Messengers to the 2017 Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting pray for 31 new International Mission Board missionaries as they are commissioned. “Southern Baptists, this is part of, if not the primary reason we came together in the first place …” said IMB President David Platt.
Photo by Matt Jones

As a young girl, as Ashley Sparkman listened to stories of missionaries serving around the world, she told God she would “go” to take the Gospel to people who had never heard it. In college, as she studied physical therapy, she began to ask God to expand her horizons to go on mission.

Now, years later, Sparkman was one of 31 missionaries appointed by Southern Baptist churches in obedience to God’s call to take His Gospel to people around the world. Southern Baptist messengers rejoiced with the new missionaries during a June 13 “Sending Celebration” at the SBC annual meeting in Phoenix.

“From prayerwalking in West Africa, to fitting wheelchairs and sharing the Gospel in the Eastern Europe, to Bible stories and dressing wounds in the desert, [God] affirmed His call on my heart to the nations and brought me from a place of timidity to sharing truth,” said Sparkman, who is sent by Calvary Baptist Church in Longview, Texas, to share the hope of Christ in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Eliza Hudson* was in second grade when a friend told her, “I don’t know Jesus. I’m from Lebanon.”

“I knew then, if they didn’t know, I would go tell them,” Hudson said.

Today, the displacement of Middle Eastern refugees gives Hudson and her husband William a new opportunity to engage unreached peoples with Jesus Christ. Their family of three will serve among refugees in Europe.

Sam Moon* is the eldest son in a Buddhist family. But even as a child, “the Lord did not stop me from sharing the Gospel with my family,” Moon told messengers. “I faced persecution and disadvantage in the workplace for last 15 years. The Lord did not stop me from sharing the Gospel with my coworkers.”

Sophia Moon said she and Sam have shared the Gospel with many people groups for the last 10 years. As the first Christian missionaries of their entire family, the Moons are willing to obey God’s calling to serve in Central Asia along with their three children.

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SOURCE: Baptist Press
Julie McGowan

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