By Kayla Rinker
RAYTOWN – While celebrating its own 175th anniversary, the Executive Board of the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) voted Oct. 26 to extend its partnership with El Salvador until the end of 2011.
MBC Partnership Missions Specialist Rick Hedger said part of the reason for the extension is in preparation for the Association of Baptists in El Salvador (ABES) 100th anniversary, which will take place at the end of the partnership.
“They have their centennial celebration coming up and we think it would be really special if we could help them get 100 churches established in El Salvador by then,” Hedger said.
The ABES’s original goal was 90 churches and, so far, the MBC partnership has helped 59 Salvadorian churches and more than 90 missions.
Before signing the extension agreement at the MBC annual meeting in Raytown, ABES President Sonia Valiente spoke to Missouri Baptists while Mauricio Vargas, retired multicultural catalytic missionary and current El Salvador consultant for the MBC, interpreted for her.
“My country, El Salvador, has been blessed for the last three years as Missouri Baptists have come to assist our churches,” Valiente said. “You have planted a lot of seeds in El Salvador and I thank you. There is a revival going on in El Salvador and we don’t have the words to express what Missouri Baptists have done.”
To honor the MBC’s service, Valiente presented a certificate of appreciation which Rick Hedger, MBC partnership missions specialist, gladly accepted.
“Thank you for being obedient to God and for going into all the world to share the Gospel,” she said. “It is a blessing for me to sign this extension and may the Lord continue to bless you.”