Every week here at the Georgia Baptist Missions and Ministry Center on Wednesday at 11 a.m. we have a chapel service for all of our employees. It is a wonderful time of worship mid-week that blesses us and inspires us. On July 22 that was certainly no exception.
Our worship time was led by young ladies who were actively engaged in camping and ministry at Camp Pinnacle this summer. This marvelous property owned and operated by our Woman’s Missionary Union and Women’s Enrichment Ministry is located in Clayton, Georgia. It is a beautiful mountain property that has provided the backdrop for compelling worship experiences for young ladies for years and years.
Karen Pace and Tabitha Ferrell from our WMU and Women’s Enrichment Ministries staff provide leadership each summer for the girls who attend camp at Camp Pinnacle. This particular chapel service focused upon ministry in Mozambique, where our missionaries Chris and Katie Nalls are serving as our IMB missionaries. The girls learned about life in Mozambique and what it means to be a missionary there.
I have often said and it has been absolutely proven this summer at Camp Pinnacle that Southern Baptist career missionaries are called through their experiences at camps provided by the state convention. This was proven again this year as four staffers sensed God’s call to serve overseas in Mozambique and have made public commitments of that fact.
We are a missionary people who are committed to the Great Commission.
Just today I received an email from the International Mission Board. Terry W. Sharp, who serves as director/lead strategist for state and association relations and urban mobilization strategies for IMB, sent the current Field Personnel Count. Currently, we have 3,237 career missionaries and 883 career apprentices for a total of 4,120 career missionaries who are serving with IMB. Additional missionaries would include those serving as GC2, ISC, Journeymen, Macedonian, Masters, and Masters (partially funded) for a total of short-term missionaries of 664. Total personnel serving on the field with the International Mission Board is 4,784, comprising 2,728 units.
I do not know of a single Southern Baptist who does not want to see those numbers increase. For those numbers to increase, at least two things need to happen. First of all, God must call and the missionary must surrender to God’s call to serve as a missionary. Secondly, Southern Baptists must engage with this need, giving prayer and financial support for our international missionaries.
This should not be challenging for Southern Baptists, because this is who we are. We are a missionary people who are committed to the Great Commission. Therefore, we should give zealously and generously for the support of missions at home and across the seas.
I am thankful for Camp Pinnacle and for the young ladies who shared with us the inspiration they received at camp this summer. I am particularly grateful for the fact that during the course of the summer nine campers gave their hearts to Jesus Christ as Savior and there were 25-30 other decisions including responses to God’s call to missions and for the rededication of life to Christ. Specifically, I am grateful for the four staffers whom God called to serve in Mozambique.
I encourage you to continue to pray for the ministry of Georgia Baptists across this state and for young lives that every day are committing themselves to serve Christ as missionaries across the world. These are truly challenging days as we see the need for Christ all around us, but also exciting days because God is calling His finest to serve Him effectively in missions throughout the world.