Missionaries prepare to go; Oklahoma Baptists commit to sending more
Family members, friends and pastors of the missionaries joined Oklahoma Baptists at the service of celebration. As the missionaries walked across the stage to introduce themselves and share their calling, the crowd was asked to pledge their support through committed prayer.
"I am proud of my brother who is following our parents' legacy of faith that they left us -- their career as medical missionaries in Africa. I am proud to see them go back in this critical time in Christian history," said Gordon.
Sent by First Baptist Church of Round Rock, Texas, Gregg and Donna said that they are returning to the field with eager hearts for the harvest they know the Lord has made ready in Sub-Saharan Africa.
"God's heart for the nations is expressed in Psalm 67. God blesses His children that the nations might know His character and His saving power," said Donna. "The fields are truly white, and the harvest is ready. Will you join us in praying, as we are sent by First Baptist Church, that God's glory will be made known among the peoples of Durban, South Africa?"
Made for something like this
For missionary couple Aubrey and Ryan Curry, the call to go was solidified through their individual overseas trips.
Ryan added, "God opened a door to international missions while I studied at Morehead State University in Kentucky. Early on I learned that the job of a missionary is not to save people from their sin. Missionaries go in obedience to share the story of how God provided salvation."
Oklahomans commit to sending to more
During the annual meeting, Oklahoma Baptists committed to sending 20 percent more missionaries by 2025. Under the leadership of D. Hance Dilbeck Jr., Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma executive director-treasurer, the goals of Oklahoma Baptists for the next five years focus heavily on missional support. Along with sending 20 percent more missionaries, Oklahoma Baptists committed to a 20 percent increase in Cooperative Program giving.
Chitwood commended Oklahoma Baptists for their giving and commitment to growing their already strong support of missions.
Called to a great work
Preaching from Nehemiah 6, Chitwood stressed the importance of dependence on God and the pivotal role Southern Baptists play in the great work detailed in Matthew 28:19-20 and Revelation 7:9. Whether going and serving overseas or supporting those who are going, Chitwood encouraged the congregants to ask themselves, "How can I be a part of God's great work?"
At the close of the service, Chitwood charged the crowd to go and take action.
"Go. Be a part of the great work. There are other things you can do with your life, but there is nothing better. There is nothing better than the great work."