Ostertags among recent group of appointed missionaries
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Ninety-five Southern Baptists, including two from Missouri, were appointed as International Mission Board (IMB) missionaries during a May 23 service at Hoffmantown Church in Albuquerque, N.M. The service was part of an IMB trustee meeting also held in Albuquerque, May 22-24.
“Your (missionary task) is to bear witness to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and proclaim the Gospel,” IMB President Jerry Rankin told the appointees during the service. “But your mission is much more than just sharing the Gospel. It’s to open the eyes of peoples who are blind to the truth of God’s love and salvation. It’s to turn them from darkness to the light of the Savior—from those who are in bondage to the power of Satan, to release them to the power of God. That’s what it means to do missions.”
Matthew John Ostertag and his wife, Kandra Gene, from First Baptist Church, Cassville, were appointed as apprentice missionaries to Middle America and the Caribbean Community in evangelism/church planting and home outreach.
Rankin warned Southern Baptists not to be blind to God’s truth: blind to the world as God sees it, blind to the work of God and blind to the will of God. The new appointees, he noted, have opened their hearts to follow God’s will.
“You are here tonight because God has opened your eyes to a world as God sees it -– a world that is lost in sin,” Rankin told the appointees. “But many have never seen the world as God sees it. Many Christians are still blind to a lost world.
“Your eyes have been opened to a world that needs Jesus, and (you) have said, ‘I am willing to go.’”
Rankin said the new group of international missions personnel proves God’s will exceeds man’s boundaries. Several of the new missionaries were born in other countries or received their call to share the Gospel in one place while serving in another.
Several of the new missionaries said they felt God calling them to long-term international missions service while participating in volunteer trips or short-term missions assignments. Others said they were called out of local church ministries.
With the addition of these 95 new appointees, a total of 5,075 IMB missionaries now serve worldwide to join God where He is at work to bring lost souls to saving faith in Jesus Christ. Sixty-two of the new appointees cannot be named for security reasons. They are taking God’s love to areas closed or hostile to a Gospel witness.
“For the last several years – every year, each year – there have been at least 100 new people groups in which the Gospel has been introduced by your IMB missionaries,” reported Clyde Meador, the IMB’s executive vice president.
“Every year, we’re seeing somewhere in the neighborhood of a half million people come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior and be baptized in His name after being led to the Lord by our missionaries.”