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.
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
- American Baptist National Ministries announced in 2010 that they have returned to using there historic name: AMERICAN BAPTIST HOME MISSION SOCIETIES.
- First Baptist Church has brought the CAMBODIAN CHILDREN CENTER development into its group of partner ministries. Pastor Peter has been active in supporting this ministry in the land of his birth. As a church we are blessed to be able to help in continuing the outreach to the children in Cambodia. Please support and pray for this important ministry. Remember during the monthly Cambodia sponsored lunch there are contribution boxes on the tables. This is one way you can help.
- As International Ministries seeks to faithfully enter a third century of mission, we want a fresh vision of how IM will serve the mission of Jesus Christ in the years to come. To that end, the IM Board of Directors and staff have set a goal of “Discerning God’s Direction for a Third Century of Mission.” They will inaugurated spiritual discernment conversations with ministry partners and supporters around the world, during 2014 and early 2015. From these conversations they then will shape the values, priorities and goals that will guide International Ministries for the future. They now ask for your pray for them and their work. See the the prayer section, below.
- 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.