By Suzii Paynter
Maybe we should put a small globe at the end of each pew.
Every church in Cooperative Baptist Fellowship life is walking hand-in-hand with new believers, discipled Christians and vibrant ministries around the world. CBF impact reaches every comer of the globe, with a CBF presence spanning from rural villages in Thailand to the United Nations Office at Geneva, Switzerland. We bear witness to the Gospel through words that invite faith and actions that embody the way of Jesus. This year, you and your congregation are invited to journey with us as we discover the ways that God is working alongside field personnel bearing witness to Jesus Christ in Thailand, China, southern Kentucky and in the poorest counties in the United States.
The world is big, but the love of Christ is demonstrated in sustained, deep, caring human connections – one person, one church, one moment at a time. Through missions we can make the world (and Christ’s call to love it) bite-sized.
Maybe you don’t want globes in your pews, but one way to make the work of your church around the globe visible is by bringing bite-sized messages about missions into your church’s weekly bulletin, emails and newsletters.
Ryan Clark, CBF’s church engagement manager, is making our global stories
bite-sized for weekly sharing. In Ryan’s weekly communication called “Mission Bites,” you can get bite-sized love notes, prayer requests and insights from the people who are serving on behalf of your congregation in places around the world. Here are a few examples:
MISSION BITE #8
God is at work among the Bhutanese/ Nepali refugees in Fort Worth. We’ve had two new churches begun among them and recently I was invited to preach at one. Pastor Dal greeted me and said that on that day a Hindu man was accepting Christ.
At the end of the service, the pastor called forward a young man who knelt before
the group and was led in prayer accepting salvation in Christ. We then had the privilege of laying hands on the new believer and praying for him. – Karen Morrow, CBF field personnel in Fort Worth, Texas
MISSION BITE #9
At a church in Cambodia, the music leader often gets a phone call right in the middle of a song, steps outside to answer, and everybody else just keeps singing. A minute later, he will step back in and keep singing like nothing happened. As it turns out, the doors on the ground floor of the church have to be locked for security reasons. The music leader is the person you call to get in if you arrive after the doors have been locked.
At first, I thought the action was a bit rude. However, it is an act of welcoming. Every call means that one more person has made the journey and the sacrifice to participate as part of the body of Christ that week. – David Bass, CBF field personnel in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
MISSION BITE #11
Since Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel Cecelia Beck’s home is on
a visible corner of her neighborhood with constant foot traffic, adults and youth alike stop by to talk about their struggles and triumphs at home or school. Neighbors also look out for Beck, taking the time to speak with her and tell her she is appreciated.
“One of my favorite neighbors was a man who once told me that ‘there are a million eyes watching out for you,”‘ Beck said.
She has learned to rely on her neighbors, whom she considers family. “It has been very important that I concentrate on ‘being with’ rather than ‘doing for’ my neighbors even though I do much for them.”
MISSION BITE #12
Even though we do not have trains in Togo, a popular expression is, “You wait for the train; the train does not wait for you.” Being on time is not a daily value in Togo, but if it is an important meeting, then people will show up two or three hours early for the rendezvous. My wife, Lynn, had a meeting with a batik artist who is helping us raise money for our ministry with neighborhood kids. Arriving at the appointed hour she
was surprised to hear he had been waiting for over two hours. We give thanks to God as Togolese join us in helping in local development projects … especially those who are there before the train. – Mike Hutchinson, CBF field personnel in Togo, West Africa
Spread the bite-sized word, there is a globe in your pew. Thank you for the privilege to partner in missions here and around the world.
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