I will sing a new song to you, my God
(Psalm 144:9 NIV)
Praise God for new opportunities to strengthen the Body of Christ! Several have emerged in the last months, and we are looking forward to how God will use us in new ministries to enhance our part in God’s mission. Here’s what you’re part of:
Synergists for the World Evangelical Alliance Mission Commission.
The WEA-MC’s Executive Director (and fellow Kiwi) Jay Matenga invited us to serve as “synergists” in the areas of contextualized Theological Education (Ann) and Work: Faith in the Marketplace (Bruce). A Synergist is a “front-line” missions leader recognized for their involvement and expertise in one of 26 “currents” of God’s mission. We have been inspired by Jay’s vision for decolonizing global mission initiatives. We are grateful for this opportunity to network with and resource global workers. Please pray with us that God will reveal how God wants to use us in these roles.
Pastoral Support Coordinator with the New Zealand Baptist Mission Society.
The NZBMS invited Ann to serve in this part-time role through a “secondment agreement” between International Ministries-ABCUSA and the NZBMS. Ann will create, resource, and manage an ecosystem of care and encouragement that promotes the ongoing personal and professional development of NZBMS global workers. Please pray with us that God will help NZBMS and IM finalize their partnership agreement for Ann’s new ministry soon.
Faith-based social entrepreneurship opportunities in Ecuador.
A group of 22 church leaders and pastors from all parts of the country participated in a five-session seminar “Introduction to Faith-based Social Entrepreneurship” we taught in September at the invitation of the Seminario Teológico Bautista del Ecuador (STBE: The Baptist Theological Seminar of Ecuador), through Zoom (of course!). STBE leaders told us “Participants are eager to find creative, effective ways to reach their communities. They are worried about the economic crisis, and this seminar gives them hope.” We are now teaching a second round of the course to 15 leaders from Ecuador, Argentina, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic.
Observing the energy and enthusiasm for this topic, STBE invited Bruce to prepare a detailed proposal to enable the seminary to start a faith-based social enterprise incubator program. Seminary leadership recently accepted the recommendation to offer four courses plus mentoring and networking. We’re now training Fernando to lead these courses. Fernando is a business owner and passionate Jesus follower in Quito who participated in the first introductory seminar. His response to the seminary’s invitation left us speechless. He declared, “I’ve been waiting for this opportunity my whole life!”
New book — new opportunities.
Ann’s book Afirmadas e Chamadas: Um Estudo de Mulheres na Liderança no Novo Testamento (Affirmed and Called: A Study of Women in Leadership in the New Testament) is scheduled to be published in Portuguese and English in November by LERBAN, the publishing arm of the Convenção Batista Nacional do Brasil (the National Baptist Convention of Brazil). Pray that this book, which includes small group study questions, will stimulate respectful discussion of this often polemic topic.
The strategic planning initiative we have been facilitating for the National Baptist Convention of Brazil’s theological seminary for the Federal District (Steb-DF) is coming to a successful close – and a new beginning! (See last ministry update). Working group members declared “We are planting [seeds] for a fruitful future … I am impressed with our boldness. This plan has wonderful goals with enormous possibilities.” The final strategic plan and its ‘bold initiatives’ will be presented to the Board of Directors for its approval this month. An Implementation Team will shepherd the next phase of the journey.
We’re grateful for your prayer and financial support that enable us to welcome these opportunities!
Ann and Bruce
Praise God with us that
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