Missionaries express desire to be ‘Totally His’
    November 14 2013 by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Production Editor

    Justin* and Angie* grew up in North Carolina and will be leaving next year for language school so they can better serve the people they are assigned in Belgium.
    Justin, who is from Durham, and Angie, who is from Lexington, will be taking their two children – an eight-year-old son and four-year-old daughter – with them as missionaries with the International Mission Board (IMB).
    “We were open to go anywhere in the world,” said Angie, but their son’s allergies severely limited their options.
    “God’s going to use those allergies to lead us somewhere,” she told Justin.
    In fact, there were only two options at the time they were going through the hiring process with IMB. Belgium fits in their church planting mindsets.
    “Together … we will be His hands reigniting the gospel in the spiritual darkness of Belgium,” Justin said.

    BR photo by Dianna L. Cagle
    A N.C. couple holds hands during a special prayer time for their appointment to the mission field through the International Mission Board.

    After studying French for a year in France, Justin and Angie will head to Belgium to work with French-speaking Belgians in Brussels. They will be the only IMB personnel in Brussels.
    The N.C. couple was among 68 missionaries who shared their story about being appointed Nov. 10 through a service at Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte. North Carolina is well-represented in this new missionary group. There were 23 people appointed who have some tie to the state; 11 of those call N.C. home now.
    These missionaries rely on the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. “Totally His … heart, hands, voice” is the theme for this year’s offering. Based on Matthew 22:36-39, believers are encouraged to be totally committed to God, first to love Him, then to love others.
    Churches are asked to pray and give especially during this time. This year’s offering is $175 million and the Week of Prayer is Dec. 1-8. Churches are encouraged to promote the offering with various materials available through IMB.

    ‘Not an easy road’

    “I am the person the International Mission Board has hired to come to these meetings and cry,” said Tom Elliff, IMB president. “I started when I walked in … looking at these faces of these new missionaries … and I probably won’t stop until I get back to the hotel.”
    Speaking from 2 Timothy 1:8-12 Elliff talked to the missionaries about “an old missionary’s last appeal.”
    Paul writes to Timothy from prison. Modeling what Jesus did, Paul encourages Timothy to join him in “suffering for the gospel,” Elliff said.
    “Paul is saying first of all, ‘The road you have chosen is not an easy road,’” Elliff said.
    “God starts with the cost. It cost Jesus His life.”
    Elliff challenged participants in the service to say, “I am willing to embrace the very next thing God shows me about missions.”
    That could be praying, giving or going. He shared the story of an older woman who approached him recently and said, “All I can do is pray.” Elliff said he backed up and said, “You are in the big leagues. … Everything begins and ends with prayer.”

    Deaf affinity group

    One of the highlights of the service was interpreters for the Deaf. Clint Pressley, senior pastor of Hickory Grove, began the service by explaining the presence of these interpreters.

    IMB photo by Will Stuart
    Family and friends gather around the International Mission Board’s newest missionaries for prayer during a Nov. 10 appointment service at Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte, N.C. The Deaf in the congregation gather to pray for Nick and Lisa J., center, backs to camera, for their work among the Deaf of South Asia.

    “Our International Mission Board has found out that there is a universal affinity group found around the world of Deaf people,” he said. Because of that the IMB sends missionaries who are deaf and can communicate with the Deaf.
    “Tonight is about the gospel … it is about who we are as Southern Baptists. This is what holds us together,” Pressley said. “We pool our efforts and we send our best to the nations for the gospel.”

    Other missionary stories

    “We are excited to be given the opportunity to carry the gospel to a spiritually-dark area where the early church once flourished,” said Matt*, who met his wife Carly* in Raleigh. They will be leaving soon to serve in Central Asia.
    “We are humbled knowing God doesn’t need us to make His name known but He’s chosen to use people to tell His story of redemption,” Carly said.
    Josh* “was planning to make a name for myself in the corporate world,” he said, “but God showed me on a mission trip to Zambia that it was His Name that really mattered, and I surrendered to missions on a plane over North Africa.
    Now, he and his wife, Amy*, will be serving in Central Asia.
    “Studying to be a doctor I had my life figured out,” said Jimmy*. “Then, after returning from an international mission trip God showed me and made it clear that being totally His meant for me living the rest of my life cross culturally.”
    He and his wife Natalie* will be serving among European peoples.

    Joel* and Heather* are heading to a place known as the land of fire and ice – because of the volcanoes and snow – in far eastern Russia.
    They joked about there not being snakes but numerous bears. “And lots of people who may never hear unless someone is sent,” Joel said. “Our hope is that God’s Word will spread like fire and rescue cold hearts.”
    Grace* is a journalist “who ran from a missions call.”
    But, she said, God was patient with her.
    “He broke my heart for the nations and, during a service just like this one, I knew it was time to be totally His. Now, I’m going to Europe to write stories to encourage others to go to.”
    For more about the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering or IMB resources, visit imb.org.
    * Full name not given for security reasons.
    11/14/2013 4:37:32 PM by Dianna L. Cagle, BR Production Editor | with 0 comments
    Filed under: deaf people, IMB, missionaries

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