Missourians among 82 new missionaries appointed
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Two Missourians were among 82 new missionaries appointed by the International Mission Board Nov. 7 during the annual meeting and 100th anniversary celebration of the Illinois Baptist State Association here.
“You are here tonight because you’ve recognized God’s call as a personal call,” IMB President Jerry Rankin told the missionaries before a gathering of more than 1,500 people at Springfield’s Prairie Capital Convention Center.
“You’ve felt God’s call in diverse ways…. He took your background and your experience and said, ‘I’ve got a place for you.’”
Rankin’s point was made evident as the missionaries shared stories of their personal call to missions.
Two of the newly appointed missionaries are apprentices from Missouri. They are Aaron Woods and his wife, Gabrielle, who were married in April of 2002. Their home church is Maywood Baptist in Independence.
The couple is headed for the Middle America and Caribbean region. They have two children, Mylee, 3, and Evangelia, 1.
Aaron Woods is a product of Ozarks Technical Community College and Missouri State University, with 23 credit hours toward graduation from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City. His wife, who has accumulated a total of 77 credit hours at Southwest Baptist University and Missouri State, has worked several jobs to help him further his education.
The 82 missionaries join the ranks of more than 5,300 other Southern Baptist missionaries already serving around the world. Rankin pointed out the number represents only .03 percent of all Southern Baptists, less than one out of every 3,000.
“We need to examine our hearts and our willingness to bring our lives into alignment with the heart of God,” Rankin said.