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.
This coming Saturday, Vision Baptist Missions is hosting a work day in preparation for a new semester of Training Center classes.
We could use the help of all who are willing. We will be mainly focusing on trying to complete the internal walls, ceilings, flooring, and trim of the Hudson Taylor building. There will likely be some outside work on the grounds as well.
Lunch will be provided at noon. Please come and give us a hand if you are able.
By November 15, the United Nations predicts that the population of the world will hit 8 billion people! According to this article:
In 2023, India will replace China as the world most populous nation.
The population of the world will reach 8.5 billion by 2030 and 9.7 billion by 2050.
Over half of the project increase in population up to 2050 will be concentrated in the countries of: Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines and Tanzania.
As we consider the vast multitudes of this world, may we like Jesus:
Be moved with compassion!
Pray for laborers!
But when he [Jesus] saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
World evangelism is about reaching people with the gospel of Jesus Christ – discipling them, forming them into churches with biblical leadership, and seeing them repeat the process. Because world evangelism is about people, we want to know where people are so we can reach them.
The following map is an interesting insight into where people in the United States are moving and leaving. It was put together by Visual Capitalist and shows the counties with the largest declines and highest growth rates from 2010-2020.
For those who are praying about where God might have them serve Him, prayer over this map and consider church-planting in one of these rapidly growing regions of the United States.
If you have questions about how Vision Baptist Missions can help you plant churches in North America, get in touch with Jim Roberts, North America Representative for Vision Baptist Missions. He’d love to talk with you more about needy areas across the country and work alongside you to come with a planting a new church for the glory of God.
William Carey is often called the “father of modern missions” because of his zeal to evangelize the world and his dedication to reaching the people of India with the gospel. He became a missionary at a time when very few were going to the field, and he had a long and dedicated ministry despite many hardships.
While Carey is very well known, those who helped train and send him are often not as well known – men like Andrew Fuller and John Sutcliffe. Andrew Fuller pastored a church in Soham, Cambridge from 1775 to 1782, and Kettering, Northamptonshire from 1782 to 1915. Fuller led the way in setting up a Baptist Missionary Society that helped raise funds for William and other overseas missionaries.
John Sutcliffe pastored Olney Baptist Church for thirty-nine years, from 1775 until 1814. During his time in Olney, he set up a seminary to train preachers in a couple of houses close to the church. Two of those trained there, were William Robinson, a missionary to Serampore, and William Carey, missionary to India. John Sutcliffe helped ordain Carey to the gospel ministry, and Olney Baptist was the church that commissioned Carey to the work in India.
The influence and investment of John Sutcliffe and others in the life of Carey are a great example and inspiration to local churches, pastors, and Bible college teachers. The work that goes on behind the scenes to train and support others is not in vain and is a vital part of getting the gospel around the world. If you are in the role, keep on investing, giving, mentoring, and training. It will be worth it in the end!
Bonus: Below is a short video I recorded recently while on a visit to Olney. I apologize for the background noise, but I hope this video encourages you as much as visiting the church encouraged me.
Note: Special thanks to Olney Baptist Church for their helpful history section. (source)