MBC called to pray for West Africa Summit
JEFFERSON CITY – Oct. 4 has been designated as a Day of Prayer and Fasting for West Africa, ushering in 30 days of prayer that will culminate in a summit whose purpose is to reach West Africa for Jesus Christ.
Jointly sponsored by the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) and the International Mission Board (IMB), the West Africa Summit will be held Nov. 1-3 at First Baptist Church, St. Charles.
West Africa’s population of 287 million is composed of 1,612 linguistic and ethnic people groups in 22 countries. At present, 355 of these people groups are without any access at all to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The West Africa Summit will seek to help Missouri churches have a spiritual influence on those untouched people groups.
Sandee Hedger, wife of Rick Hedger, pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, Neosho, is serving as the summit’s prayer strategy coordinator, with emphasis on local church involvement.
“As members of the body of Christ begin to petition the throne of God on behalf of the unreached peoples of West Africa, the pulse of the Father begins to drive us into action of ministry,” she said.
“It is vital that churches begin engaging lostness through prayer advocacy. From that, God will call out servants willing to take the message of salvation into the region.
“Even if a church is unable to go on a volunteer trip, if they will simply take on a people group and pray for them, one of our goals would be met.”
The Hedgers have been serving as strategy coordinators for people groups in Senegal, Gambia, and Guinea-Bissau since October. She noted that their church has learned of prayers having been answered in those countries even as their church members were at the altar in Neosho.
The West Africa Summit has published a 30-Day Prayer Guide which is to be used from Oct. 4 until the summit. “We want people in Missouri to know of our passionate pursuit of churches who will stand in the gap and be prayer resources for [the West African] people,” Sandee Hedger said.
The 30-Day Prayer Guide is available at www.gowestafrica.org. Numerous other materials, such as bulletin inserts, brochures, DVDs, videos, and posters are also available at the website, many of them free of charge.
The summit itself will educate pastors and ministry leaders on every phase of ministry involvement, whether a church can provide only prayer support or whether it intends to send people to minister. Speakers will include IMB leaders, seasoned missionaries, and leaders of churches which are already involved in the region.
“Our hearts’ desire, and indeed what we believe is the desire of Almighty God, would be for every participating Southern Baptist Convention church within the state of Missouri to become vigilant prayer advocates for the unreached peoples of West Africa,” Hedger said. “We know through the truth of God’s Word that He inclines His ear to the prayers of His people for the nations.”
Registration for the summit is $50 until Oct. 15 and $75 after Oct. 15. The cost covers materials, summit meals, and transportation between the airport, hotels, and the church. Four hotels in the area are offering special rates for those attending the summit.
Further information is available at www.gowestafrica.org or www.mobaptist.org. Norm Howell, MBC partnership missions specialist, is fielding questions and accepting registrations at (573) 636-0400 or toll free (800) 736-6227. Registration may also be done online at www.mobaptist.org.