One of the ways that Vision Baptist Missions helps to equip and encourage our missionaries is through Regional Conferences. These Regional Conferences take place every two years in each of the four overseas regions (Africa, Asia, Europe and Latin America).
This past week, the VBM Africa Regional Conference took place in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth), South Africa with VBM missionaries flying in for the week. Veteran missionaries taught several sessions. The whole team was able to spent time fellowshipping together and enjoying some fun. It was also a great blessing to see and participate in the ministry in South Africa.
Below is a short update from Mark Coffey, the VBM Africa Field Director about the week:
After more than 9 years since the day we landed in South Africa, we are reminded of how quickly time goes by and how much older we are becoming. When I stepped off that plane being 37 years old, I already felt like I was getting a late start on the work that lay ahead. At times now, I can feel a pit in my stomach when I think about how little time we have left to accomplish the work that God has called us to do in getting the Gospel to our city, to our country, to our world. There is a weight on me as we consider Africa and the many places and people that still don’t have a Bible-preaching church.
Our South Africa team tries to act like we’re still young like we are right out of Bible college but the grey hairs in my teammates’ beards are a sure sign we aren’t fooling anyone.
Although we see our days passing by, this past week was a time that invigorated the work we know we are called to do. We are getting older but God is raising up an army of young men to join the ranks of reaching this world with the Gospel of Jesus Christ in our Generation. Young missionary families from West Africa invaded our city of Gqeberha, South Africa this past week for the Vision Baptist Missions Africa Regional Conference. There is no doubt that this group of men and women are young in age, especially compared to us old guys, but they are definitely not young in their walk with the Lord.
Graham & Olivia Young just landed in Nigeria a few weeks ago and the devil has already taken aim to knock them out of the fight before they even get started, but this precious couple is aware of Satan’s attacks and is ready for battle. They have a maturity beyond their years that is inspiring to be around.
Nate & Emily Wilkerson are eager for the next stage of their ministry, preparing to enter a new battleground for our mission board in Benin where so far we haven’t been able to locate other like-minded missionaries. The zeal and mindset of this couple are an anomaly for people their age, really for people of any age. I can’t wait to see the Gospel spread through them to this new land.
Dallas & Ashley Brown arrived from plowing a very difficult ground in their first years as missionaries in Burkina Faso. This dear family who is yielded to the Lord as few as I’ve ever seen gives me hope that we can see the Gospel taken to every creature. The Brown family is a family that influences everyone around them and even challenges us old guys like we should be challenging them.
The days ahead for VBM Africa are bright and exciting. I’m privileged to work with this amazing group of people. Please pray as we go forward with the Gospel. We are reenergized for the work ahead. May the Lord be magnified and glorified in all we do.