TBM Rally reviews fruitful year of ministry

WACO - During a rally held to highlight God's recent activity through Texas Baptist Men, speakers gave accounts of water well drilling, salvations and village transformations, among other testimonies.

The rally was held the first night of Texas Baptists' Annual Meeting, a three-day event, which kicked off Sunday, Nov. 16, at the Waco Convention Center.

TBM Associate Executive Director Mickey Lenamon opened the evening with an overview of TBM's 17 ministries, complete with pictures, stories and statistics. Lenamon gave examples of TBM's continuance to show Christ's love: "anyway, anytime, anywhere," in accordance with the organization's motto.

He told how the water ministry, for instance, has purified 92 million gallons of water in more than 70 countries, providing water filters and equipment at no cost to recipients. And the "box ministry," he added - one of 13 outreach areas of TBM's Disaster Relief - gave away 24,000 moving boxes to victims of disasters in the past year alone, among other ministries' efforts.

Missionaries Fred and Mary Kay Posey of Walking in Love Ministries in Eku, Nigeria, then took the stage to offer listeners an account of a recent TBM outreach in their country of ministry. Six volunteers partnered with them this past September to bring medicine and clean drinking water to Nigerian locals.

"There is no clean water in all of Eku," Mary Kay said, noting that because of this, many of the locals have become sick and died. She said while there, the team was able to drill two water wells and effectively minister to the people in the community, at a local orphanage, church, school, hospital and leper colony.

The trip marked the first time for TBM to use its portable water well drilling rig overseas, an achievement that opened a wellspring of not just earthly water, but "Living Water" as well, the two noted. As a bonus, trip participants also taught locals how to operate the rig themselves to facilitate the digging of additional wells.

All in all, the Poseys said September's outreach resulted in multiple miracles, salvations and baptisms, with a few of those being claimed by Eku village chiefs - former witchdoctors.

The two then passed the microphone to Randy Newberry, director of Church Renewal and Men's Ministry for TBM, who made a point that just as the Eku chiefs worshipped idols prior to accepting Christ, many in the church do the same by worshipping modern idols of "other things." He quoted a Gallup Poll finding, which found that six out of 10 professing Christians "do not attend church."

"We desperately need renewal," Newberry said. "In the church today, we have gotten away from what God called us to do, from what Jesus called us to do in the Great Commission, to make disciples of all nations."

In response, TBM's church renewal ministry focuses on bringing about what the name dictates — to renew the life, passion and purpose of congregations across the state and nation.

Newberry said in the past year TBM has led a dozen church renewal weekends using the "Experiencing God" curriculum, which intends to guide learners into a more intimate biblical-based relationship with their Lord. More are scheduled for the coming year, he added — 11 in January and February, for those counting.

Newberry said he has been blessed to watch God work though this ministry, taking broken, splintering congregations and infusing them with a renewed sense of life, mission and unity.

Keith Mack, director of Royal Ambassadors and Challengers for TBM, then told how God has continued to work through a unique ministry started over a century ago, that being the RA program.

Mack too reflected on God's work on the recent Nigeria trip, against a backdrop of the RA program's history. He explained how Royal Ambassadors was started by the Women's Missionary Union in 1908 to encourage men to spend time with boys and mentor them into lives that reflect godly maturity.

To illustrate a point, he asked those in attendance how many of them had participated in the RA program as a boy. Hands shot up across the room. Mack nodded and said the last several years "has been awesome to see God at work in this activity."

In Eku, for instance, Mack said a work that ignited decades ago is still visible today. He described how he witnessed bands of young Nigerians drill and march in a parade to demonstrate discipline and commitment to their RA program. In Eku, the ministry doesn't end when the boys reach adulthood, he said; it continues until age 36, with an additional focus in training men to become godly husbands.

Paul Hinton, another of the Eku trip participants, wrapped up the rally with his firsthand account, speaking of miracles, salvations and Nigerian church services filled with dancing and praise.

"What a privilege," he said, noting the team's visitation of lepers, orphans and widows, among activities.

"Walking the walk that Jesus walked while he was here—we did that," Hinton said.

"It took me two weeks to figure out (all that) had happened. And what had happened is, I truly experienced God."

Hinton thanked those in attendance for supporting the ministries of TBM, followed by an invitation from TBM Executive Director Don Gibson.

"What is God inviting you to do, as an individual, couple or church?" Gibson asked, adding that TBM wants to facilitate the work of God through servant-hearted people.

Gibson's words arrived in accordance with the theme of the Annual Meeting this year, which is to "Live the Difference."

For more information on the ministries of TBM, visit the TBM website at www.texasbaptistmen.org.

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