These are just a few of the 5,000 missionaries of the North American Mission Board currently serving throughout the United States and Canada. They are featured during the March 5-12 Week of Prayer for North American Missions, but their stories are representative of needs and challenges everywhere.
Khalil "Charlie" and Amal Hanna, San Jose, California
Khalil "Charlie" Hanna, a native of Egypt, helps start churches among Arabic people throughout California. The vast majority of individuals from Middle-Eastern countries are Muslim, so when sharing the gospel Hanna is careful to call himself "born again" or a "believer." Pray that God would provide him wisdom in sharing the gospel to Muslims and in finding the right individuals to lead new churches.
Paul and Sharon Wells, Fairbanks, Alaska
Paul Wells serves as pastor of a multicultural church in Fairbanks, Alaska, ministering to Anglos, Koreans, native Alaskans (American Indians and Eskimos), Hispanics, and African Americans. The Wells family ministers in the extreme conditions of central Alaska, where midwinter brings only a few hours of twilight each day and temperatures plummet to 40 and 50 degrees below zero. Pray for their family and the ministry as they try to unite the varying cultures under the common banner of Jesus Christ.
Barry and LaWanda Bonney, Toronto, Canada
Barry Bonney serves as a church planter strategist in Toronto, the most multicultural city in the world. His task is to facilitate church plants among all ethnic groups, including English-speaking Canadians. Pray that Canadians who are lost in the confusion of materialism, secular humanism, and pluralism will come to know the peace and freedom found in Christ. And pray that God will grant Bonney the wisdom to plant churches and nurture new congregations in accordance with His will.
Sheila and Todd Mitchell, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Sheila Mitchell is director of DaySpring Villa, a Southern Baptist women's shelter. The ministry exists to share Christ with battered and homeless women who come to the shelter, and to provide ministry training for other Christians. With a largely volunteer staff, Mitchell must be available around the clock to handle many situations. Pray that God would provide sufficient volunteers so that ministry can be more personalized and effective.
David and Milvian Lema, Miami, Florida
David Lema is director of Hispanic and international ministries for the Miami Baptist Convention, with responsibilities for church planting, church development and pastoral ministries. More than 55 percent of the population of Miami is Hispanic, and Lema assists churches struggling with high property values and what Lema calls a "refugee mindset" of uncertain cultural identity. Pray that God would provide wisdom and leadership as Lema and the association work toward an ambitious goal of starting fifty-five new churches in 2000.
Roosevelt and Roslyn Broach, Dallas, Texas
Roosevelt Broach serves as a black church consultant for the Dallas Baptist Association. He spends his days as an encourager, providing support and encouragement for pastors and working to develop new, reproducing congregations. Pray for revival and renewal at small, declining churches and for pastoral leadership in other churches. Pray for wisdom as Broach creates a strategy for developing healthy African American congregations in the Dallas area.
Mike and Martha McKinney, Forsyth, Montana
Mike McKinney serves as director of missions for the Hi-Line and Big Sky Baptist Associations in eastern Montana. Covering 64,000 square miles, it is the largest area under any one director of missions in the country. For McKinney the job is only possible with the help of his 1951 Piper Super Cub single-engine airplane. With such a sparsely populated area, much of McKinney's task is providing support and encouragement for pastors, almost all of whom must work bivocationally. Pray for McKinney, the pastors, their families and the churches as they seek to reach eastern Montana with the gospel.
John and Anna Ramirez, Northborough, Massachusetts
John Ramirez serves as director of collegiate ministry for the Baptist Convention of New England. With some of the most prestigious institutions in the world, Southern Baptists have a relatively small influence on the campuses. Ramirez has developed a team concept of providing campus ministry in metropolitan areas, in which local collegiate ministers work together in starting work on campuses where there is no ministry presence. Pray that God would provide indigenous leadership for ministry efforts, and that campus groups would be effective in equipping Christian students during a critical period of their lives.
North American Mission Board Missionaries: On Mission to Share Christ
The North American Mission Board has more than 5,000 missionaries serving in the United States, Canada, and the U.S. territories.
The largest number of missionaries work in starting new Southern Baptist churches, about 1,500 churches each year. Mission pastors serve English-speaking and language churches in rural and urban settings. Southern Baptists in North America worship in 210 languages, among 112 language groups, in more than 7,000 ethnic congregations.
Other NAMB missionaries share the gospel message by ministering to people's needs in church and community settings, including senior adults, nonreaders, non-English-speaking people, substance abusers, families, people in the criminal justice system, homeless people, disabled people, migrant workers, and even vacationers.
A number of missionaries work in Southern Baptist associations as associational missionaries or other mission staff, and many NAMB missionaries are volunteers who have served more than two years and provide a majority of their own funding, although they receive some NAMB support.
In addition to missionaries, Southern Baptist-endorsed chaplains minister in many of the same ways as do missionaries. More than 3,000 Southern Baptist Convention chaplains serve in the military, institutions such as prisons and hospitals, and in corporate settings.
Our mission efforts are also supported by more than 100,000 missions volunteers each year - including long-term Mission Service Corps volunteers, youth groups working with missionaries and through World Changers projects, and adults working in construction and Disaster Relief.
For the support of missionaries and their work ...
Because every dollar given to the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering goes to support missionaries on the field, Southern Baptists can be confident that their gift is an investment in eternity. Our missionaries are faithful stewards of those gifts.
Since 1895, the years of the first home missions offering, more than $750 million has been received. Southern Baptists can celebrate that in 1999 Annie offerings totaled more than $43 million.
Because of Southern Baptists' faithfulness in giving to the Offering, the ministry allotments for 2000 are as follows:
Missionary Appointment Support and Equipping: $38,188,598
Ministry Evangelism: $1,171,285
Church Planting: $5,827,413