August 2014


TBMF celebrates 30 years of making a difference


DALLAS—The Texas Baptist Missions Foundation (TBMF) celebrated 30 years of giving toward missions and ministries with a luncheon held at Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas.

In 1984, TBMF began as a two-year experiment to raise additional funds for new churches. Thirty years later, the Foundation has worked with over 33,000 different donors to support 250 mission projects all over Texas and around the world.

Outlining the beginnings of TBMF, Dr. Bill Pinson, former executive director for Texas Baptists, described the time when the need to raise more funds first became apparent and the vision began to focus on creating the... [continue]

CCDA vision trip to McAllen


How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things. Romans 10:15

Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery hosted a leadership group of the Christian Community Development Association (CCDA) on a vision trip to the border which allowed the group to see first-hand the crisis plaguing the unaccompanied minors and family units along the U.S. Border in McAllen, Texas. The group witnessed how God is at work in the midst of the crisis along the border.

Although the situation appears to be bleak and many children, youth and adults suffer through the journey, the hand of God is obviously at work as He carries hundreds of lives to... [continue]

Construction nears completion for 16 Filipino pastors’ homes


ILOILO CITY, the Philippines – In January, Texas Baptist churches were asked to respond to a great need in the Philippines following damage cause by Typhoon Haiyan. A request was sent out from Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery for churches to help raise $80,000 for the rebuilding of 16 pastors' homes. Pledges filed in quickly, with the remaining eight being made during the February 25 executive board meeting.

This summer, Civil Engineer Fred Golveo was sent by the First Philippine Baptist Church in Missouri City to oversee the construction projects for the homes. Golveo and his wife spent three months overseeing the 16... [continue]

A Church on Mission


A new neighborhood, a new school, and a new place without the foundation of family and a familiar community—all of us know how hard that would be for a young person. Yet one little girl's mother, Tasha, was praying and asking God to bring a church into her daughter's life, a church where she could find Christ and be a disciple in that faith.

Enter the Eastern Hills Baptist Church in Garland, a Texas Baptist church whose youth group and church body had recently been renewed in its commitment to reach the surrounding neighborhood for Christ. The youth group at Eastern Hills decided that one way they could reach their community... [continue]

Where the healing begins


This story is 2 of a 3-part series addressing the effects of sexual abuse and the power of healing through Jesus Christ.

Sexual abuse is a sensitive subject and many times hearing about the pain and struggles loved ones have experienced through this type of abuse can be extremely difficult. Many people can be prone to want to gloss over the hard details and look for the silver lining or try and tie a little bow on the story and move on. However, for those suffering from sexual abuse, this is far from what they actually need.

There is power in the spoken word. For sexual abuse survivors like Tricia Martin*, sharing with her... [continue]

Attorney named CLC’s director of public policy


AUSTIN – Kathryn Freeman has been named director of public policy for Texas Baptists' Christian Life Commission (CLC).

The CLC helps Texas Baptists, churches, communities and government leaders give voice to critical issues in society from a Christian and biblical perspective. Freeman will lead the CLC's efforts related to government and legislation.

“I'm very encouraged that we will have Kathryn alongside Dr. Gus Reyes and Ferrell Foster as a strong presence in Austin at the legislative session this next spring," said David Hardage, executive director of Texas Baptists.

Freeman earned her bachelor's degree in English from... [continue]

For the least of these


Johnnie Musquiz serves as Pastor of Iglesia Bautista Houston. Below is a first-hand account of his experience taking a volunteer group from his church to serve Central American family units in McAllen.

Three weeks ago I toured the Catholic Charities in McAllen. I came back and showed pictures to my church about the need and also the opportunity. My son (Timothy) came and shared with me that he wanted to organize a group and go help with the effort at the Catholic Charities. The dates (Aug 15-16) were scheduled and a group of nine volunteers were enlisted. We took brand new clothes that were donated, 200 plastic water bottles, and... [continue]

Alaska: Making an impact


Allison Dufour, a student at Stephen F. Austin State University, served in Alaska with Go Now Missions.

It has been just over a week since my return home from Alaska back. This last week has been a whirlwind emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually.

I have slowly begun to process the changes in my life since spending a summer in Alaska. I have often thought about how I could impact the people of Anchorage, but what I did not expect is how much of an impact they would make on me.

Since leaving Alaska, I have noticed how much the Lord changed me as a person. One of the biggest ways this happened was God improved my work ethic.... [continue]

Victoria church embraces its Jerusalem


VICTORIA - Through discovering a community need and a partnership with the local food bank, Greater Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Victoria has begun a feeding program that is making an impact in both the city and the church.

"We believe that the church is not supposed to be an institution that caters to itself," said Montari Morrison, pastor of Greater Mount Calvary. "The church is always supposed to be a resource to the community. Our message is supposed to go outside of the walls and not only be a spiritual help but also a physical help."

Since April 2014, volunteers from Greater Mount Calvary, as well as neighboring churches... [continue]

Boldly sharing Christ in South Asia


B.B., a student from Texas A&M University, served with Go Now Missions in South Asia this summer.

Well jet lag is a beast. It's currently 5 a.m. and I can't sleep because I've crossed about 11 time zones to get home, but in this quiet darkness when I find myself alone in my living room, what better thing is there to do than think about the wonderful things that my God has done this summer. So this update will be sort of different than my others, for instance it's probably going to be a lot longer because I need to tell you about the events of the past three weeks and then sum up what the Lord has been teaching me this summer. So... [continue]

The Israel battlefield, from the eyes of a missionary


Lana Fashi Zayed is a missionary in Israel with the Arabic Church of Dallas as her sending church. She asks for prayer as she and her husband search for a vehicle and give birth to their firstborn this month. They will be visiting Texas next summer to share about living and ministering in Israel.

The church-based mission sending fund provided by gifts to the worldwide offering of BGCT provides matching funding to the Arabic Baptist Church to support Zayed's ministry. For information on how to support the fund please contact Ryan Jespersen at ryan.jespersen@texasbaptists.org or (214) 828-5278.

Oh July...it started quietly, but was... [continue]

New York: Busy summer ends


Sadly, our summer interns are leaving New York City. It was such a privilege to serve with these 15 young adults for two months. I learned so much from them. Helping coordinate this summer internship was a privilege and a blessing. It feels different now that our Metropolitan New York Baptist Association mission house is empty.

The past two months, our associational mission house was full - not only with our summer interns, but also with mission teams from all over the United States. They were here to serve at the different churches in New York City.

Diana Mao, cofounder and president of Nomi Network, spoke to our interns about her... [continue]

Quebec: Afraid to believe


Trying to communicate camp rules and activities to the French campers was challenging enough. Keeping the campers focused and interested during devotional time is a whole different ball game - especially when I'm trying to discuss a chapel message that was given in a language that I don't understand.

After starting the week off with uninterested campers begging to go play instead of talk about God, I couldn't help but be frustrated and growing impatient at my inability to reach my group of girls. I couldn't understand why my girls were so cold to Christ and why they didn't seem moved at all by the stories of his love and sacrifice... [continue]

Embracing Central American families in Laredo


LAREDO - As River Ministry Coordinator Mario Garcia drives Central American families back and forth from the Greyhound bus station nearly every day, he cannot help but think of the paralyzed man Jesus healed in Mark 2.

"It's not that he needed to walk. It's that he needed salvation," he said. "The people I'm working with need Christ."

Garcia, director of missions for Laredo Baptist Association and River Ministry coordinator, is one of many Texas Baptists who have opted to embrace the families that have been seeking refuge from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and Cuba.

Maria*, from Honduras, told Garcia she fled her home after her... [continue]

Because of where you have been


This story is 1 of a 3-part series addressing the effects of sexual abuse and the power of healing through Jesus Christ.

Tricia Martin* was a fun-loving preacher's kid in the 1970s who played outside constantly and never met a stranger. Though she was small for her age, she never felt inferior or out of place, that was just the way God made her. She grew up in a loving, Christ-centered home and knew she was accepted and valued.

When she was eight years old, Tricia was sexually abused by one of the men in her church, a man whom she knew and trusted. She did not understand the things she was asked to do, but it did not seem right... [continue]

Orlando: When the world comes to us


Central Florida is fortunate to be blessed with more than 50 million souls to minister to throughout the year.

Orlando has broken its record of people passing through the city with 59 million people, representing different cultures, ethnicities, languages and races. It is beautiful to imagine the hearts that could be touched, seeds that could be planted and souls that could be saved.

What is even better is the thought that one changed soul can change a nation or area. As we spread the gospel to one person, that one person can spread it in their home, and then “Bam!" From right here in America, we have reached China, North Korea or... [continue]

Book Review: Hearing God's Call


Ben Campbell Johnson's book, Hearing God's Call (Eerdmans, 2002), is a must-read resource for anyone sensing a call from God.

In Johnson's words, has God been messing with your life? "God has always called human beings to share in the divine mission in the world - and he still does" (ix). God's "messing" in our lives, or God's call, can lead us toward many different ways of participating in God's work in the world. Our call to participate in God's purposes can be a calling to a particular job that serves the greater good (lawyer, teacher, doctor, construction worker, etc.), it can be a calling on us to adopt certain volunteer... [continue]

A Christian view on the border crisis


If one were to put 10 Baptists in a room, one would come up with 15 different opinions on something. The political issue of immigration is no different. In this blog, Dr. Ken Coffee points us beyond the politics of the current border crisis situation to an opportunity for ministry. Take a moment to read the perspective of a man who has lived his life in Christian missions.

Read Dr. Coffee's blog...

Ken Coffee is the Former Associate Director of the State Mission Commission of the Baptist General Convention of... [continue]

Vancouver: A summer of sowing seeds ends


Here in Vancouver, we've been hanging out with some university students every Thursday this summer to play Ultimate Frisbee. They've let us join in supporting their team, even though not all of us play. They've let us come along to dinner with them after games. And now I can finally say that they let us share the gospel.

On a recent Thursday, I talked with three of the girls over dinner about what I believe and how Christianity differs from other religions. I shared with them the gospel and planted seeds of news they hadn't heard before. We're making the most of these relationships in our final days here by spending time with them... [continue]

England: God had other plans


I was super-sad to leave Manchester. I had grown to love the missionaries, my teammate, the church I attended and the non-Christians I had befriended. I was flying back to Texas alone.

I was tired from staying up late saying goodbyes to everyone, and I had an early-morning flight. By the time I got on my flight from London to Texas, I was ready to sleep, watch movies and just shut out the rest of the world for the next 10 hours. That was not God's plan for my flight.

Even before the plane took off, I was comfy in my seat with my neck pillow. Then the cutest 2-year-old sat right next to me. I thought, “Well, there goes my sleep... [continue]

BSM nears $2 million goal for new facility


The J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation of Tulsa, Oklahoma has issued a $400,000 challenge grant to Texas Baptists to complete the funding for a new Baptist Student Ministry (BSM) building on the campus of the University of North Texas (UNT). The building, which will cost $2,000,000 to construct, will be built on the site of the old BSM building.

The Texas Baptist Missions Foundation has been coordinating the fundraising effort. "Added to what Texas Baptists have already given, we need only $100,000 to reach the goal so construction can begin," said Larry Thomas, vice president of the Foundation. "If we can get the additional money soon... [continue]

Massachusetts: Lessons from a cupcake


It should come as no surprise to me that God is continuing to teach me through the tiny tots I so enjoy being with. But one lesson was far more subtle than usual, and it has taken me a few days reflection on an adorable moment to recognize how childlike we should be when approaching God's throne.

It was a Thursday. The church was having a party in the park. As usual, I was running around with a few of the kids. One in particular had attached himself to me for the evening. I was carrying him on my hip, running around, doing all kinds of ridiculous things you do when playing with toddlers.

Wanting and not wanting a cupcake

And at one... [continue]

I am called - what do I do now?


"I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." - Ephesians 4:1-3

You know that God has called you to serve Him - to serve His church by being a pastor, youth or children's minister, missionary or another role in vocational ministry in some kind of ministry setting. Yet, that seems to be in the distant future. What can you do now? Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Ask yourself what it means to be a fully devoted follower of Christ. Things like a
... [continue]

Pastors rally in prayer at the border


MCALLEN-Over 50 Hispanic pastors, leaders and family members gathered in McAllen July 26, to pray over the current circumstances regarding the Central American families and unaccompanied minors crossing the border.

The prayer event served as the kickoff of "For His Children," an initiative of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, Convoy of Hope, Buckner International and Somebody Cares International to help meet physical and spiritual needs of the minors and families."God's word affirms His people working, worshiping and praying in unity," said Gus Reyes, director of the Christian Life Commission. "This event... [continue]