African American Ministry. Each followed the call to serve eight days in Salvador, Bahia in Brazil. Here the team did door-to-door evangelism and held Bible studies for Quilombola villagers under a shade tree. Read Freeman’s and Vaughn’s testimony as they recall unforgettable experiences from the village visits.
BRAZIL - It was a fascinating day. We visited two of the Quilombola villages. In the last…
by Guest Author — September 2, 2014
No, we aren’t feeding fajitas. We are feeding students. About 1,800 of them, in the middle of campus, at lunch time, on the first day of the semester. The Father has blessed the Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) at the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) to be a part of its official “Welcome Week” activities, and Fajita Feed is one of the biggest!
At 9 a.m., the BSM at UTD staff and student leaders began setting up tables and tents and carrying cartloads of water bottles and cookies. We were also blessed with the Texas Baptist Men, who came with the food, and volunteers from local churches who helped serve up lunch so our…
Alaska: Making an impact
by Guest Author — August 18, 2014
Allison Dufour, a student at Stephen F. Austin State University, served in Alaska with Go Now Missions.
It has been just over a week since my return home from Alaska back. This last week has been a whirlwind emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually.
I have slowly begun to process the changes in my life since spending a summer in Alaska. I have often thought about how I could impact the people of Anchorage, but what I did not expect is how much of an impact they would make on me.
Since leaving Alaska, I have noticed how much the Lord changed me as a person. One of the biggest ways this happened was God improved my…
Boldly sharing Christ in South Asia
by Guest Author — August 15, 2014
B.B., a student from Texas A&M University, served with Go Now Missions in South Asia this summer.
Well jet lag is a beast. It’s currently 5 a.m. and I can’t sleep because I’ve crossed about 11 time zones to get home, but in this quiet darkness when I find myself alone in my living room, what better thing is there to do than think about the wonderful things that my God has done this summer. So this update will be sort of different than my others, for instance it’s probably going to be a lot longer because I need to tell you about the events of the past three weeks and then sum up what the Lord has been teaching me this…
The Israel battlefield, from the eyes of a missionary
by Guest Author — August 14, 2014
Lana Fashi Zayed is a missionary in Israel with the Arabic Church of Dallas as her sending church. She asks for prayer as she and her husband search for a vehicle and give birth to their firstborn this month. They will be visiting Texas next summer to share about living and ministering in Israel.
The church-based mission sending fund provided by gifts to the worldwide offering of BGCT provides matching funding to the Arabic Baptist Church to support Zayed’s ministry. For information on how to support the fund please contact Ryan Jespersen at firstname.lastname@example.org or (214) 828-5278.
Oh July…it started…
New York: Busy summer ends
by Guest Author — August 13, 2014
Sadly, our summer interns are leaving New York City. It was such a privilege to serve with these 15 young adults for two months. I learned so much from them. Helping coordinate this summer internship was a privilege and a blessing. It feels different now that our Metropolitan New York Baptist Association mission house is empty.
The past two months, our associational mission house was full - not only with our summer interns, but also with mission teams from all over the United States. They were here to serve at the different churches in New York City.
Diana Mao, cofounder and president of Nomi Network, spoke to our interns…
Quebec: Afraid to believe
by Guest Author — August 12, 2014
Trying to communicate camp rules and activities to the French campers was challenging enough. Keeping the campers focused and interested during devotional time is a whole different ball game - especially when I’m trying to discuss a chapel message that was given in a language that I don’t understand.
After starting the week off with uninterested campers begging to go play instead of talk about God, I couldn’t help but be frustrated and growing impatient at my inability to reach my group of girls. I couldn’t understand why my girls were so cold to Christ and why they didn’t seem moved at all by the stories of his love and…
Orlando: When the world comes to us
by Guest Author — August 11, 2014
Central Florida is fortunate to be blessed with more than 50 million souls to minister to throughout the year.
Orlando has broken its record of people passing through the city with 59 million people, representing different cultures, ethnicities, languages and races. It is beautiful to imagine the hearts that could be touched, seeds that could be planted and souls that could be saved.
What is even better is the thought that one changed soul can change a nation or area. As we spread the gospel to one person, that one person can spread it in their home, and then “Bam!” From right here in America, we have reached China, North…
Vancouver: A summer of sowing seeds ends
by Guest Author — August 8, 2014
Here in Vancouver, we’ve been hanging out with some university students every Thursday this summer to play Ultimate Frisbee. They’ve let us join in supporting their team, even though not all of us play. They’ve let us come along to dinner with them after games. And now I can finally say that they let us share the gospel.
On a recent Thursday, I talked with three of the girls over dinner about what I believe and how Christianity differs from other religions. I shared with them the gospel and planted seeds of news they hadn’t heard before. We’re making the most of these relationships in our final days here by spending time…
England: God had other plans
by Guest Author — August 6, 2014
I was super-sad to leave Manchester. I had grown to love the missionaries, my teammate, the church I attended and the non-Christians I had befriended. I was flying back to Texas alone.
I was tired from staying up late saying goodbyes to everyone, and I had an early-morning flight. By the time I got on my flight from London to Texas, I was ready to sleep, watch movies and just shut out the rest of the world for the next 10 hours. That was not God’s plan for my flight.
Even before the plane took off, I was comfy in my seat with my neck pillow. Then the cutest 2-year-old sat right next to me. I thought, “Well, there goes my…
Massachusetts: Lessons from a cupcake
by Guest Author — August 5, 2014
It should come as no surprise to me that God is continuing to teach me through the tiny tots I so enjoy being with. But one lesson was far more subtle than usual, and it has taken me a few days reflection on an adorable moment to recognize how childlike we should be when approaching God’s throne.
It was a Thursday. The church was having a party in the park. As usual, I was running around with a few of the kids. One in particular had attached himself to me for the evening. I was carrying him on my hip, running around, doing all kinds of ridiculous things you do when playing with toddlers.
Wanting and not wanting a cupcake
Georgia: Well done, my good and faithful servant
by Guest Author — July 31, 2014
These are the words we all long to hear. “You did well my Daughter, come rest with me for eternity to come.” There will be a time that comes when we stand in front of our Maker, as He evaluates the life we’ve lived, and the work we’ve done for His kingdom. If there’s one thing that should stir our affections and spur us on to good works, this should be it. It’s Sunday afternoon, and I’m back in College Station, Texas, sitting at my favorite coffee shop, on my favorite couch at Sweet Eugene’s, dwelling on my 6 1/2 weeks at The Living Vine in Savannah, GA. If there’s one thing that rang true throughout my time there it was…
Oregon: What makes us different
by Guest Author — July 29, 2014
For the last nine weeks, I’ve been living in the land of weird. I’ve seen a German Shepard in a stroller, a man wearing the same kilt every day, and piercings I didn’t even think were possible. I’ll be honest it took me a few days to adjust to this city that prides itself on being weird. But the more time I spent here, the more I understood that its uniqueness is why Portlanders love it so much.
We have been so blessed to be able to live in an apartment right in the heart of downtown that is big enough to host a lot of people. Nearly every night we have friends over to hang out, eat, or watch a movie. Many of…
Georgia: Resting in his hands
by Guest Author — July 27, 2014
It is hard to really describe what we do here at The Living Vine Christian Maternity Home. It is one of those things that you can’t really understand it until you are actually doing it, living it. But I think this story really sums up exactly what is going on here.
Saturday, July 19th, was visitation day. The girls spent the morning doing their chores and then later in the afternoon, they were allowed to go out on visitation with family, if that was at all possible. We had one girl going on visitation, one girl who spent each day at the hospital with her baby in NICU, leaving three girls that we were going to get to take to…
Connecticut: The Story of Kenny
by Guest Author — July 25, 2014
A few weeks ago I got to have a conversation with a good friend of ours named Kenny at the soup kitchen. Kenny is probably mid-60s, military veteran who grew up in Norwich, Connecticut. When we first met him he shared with us that there were two things that he did not discuss with people: religion and politics. A few days later, we got to hang and chat with Kenny a little bit more and we were just making simple casual conversation. He started to ask what we had been up to the day before, and let’s just say that opened up a huge door.
Zach began to tell him that we were at our weekly Bible study and that we were studying the…
Alaska: Satisfying physical and spiritual hunger
by Guest Author — July 24, 2014
It is hard to believe I have now been serving with Alaska Missions in the Last Frontier for almost two months. There have been many up and downs, but through it all The Lord had moved in miraculous ways. After spending a week serving in Kodiak, Alaska, our team took a ferry back to the mainland, eventually settling in Anchorage. This is where we have been serving for the last 6 weeks and will be until August.
We spend our mornings doing service projects in the community, which include light construction and a lot of cleaning. I would not typically choose painting a strangers office as my first thing to do in the…
Call to prayer: responding to the crisis
by Guest Author — July 15, 2014
SPRINGDALE, Ark. (BP) — As a former Texan, my heart goes to the border of Texas. As a born-again Christian, the Gospel of Jesus Christ calls me to compassionate action for those who are suffering right now as a result of the immigration crisis, especially the children.
Due to the gigantic nature of this entire issue, most of us become paralyzed or even intimidated by it. By no means do I imagine myself as an authority on this very complex issue, but as one American and Christian leader, I must respond.
As the medical community would sort through the issues as they treat multiple people in a triage unit, we may need to do…
Colorado: Make the most of every opportunity
by Guest Author — July 15, 2014
I am serving with church planters in Loveland, Colo., this summer. Recently, we had opportunities to put into practice Colossians 4:5, which says, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.”
Usually on Sundays, we get to church two hours early to unload the trailer and set up for worship services in a local elementary school. However, one particular Sunday when we arrived, the parking lot was filled with bicyclists, and we couldn’t park in our usual area. We found out a major round-trip bike ride from Denver to Fort Collins was under way to benefit people with multiple sclerosis. In the…
Quebec: No language barrier for God
by Guest Author — July 14, 2014
God has shown me recently just how far his love stretches to all people — every language, every age and every race.
Unlike my previous weeks at Frontier Lodge, most recently I worked in the French camp instead of the English camp. I was informed of this exactly one day prior when the kids arrived, giving me plenty of time to fill my head with insecurities and reasons why this would go horribly wrong. I was so quick to forget God’s promise, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”
The week began with some obvious challenges such as many exchanges of blank, confused stares between the campers and me as we…
My loud mouth and God’s appointments
by Guest Author — July 10, 2014
Surely if you know me well, you have seen the openness in many of my responses that are without thought. From time to time my “loud mouth” has led me to conflict, but recently it opened a door for a friendship with a girl named Enus to continue to grow!
During a conversation, Enus mentioned how she was going to go shopping and immediately the words that came out of my mouth were, “Can we come with you?”
She smiled so big and replied, “Yes!”
So we spent our day shopping with our friend. We were able to shine the light of Christ to Enus outside of teaching English and talking about Isa. We have just loved her for being one of…
Park Ministry in Alaska
by Guest Author — July 9, 2014
The first day in the park we introduced the kids to the Bible. We told them that the Bible is God’s word and that everything in it is true. Every child that stayed for story time was given a Bible that day. As soon as story time was over a group of them ran to the table and started reading Genesis 1. I was blown away!
One of the girls who was a part of that group has stood out since that very first day. We asked for a volunteer to pray and she basically prayed the sinner’s prayer. She is always excited for story time and is so interested in what we are teaching. We have had a lot of conversations about things that she has…
Eyes opened, heart broken for refugees
by Guest Author — July 8, 2014
I have been given the opportunity to serve this summer in Nashville, Tennessee for two months. I am interning at World Relief Nashville by helping resettle refugees. Before coming to Nashville, the word refugee was nothing more than a word because I never really knew what it means to be a refugee. I just used the word “refugee” to describe what I was going to be doing this summer.
After orientation, I learned that a refugee is someone that “flees their country and is unable to return due to a well-founded fear based on persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or…
WBU professor citizenship
by Guest Author — July 3, 2014
PLAINVIEW — For Wayland Baptist University professor Dr. Charles Huang, this July 4 holiday will be like none he has ever experienced before. Of course, having only been in the United States since 2007, Huang and his family haven’t seen too many July 4 celebrations.
For the family, however, this will be their first Independence Day as United States Citizens.
Dr. Huang, assistant professor of exercise and sport science, took the oath of citizenship last Thursday, June 26, completing the process to become an official citizen of the United States. His wife, Yan Wang, took the oath a little more than a month before. Huang said…
Humbled by children’s feet
by Guest Author — June 30, 2014
From day one we were asked by our team leader to be FAT. Of course I had already had a few Brazilian meals by that time and was definitely on board to be fat on this trip, but she had another meaning in mind. FAT: fluid, available and teachable. It seemed easy enough.
Most mission trips require those basic qualities, but it was certainly harder than expected. We really had to learn to “let go and let God” because we never really knew what was in store for us from one day to the next.
We were so blessed to work with Samaritan’s Feet while in Brazil, an organization that distributes shoes to the local children…
A goat run and a divine appointment
by Guest Author — June 26, 2014
So I’d like to tell you a story that happened while we were back in the city after our last trek to the countryside. It will describe just how the Lord makes things happen that he wants to. To do this I’m just going to tell you one of my journal entries for that day, I feel like it’ll explain it best.
Sometime between 12 and 1 we were told that we were going on a walk. So my partner, the pastor (Harry), me, Reed (our translator and national partner), and Suzanna (Harry’s daughter who it feels like she and Reed like each other) all set off on a journey that would end up being hours of walking in the hottest heat I’ve…
Called to be different
by Guest Author — June 16, 2014
Different. That’s how I would best describe the past five months of my life since I left Texas, and headed off to live in the Middle East. It’s not a bad different, it’s just different. The people are different, the smells are different, their decisions are different, the sounds are different, viewpoints are different, I’m different.
However, this isn’t a bad thing because in fact we are called to be a different people in a place that believes and practices things contrary to what we believe. We are called to be in the world but not of it, we are called to be different. Sometimes we have to travel halfway across the world…
I don’t fit in this country
by Guest Author — June 9, 2014
I have never, in all of my life, consistently been the tallest person in the room, but that happens here a lot… that is unless my 6’ 8” supervisor is with us. I really have no idea how he does it, because bus seats, taxi roofs, doorways, and even some covered walkways are too small for me. I find myself bending over much more frequently than I ever did in the states, but I guess we all have to make sacrifices for the gospel.
So first I want to explain a little bit about my job here in South Asia because, as always, it’s not exactly what you envision when you sign up. To be honest though, I think that’s a very good thing…
Crab Fest and conversations about Christianity
by Guest Author — May 30, 2014
The Lord began my summer of service with an amazing week in Kodiak, Alaska at Crab Fest. This week my Go Now Missions team and I served alongside missionaries from Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, North Carolina, and Missouri. Every year, the city of Kodiak holds Crab Fest, a festival that brings families together to have tons of fun. We partnered with Frontier Baptist Church and Kodiak Island Outreach to hold a booth that gave away free hot chocolate, New Testament Bibles, and small kids toys. What seemed like a simple booth turned into a life changing experience for both the people of Kodiak and myself.
More often than not…
Serving those who serve
by Guest Author — May 28, 2014
The first week of being in a new culture has been interesting, to say the least. There’s always so much to adjust to— you really have to humble yourself and accept that you don’t know everything. One of the first times I tried to buy something with British currency was kind of humorous. I was buying a croissant and a water bottle and it cost two pounds. I hadn’t had time to learn all the different coins there were, but I saw a big coin that had a two on it— so I just assumed it was two pounds. I handed the cashier the coin and she just stared at me. I could tell something wasn’t right, so I took the coin back and…
The necessity of discipleship
by Guest Author — May 21, 2014
If there is one thing I have learned while serving on staff at the UNT BSM it is the essential need for collegiate ministry in the United States. Over one million students are attending college in the State of Texas. According to a recent poll by Lifeway, 70 percent of freshmen who enter the college world will stop attending church. This generation is among the most biblically illiterate of all generation. This generation simply does not know the Bible or the truth of the Gospel.
These statistics are a small portion of what is truly seen in college ministry today. I have seen college ministry done correctly and disciples are…
Final preparations for student missionaries
by Guest Author — May 19, 2014
As I’ve been preparing to serve this summer, I thought there wasn’t anything else to know than what I’ve experienced overseas already. I thought, “culture shock didn’t happen to me, I knew what to expect.” But sitting through the session about it, I realized that I actually had experienced it, I just didn’t know how to label it at the time. This is pretty much how my entire weekend went—with me walking into a session thinking I knew exactly what to expect, and leaving humbled, yet encouraged, with new knowledge.
This past weekend, May 17-19, 198 of the 298 student summer missionaries gathered at Dallas Baptist…
by Guest Author — May 6, 2014
Thanks to World Vision, building supplies have arrived in West, TX for the home of a West ISD Principal whose home was destroyed after the after the fertilizer plant explosion. The supplies have arrived at the build site, the foundation has been poured, and now it’s time for skilled volunteers to pitch in and help this wonderful community servant and family get back into their home and resume a normal life.
Let the home build begin! We are calling for skilled and experienced volunteers to join with the Shalom Builders in making this home a reality. Will you join the Shalom Builders Network by registering here to help…
God moves at a TWU benefit show
by Guest Author — April 24, 2014
Last Friday night we were given the opportunity to host a benefit show to raise money for summer student missionaries. We had planned on having local musicians put on a show for us. Student leaders, a TWU staff employee, and friends came to enjoy this time together.
We also had one of our guys that just started to get involved share some poetry with us that he wrote.
From student BSM leaders, to family and friends, we all sat and listened and enjoyed some dessert and hot drinks made with our new espresso machine for the BSM building.
The night did not turn out how I had planned at all. Usually, this is how most of my stories…
Serving in West Africa
by Guest Author — March 17, 2014
Our Savior did not stay where it was comfortable. He did not stay where it was safe. Rather He left the throne of Heaven to meet us here and come into our mess. So, we too must follow the example of our Beloved and go to Him “outside the camp.” Don’t assume this means you must move to another country and culture in order to live this out. It may be for many of you. But at the core, Jesus is calling us to leave our normalcy, our Christian circles, and our storehouses of self-preservation and go to those who are waiting outside the gate. We do not wait for them to come to us, rather we run to them! We do not wait for an…
Letter from Haiti student missionary
by Guest Author — March 11, 2014
Bonjou zanmi m! Hello my friend!
Since my last update much has happened. I have spent more time in Fond des Negres and have been able to get to know some of the kids in our area. It seems nearly impossible for me to walk anywhere outside of my house without at least one child by my side. The children are so eager to give and receive love; they have so much joy. One thing they lack is discipline. The people in our area are so poor. Many of the children that come around our compound show signs of malnutrition and most don’t have shoes or proper clothing.
I spent two and a half weeks in Grand Goâve at a different…
The invitation to service
by Guest Author — March 4, 2014
When I was 12-years-old, I felt called to ministry. While the specifics of my calling were unclear, I knew I was supposed to spend my life engaged in some type of vocational ministry or mission work. Despite the lack of clarity in my calling, I was able to easily identify and explain my life’s purpose to others because of what the church referred to as: the call to special service.
But somewhere along the way many (or if we’re being completely honest, most) of us have stopped heeding the special service call. For some unknown reason, we believe people are simply going to hear and discern their calling for themselves – and…
Doctrine and Dialogue
by Guest Author — February 14, 2014
Every Friday Students at the University of North Texas BSM and discuss different topics of Christian belief in an activity called Doctrine and Dialogue. At Noon students come together and talk about a chapter from the book Christian Beliefs by Wayne Grudem. In this book students are taught systematic theology in short chapters… and when I mean short they are super short. At most these chapters are six pages. In SIX pages students, believers can have an understanding of tough theological beliefs and topics found in the Bible. Last semester we covered the following topics:
- What is the Bible?
- What is God like?
- What is the…
Sent to serve
by Guest Author — February 12, 2014
BUTTE, Montana – One Friday night, as I was getting ready for bed, I looked outside and realized that I would be spending Saturday morning shoveling snow from the church sidewalks. Again. This made four days that week and three in a row. I set out a reminder for myself in the morning, knowing what my temperament would be.
The first thing I said that morning was, “Do I really have to get up to shovel snow?” Then I saw my towel. It was a Go Now towel from a couple of years prior that said, “Sent to Serve.” It reminded me that even Jesus said that He was sent to this earth to serve, not be served (Matthew 20:28). I didn’t come…
Mission Drippin’ – A model for community outreach
by Guest Author — February 11, 2014
Mission Drippin’ is a week-long community outreach ministry of First Baptist Church of Dripping Springs. Read about the practical ways that their church implemented this ministry, so you can similarly create a model like this in your church. Click here to read the background, mission and vision of Mission Drippin’.
The Practicals of community outreach through Mission Drippin’:
Leadership: A leadership team is formed, placing a team lead with each ministry project for the week.
Kick-Off Worship Service: We have a worship and prayer service with the intent of preparing ourselves for a week of ministry.
Prayer Days: On Monday…
From Texas to Montana
by Guest Author — January 27, 2014
My name is Justin Langford, and I am serving this semester in Butte, Montana, through Go Now Missions. The main portion of my ministry here is with college students at Montana Tech through both the Baptist Student Union and Park Street Baptist Church. Up until now, I had lived in Texas all of my life, and the most I had ever been away was probably no more than 2 weeks. I have just finished my second week here, and, in case you didn’t know, Montana is very different from Texas. The ministry I’m involved with looks different than what I had imagined. However, different isn’t bad – it’s just different.
I’m living literally…
Mission drippin’ – reaching out to our community
by Guest Author — January 21, 2014
Six years ago, First Baptist Church of Dripping Springs burned to the ground at the hands of an arsonist. Many people at that time left the church. There were about 50 people left to determine the next step. The small group hired a great interim pastor that helped the church through a healing process.
At that time they also determined they would come together in unity to rebuild the church. Gradually, the church began to grow and they brought on a full-time pastor, Craig Curry and his wife, Fallon.
During our second year we began looking for ways to help our church engage in outreach and missions again. For a while, the…
It is all possible
by Guest Author — November 20, 2013
As I prepare for each lesson daily, I pray that God speaks through me and says to each child what he or she needs to hear. Each day that passes, I get closer to leaving. This makes me work harder because I want to make the most of my experience.
When I got here, I told each child that we were going to be learning a verse from the Bible each week. I told them it would be a total of 11 verses. They all looked at me and said, “Miss that is too much! I will never be able to memorize so much!” I told them, “I know you all are capable of doing so! Do not complain, just do it! How do you eat an elephant? You eat it one bite at a…
Hunger for More
by Guest Author — November 13, 2013
Thank you all for your prayer! I can see the mighty hand of God firing up the hearts of the town. As I took my seat next to the people that usually attend the evening Sunday service, I started seeing more people come in. I was surprised to see thirty people in the service! That is eighteen more people than usual!
What joy it was to see the church fill up! As the service was about to start, I started praying for each of their hearts and for God to open their eyes to the unconditional love and protection he offers to those who let Him.
This past week I had asked three of the kids from the program if they wanted to help me paint…
Couldn’t You Carry Me?
by Guest Author — November 7, 2013
One day a teenage friend of mine, who is moving closer to knowing Christ, and I were playing basketball in the park, and he seemed to be moving slower than usual.
When I asked what his problem was, he showed me a huge painful-looking blister that took up a small section on his foot. I suggested we go back to the house to give his wound a rest. He offered no objections. He was moving even slower as we walked home, so I carried him on my back for the last stretch of the trip.
After lounging around the house for a while with some of the other summer missionaries, we realized it was time to go to an evening prayer meeting at a…
Gospel Focused Free Lunch
by Guest Author — October 29, 2013
Some days serving at the University of North Texas are just plain hard. UNT is very different, in comparison to the college I attended. Most students do not care about God or want to engage in spiritual conversations. This is not because they don’t see the reason for believing in God, but because they really just don’t care. I am learning that when you make the conversation about meeting their needs and hearing about their lives, the Holy Spirit moves.
Each week the Baptist Student Ministry serves free lunch on Wednesdays at noon. A different church provides each meal and help serves hundreds of students on campus. I see new…
DBU Students Respond to The Calling Conference
by Guest Author — October 23, 2013
Dallas, TX – Nearly 400 DBU students gathered together for The Calling Conference, an event geared to help college students discern their calling to ministry and determine the next steps for them to take along that journey. Sponsored by Texas Baptists and coordinated by Dr. Bill Tillman, director of the Theological Education Division of the BGCT , the meeting brought together seasoned ministry professionals to share with the students knowledge and insight gained from years of ministerial work within local churches, college campuses, and denominational bodies.
The event began with a special chapel service held for students…
A Heart for Christ
by Guest Author — October 23, 2013
The kids in the feeding program I work with have been selected from families most in need. They burst through the classroom doors each day with so much energy and excitement. It does not matter how the weather is; they are always here. Seeing the kids, and their involvement in my classroom, makes my heart sing with joy! Though at times I feel drained and nearly lose my voice, I feel satisfied knowing God is using me.
The kids in the program come with an empty stomach. If it were not for this program, many of them would not eat. Either their parents work too much, and are never home, and/or there is not much to eat. While the…
Let Our Lives Burn for You
by Guest Author — October 23, 2013
This past Sunday, after church, the pastor brought a small grill he wanted to use. He had never grilled in his life, and I had never started a fire in my life. This was a new experience for all of us. Using coal, wood, and cardboard, we tried to start the fire. The material would burn fast, but the coal would not light. It was embarrassing how long we took to finally get the coal burning. Once we got it burning, it continued to burn. This got me thinking about the church members.
I see members come to every service, but it is always the same people. I see no growth or true communion between the members, and no one wanting to…
God is Not Limited
by Guest Author — October 15, 2013
There are three things you might notice when driving into Crawford, Texas. Perhaps you’ll notice the billboard featuring George and Laura Bush, our most famous property owners. Perhaps you’ll notice the welcome sign from First Baptist Church, or perhaps you’ll notice the city limit sign, which reads, “Pop. 717.”
The Crawford community sits about 20 miles west of Waco. Yet, Crawford does not share the big city features of its larger neighbor. Crawford has one post office, one blinking light, one restaurant, and one high school. You get the idea.
Yet, First Baptist Church is a unique blend of business owners, stay-at-home moms…
Life is so good
by Guest Author — October 10, 2013
Truthfully, I do not know how else to describe the change that has taken place in my life. Through it all, God has still been faithful. I have recently moved to Denton, Texas to serve as the Campus Missionary at the University of North Texas. I have been blown away by how blunt people are in Denton, how exhausting campus ministry is, and how God works all things together for his good.
That last one blows my mind. God is truly blessing my ministry right now. He is literally bringing people to my feet.
My first couple of weeks in Denton were really slow. I was transitioning and getting the hang of things. Most students were not…
North Texas Team Works in Piedras Negras
by Guest Author — October 7, 2013
A team from Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall, Texas, just completed a very successful health clinic in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico. The team worked in cooperation with Iglesia Fuente de Vida and mission coordinator Gloria de la Pena to minister to the needs of the people of the city. The clinic was focused in the four areas of wheelchair ministry, eyeglass ministry, dental care, and health screening.
As a result of this clinic, 53 people received wheelchairs, walkers, or canes. Our dental team provided care for 120 people in cooperation with a great team of dental professionals from Piedras Negras. The health screening…
We Did Not Meet by Chance
by Guest Author — October 3, 2013
When I was young, I struggled with being social and outgoing. I sit and wait around until someone would come and play with me. As I grew older, that started changing. As I got more involved in church activities, Christ starting removing timidity and all shyness from my life.
From the moment I opened my life to Christ, the transformation in my life began. Just the other day I, as I prayed before starting my devotional I was giving thanks to God for surrounding me with such amazing people. I have made close friends, and the pastor’s family has taken me in as their daughter. Everything is in place, and God has placed me exactly…
Ignite Your Passion Outreach
by Guest Author — September 16, 2013
The Ignite Your Passion Outreach was a huge success this past weekend. Pastors and Church Leaders in Eagle Pass, Texas had hoped to have a prayer meeting spanning across the bridge (between Eagle Pass, Texas and Piedras Negras, Mexico) which serves as a walkway across the border. They had received permission from city officials but the decision was rescinded at the last minute and therefore the group met in the parking lot at the border and prayed for the border violence and needs of both cities.In spite of this development, over 300 from the community participated in the outreach. The event consisted of a block party…
He redeems my wayward thoughts
by Guest Author — August 29, 2013
It’s my first morning in this apartment. I am aware of the presence of the Spirit and I let my thoughts wander. I feel a wave of thankfulness rush over me. I have such a homey space to live in for the next year. It’s old and dated, definitely doesn’t smell new, it has an interesting paint job from the previous BSM intern, mismatched furniture, stained carpet, and the ceiling looks like it’s falling down in the bedroom.
But my mind’s on something else. I’m imagining the fellowship that will happen in this space. I think of those who’ll meet here weekly and do life together, our time in worship, the revelations that’ll occur…
Down to get a free snow cone
by Guest Author — August 28, 2013
At Texas A&M University-Kingsville, our BSM has been blessed with close relationships between our staff and the University’s personnel responsible for all freshman orientations, welcome week and student affairs. Because of this friendship, we have been given the opportunity to serve the incoming freshman week after week while they are in town for two days going through orientation.
Each night that we are at freshman orientation, we have the privilege of serving snow cones, ice cream or coke floats to 100-200 students, and we are the only student organization to do so.
With this, we are able to connect with many students and…
Changing one life at a time
by Guest Author — August 27, 2013
Over the last couple of months, as I have prepared to serve as a Campus Missionary Intern this school year, God has been teaching me a lot about myself and the mission He has called me to. For someone my age I look at the world I live in and see so many big issues but I also see God moving in big ways.
I was sitting thinking yesterday about how I am moving away from my family and the close friends I have been blessed with while in college in order to serve at a new campus in a new town. As I began to think about the life that I am leaving behind, I was reminded of what my pastor said last Sunday. I will probably never cure…
Tears in Shoreditch
by Guest Author — August 26, 2013
Never thinking God would challenge me as I walked the streets of London alone taking pictures of the less likely thought as art, creativity that covered the walls from street to street.
Feeling as I should walk passed my train station to go home and since it wasn’t too dark I could see a little more before having to head home. My legs ached and exhaustion crept in, but I felt a tug to keep going and said to my self I will just walk a little past the tunnel (below where the train crossed). Saw some great art on the walls and took some great pictures!
Thinking I was going to just walk past and continue to take pictures as…
How do our churches minister to schools?
by Guest Author — August 26, 2013
1) How did your church first get started working with your local schools?
We have been working with the local schools for over 10 years. – Tom G. Revilla
It started with our geographic location right across the street. After unsuccessful attempts to interact we prayed for openings to collaborate. When a new principal came on we began to partner together to do an event. We gathered a group of members that are teachers by profession and brainstormed ideas of how we can interact and support the schools in our neighborhood. – Adam Griffin
2) Were there any obstacles to overcome when you first started? If so, what were they?
Church born from tragedy to serve students
by Guest Author — August 22, 2013
In the wake of two teen suicides and 20 student drug overdoses in the 2010-2011 school year, Hip Hop Hope Missions, an outreach program of Eyes On Me Inc, responded to a call from a local missionary, pastor and High School assistant principle and reached into a community to serve the students of Royal High School. They connected with the students through music in a general assembly that encouraged and entertained them during the school hours. In the evening they held a concert where they preached the gospel and over 100 students responded to the Gospel that evening.
From that point they began to meet students’ needs through…
Serving as the eyes and ears of Jesus in Oklahoma
by Guest Author — August 21, 2013
Gary Henneke, Pastor of Frelsburg Baptist Church of New Ulm, Texas joined 140 volunteers who served during the recent “Loving Oklahoma” event. Gary is a trained NOVA Chaplain and joined to see how his training could be of assistance on the field. Gary wrote the below account of his experiences and concluded that Chaplains are very much so needed as Disaster Recovery teams continue to serve in areas affected by disasters. Gary stated “We certainly need to be the “hands and feet” of Jesus during these times but we must not also forget to be the “eyes and ears” of Our Lord during these recovery events.” Gary worked with “Field…
Practical ways your church can share Christ’s love in schools
by Guest Author — August 21, 2013
Mounds of glue sticks, construction paper, pencils, and backpacks line store shelves, signaling the fast approaching start of a new school year. For churches, these first signs point to much more than the end of the busy summer event schedule and the start of high attendance season for Sunday School. The start of the new school year marks the start of a unique and much needed opportunity to share Christ’s love with our local schools.
Popular belief might lead you to believe that school doors are padlocked and chained against anyone associated with a church. This is certainly not the case. Schools today are facing many issues…
Loving Oklahoma volunteers help victims rebuild and restore
by Guest Author — August 15, 2013
A series of tornadoes in May of this year devastated parts of Oklahoma, taking lives and flattening houses. Two and a half months later, residents still have needs as they try to restart their lives.
On August 5-10, Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery partnered with Cooperative Baptist Fellowship and World Vision to help meet many of those needs through the recovery effort Loving Oklahoma.
More than 130 volunteers scattered across a widespread area from El Reno to Shawnee, Okla. to aid in debris pick-up, house construction, donation sorting and other needs. Many came in church groups and some came as individuals.
Heart notes about my time with Russian orphans
by Guest Author — August 15, 2013
June 1 – While in the city we have been given the opportunity to volunteer at a local hospital. Children who are removed by social services from problem homes or Russia’s streets are taken to this hospital. Here the children are evaluated and diagnosed medically. It is then decided whether the children will enter into something similar to foster care, go to an orphanage, or be placed in any other kind of institution that houses children.
June 2 – At the hospital, a few of the children stuck out in my mind. One of them was Anya. She was two years-old and had a sister that was with her at the hospital. Her name was Nastia, and…
Hard knock life
by Guest Author — August 13, 2013
The only men inside the orfanitorio are the security guards. 80-or-so children play within the fenced courtyard; they are shielded from outside dangers and void of inside comforts. The orphanage is an institution rather than a home. A ‘mother’ cooks for the children, but no mommy dotes on them. A man guards the door, but no father walks through it. These children were removed from fractured homes, but not given a replacement.
In the midst of such circumstances, the children wonder as to their worth and struggle to define their dignity.
One gordita girl revels in our attention. Sitting in my lap is a particular…
Three keys to sharing the gospel with your children
by Guest Author — August 8, 2013
Parents prioritize laying a solid foundation for their children early on that will undergird the rest of their lives. Parents know that early awareness, habit formation and discipline of sport and music helps their children develop. To that end, parents invest their time, energy and resources to give their children the best possible start.
Parents must have that same kind of passion for laying a proper spiritual foundation, including sharing the gospel with their children. In many ways, the same principles for coaching youth sports teams apply to sharing the gospel with children.
Be a coach. Coaches are always there for…
Tell me the stories of Jesus
by Guest Author — August 8, 2013
On Friday, we taught Religion class and I was designated “narrator” of the story of David and Goliath while Ashley “played” David and Taylor, Goliath. (Note: I learned after getting some funny faces it is pronounced Go-lee-ath in Kenya!) It really is rather convenient when telling the story of the little shepherd boy David and the giant Goliath to have team members who are a foot apart in height! We learned that “God is BIG” and “God is STRONG” (with VBS-like actions of course) and I wrote a simple song the night before that tells how we praise God by dancing, praying, waving, playing instruments, etc. We sang while the…
On mission in Mission
by Guest Author — August 6, 2013
Buckner Project Go! volunteers travel all over the world and dedicate one or two months of their summer to minister to orphan children, caregivers, in-country staff, and short-term mission trip groups.
A team of five students through Project Go! served the month of June in Mission, TX through VBS and warehouse work at a Buckner Community Transformation Center, laying a foundation and beginning on the base for the floor of a home for a family in the community.
Are you looking for a place to serve? You can find mission opportunities like the ones available through Project Go! on Be On Mission. You may also toggle between Open…
Sharing God in Alaska
by Guest Author — August 5, 2013
A new mission team has settled in to the projects in Anchorage this week. They have meticulously prepared stories, crafts, and games for our kids to enjoy after we finish serving them the orange and white boxes of government-sponsored food. On the blue tarp, the kids wiggle and whisper their way through story time. We finally finish learning about Pharaoh and his unwillingness to let the people of Israel go, and just as we start to enter in to a time of questions (with candy rewards, of course), the maintenance man comes….and he has a sprinkler. Instantly the kids run over to the spraying water like they are being pulled…
Go Now Missions: A new understanding of Father
by Guest Author — August 2, 2013
It is Ramadan here in South Asia. Ramadan is a month long fasting for Muslims. Honestly, it is epitome of a works based system. Islam is a spiritual power that exerts control over this time. Muslims are repressed into Islamic traditions. Many Muslims blindly follow strict fasting due to extreme fears.
Satan has strongholds on these traditions and fear. It is overwhelming the extent of darkness during this time. It is heartbreaking. This past week, my friend and I were invited into a Muslim home to break fast for the evening.
I was blown away by her interest in the Good news in HER home. She invited us in her home so she could…
Home is where the heart is
by Guest Author — August 1, 2013
We’ve heard this phrase time after time. Everyone knows it. We think of home and certain things come to mind. It’s different for everyone, but for me it’s things like family, love, comfort, and familiarity.
But what about the people who don’t have a home? What about the kids who have never known family, or even love? Not only are they “houseless”, meaning they don’t have the four walls or comfy bed, but they are truly without family or community. What about the orphans?
“We learned that orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend…
Go Now Missions: Overcoming fear
by Guest Author — July 31, 2013
Honestly, there were many things coming into South Asia that made me extremely fearful. I was nervous about the darkness, depravity and strongholds. I was terrified about my extensive traveling schedule.
But, I think majority of the fear that consumed me was feelings of inadequacy for my role in South Asia this summer. This summer, I have been doing media over the summer missionaries here in South Asia. My role was to create mobilization and awareness materials from summer students. I desired to utilize my talents in cinematography to capture God’s work on film so others can join in the work that the Father is already doing…
Conference set to gear churches for boomer wave
by Guest Author — July 31, 2013
The baby boomer wave is upon senior adult ministries, and people from all across the country are registering to “catch it” with the National Boomer Ministry Conference Sept. 5-6.
At First Baptist Church in Allen, participants will have a full schedule of breakout sessions, general sessions and entertainment.
Baby boomers remain the largest population group, now ranging in ages 49-67, said Keith Lowry, Texas Baptists’ single adult/family ministry/senior adult specialist. They tend to have a different mindset than the previous generation when it comes to finding a church home and often are turned off by the term “senior adult…
Go Now Missions: Seeing past the labels
by Guest Author — July 30, 2013
Special needs boy, disabled boy, different boy…so many labels are attached to him by society confusing what he has with who he is. When I look at him I see him and his name is who he is. The limitations he has do not define who he is.
Of all the ministries I knew I would be apart of in Missions Centers of Houston, I would have never guessed that God would use me to minister to special needs individuals in a community where they are being ignored.
These past few weeks one of the focuses of our prayers has been God showing us how to minister to the special needs individuals in our community. God has definitely been hearing…
Go Now Missions: What am I doing with my life?
by Guest Author — July 25, 2013
This is a question that I often use in jest, but that I also often ask myself and ask God. And from each I often get no answer; why should I worry myself with the future, when the present has enough problems of its own that request my attention?
But at the same time, whenever I ask this question, I always get the same response about the present: I am letting God use my life for His purposes.
I felt the call to go to Russia for about a year before I was connected by crazy circumstance to a team going from Texas A&M. It has been almost two years since I first felt that call, and now I am here, in Russia, letting God use my life…
Pray. Just pray.
by Guest Author — July 24, 2013
Have you ever felt like a catalyst? A catalyst is “an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action”. So put simply, a catalyst is something that helps the bigger something happen faster.
I feel as if I’ve been that for the past 6 weeks. I say this not to boast, but to share how God has humbled me. Here in East Asia, there are already people working to make God’s name known and I feel that God just picked me up and placed me in the middle of it all and said “Pray. That is all. Just Pray.”
“Pray Continually” – 1 Thessalonians 5: 17
There were many times when I would sit down and pray for God to allow us to share…
Hispanic Baptists in Texas Looking Toward Future
by Guest Author — July 23, 2013
SAN ANTONIO – Hispanic Baptists are well-positioned to focus on what God has laid on their hearts for the convention’s future, said Jesse Rincones, Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas executive director.
“I thank God I’ve had the opportunity to serve for the last three years,” Rincones said of serving as president and more recently executive director. “It’s been a historic time, a time of transition.”
Since signing the unification agreement with the Baptist General Convention of Texas in 2010, Hispanic Baptists have celebrated their centennial, made changes to some of their bylaws, established the volunteer position of…
Texas Baptist Camps: Made to glorify Him
by Guest Author — July 23, 2013
After leaving my work at Camp Chaparral last summer, I knew I wanted to return to work there again. I loved the atmosphere and the fulfillment of serving God there.
This year as a returning staffer I was so excited to start work and my expectations were set high. I was nervous at first because I learned that most of my friends that I worked with last year weren’t returning but God has definitely exceeded my expectations this year. So far I’ve gotten to celebrate with two kids that gave their hearts to Christ. One of them is the child of a good friend!I’ve made several new life long friends in my coworkers.
Working here has…
Go Now Missions: Planting the seed
by Guest Author — July 22, 2013
All morning we spent setting up for our community wide block party with help from the three hundred strong Prestonwood youth choir. The morning turned to noon and things became frustrating as the large bounce house inflatable failed to blow up. As I walked away feeling frustrated, God reminded me why we were setting up bounce houses and giving away five hundred hot dogs in the first place – to engage the community of Richmond, BC with the truth and life of Jesus Christ.
I redirected my heart and steps and introduced myself to a Chinese family enjoying hotdogs in the shade. They were inviting and had questioned why so many…
Family Gathering volunteers help bring new look to San Antonio church
by Guest Author — July 18, 2013
SAN ANTONIO – Volunteers ripped out paneling and combined their handiwork skills to assist a church during the Texas Baptist Family Gathering.
The 91-year-old Harlandale Baptist Church building has been in need of an updated interior and exterior for some time, said Dan Trevino, who has been the church’s pastor for 10 years.
Texas Baptists teamed up with San Antonio Baptist Association to provide a group of volunteers who signed up for the mission opportunity in the exhibit hall of the Family Gathering.
The volunteers prepped the worship area for a new paint job, which Trevino said will bring openness to the room. He hopes the…
Texas Baptist camps: HLCCC shares story through social media
by Guest Author — July 18, 2013
Highland Lakes Camp and Conference Center serves guests all year long, but they are right in the middle of their busiest season and they are sharing their story in all the ways that they can.
You can follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and SmugMug to see how they are sharing the gospel this summer with thousands of campers. You can also watch a live stream of some of their worship services here: http://www.hlccc.org/summer-camps/live-stream/.
Here are some of the things that you will see:
Please pray right now! for our worship service at Highland Lakes Camp Journey Youth Camp. The Clayton Tyner Band is ready to go and Read more...
African American Fellowship visions future, studies new age statistics
by Guest Author — July 16, 2013
SAN ANTONIO – African American Baptists were challenged to look into the future with a new set of lenses as they gathered together at this year’s Culp Banquet, celebrated during the Texas Baptists Family Gathering.
Photo: From left to right: Oscar Epps, President; Ponce L. Brown, Vice President; Glen J. Samuels, Secretary; Elmo Johnson, Treasurer; Michael Evans, Former President
Nat Irvin II, professor of management at the University of Louisville, recalled a childhood memory when an unfortunate incident with glass caused blindness in one of his eyes.
“Just because you have eyesight doesn’t mean you aren’t blind,” he said as…
The sweatiest job I ever loved
by Guest Author — July 16, 2013
From standing over the steam table to serve chicken-fried-whatever with gravy to running around with day campers to life-guarding to cleaning the entire camp in a few hours for the next group that was coming, they are some of the hottest, hardest but most treasured memories that I have.
But more than the heat, I remember who I served with and how God used these people and their examples in their faith, their work, their growth and their love to mold parts of me and who I am today.
We were a team of college students and high school volunteers that spent hours doing hard, dirty and hot work. Our sun up to way past sun down…
Breaking the chains of darkness, revisited
by Guest Author — July 16, 2013
This summer, I have reverently been praying for divine appointments in South Asia. Honestly, my heart hurts deeply for this place. My biggest prayer is for His truth to be shared and embraced in the darkest corners of South Asia.
Last week, we were prayer walking around a Hindu temple in the city. These temples are incredibly dark places. Imagine yourself walking into a temple where people are convulsing and chanting to the daily animal sacrifices.
Darkness is heavy on your chest as you walk barefoot on the “holy”, blood, and dirt stained floor. Hundreds of people are shoving you to make their daily sacrifices to their idols…
2013-2014 Officers Elected to the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas
by Guest Author — July 15, 2013
Hispanic Baptists elected the first female convention president in their 103-year history this morning.
The announcement came after two rounds of voting. The first – a race between Daniel ‘Tiny’ Dominguez, current president of the Hispanic Baptist Convention; Bea Mesquias, member of United Baptist Church in Harlingen; and Manuel Rios, pastor of Iglesia Bautista Monte Calvario in San Antonio – did not result in a clear majority.
The runoff was a close race; Mesquias won with 100 votes, versus Rios’ 97.
Mesquias has a long resume of accomplishments in Baptist life. She has served on the boards of the Woman’s Missionary Union of…
Messengers grant board authority to consider building sale
by Guest Author — July 15, 2013
SAN ANTONIO — Messengers to the Baptist General Convention of Texas annual meeting elected officers and granted the BGCT Executive Board and an ad hoc committee authority to consider sale of the Baptist Building in Dallas.
In the second day of the Texas Baptist Family Gathering and during the first BGCT business session, messengers re-elected Jeff Johnson, pastor of First Baptist Church in Commerce, to a second term as president by acclamation.
Messengers also elected by acclamation Kathy Hillman of Waco as first vice president, René Maciel of San Antonio as second vice president, Bernie Spooner of Coppell as secretary of…
Go Now Missions: The nations in New York
by Guest Author — July 15, 2013
“From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and find him through he is not far from any one of us.” Act 17:26-27
This bible verse is the driving force of the kind of perspective that I have as I take a look of New York, because the nations are here. I have interacted with people from India, Ecuador, Columbia, Mexico, and Dominican Republic on a daily basis. This has become my norm. It’s amazing to see how a state within the U.S. serves as a home to the nations!
Guarneri: Bible calls Christians to embrace diversity
by Guest Author — July 14, 2013
SAN ANTONIO – The bible calls believers to embrace diversity, not just tolerate it, according to Julio Guarneri, who presented the Baptist General Convention of Texas Annual Meeting sermon July 14. Using Acts 1:8 and Revelation 7:9 as his guiding texts, Guarneri, pastor for Calvary Baptist Church in McAllen, preached that God’s heart and vision for the church is inclusivity. Acts 1:8 delivers Jesus’ stated purpose for the church: to reach “the ends of the earth,” Guarneri said. This can – and often does – mean crossing geographic boundaries, but it also means crossing cultural boundaries close to home. Samaria was…
Common Ground at the Cross of Christ
by Guest Author — July 14, 2013
SAN ANTONIO – Christians should seek unity because of their desire for and delight in the Lord, Earl Grant, pastor of Covenant Church in San Antonio, shared in the opening session of the Texas Baptist Family Gathering.
“Diversity is a given because diversity is the inherent mix,” he said. “It is the inclusion or intentional integration that makes the mix work well.”
“You need to know you are saved, and because of your salvation you can handle it,” Grant explained. “You have been called and cleansed by God. You have been washed in the blood.”
He went on to share that as Texas Baptists, “we come to a common ground at the cross…
Johnson discusses Dr. Seuss and diversity
by Guest Author — July 14, 2013
SAN ANTONIO — With children gathered around and a Dr. Seuss book in hand, Baptist General Convention of Texas President Jeff Johnson added a metaphorical twist to this year’s presidential message.
Johnson began his message at the Texas Baptists Family Gathering, an event that brought together the diverse Texas Baptist family, by reading The Sneetches, a Dr. Seuss story where the sneetches learn a valuable lesson about peaceful coexistence between one another regardless of their diverse appearance. Johnson, pastor of First Baptist Church in Commerce, grasped the children’s attention on the stage as the screens displayed…
Go Now Missions: Divine appointment
by Guest Author — July 12, 2013
From the moment I stepped foot through the doors I knew this place was different from any that I had been in all summer. I have been doing missions work everyday for three weeks but when I entered this portable building I knew the presence of the Lord was at work there stronger than I had felt it anywhere else. I looked out the window and saw a crowd of people in a line the wrapped around the building and into the parking lot of First Baptist Church Orlando.
Each face was a face that was in desperate need of help. They were here as a last resort. They had found their way to this church on this rainy Wednesday morning to ask…
Jespersen named urban missions director
by Guest Author — July 10, 2013
DALLAS — Texas Baptists has named Ryan Jespersen director of urban missions.
With a majority of the population living in urban, inner-city areas, Jespersen believes these communities need more outreach, which he plans to encourage through his new position.
“You’re typically not going to have as strong of churches in the inner-city,” he said. “My goal is to eventually ‘call out the called’ of young people who want to pastor and work in urban churches.”
In his new role, Jespersen will provide leadership and guidance for short-term, mid-term and long-term volunteers who can help strengthen existing urban churches and plant new…
Go Now Missions: Breaking the chains of darkness
by Guest Author — July 10, 2013
Earlier this month, I was sobbing because I was so overwhelmed by the deep chains of darkness here in South Asia. I struggled because I wanted desperately for these people to come to know and embrace our sweet savior Jesus Christ. I wondered why the Holy Spirit was not working faster.
Later that day, my partner and I grabbed coffee with a girl we had met on the metro. We shared the gospel and our stories and I was amazed to see how Jesus stirred her heart in mighty ways.
When we met with her just two days later, she said she was overwhelmed by our message and it had completely changed her heart. She keep saying, “I am a…
The same roots
by Guest Author — July 10, 2013
Sitting on couches overlaid with colorful quilts, university students from Dallas Baptist University and the University of Sao Paulo each sang to the tune of “Amazing Grace” in their own language. I was one of the individuals in the room who identified with the Brazilian students, being from Spanish descent; however, I differed in the language in which I sang. To hear voices raised singing in English, Spanish and Portuguese was a beautiful picture of God’s glory in both the unity and diversity in the Kingdom of God. The same beauty is reflected in Texas Baptist congregations across our state.
When I entered college, I began…
Continue on with the challenge
by Guest Author — July 8, 2013
At the age of 21 sitting in a room filled with about 6,000 Hispanic youth and young adults at Congreso, my heart pumped quickly, my lungs needed to inhale deeply and a non-stop stream of tears came down my face. It didn’t take long before realizing the altar call was for me! Right then and there, it could not be clearer; I needed to answer the call as a bilingual Hispanic pastor in Texas and to respond with being on mission for God along with encouraging others to do the same.
You either are living on mission or you are not. Please keep in mind there is no in-between. If we are to change the future of this world, let alone…
Go Now Missions: Trust and Obey
by Guest Author — July 8, 2013
When we arrived in North Africa, we were told by our host missionaries that the next day we would be going to an area on the outskirts of town to spend the night.They told us that they had never taken a team here and they really were not sure why we were going. All they knew is that as they prayed about the schedule for our team, the Lord had said to go here. They told us that this area had lots of worship of Satan and that Wednesday was a day to “celebrate” Satan with alters, sacrifices and worship. Trusting and obeying, we all loaded up on Sunday and headed out! Our only plan was to have some good team time in preparation…
A beautiful mosaic
by Guest Author — July 4, 2013
Diverse…We all would love to use this word to describe our worship experience. But is that the true depiction of what we see on Sunday morning?
Texas Baptists is no doubt an ultra diverse association of Baptist churches, but what about each church individually? If we ALL were to assemble in one place, we would resemble a beautiful and grand mosaic art piece. But, this is not what I see in my neck of the woods.
In my city and in most of Texas, Sunday morning worship still is the most segregated hour. We publicly endorse social progression, but then we allow our services to travel back in time to the 1950s. Just being part of…
Go Now Missions: The Power of Puzzles
by Guest Author — July 3, 2013
Fridays are busy nights at the Hospitality House. I stepped out of the main room to video chat with one of my best friends who is also on a summer mission trip. Just as I finished talking to her, my partner Myriam charged into our room. “I love puzzles!” she exclaimed. She began to tell me about the conversation she had just shared with a young boy staying at the House tonight.
Months before this trip, I found Bible story puzzles at the dollar store and picked them up to bring to Huntsville. Tonight, Myriam and four or five boys stretched out on the floor to work on the puzzles. As they worked, she asked one of them what he…
A safe place in the storm
by Guest Author — July 3, 2013
Moore, Oklahoma is a town we will not soon forget. The nation looked on in stunned silence at the devastation from the violent tornadoes that visited this community. Too many realized too late that a truly safe place was all that stood between life and death.
Storms often come without warning. Some are more severe than others. Some storms threaten our physical safety while others wreak havoc on our emotional wellbeing. Preparation is key for storms not to be too costly. As the people of Moore discovered, everyone needs a safe place.
As a pastor’s wife of 24 years, finding a safe place in the midst of ministry was my greatest…
A little bottle of “fixes everything”
by Guest Author — July 2, 2013
Change, whether good or bad, is difficult. The Kennedy clan has just moved from the shores of Alabama to the mountains of Colorado. Are our new vistas awesome? Yes! Has the move been exciting? Yes! Am I grieving? You bet!
One of the last things I did was make that final hair appointment with my hair dresser and dear friend of 15 years. When it came time to get that last “Everything-I-can-get-done-to-my-hair-that-will-last-me-for-as-long-as-possible,” she fixed me up, including giving me a little bottle of “Fixes Everything.” Really? Everything?
I can think of some broken areas of my life that could use some fixing…
Go Now Missions: Purpose
by Guest Author — June 29, 2013
I have had several of my close friends email me saying things like “I hope you’re having a great time” or “I am so glad you’re happy.”
I am not here to have a great time.
Living here is not easy. I don’t like being unable to understand anyone. Foreigners are not treated like celebrities here. I accidentally bought pig’s neck lunch meat at the grocery store. I miss my family. I miss my Christian community. I miss everything I’ve ever known.
But I am not here to have a good time or because it makes me happy*. I am here in Russia for the same reason that I am here on Earth.
I am here because God created the world and everything in…
by Guest Author — June 28, 2013
All of us in ministry know what it is like to live in a fish bowl. While it is hard on us, it is harder on our kids. Too many PK’s (preacher’s kids) grow up with a deep resentment toward the church, Christians, their parents and sometimes God because of all the expectations placed on them. We have raised four children in that fish bowl and I have spoken to hundreds of pastor’s wives, some of whom carry a broken heart over their kids. As I look back on those child-rearing years, there are a few thoughts I would like to share.
The first thought is that God chose us to be the parents of our kids. Do you believe that? We all…
Go Now Missions: Christ be lifted high!
by Guest Author — June 27, 2013
“And this is the confidence that we have toward him that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” 1 John 5:14-15
I had been praying this verse over this past week as many obstacles advanced back to back on us. We faced a huge shortage in our food pantry, lack of volunteers, and health inspector coming to check our facility.
Christ has answered the many petitions so clearly showing that it was his handy work. Our food should not have lasted the whole week for pantry but the food was stretched and…
Overcoming fear with thanksgiving
by Guest Author — June 27, 2013
Fear came roaring in. I could have let the fear overwhelm me, control me, inhabit me, become my constant companion.
Two years ago my husband, Larry, came down with a terrible case of shingles. Sores covered the right side of his face from his chin, up over his ear and deep into his eardrum rupturing it 70 percent and leaving him in excruciating pain. In the end, it also set off another attack of his neurological disorder called NMO (Neuro-myalitis-optica) and left him barely able to use his right arm. Many people who have NMO are blind and in wheelchairs. Larry is not, and we have been very fortunate. But I will never forget…
Leaving the familiar
by Guest Author — June 26, 2013
I remember as a little girl when my father was contemplating assuming the role of music leader in a neighboring community church. I was too young to know all of the discussions that took place, but one I do remember was when my parents talked to me about this possibility which would mean we had to attend another church. I probably didn’t respond the way they had hoped. I remember having a pouty expression and saying “No, I don’t want to go. All my friends are here.”
Though attending another Baptist church was probably not a huge deal in the larger scheme of life, it seemed like a really big deal to me at the time. Why would…
Go Now Missions: Deep into the forest
by Guest Author — June 25, 2013
During one of our many trips deep into the forest to bring back boards that one of the locals had cut from a tree, God began to convict me of my lack of understanding as well as lift me up and show me that he made me who I am for a reason!
Each morning, we would go over a Bible story so that we could share it with others through out the day. That morning, we had studied the “Parable of the Talents” in Matthew 25. Little did I realize that God had orchestrated that story for me personally that day. We studied that set of scripture on a morning when I was feeling rather homesick and thus, it was hard for me to really see what…
Loving West volunteers help city move forward
by Guest Author — June 24, 2013
WEST — Media outlets across the nation have told the world how an explosion at a fertilizer plant rocked this small Central Texas town.
But that’s not where the city’s story ends. Thanks to Texas Baptists, in some ways that’s where the story begins. The convention has partnered with First Baptist Church in West to help with recovery efforts since the blast. On June 15-22, hundreds of volunteers from across the state, armed with shovels and servant hearts, partnered for Loving West — a week-long recovery effort coordinated by Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery.
“One of the greatest ways God is blessing us is…
Go Now Missions: A common scar bonds
by Guest Author — June 20, 2013
Lindsay Lawson is a student at UNT and served in England through Go Now Missions. Listen to her as she shares her testimony below. You can read more stories from Go Now Missionaries at http://texasbaptists.org/category/share/.
Are you looking for a place to serve? You can find mission opportunities and others like the ones available through Go Now Missions on Be On Mission. You may also toggle between Open, Ongoing and Completed projects on the map by using the color pins above the search tool.
Be On Mission is an online global missions locator that allows users to Search, Submit, and Share about mission…
Go Now Missions: Behind the barbed wire fence
by Guest Author — June 18, 2013
As we walked on the first full day of training, the city skyline expanded before us with no random giant buildings or billboards blocking the view. It is such a sight to behold.
That image is what hundreds of men, women and children get to look at every day from behind a barbed wire fence. Downtown Houston, a city that promises days full of life, art and culture, separated from a community by a barbed wire fence.
It’s not that the people behind the fence have a different viewpoint, though. The people here see that opportunities for a different life are out there, but they also see that there are barriers that prevent them…
On a Mission in Mission
by Guest Author — June 13, 2013
By: Molly Livingstone
For many, the Saturday before Memorial Day means going to the lake, grilling burgers and relaxing with friends and family. However, for a group of students in Texas it meant driving to south Texas, checking blood pressure, and attempting to overcome language boundaries.
The group consisted of 11 people; including one doctor, and eight students from Texas Women’s University, The University of Texas, The University of Texas Medical School and the Baylor College of Medicine.
“We are able to connect the churches with the community,” director of the Baptist Student Ministry at Rice University and University…
The little things: God uses volunteers to answer big prayers in Oklahoma
by Guest Author — June 13, 2013
By: Molly Livingstone
LITTLE AXE, Okla. – Dressed in a long-sleeved gray shirt ornamented with a small orange OSU emblem, Zach Rowell, stood in the bed of his white truck as the sweltering summer sun beat down relentlessly. Carefully, he pushed a large, maroon corduroy recliner to the back of the bed, securing it with yellow bungee cords.
Rowell traveled June 4 to Little Axe with a youth group of about 25 people from University Heights Baptist Church in Stillwater to help with tornado relief efforts. The group does a service project each Tuesday and chose to help the tornado-ravaged communities. He ended up being an answer…
Go Now Missions: Follow us on Instagram!
by Guest Author — June 13, 2013
Track collegiate summer missions with us! If you’re on Twitter and/or Instagram, watch for Go Now Missions through these hashtags: #GoNowTexas #BeOnMission and #GoNowMissions and follow @gonowtexas. Here are just a few images that you will see!
Are you looking for a place to serve? You can find mission opportunities like the ones available through Go Now Missions on Be On Mission. You may also toggle between Open, Ongoing and Completed projects on the map by using the color pins above the search tool.
Be On Mission is an online global missions locator that allows users to Search, Submit, and Share about mission opportunities…
Snapshot from the field
by Guest Author — June 12, 2013
May 18-20, 200 Go Now Missionaries gathered at Dallas Baptist University for Orientation. They were prepared for service through worship, training sessions and seminars. On Sunday, May 19, family and friends were invited to attend a Commissioning Service. Below is a peek into orientation from some of our students. Our Go Now student missionaries will be serving from 2 weeks to 10 months in 13 different states and 21 countries. We are scattering Texas student to the nations!Ready to Go!
“Go Now Missions Is” Instagram challenge Sharel (UNT), will serve the fall semester in the UK. “I left orientation ready to go! Although I…
Go Now Missions: Contentedness in Christ despite earthly pain
by Guest Author — June 11, 2013
The people of Nueva Candalaria live on $6 per day and have received no aid prior to the arrival of Living Water. The constant hard work of the pastor and the obvious effects of poverty on the children made it easy for me to view the people purely as victims.
Continued interaction with the villagers showed me glimpses of pride, obsession with sex, and selfishness. Working next to them throughout the project helped me to see the people as they are, not helpless victims of a world pressing them down, but as real, flawed people in need a Savior.
It hurt me to see the conditions in Guatemala throughout the week. For the first…
Go Now Missions: Last minute choice and provision
by Guest Author — June 6, 2013
In late March during one of our weekly BSM Bible studies, an Alaskan missionary named Brenda Crim began speaking about her ministry and the Alaskan culture that she is trying to reach. I began to think to myself, “If I were to actually do any summer mission, this would probably be the closest to perfect for me.” Well, that feeling grew the entire time that Brenda spoke.
After she was done, we had a worship break and I was wrestling with the thoughts of school, work and money while the band went through a few songs. Cody, our BSM director, begins with his message on Jonah and his disobedience to go to Nineveh. It was…