Monday, November 30, 2009

Good news from Central Asia

To kick off our Week of Prayer and December Southern Baptist Missions Offering, here's an encouraging story from the International Mission Board...
“You could be killed for talking about Jesus around here.”

That’s what a Muslim named Bershi* told missionary Luke Jenkins* after Jenkins shared the Gospel with him.

Bershi was an illegal immigrant looking for work when he came to the Central Asian nation where Jenkins serves as a church planter. But his warning didn’t stop Jenkins. He continued to discuss Jesus with Bershi, and as the young man’s interest grew, they began studying the Bible together. Eventually Bershi gave his life to Christ and was baptized.

Since that time Bershi has begun to actively share his faith, and even baptized three others he led to Christ earlier this year. He’s also returned to his own country, a place with severely limited access to the Gospel and very few believers.

Bershi’s baptism is among the more than 506,000 recorded by the IMB (International Mission Board) in 2008 — about one baptism per minute. Southern Baptist missionaries and their partners also reported starting more than 24,650 new churches last year, as well as engaging 93 new people groups with the Gospel for the first time. The total number of overseas churches broke records again, topping 204,000, continuing a steady climb from 111,000 just five years ago.

The numbers are evidence of the powerful way God is using Southern Baptists to complete the Great Commission task.

Praise the Lord! Our church's goal this December is to raise $1500 for global missions. Together with thousands of other SBC churches, we hope to raise a total of $175 million for International Missions. Will you join us in giving for the spread of the gospel and God's glory among the nations?

*Names have been changed for security reasons

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