The 23rd Annual Missions Conference at New Life Bible Church on Man-O-War Cay was held May 13-17. The theme this year was “Make Me a Witness.” Different missionaries were invited to share their ministries and how God is working in their lives. Ron Hamme, first pastor of New Life Bible Church, and his wife Denise have been missionaries in Guyana, Haiti and for the past 15 years have been working in Thailand.
One of their biggest goals in Thailand is to train leadership in the churches there. Most Thai people are Buddhists. Hamme said when sharing the gospel with them, they find that sometimes the biggest obstacle is other Christians. He challenged the congregation to think about what’s different in their lives that will draw others to Christ.
Bob and Barbara Patterson first went to Cuba in 1995, they described it as beautiful from the outside but get closer and you see most people are living in primitive conditions. Most locals will tell you they have “No Esperanza” or “No Hope.” Bob and Barbara are very careful to follow the laws on their visits to Cuba, for once deported there is no entering the country again. They help out a local church by bringing in supplies, anything from Spanish Bibles to blankets and medication.
Brian and Pearle Williams work at the International Christian School in Vienna, Austria. Over forty nations are represented at the school, including the children of world leaders. They have the opportunity to share the gospel with and influence these leaders through their children. Joe and Wendy Karabensh from Missionary Flights International help deliver goods to West Indies including the Bahamas, the Dominican Republic and Haiti. They strive to help meet the air support needs of biblical missions in these islands. Matthew and Chelsea Slimp from First Baptist Atlanta, along with the choir, lead the congregation in worship songs.
Sarah Tate from Renew Ministries introduced us to new technology that is being used to get the gospel to those who don’t have any other means of receiving it, especially targeting oral learners. They provide “weapons of mass instruction” including solar powered audio players of the New Testament and solar powered projectors. Did you know that there are more cellphones in the world then toilets and toothbrushes? A cellphone can become an easy tool for anyone to share the gospel, using apps such as Jesusfilm and Kolo.
One lesson from the Conference was that everyone has their own talents and spiritual gifts that can be used to engage others with Christ. It could be verbally, written, by playing videos, by praying, by giving or by going. While these missionaries have been called to go overseas to share the gospel, there are lots of different ways you can serve and be a missionary right where you are.