Dear IM family,
This past Sunday was Pentecost.
A short while ago, we remembered and celebrated the Holy Spirit coming in the sound of a rushing “wind from Heaven” to empower God’s people to spread love across racial, cultural and language divides. Yet, in almost the same moments, in an abrupt reminder of how life on earth falls so far short of the values of the Kingdom of Heaven, the United States experienced an eruption of violence arising from the sin of racism and racial injustice.
Instead of enjoying a celebration of every people, every language and every culture, our hearts were broken by yet another death of an African-American person in an encounter with law enforcement. The death of George Floyd and thousands like him throughout our history and in recent years are the result of human sinfulness, on both interpersonal and systematic levels. We recognize that this sin has also been manifested in recent months in acts of contempt, abuse, and violence toward Asians and Asian-Americans who have been unjustly blamed for the emergence of COVID-19 in the United States.
International Ministries (IM) is committed to responding to God’s call to bring – by word and by deed – God’s kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven. This moves us, in support of global partners and through our global servants and volunteers, to stand with and come alongside those who are victimized and marginalized by human trafficking, conflict and injustice, displacement from their homes and homelands, and lack of basic resources. And though we have failed in recent years to articulate it clearly and explicitly, we also stand against the sin of racism, and with those who suffer its consequences. Even as IM, the American Baptist Foreign Mission Society, remains proud that our history is shaped by our pre-Civil War refusal to appoint slaveowners as missionaries, we recommit ourselves to the unwavering conviction that genuinely following Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord calls for self-examination, repentance, and renewed determination to stand against and seek the transformation of our own culture’s racial and ethnic injustices.
As a community of Christ-followers we would like to acknowledge the hurt and pain being felt by the members of our Black and Asian communities not only at this time but also in moments past. We reaffirm our commitment to Jesus Christ, in whom “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female” (Galatians 3:28), and determine to renew our commitment to stand for justice and the dignity of all human beings, who are created in the image of God and for whom our Lord Jesus lived, died, and rose again to redeem and bring to abundant life.
Executive Director / CEO & Executive Director’s Council (EDC):