Sept 2023 On the Journey
On the Journey

Who’s Your Missionary?

I enjoy being at International Mission Board (IMB) missionary appointment services and watching the faithful be dispatched and dispersed to the nations. But it is a sacred privilege to be present when IMB missionaries come off the field and we celebrate their lifetime of kingdom impact.

At a recent IMB emeriti event, we honored missionaries representing 1,244 years of service. Can you imagine the testimonies I heard while being in that setting? Let me share quotes from five different missionaries.

In 2008, I met a teenager named Mafuli. When we met, Mafuli’s plan was to rob me. Instead, God saved him and began to change him and use him. Even with life being so messed up, Mafuli began witnessing to his friends. Today he is the pastor of a church he planted that worships on land he purchased in a building he built.

After I shared the gospel with a man, he responded, “It seems like all of these stories are pointing to the Crucifixion of Jesus.” After the ninth story, the man said, “Everything you’re telling us shows God has a way for forgiveness.” God’s Word is powerful.

A boy had a dream about a cross. This happened when Christians all around the world were praying for his people. They asked us to come and share the meaning of this cross. Christians prayed. God sent a dream. Then He sent us.

I went overseas later in life. As a widow and a mother, I felt I could especially relate to women in Zimbabwe. God did amazing things during my years there as we held Bible studies in the street markets, taught rural pastors’ wives, trained young adults, and taught children. I even helped start a church in a squatter camp.

High in the Guatemalan mountains are a people who used to fight all the time. Two witch doctors were in control of the whole area. When the two witch doctors came to know Jesus, they changed. The whole area was transformed, not by what we did, not by what anyone else did, but because God transformed that community.

Your church needs to hear the stories of God’s work in the world. Through IMB’s Church Connections ministry, more than 30,000 churches — possibly including your own — have been assigned IMB missionaries.

Do you know the IMB missionary assigned to your church? Reach out to info@imb.org to discover the name of your missionary and to help IMB know a good contact at your church. Please pass this information along to missions-minded leaders in nearby churches.

Father,

Thank You for missionaries who give their lives to proclaim the gospel among the nations. Pierce our hearts for the lost. Unite Southern Baptists around the missionary task.

In Jesus’ name, amen.

Sandy Wisdom-Martin serves as executive director-treasurer of WMU, SBC.