Iraq: A mission EVERYONE must participate in
June 3, 2003
As you read this article, I will be in Iraq with Pastors Jay Scribner, First Baptist Church, Branson, Ralph Sawyer, First Baptist Church, Wentzville, Roy Spannagel, associate executive director, Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) and two of our International Mission Board (IMB) missionaries on a fact-finding trip to establish strategic places and ministry partnerships. PLEASE, at this moment, stop and pray for us.
This is a partnership that EVERYONE must be involved in, at the level of prayer! We just cannot emphasize this strongly enough. Why? Consider that the land of Iraq is the site of the first rebellion of all of mankind, the Tower of Babel. Throughout history this land has been seen as a spiritual stronghold for the enemy. God’s judgment was that Babylon would never be inhabited or rebuilt (Jeremiah 50:3,13,39,40; 51:26).
This is the land where Daniel (10:1-13) prayed and it took the angel Gabriel twenty-one days to deliver God’s answer because of the spiritual warfare between Gabriel, Michael and the Prince of Persia. Pray the Blood of Jesus over us and the land of Iraq.
Here are some places you will find lists of specific prayer requests:
Please visit these sites often to get periodic updates.
Our IMB staff has repeatedly reminded us that without effective, fervent prayer, we are defeated before we even start.
This “partnership” is with our IMB. There is no in-country network of Christian churches in Iraq. Nor is there a network of missionary personnel who live in the country of Iraq. So when mission teams arrive, they will be the in-country missionaries.
The purpose of this vision trip (June 2-11) is to make ground arrangements for our future teams and identify projects. One of those projects will be to distribute the enormous number of food boxes our Southern Baptist people have sent to Iraq.
Our IMB missions staff has already identified some strategic needs that future teams must have to function effectively. These include the purchase of two 4X4 Toyota crew cab pickup trucks. Missionaries tell us that the crew cab 4X4 pickups are by far the most practical for transporting people and materials needed in-country. Cost is about $20,000 each. Under normal conditions (pre-war) the trucks could be filled with gasoline for about $2 per tank full.
Another strategic need is the purchase of two satellite cell phones, one for each truck, so teams will have constant contact with outside help anywhere in the country. Cost is about $1,500 each. Would the Lord have you and/or your church family provide some of these needs?
We anticipate a need for a stream of teams to start following the food boxes into Iraq by July to be the agents of distribution. The purpose is to begin distribution points in Mosul where Missouri Baptists will have an on-going relationship with the Iraqi people and let them know that Jesus and Southern Baptist people love them. This is the second largest city in Iraq with a population of approximately 1.7 million souls.
There is much more to come … some things seem to be changing daily. We will share more upon our return in mid June. Right now … please PRAY.