Southern Baptists Gather in California to Celebrate Sending of 21 Missionaries

A newly appointed IMB missionary couple presents their testimonies in shadow to protect their identities. A total of 21 IMB missionaries were publicly celebrated in a service at Magnolia Church in Riverside, Calif., Jan. 29. IMB photo

Representing Southern Baptist churches throughout the United States, 21 International Mission Board (IMB) missionaries were publicly celebrated during a service at Magnolia Church in Riverside, Calif., Wednesday (Jan. 29).

The missionaries were voted on and approved by IMB trustees earlier in the week in California. Jeff Iorg, Gateway Seminary president, delivered the message at the service, spurring the congregants and missionary appointees toward their missional responsibility.

IMB president Paul Chitwood opened the missionaries’ testimonial time by reminding those gathered of the vital role their churches play in the sending of missionaries.

“These 21 have heard the Gospel preached in our churches; they have surrendered their lives to the Lord, were baptized and joined our churches; they have been discipled in our churches; called to the nations in our churches; they go out from our churches with the promise of support from our churches,” he said.

“How grateful we are for their willingness to go, and the privilege that God gives us to send them from our churches.”

Called and sent

For missionary couple Justin and Paige, their calling to serve overseas came at different times in each of their lives.

“During college, I went on a mission trip to West Africa,” Paige said. “While there, God began drawing me to international missions. However, I knew that if God wanted me overseas, he would also put that desire on my husband’s heart.”

Justin said, “While [Paige] was in West Africa, my thoughts and desires were far from the mission field. Six years later, I found myself on the other side of the world on my first international mission trip where God called me to obey His command to go to the nations.”

Along with their three children, Justin and Paige have been sent by First Baptist Church of Beaumont, Texas, and will serve among European peoples.

Jesse and Danielle’s heart for the lost is rooted in Romans 10:14: “How can they believe in Him unless they have heard about Him: And how can they hear about Him unless someone tells them?”

“Then and now God has used Romans 10:14 to burden our hearts for the unreached,” Danielle said.

The missionary couple sent from First Baptist Church of Columbus, Texas, will share the Gospel with those who have not heard in the Americas.

Missionary couple John and Grace are returning to London after serving there with the IMB for two years.

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Source: Baptist Press