American Baptist Missions
Special Interest Missionaries
Lauran Bethell is a global consultant serving where needed around the world, as a con-sultant, to encourage and facilitate Christ-based ministries that address the exploitation of women and children. She is based near Amsterdam, The Netherlands. She writes, “I often walk through red-light districts in cities that I visit. I’m never comfortable being there, but I know that these are the places where God has called me to be present, despite being uneasy. When we opened the New Life Center in Chiang Mai, Thailand, in 1987, I knew that it was important for those first girls to know Christ, to receive an education and to be prevented from having to support their families by being exploited. From that tiny beginning, God has multiplied the ministry beyond the bounds of what any of us could have imagined.”
Bruce and Ann Borquist are on the staff of the National Baptist Convention of Brazil. They live in the capital city of Brasilia and are coordinators of two national departments for the NBC and its 2,800 churches: the Integral Mission Network and the office of Leadership and Ministry Development. They provide training, conferences, consultations, resources and networking that strengthen the ministries and leadership of the various convention activities and local churches. They also continue teach periodically at the conventions cross-cultural Missionary Training School in Belo Horizonte. Here they equip Brazilian missionaries to spread the good news of Jesus Christ in countries around the world, including unreached people groups in Brazil. In addition they are periodically called upon to provide training in other countries as global consultants. Read their recent newsletter.
Tom and Kathy Rice are newly appointed medical missionaries to serve at the Vanga Evangelical Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They are from St. Lewis, MO where they served at the Saint Lewis University. Through short-term service in Vanga they became acquainted with Dr. Dan Fountain, who at the time was serving at the hospital, and is now retired. Dr. Rice will be taking Dan’s place, and along with his wife they will be training nursing and medical students for Christian centered who person care. Their vision is to train the next generation of Congolese doctors and nurses in Christ-centered, whole-person care, empowering them to use the limited resources available to restore life and health across the D. R. of Congo.
Judith Sutterlin has retired from a paid position with International Ministries, but has returned to Nanjing, China as a volunteer, to continue her ministry for another term. As a church we have continued her as a “Special Interest” missionary without financial assistance. She is continuing to serve with the Nanjing Theological Seminary, teaching Biblical studies and English. She also ministers with the Amity Foundation which prints and distributes thou-sands of Bibles, and provides medical care in rural towns and villages. Judy shares in this ministry by teaching and providing care. Through Amity and Amity’s partnership with local believers, American Baptist International Ministries is providing support for 78 children, who have lost parents to AIDS, to stay in school.
Emerson and Ivy Wu have recently began their ministry with ABC International Ministries. They serve as Development Workers with the supportive partnership of the Macau Bible Institute and the Evangelize China Fellowship. The Wus will strive to bring a new spirit to Macau by assisting in the training of young Christian workers at the Institute and the ministries of the Grace Community Chapel and Orphanage. Previously they lived in Columbus, OH where their home church was Karl Road Baptist. The Emersons are first generation Taiwanese immigrants. Ivy was pastor of the Taiwanese Christian Church in Columbus, while Emerson worked for the Ohio Department of Taxation. They have been Bible study leaders and teachers with international students at Ohio State University from 2007 to 2012.
Global Workers Rise to the Challenge in the Shadow of Macau’s Casino Glitter
by Roger Amerman
July 7, 2014
When God’s people rise to the challenge of mission, searching and struggle are often part of the process.That is as true today as it was during the Apostle Paul’s missionary journeys almost 2,000 years ago.
So it should come as no surprise that, when International Ministries (IM) workers Emerson and Ivy Wu arrived in Macau, China, earlier this year, they were faced with several challenges to their ministry to the youth and college students in a spiritually dark, casino-dominated culture.
Macau’s insidious gambling industry draws millions of people each year with the dazzling lure of quick riches, but has resulted a younger generation trapped in a culture that discourages the pursuit of higher education and fulfilling work.
Challenges and Opportunities
The biggest surprises that confronted the Wus when they arrived in Macau were the unexpected changes in leadership in both of IM’s partner ministries with which they will work, the Macau Bible Institute (MBI) and Evangelize China Fellowship (ECF).
“It took us some time to get settled and move forward into the ministry,” Emerson says. “Looking back, however, we realize that both of us had been prepared by God with the experience and education necessary to provide leadership. Beginning a new ministry could have been hindered by ‘we’ve never done it before’ thinking. God’s wisdom and timing never cease to amaze.”
In addition to the work with IM’s partners, the Wus also spend time tutoring Macau teenagers. But there have been challenges there, too.
“The youth are struggling,” Ivy says. “Many youth are struggling from the impact of both the casino environment and the community. Family is often the first thing to be affected. We have learned to be sensitive and have a listening ear in every situation. It is like we are in the midst of their struggle and are fighting the spiritual war with them.”
Still another challenge faced by the Wus has been communication.
“The people of Macau are more reserved but will open up when you gain their trust. In this respect, the needs for God’s intervention and for spending time in prayer are very clear to us. Unless hearts are well prepared and cultivated by God, any gospel, truth, discipleship or ministry could hardly bloom,” wrote the Wus.
What has been the Wus’ biggest victory in their first few months in Macau?
“The biggest victory we have had is that the Lord blessed both of us with our own personal transformations before we were given any victory with our work at MBI and ECF,” Emerson and Ivy wrote. “Daily surrender to the Lord and trusting in his faithfulness have been key to our joy. However, by God’s grace, we have contributed to the stability of our partners in their leadership transition. We are also involved in two exciting projects: conflict transformation training for pastors and Christian leaders and micro-movie production training for young adults.”
Other Mission News
International Partner Consultation
More than 100 IM mission partners from all around the world gathered for the International Partner Consultation, July 19–21. Leaders of conventions, unions and a host of specialized ministries came together to help shape the future of IM’s work and to learn from and encourage one another’s ministries. This is the first time in its history that IM has been able to gather such a wide array of global partners in a single location.
“What an inspiration!” commented Stan Slade, IM’s associate executive director for Program and global consultant. “IM was very blessed to hear great stories of God at work through partners around the world, to hear partners express their sense of God’s call upon their ministries and to receive their wise counsel as IM seeks to hear the voice of the Lord calling us into a third century of service to Christ’s mission.”
The World Mission Conference
The two weeks culminated with the biggest World Mission Conference in IM’s 200-year history from July 21 to 26. More than 1,200 Christians enthusiastically attended, as a vast and diverse international contingent (over 140 leaders of global mission partner organizations, as well as all of IM’s global personnel and their families) joined an even larger group of mission supporters and leaders from across the U.S. and Puerto Rico (regional and national leaders, pastors, church members, mission partnership team members, mission volunteers, supporters, special assistants, home office staff and IM’s Board of Directors) for four days of worship, celebration, learning and discernment.
Held in a 13,000 square-foot tent, a structure erected specifically to accommodate the vast crowd, the nightly worship services reverberated with the praise music of internationally-acclaimed Dr. Tedd and Joanna Szeto and their worship team.
Ann Borquist has completed her Doctor of Ministry degree and graduated from Palmer Seminary on May 17th. She is shown here with friends prior to the occasion. Now she is the Rev. Dr. Ann Borquist. Congratulations!
Mission Volunteer Opportunities and Trips
American Baptist International Ministries has achieved all seven Standards of Excellence in Short Term Missions, and now qualifies to show the Standard of Excellence logo. Volunteer teams operate with the highest ethical standards, and excellence in partnerships, training, effectiveness, and lowest risk.
Prayer and Financial Support
Pray for our new missionaries, Tim and Kathy Rice and Ivy and Emerson Wu as they have begun their new ministries.
Pray for our other “special interest” missionaries: Lauran Bethell, Ann and Bruce Borquist, and Judith Sutterlin as they continue their demanding work.
Pray for the International Ministries Board as they launch a quest to determine mission direction for a 3rd century of ministry. To join the Prayer Team, or for more information, contact Courtny Davis Olds, Associate Director for Mission Design, at Courtny.DavisOlds@internationalministries.org.
Financial support may be given through First Baptist Church, designated for a missionary, a particular ministry or project.