March 2014

Women in ministry conference encourages women to embrace leadership

WACO - Women in ministry should embrace leadership in the areas God has called them to, according to speakers at the Texas Baptists Women in Ministry Conference held at George W. Truett Theological Seminary on Mar. 25.

"As a woman in ministry, you should have a sense of call," said Bernadine Davis, minister of discipleship and spiritual formation at David Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Austin. "You need to understand the nature of that call, pursue quality education to have a solid foundation for your ministry, and make sure your ministry context supports the nature of your call."

The conference provided learning and networking... [continue]

Having a heart for service during Spring Break

BROWNWOOD - Watching from the sidelines of the 3-on-3 basketball tournament, Krystal Watson, sophomore at Texas A&M University, saw God moving through the kids at Champs Camp in Brownwood as they prayed with each other before and after each basketball game.

Raj Shah, graduate student at Texas A&M University, had never had the responsibility of taking care of kids, so going into Champs Camp was definitely stepping out of his comfort zone. During that week he met a second grader named Brenden, who he struggled to connect with at first, but at the end of the week, he almost welled up with tears when he had to say goodbye.

"During... [continue]

God loves the cowboys too

Brother Harvey Abke never imagined he would receive a call from Brother Steve Johnson asking him to be the pastor of a new cowboy church Brother Johnson was starting in Caldwell, Texas.

"I have an evangelistic heart to reach people for Jesus but I started to feel complacent," said Pastor Harvey. "This church would mean I could come back home to my roots."

Brother Steve Johnson, pastor at First Baptist Church of Caldwell, attended a conference and while there God laid on his heart about reaching out to the lost in Caldwell. While at the conference, Brother Steve prayed about starting a cowboy church in Caldwell through a mission... [continue]

Hunger Offering helps family overcome poverty in Bangladesh

BHALUKA UPAZILA, Bangladesh - Conditions were hard for Asma Khatun and her family of five, living in extreme poverty in a small village in Bangladesh. While her husband, Babul Dhaly, worked hard to provide, they did not own any land to plant crops and they were not able to earn enough income to provide three meals a day for their family.

Asma was looking for a way to help her family out of poverty. She heard about a savings group program for women assisted by the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering, and soon she began attending classes.

Not only did she learn about business and agriculture, but Asma was also provided with a... [continue]

The Charles Price Endowment for Associational Leadership

"Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life . . . Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. . ."

Matthew 28:19-20 The Message


The Charles Price Endowment for Associational Leadership has been established to provide specialized training to help directors of missions be effective leaders in their associations. The endowment is named in memory of Charles Price who, as a director of missions, dedicated himself to helping fellow directors become successful in leading their associations to fulfill the Great Commission.

The funds will be used to develop innovative... [continue]

True love is worth waiting for

The Bible warns we should be careful of the enemy whose only mission is to kill, steal and destroy, even the innocence of our children. The African Evangelical Baptist Church's Lifted Youth of Grand Prairie is seeking to bring awareness to sexual abstinence with an event that they have hosted for three years entitled, 'True Love Waits'.

"What started out as a silly idea turned into an elegant occasion," said Adenike Adeyemo, event coordinator. "Each year the program doesn't receive the response that we hope to, but this year was by far different than any other year."

True Love Waits is an event that started over 20 years ago... [continue]

Helping a house, helping a community

WEST - After a year of rebuilding from a tragedy that shook its little part of Texas, the town of West is still remembering, but a sense of change has overtaken the emotions of sorrow and remorse. As you walk the streets, you can see lots where homes used, now being cleared of blown debris and stones. You can see houses being built and refurbished for families to return to.

"I think they are doing a whole lot better than they were a year ago," said Mike Rhodes, volunteer for Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery. "Between when the explosion happened to now, there is a huge change."

Often times, relief teams will respond to a... [continue]

Serving in West Africa

Our Savior did not stay where it was comfortable. He did not stay where it was safe. Rather He left the throne of Heaven to meet us here and come into our mess. So, we too must follow the example of our Beloved and go to Him "outside the camp." Don't assume this means you must move to another country and culture in order to live this out. It may be for many of you. But at the core, Jesus is calling us to leave our normalcy, our Christian circles, and our storehouses of self-preservation and go to those who are waiting outside the gate. We do not wait for them to come to us, rather we run to them! We do not wait for an "opportunity... [continue]

Trafficking -- the difference between victims and criminals

The Dallas Morning News carried an excellent opinion piece in its Feb. 23 edition about children and prostitution. The article, by Malika Saada Saar, expresses a broad national perspective. In Texas, we are actually doing better than reflected in Saar's article, but we still have lots of work to do.

Saar points out that about 293,000 U.S. children are "at risk of being exploited and trafficked for sex, according to a 2011 FBI report on trafficking. Most are girls ages 12 to 14. They often are abducted or lured by pimps and traffickers, beaten into submission and sometimes even branded with the pimp's name." She tells of one... [continue]

Connecting religious liberty and evangelism

Evangelism and missions can be conducted openly and forthrightly only in an environment that fosters and protects religious liberty. The United States, with its constitutional protections, is a shining example of this reality, while nations with limits on religious expression are examples of the opposite.

Brent Walker, in the January Report from the Capital, develops the link between religious liberty and evangelism. Americans are "able to practice our religion as we see fit and free to go tell others about it," said Walker, executive director of the Baptist Joint Committee on Religious Liberty.

One person's freedom, however, can... [continue]

Letter from Haiti student missionary

Bonjou zanmi m! Hello my friend!

Since my last update much has happened. I have spent more time in Fond des Negres and have been able to get to know some of the kids in our area. It seems nearly impossible for me to walk anywhere outside of my house without at least one child by my side. The children are so eager to give and receive love; they have so much joy. One thing they lack is discipline. The people in our area are so poor. Many of the children that come around our compound show signs of malnutrition and most don't have shoes or proper clothing.

I spent two and a half weeks in Grand GoĆ¢ve at a different ministry called... [continue]

Hunger funds help mom find a shoulder to lean on

NEW BRAUNFELS - Gloria Mata needed help. Medical bills from her daughter's illness stacked up, and the single mother realized she no longer had enough money to put food on the table for her family of six.

Deliverance came in the form of a voucher from her daughter's school that referred Mata to the Harvest Food Pantry, a ministry of New Braunfels Christian Ministries, which is funded in part through Texas Baptists' special Mother's Day Hunger Offering.

"When I came here, I didn't feel like I was receiving a hand-out. I found a shoulder to lean on," Mata said. "As a mother, it meant so much to me to look in a bag of groceries and see... [continue]

Miracles don't just happen in the Bible

Joseph Parker, pastor of David Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, in Austin, received a heart transplant on Jan. 23, 2013, following more than ten years of heart issues. Two weeks ago, he was able to meet the family of the donor who saved his life. He shared his story with the Executive Board during their meeting on Monday, Feb. 24.

One of the nurses asked when the doctor came into my room, "Where was the heart from?" The surgeon said, "Not far, I just need to go get it." The only thing I knew was that there had been some vehicular accident that lead to the death of my donor.

So I received that new heart and went through cardiac rehab... [continue]

ISAAC is there to help

SAN ANTONIO - Arina Popovici is the first immigrant to be assisted by the Immigration Service and Aid Center (ISAAC) to obtain legal permanent residency within the United States. She never dreamed that she would have this opportunity in her lifetime, but with the help of the ISAAC Project, her dreams are finally coming true.

Seven years ago, Arina Popovici came to the United States from Italy as an international student. While her student visa expired, she did not want to go back to Italy because her family was already here. After residing in the US. for a couple of years, Arina married and was soon pregnant with her first... [continue]

The invitation to service

When I was 12-years-old, I felt called to ministry. While the specifics of my calling were unclear, I knew I was supposed to spend my life engaged in some type of vocational ministry or mission work. Despite the lack of clarity in my calling, I was able to easily identify and explain my life's purpose to others because of what the church referred to as: the call to special service.

But somewhere along the way many (or if we're being completely honest, most) of us have stopped heeding the special service call. For some unknown reason, we believe people are simply going to hear and discern their calling for themselves - and nothing... [continue]