Full Disclosure: I am not the Cleaver who usually does the writing. But I feel compelled today to make some observations from attending the 2022 meeting of the Baptist Missionary Association of America in Springfield, Mo. These are random thoughts that crossed my mind over the last five days and 1,243 miles:
• I am overjoyed to report that I found the BMA to be alive and well! Thanks be to God who has raised up men and women to carry on the traditions and practices of this association. It was my joy and privilege to meet new (young and not so young!) people I now feel I can call friends. Their spirit, demeanor and zeal were apparent. They displayed a love for the Lord and His Word, as well as maturity and insight beyond some of their years. I am one BMA Baptist that is delighted that the Lord has impressed these folks to carry on the traditions of this association.
• I was elated to hear gospel preaching. I feel that the theme of the meeting — “Preach the Word” — was, indeed, carried out. We live in perilous times, and the gospel message is not always the most popular, but I was inspired and challenged by the presentation of the Word of God. Indeed, the Lord is providing young men like Timothy to carry on the work of the ministry.
• This meeting afforded me the privilege and opportunity to renew “old” friendships. It is always so good to shake hands and hug the necks of friends. I carefully do not refer to “old” friends, but friends of long-standing. How wonderful to see and visit with folks I have known, admired and respected over the years.
• I look forward to and long for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ. But until then I am challenged and inspired to continue the work that He has set before us. May the Lord bless the BMA of America!