Thursday, May 23, 2024
Thursday, May 23, 2024
HomeAll The NewsSTATE MISSIONS: Missions is Our Middle Name

STATE MISSIONS: Missions is Our Middle Name

For the record, people in the Lord’s work are not in competition. We desire the success of all those with whom we are privileged to serve. God has given us many areas in which we can be personally involved. While places and faces may vary, our purpose is one.

We are blessed to be a part of such a mission-minded association of churches. God has, and is and will continue to do far beyond what we think or ask when we pull together for the cause of spreading His precious gospel. On every level, be it world, regional, state or a local association, God’s people are striving to get the message of God’s love out in all areas. Never has the phrase, “there is strength in numbers,” been more visible than it is through the faithfulness of those of like faith joining hand-in-hand through prayer and giving to accomplish reaching people both far and near.

A perfect illustration of what I am talking about was experienced just this past Sunday. February 26 was set aside as a special time to support the efforts of our BMA family all around the world as it was designated World Mission Sunday. It is my prayer that the National Missions office received their greatest ingathering to date.

With local associations reaching out in their own neighborhoods, coupled with state associations and their missions departments reaching into the regions around them and national and foreign missions spanning from coast to coast and across oceans, the BMA of America is alive and well. May God add His blessing to our efforts.

From Our Missionaries

Misión Creciendo en Cristo (Growing in Christ), North Little Rock: Juan Carlos Posadas writes, “We are happy for the privilege our congregation has by participating in cross-cultural missions. The emphasis of this month has been a great blessing for us. In our Sunday meeting, Cristian Martinez, a missionary in Romania, told us about his call and updated us on the progress of the work.

“We are delighted to know that a new church is being planted west of Romania. At the same time, the work at Barashov continues, using Cristian and Vanessa in evangelism and discipleship. In addition to listening to Cristian, the congregation delivered their envelopes with offerings for missions. We also talked about the promises of faith to support for the work in Romania with Martinez and the work in Mexico City with Germán Galindo. We had a good prayer time using the prayer guide provided by the Missions Department, and we also prayed for the works in Romania and Mexico.

“We are very enthusiastic and looking forward to the work we will carry out by sending missionaries from our congregation. We pray God will guide us in the steps to take to achieve His will.

“This Sunday gathering was also special because Ariana, age 8, debuted as a singer. She is the daughter of Oscar Gomez, the brother who leads the songs in the service. It was beautiful that this beloved little sister led the congregation during one song. Eight years ago, I had the privilege of dedicating her to the Lord and now she was serving in the worship team. I praise God for this great blessing.”

Ebenezer, West Little Rock: Ruben Isturiz writes, “Thank God, our Sunday service was inspiring. The testimonies expressed about what God is doing was motivating. We continued studying the three types of people Paul teaches in I Corinthians 2-3. It was a good time to pray for missions and raise an offering. 

“The month of February is over, and our minds are already on March. Next Sunday we will celebrate the Lord’s Supper. Next month, we will have our member’s meeting where we will make important decisions regarding areas of services. Pray for it to be a time of God. 

“Also in the month of March, we will start the workshop on ‘Evangelism, Discipleship and Gospel Movements.’ Brethren, we live in a time of spiritual and cultural battle. Lately, the inclusive expression ‘Latinex’ is more used in Hispanic news and Hispanic applications. Satan has his agenda and believers have God on their side. For years, the Hispanic culture had been of conservative values, but the last 20 years it has been bombarded by media with contrary values. More frequently, I see groups of people using ‘inclusive language’ like the word Latinex instead of the word Latino. Every time someone uses it, I say ‘That word excludes me, it does not represent me!’ Brothers, let us pray because we are planting new works in a world walking toward evil. More than ever, we need your prayer and support. May God be glorified!”

Faith Chapel, Flippin: Johnny Shew writes, “We had a warm, beautiful day Sunday and a wonderful time of worship. Our numbers were up a little, but it seems like a different family is sick every week. There are a lot of different bugs going around, mostly like a bad cold right now.

But the weather is warming, the days are getting longer, the jonquils are blooming, the trees are budding and spring is fixin’ to bust out all over. Praise God! Winter sure does make me appreciate spring! 

“We had 22 loads of gravel delivered this week and are filling the foundation and spreading on parking areas. We will need more, but that is enough for this week. The plumber and concrete man should be back this week, so it is all taking shape. The Master’s Builders are scheduled to be here to begin framing on April 3, and there is much work to do before then. 

“Our four-year-old niece was up at the building site yesterday and said, ‘I can see our new church being built.’ She is excited, and so are the rest of us. We thank you all for your prayers and support. We could not do this without you — the mission or the building. Please continue praying for us, for Flippin, for those we are trying to reach here and for our building. God is answering them!”

The Table, Springdale: Clinton Morris writes, “Back-to-back busy weeks! I popped down to Fort Smith to look at the potential for a future church plant. It was a great time of prayer and discovery. I am amazed at what God is already doing in laying the groundwork ahead of me. I will be going back to Fort Smith in a few weeks, and Darrin Smith will be showing me around.

“On Monday, DeAnna invited a few of the ladies from the church and two from the community to come and do puzzles with her. They had such a great time of fellowship and conversation. It is always amazing how God uses these times to drive the conversations to the spiritual.

“Tuesday and Wednesday, I did a quick trip down to Fort Smith and also had several discipling moments. We are prepping a leadership meeting for next week and are looking forward to being able to hand off the reins of several ministries to their rightful leaders. God is multiplying our leadership, and we are laying the infrastructure for The Table to expand. We are praying toward Siloam Springs.

“Thursday, I had several morning meetings, and I headed to Drew’s house for one of our community outreach meetups. We had two visitors and are excited to see where these relationships will go.

“Friday, we went to the movies as a church. It was amazing to see how many of our church folks attended this event. After the movie, we prayed in the lobby of the theater. Several other people that were walking by joined in our prayer time. God is moving in our midst.

“Saturday, I headed to a tournament hosted by another church. It was great to be able to encourage them and their ministry. I talked with several new contacts and am hopeful to see where these conversations go. DeAnna and I hosted two of our couples for a fellowship/game night at our house. We are working at connecting our church family to each other. We get so easily fragmented in this fast-paced world, and these connective moments help bind the church together. 

“The service was great Sunday. We had a visitor to the service, someone who may become a regular attender. Keep this person in your prayers. This week is already set to be another busy and fast-paced ministry week with leadership meetings, Bible studies, Around the Table and weekend activities.”

Faith Journey, Benton: Bryan Clay writes “The Lord’s presence was evident at Faith Journey this week. We have been in prayer for God to move and work in the lives of our church families and He answered those prayers. We have been learning how to share the gospel with others. For some, that is an easy conversation to have with people, but a lot of us struggle about how to get the conversation started.

So, this week we paired off and went through different scenarios of how to share our testimonies with others and share the gospel that may help lead a person to Christ. It is a great way to get comfortable and help connect to others. We were able to really see God working during this time through a couple that was first-time visitors with us. One of our families had been praying for this young lady for a while to come to know Christ and she was able to ask Jesus into her heart during our service. Praise be to God and His perfect timing! Please pray with us for this young couple as they see God begin to work in their lives.”

Misión Gracia Soberana (Sovereign Grace), NWA:Roberto Marcelletti writes, “This week, even though I was sick, the Lord in His grace allowed us to have two groups of discipleship. There are 10 people who are teaching and encouraging with the glorious gospel, guided by the Holy Spirit to fulfill our mission which is to make disciples.

Through each lesson and interaction with us, we pray they will not only understand the gospel but see it in the life of Patty and me and they can apply the truths in their lives so that they become disciples who make disciples. 

“We are so grateful that in these two discipleship meetings, one on Friday and one on Sunday, there was so much interest that the time we had planned of one hour was extended each day to two hours. We give glory to God when we can notice that the gospel arouses the interest of people. Although we are not much, and I remind you that the services began in November, having 10 people who are being discipled week after week is a great potential that we have as a church.”

Epic Life, Pea Ridge: Jake McCandless writes, “The magic of multiplication — in one week, we went from 16 to 25. Not just an additional nine visitors, but nine who are committed to being discipled!

“Since launching, Amanda and I have been pouring into four households who are committed to reaching others and launching their own missional home group, Connection Group. This week, one of those coach couples launched a new home group and had nine on their first night. All 9 were new to our Connection Groups, and all of them committed to participate in the 10-week discipleship primer. Three of the families attending that group have been circled in prayer for years. 

“Along with launching the new group, I was able to meet over 20 who are interested in getting started. That’s great news! Keep that new group in prayer and pray for the zoning to pass for the home we’re purchasing for the mission.”