Acts and Love in Action: BGsEtAl 2020Aug; Vol. XXI Num. 02; Commissioned to…
August: As of Tuesday, August 4th, 2020, your BGs (and 6 of our global servant colleagues) have reached another very important milestone: 20 years ago on that Friday in 2000, the American Baptist Churches-USA/PR gathered at the World Mission Conference in Green Lake, Wisconsin, and we were commissioned to serve internationally through the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society (ABFMS)!
As quoted from the Scriptures, we were commissioned to: “…tell the good news to the poor. …to announce freedom for prisoners, to give sight to the blind, to free everyone who suffers.” (Luke 4:18 CEV)
As we have served these 20 years, we have often asked ourselves: “When did we give you something to eat or drink? When did we welcome you as a stranger or give you clothes to wear or visit you while you were sick or in jail?” But then we remembered the King’s reply, “Whenever you did it for any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you did it for me.” (Matthew 25:37-40 CEV)
Thus, we rejoice to see the growth of those who were children when we arrived in Chile and are now in leadership positions in the Convention and to see that the first female ordained pastor continues to serve through her church and community amidst this global pandemic. We rejoice to see those who participated in our extension classes in Spain who went to further studies at the seminary and are pastoring and serving in key roles within the Convention and to see that the Women’s Shelter in Lorca continues to bless many women who needed that bigger place for their transformations. We rejoice to see youth and women in Nicaragua who are standing their ground to share the Gospel in these trying times of the COVID-19 and ongoing national civil unrest and to see another beloved female pastor who has overcome the challenge of heritage to serve based on her own calling.
As challenging as our current assignment to Colombia has been from the very beginning, we rejoice to see how the UNIBAUTISTA serves. We are blessed by their invitation to serve alongside them in the discipleship of the Wayuu that live in The Guajira and the open door to also serve the migrant families from Venezuela that pass through Cúcuta, Bogotá, Cali, and other parts of the country.
Therefore, beyond 2020, we are confident that the instructions remain the same as the original instructions, namely: “Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20 NLT)
During these times of COVID-19, ministry has continued! We are continually in touch with the Wayuu and the Arijuna (non-Wayuu) in Riohacha, The Guajira, to know of their needs, and to assure them of our prayers and our ongoing support. We are also continually in touch with our fellow servants in Cúcuta as these migrant families from Venezuela are served the essentials (food, masks, tracks filled with love and hope). Acts and Love in Action is how ministry has been experienced from the beginning and continues to be. And, behind the scenes, the discipleship/Bible study materials were originally a two-part program. During this time of the travel freeze, we have expanded it to a three-part program which will be even more useful when we start sharing in the training sessions we had to cancel this Spring. Please pray with us that we will be able to begin sharing them when international travel is safer and approved for us.
Please continue to pray that the virus will not reach anyone else, especially those in the rancherías where the Wayuu live in The Guajira. Please pray for the safety of those in Riohacha, Cúcuta, and everywhere else where many continue to provide the essentials to people in need. Please pray for your BGs in this year 2020 as we discover new ways to fulfill that for which we were commissioned to these 20 years and beyond 2020… God bless you for your faithfulness to the Lord and for your love and care for us and the many we serve thanks to your ongoing support and in His Name!
Stretching further toward the goal “commissioned to”,
your BGs Et Al
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