LEBANON—David Brown admits that when it comes to international mission work, he is far from seasoned.
“I’ve been a pastor for about nine years and I’ve only been on one mission trip,” said Brown, pastor at Hillcrest Baptist Church in Lebanon. “But you know, God calls us for different times and for different reasons and it’s exciting to see Him at work.”
Brown, along with two other leaders from his church, is leaving Nov. 28 for a week-long vision trip to Senegal.
“We will be working with International Mission Board (IMB) missionaries and engaging the K-people*,” he said. “We’ll be using a story-telling technique to share the gospel; from creation to the cross. With this vision trip we will also be seeking opportunities to see how God might lead us as a church.”
Hillcrest Baptist will be joining 18 other Missouri Baptist churches who are participating in the MBC/IMB partnership in the Western Gateway Cluster of the Sub-Saharan African peoples. These dedicated churches are taking 1-7 trips each per year, depending on their respective strategies.
“I first ran across some members of Hillcrest Baptist of Lebanon at our Fall 2010 Western Gateway Cluster Summit and Base Camp training in Arnold, ” said Rick Hedger, Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) partnership missions specialist. “One of the members was a natural story teller and was willing to go to the region to spend two weeks better learning how to tell the stories. She came back and is one of our story-telling trainers in Missouri.”
“God started moving upon them then,” Brown said. “Then last December one of our members went to Senegal with an emissary of the MBC. After that trip we began to pray about it more fervently and God laid it on our hearts that going into Senegal was something He wanted us to do.”
Also, while attending the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting last summer, Brown acted on a personal challenge asked of pastors to commit to pray and consider being proactive in regard to the unreached and unengaged people of the world.
“It’s important for the church to see their pastor fulfilling the Great Commission and being submissive to that,” Brown said. “I want to lead by example and help our church continue to be mission-minded for such a time as this. God is moving there and we are seeing how our church fits into his plan.”
For more information on how to get involved in this important partnership, contact the Partnership Missions office at 1-800-736-6227 or e-mail Hedger at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“I will gladly talk to, go to and go with a church on their first trip,” Hedger said. “I will assist them in getting connected with our missionaries on the field and I will gladly assist in training the prospective team as they prepare to go.”
KAYLA RINKER/contributing writer
*For security purposes, the name of the people group has been changed.