International Ministries

IM Endorses New Development Couple for Service in India

May 6, 2010 News
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American Baptist International Ministries (IM) is pleased to announce that Rev. Catherine (Katie) and Rev. Taku Longkumer have been approved as endorsed candidates for service in India.  The Longkumers will serve with IM partner the Council of Baptist Churches in North East India (CBCNEI).  

Working with the leadership of CBCNEI, Katie will provide worship and counseling training to churches in northeast India and share her gifts in missionary training. Taku will work with the mission secretaries of CBCNEI and its member conventions to provide the pre-field and in-service training to the missionaries; to equip churches to better support their sponsored missionaries; and to visit and provide pastoral care to the missionaries in their work areas. The Longkumers will also interpret the ministries of CBCNEI and its member conventions in the U.S. and globally.  Taku was himself a beneficiary of the ministry of the early American Baptist missionaries in northeast India. His grandfather was one of the first converts of his village and his parents served as missionaries to an unreached neighboring tribe who, at that time, still practiced head-hunting.

Katie and Taku are excited about the many possibilities of this new ministry. "’The fields are ripe unto harvest’ among the many unreached people groups in northeast India. We are excited to have the opportunity to serve with these committed and enthusiastic believers, equipping and facilitating their growth in missions as they plant churches and disciple new believers,” commented the couple.

The endorsement phase of the new missionary recruitment process means that the couple will form their Missionary Partnership Network (MPN). The size of an MPN varies, but the goal is to maintain 1,000 or more individuals who are supporting the missionary in important ways, including subscribing to the missionary's print or e-newsletters, hosting them at regional gatherings or at their churches, and supporting them through prayer, volunteer work groups and personalized giving. During the endorsement phase, the missionary couple will also form their Missionary Partnership Team (MPT), which is typically comprised of no more than 10 individuals.  Members of the team are invited by the missionary and are usually close friends or family members who will work closely with the endorsed candidate to help insure a vibrant ministry.  

Presently, Taku is the pastor of the First Baptist Church in Farmington, IL. Katie has served as the interim pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in the same community. Both also served as Special Assistants to Ben Chan, IM’s area director of East Asia and India and have made frequent trips to India. The Longkumers have three grown children.

Katie and Taku Longkumer’s home church is Central Baptist Church, Springfield, IL. Executive Director of the Great Rivers Region, Dwight Stinnett, expressed his support of the Longkumer’s endorsement. “While Taku and Katie have served faithfully among us for five years now, I know that their hearts have longed for the opportunity to return to Taku's homeland and continue their work as ‘agents’ of God's Kingdom.  They are worthy of our support, and I pray that will be realized quickly so the Longkumers can join in the work of the Council of Baptist Churches in North East India.”  

For more information on the Longkumer’s ministry or about their newly-forming Missionary Partnership Network, please contact them at lightinthejungle@yahoo.com.

American Baptist International Ministries is the first Baptist international mission agency formed in North America, and the second oldest Baptist mission agency in the world. More than 1,800 short-term and long-term missionaries are served annually, bringing churches and individuals in the United States and Puerto Rico together with partners in more than 70 countries in holistic, cutting-edge ministries that tell the good news of Jesus Christ while meeting human need.