This Month’s Spotlight Update: Week of Prayer for International Missions
The Week of Prayer for International Missions is a special, focused time of prayer for Southern Baptist missionaries serving through the International Mission Board and the people whom they serve.
We are grateful to the International Mission Board for sharing these updates on the personnel featured on Day 1 and Day 6 of Week of Prayer:
Day 1: Loving Thy Neighbor—Panamanian Christians Minister through Acts of Service
The pandemic provided an opportunity for Panamanian believers to truly love their neighbors and show Christ’s love through their actions.
Tim Louderback, who serves in Panama as an International Mission Board missionary, said Christians picked up medicine and bought groceries for their nonbelieving neighbors who were fearful or unable to leave their homes. Their acts of service led to many inroads to share the gospel.
The most recent volunteer team from the US came alongside believers from a Panamanian church plant. Tim asked the Christians how the volunteers could come alongside and serve. The Christians asked if they could schedule appointments in the homes of their neighbors.
“People were open to it because people were really isolated and not really leaving their homes—not going to the grocery stores themselves or picking up medicine—so we were able to have one-on-one meetings in homes,” Tim said.
In one week alone, 42 committed their lives to Christ. That hadn’t happened before in the Louderbacks’ time there, Tim said. “We are now discipling those individuals, baptizing those individuals.”
As Panamanians have loved on their neighbors during the pandemic, hearts have been opened.
Panamanian churches are also seeing opportunities for continued growth through English as a second language classes and hosting English clubs on university campuses.
In the first half of 2022, Tim and his fellow IMB missionaries also will host at least 20 churches on short-term trips.
Join Tim and Panamanian Christians in praying for the 42 new believers as they grow in their faith. Pray more would follow in their footsteps.
Day 6: Christians in Southeast Asia Remain Strong in Their Faith
Whether in her home here on earth or her future home in heaven above, Momma is content.
Stephen and Erin Spencer* said Momma and nearly all her family remain rooted and grounded in their faith amid renewed and ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks.
As Momma advances in age, health issues have become a new normal, but she maintains her joy and trust in the Lord.
“If I’m on this earth, Christ is with me. If He calls me home, I get to be with Him!” Momma told the Spencers.
The other believers in her village have been growing in their faith and taking on more leadership roles as Momma slows down. They continue to share their faith boldly and frequently pray with sick people around the village.
The Spencers said Momma’s son-in-law has struggled with the added pressure of the pandemic and lack of job opportunities, and he has fallen back into drug and alcohol abuse.
“We’re praying he’ll repent and come back to his family,” Stephen said.
Join the Spencers in praying for Momma’s son-in-law and the ongoing steadfastness of Christians in the area.
Stephen and Erin extend their thanks for Southern Baptists’ commitment to pray for Momma and her village.
The Week of Prayer for International Missions is featured in the December 2021 Missions Mosaic Missions Inspiration and This Month’s Spotlight articles. To subscribe to this monthly women’s missions lifestyle magazine, visit wmustore.com.
Caroline Anderson writes for the IMB from Southeast Asia.