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Articles by Don Graham

Found 7 Articles by Don Graham

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North African Believers Persevere Amid Personal Attacks

They broke into the church at night to finish the job they'd begun weeks earlier.

Hard-line Islamists wanted to shut down a Kabylie church in North Africa that had recently moved into a largely Muslim neighborhood. Twice they'd successfully stopped services by barricading the church's doors; they'd even threatened to kill the pastor. But each week the Christians returned to worship.

This time the Islamists poured gasoline over everything — chairs, Bibles, equipment — and set it ablaze.

Karim* could see the glow of the flames from his rooftop. Five years earlier, the Kabylie pastor started the church in his home with just three people. It grew to more than four hundred members. They had relocated to a larger building only two months earlier, but now that was gone.

Attacks like this are a frightening reality for thousands of Kabylie Christians. They're also evidence of the Gospel's rapid growth and the depth of the Kabyles' faith.

"Jesus was persecuted; we will be persecuted...

No one knows when the legend began. But generations of Sayang* have waited for its promise to be fulfilled.

For more than five centuries they have eked out their existence on a remote South Pacific island — virtually cut off from the outside world. Here, the Sayang have survived as farmers, growing crops on rocky soil nearly too poor to farm. Rain has been the only source of fresh water. They've had no electricity or phone service, not even a doctor.

Twice government troops have tried to force the village of ten thousand to relocate — once at gunpoint. But the Sayang refuse to leave because they are bound by the legend's promise — the arrival of a foreigner bearing a precious gift.

In 1967 a German tourist stumbled upon their village.* He was the first foreign visitor in the history of Yang Jauh.* He left behind his signature and photograph but nothing more. Then in 1986 a Japanese scientist came. She, too, left only her signature and p...

Sweat dripped from Dut's short, slender body as she hollowed out a grave in the floor of the Colombian rain forest.

Only minutes earlier the Nu* Indian woman had given birth to her ninth child, a boy, but something was wrong. The baby's head was misshapen, pointed — a temporary defect doctors would recognize as the result of an intense labor.

But there were no doctors here. Dut was ignorant and alone, save for several of her young children who had tagged along with their mother as she ventured into the bush that day.

They watched as Dut laid their brother's tiny body in a shallow hole and began to cover him with dirt. The newborn shrieked in protest, his arms and legs struggling against the handfuls of cool, damp soil that pressed against his skin.

His cries weakened as a wave of earth washed across his face, followed by another and another. Abruptly, the jungle fell silent. Without pause Dut stood, brushed the caked blood and grime f...

International Mission Board

No one knows how the legend came to Yang Jauh village.*

Hidden away on a remote South Pacific island, the village is home to an ancient people known as the Sayang.* For centuries they have survived in isolation, bound by the promise of an ancient legend that foretells the arrival of a white-skinned foreigner bearing a "precious" gift.

That promise was fulfilled the day Southern Baptist missionary Michael Martin* came to Yang Jauh and began sharing the Gospel. It was the first time anyone in the village of more than ten thousand people had ever heard the name of Jesus Christ.

What about the millions of other people across the earth waiting, like the Sayang, to hear the Good News for the first time? Who will tell them? What will it take to ensure that every tribe, tongue, and nation hears the story of Jesus?

This is the question that drives Martin and more than 5,500 other Southern Baptist missionaries as they serve God on the frontlines of lostne...

For Josh Russell,* training church planters is a lot like roasting coffee. Inside a narrow storefront in Central Asia, the Southern Baptist worker details the art of transforming green coffee beans into steaming cups of java. He grins mischievously as he remembers the first time he roasted — and nearly burned — an eight-pound batch of Mexican coffee beans.

"It was so dark — it was too done," he says. "The problem we had was how to know when to pull it out. ...The same thing happens as we're training and equipping leaders. When do you turn them loose? Are you waiting so long they're not fit for the needed purpose because you've skewed their thinking?"

It's a dilemma Russell continues to wrestle with in his role as strategy coordinator for Turkmenistan's Turkmen people. He's charged with sharing Christ and planting churches across a nation cut off from the Gospel by more than sixty-five years of communist rule. And...

Reflecting a Church's Missions Commitment

It was no coincidence their greatest gift was also their last.

One million dollars for international missions, given by a congregation of twelve. It is a story as much about change as it is faithfulness, a story that begins in another time — more than half a century ago.

This was the heyday of Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in the mill town of Greensboro, North Carolina. Sunlit stained glass greeted the faithful on Sunday mornings as they filled the church's oak pews with their bodies and its cathedral ceiling with their praise. Sinner and saved alike walked the sanctuary's burgundy carpet during revival, at times crowding its balcony to capacity. Church members shared their love for Jesus door to door; neighbors were always kind enough to answer their knock, if not their invitation.

Don Smith was twenty-two years old when he first came to Sixteenth Street Baptist. Now 75, he remembers the pew where he sat and surrendered his life to Christ some fi...

As the United Nations was mobilizing troops to maintain the fragile ceasefire the last week of August, Southern Baptists were stepping up relief efforts in Lebanon and Israel, funneling more than a half-million dollars in aid into the war-torn region.

Air raids and rocket attacks flattened homes and leveled buildings, leaving hundreds of thousands homeless. Some spent hours sifting through ash-colored rubble, trying to salvage any trace of their former lives — perhaps a photograph or family heirloom. Most of the devastation was concentrated in southern Lebanon, an area that was subsequently visited by a Southern Baptist medical assessment team.

"They've got no possessions left; there is not a single chair that's intact," a Christian medical worker said. "Everything is smashed and covered with concrete. The smell of dead bodies, either human or animal, is prevalent in these communities."

So far, Baptist partners in both nations ha...