July 16th, a beautiful summer day, was made more wonderful by the commissioning for missionary service of JD and Rhonda Reed at the South Parkersburg Baptist Church in Parkersburg, WV. Before a large audience of family members and friends, JD and Rhonda were commissioned by International Ministries Board President Ruth Clark to serve alongside IM partners in Bolivia.
My husband Herb and I were commissioned for service in Haiti at the 1979 Biennial in Carbondale, IL. Attending the Reed’s commissioning highlighted the changes that have taken place at International Ministries, and in how missionaries are sent out. The Board Commissioning Service was similar, but we did not have the large family gathered to support us, we did not have the Missionary Partnership Team support that the Reeds have, and because our commissioning took place at a Biennial, we didn’t have the “home church” support.
Our commissioning was the beginning of a new journey that God was leading us on just as this commissioning was the result of much prayer and hard work by the Reeds to follow the call God has given them. Change is good…what a great opportunity for family, friends and church family to be part of what God is doing!
The Reeds have been in the process of seeking God's will for their future and just a year ago were endorsed by IM to select a Missionary Partnership Team (MPT) who would surround them with encouragement, and prayer to begin "friend and fund raising" in order to be on the way to Bolivia. What a wonderful response from the MPT and Missionary Partnership Network (MPN) in helping the Reeds achieve that goal in record time.
Don’t get me wrong, I am very thankful for our the Board Commissioning service for us but I also see the wide open opportunities for more individuals and churches to be personally involved with the missionaries in the MPT approach. I heard it when the pastor of the Reed’s home church committed himself and the members to remember JD, Rhonda, Grace, Abie, & Nathan in prayer and support. I heard it when Lisa Simmons challenged their MPT to keep up the good work of being like Lincoln Logs, linking together in support of the Reeds, not like Jenga blocks which eventually fall, due to lack of support, as pieces are pulled out.
Change, is it good? Well for JD and Rhonda they didn’t have to wait long to find out! Just a few days before this service they learned that they would not be able to go into Bolivia just yet so they are now in Costa Rica doing language study. They’re learning right at the start, that Change is one way God keeps us flexible.
Click here to read the journal "The Only Thing Constant is Change" by JD and Rhonda with their perspective on their commissioning and the changes they're facing.