Thankful for Southern Baptists support
    December 29 2015 by Tim and Charlotte Cearley, IMB missionaries

    Hello from Africa!
    In these momentous days of International Mission Board (IMB) life, I have often thought of our long-term relationship. After growing up in North Carolina, my wife, Charlotte, and I were appointed as Southern Baptist missionaries through IMB Dec. 7, 1982. (Charlotte is a [preacher’s kid], and has lived in Alabama, Florida and N.C.)
    Since that time we have had the privilege of serving the Lord through the IMB in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, South Africa, and now Senegal. We have planted churches, discipled new believers, trained leaders, helped with human needs projects, and in more recent days tried to multiply ourselves among our personnel through strategy administration.
    As we see people asking questions about the decision to offer early retirement to IMB personnel, and as we have worked through the process ourselves, we have again been so thankful for the amazing ways Southern Baptists have organized to support and send missionaries through the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.
    Truly, we can be seen as “faith missionaries” since half of our support comes from that once a year offering. Yet, with technology available today, people can give anytime to the IMB on their website:
    We are thankful for the Lord’s provision during our 33 years overseas. (I actually have 35 years, since I was a journeyman from 76-78.) And He has provided the extra needed in these last years through property sales and reserve investments.
    However, the IMB can only send as many missionaries as Southern Baptists are willing to support. And thus, the current situation. No longer does the giving rate support 5,600 missionaries as we had 10 or so years ago, nor even 4,800 as we have had this year. No, the force overseas must be reduced to around 4,000. And as Southern Baptists we must ask ourselves, “Is this acceptable while thousands of people groups still have no access to the gospel?”
    [In this] giving season, we challenge you to dare to ask God what you should set aside as a gift to Him for the work of declaring His Name among the nations.
    What gift is worthy of the King of Kings? He is truly worthy of our all. Thank you for helping us serve the Lord through these years overseas. As we step into our life as retired IMB missionaries, we look forward to continuing to support the great calling of Southern Baptists from Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20. We have loved being “your” missionaries. And lest you think we’re something special, remember that in Luke 17:10, Jesus reminds us to say, “We are servants and have only done our duty.”
    Tim and Charlotte Cearley
    Retiring SBC/IMB missionaries

    12/29/2015 11:22:01 AM by Tim and Charlotte Cearley, IMB missionaries | with 0 comments
    Filed under: Cooperative Program, IMB, missionaries

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