MISSIONARY REFLECTS ON WHAT CASTRO COULDN’T DO

Baptist Press

After returning to the U.S. following HMB missionary David Fite's Cuban imprisonment, his family visited the 1969 Woman's Missionary Union annual meeting. -SBHLA photo

After returning to the U.S. following HMB missionary David Fite’s Cuban imprisonment, his family visited the 1969 Woman’s Missionary Union annual meeting.
-SBHLA photo

HAVANA — As the world reflects on the legacy of late Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, a former Southern Baptist missionary imprisoned by the Castro regime in the 1960s is remembering what Castro could not do: kill the church.

Castro died Nov. 25 at the age of 90.

David Fite, 82, was arrested in Havana in 1965 on what he calls fabricated charges of “trafficking in foreign currency” and “ideological diversionism.” Then Home Mission Board (now the North American Mission Board) missionary and the father of three young boys, including a one-month-old, Fite was incarcerated for three and a half years before being released in November of 1968. [Read more…]

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EVANGELISM NOT A GIFT: IT’S OBEDIENCE

 Editor’s Note: In September, the International Mission Board hosted Baptist state paper editors in London to introduce its new media network and to explore its Global Cities Initiative, a part of IMB President David Platt’s desire to introduce a “limitless” missionary force of Southern Baptists. In December, Southern Baptists are observing a Week of Prayer for International Missions and are collecting the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering which supports missionaries around the world.

According to missionary Ben Armacost, right, there are only two types of people in London — those who are saved and those who are lost. He shares the gospel with James, a man he met recently in the West Norwood section of London.

According to missionary Ben Armacost, right, there are only two types of people in London — those who are saved and those who are lost. He shares the gospel with James, a man he met recently in the West Norwood section of London.

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector  

LONDON — The statistics on London, the self-proclaimed “Capital of the World,” are staggering.

London is home to about 270 nationalities with 300 spoken languages. The city is home to 66 unreached people groups (second highest in the world). In a city with an estimated population of 6.83 million (12 million in the greater London area), only 1 percent of the city is considered to be “reached” with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

What’s more, statistics reveal that there is a 97 percent likelihood that a young person in their 20s in the United Kingdom has never met a follower of Jesus Christ. [Read more…]

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MEMPHIS TEAM AIDS STUDENT WORK IN LONDON

Editor’s Note: In September, the International Mission Board hosted Baptist state paper editors in London to introduce  its new media network and to explore its Global Cities Initiative, a part of IMB President David Platt’s desire to introduce a “limitless” missionary force of Southern Baptists.

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

Charlotte Sheehy, right, and Katasha Ross of Kirby Woods Baptist Church in Memphis, take a break to visit some of the sites in London while serving recently on a missions trip to the city. — Photo by Todd Deaton, Western Recorder (Kentucky)

Charlotte Sheehy, right, and Katasha Ross of Kirby Woods Baptist Church in Memphis, take a break to visit some of the sites in London while serving recently on a missions trip to the city. — Photo by Todd Deaton, Western Recorder (Kentucky)

LONDON — The Southern Baptist International Mission Board’s plan to have an impact in London will require more than the missionaries who currently serve in the self-proclaimed “Capital of the World.”

London is home to about 270 nationalities with 300 spoken languages. The city is home to 66 unreached people groups (second highest in the world). In a city with an estimated population of 6.83 million (12 million in the greater London area), only 1 percent of the city is considered to be “reached” with the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It will take retirees, students, and career professionals who can plant themselves in the city. But, it also will take volunteers — a large number of them. [Read more…]

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TENNESSEE BAPTIST STEPS OUT IN FAITH

Editor’s Note: In September, the International Mission Board hosted Baptist state paper editors in London to introduce its new media network and to explore its Global Cities Initiative, a part of IMB President David Platt’s desire to introduce a “limitless” missionary force of Southern Baptists.

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

161115londonLONDON — As soon as Amanda McCoy speaks, her new coworkers in London know that “she’s not from around here.”

“The people here love my Southern accent,” said McCoy, who hails from Knoxville. “I have an instant segue into having conversations with people,” she noted.

In August McCoy began a job in London and became the first business professional to participate in the Southern Baptist International Mission Board’s Global Cities Initiative as a “mobilized Christian.” [Read more…]

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DR TEAM SENT TO FLORIDA; OTHERS WILL BE NEEDED IN HURRICANE’S AFTERMATH

Baptist and Reflector

Photo: NOAA.gov

Photo: NOAA.gov

BRENTWOOD — Tennessee Baptists have been asked to respond in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti on Oct. 4, causing massive destruction before hitting Cuba later that night. The damage in Cuba was not as extensive as first expected but some areas were hard hit.

In Haiti, at least 478 deaths have been attributed to the massive storm and the number is expected to rise. [Read more…]

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INTERNET CHANGE POSES RELIGIOUS LIBERTY THREAT

Baptist Press

http, www, web, site, computer, screen, InternetNASHVILLE — When the U.S. government relinquishes control of a nonprofit organization that oversees Internet domain names, a California Baptist University software engineering professor says, the potential for religious liberty violations could increase.

Since 1998, the Internet Corporation of Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has coordinated and administered Internet domain names, with oversight from the U.S. Department of Commerce. But as of Oct. 1, when the government’s contract expires, ICANN will be governed entirely by an independent board — a move that has been decried by some commentators as dangerous and dismissed by others as innocuous. [Read more…]

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HURRICANE SLAMS HAITI, CUBA; HEADED TOWARD UNITED STATES

Baptist and Reflector

Image: NOAA.gov

Image: NOAA.gov

BRENTWOOD — Tennessee Baptist disaster relief volunteers are on alert, awaiting word from Southern Baptist Disaster Relief as to where and when they will be needed in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti on Oct. 4, causing massive destruction before hitting Cuba later that night. The damage in Cuba was not as extensive as first expected, according to news reports.

Associated Press reported that at least 11 deaths have been blamed on Hurricane Matthew, which at one time was a Category 5 storm, making it the most powerful hurricane in the region in nearly a decade. [Read more…]

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TENNESSEE MISSIONARY CHARLIE WORTHY ASKS FOR PRAYER FOLLOWING EARTHQUAKE IN ITALY

By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector

160829italy1AREZZO, Italy — Prayer is the greatest thing people can do in response to the 6.2 magnitude earthquake which devastated several towns and villages in central Italy Aug. 24, said Tennessee native Charlie Worthy.

Worthy, who hails from Memphis and is a graduate of Union University, Jackson, and his wife Shannon are Southern Baptist International Mission Board missionaries in Arezzo in the Tuscany region of Italy. The Tennessee Baptist Convention has been in a partnership with evangelical believers in Italy since 2013. The Worthys coordinate volunteer teams from Tennessee that travel to Italy for missions opportunities. [Read more…]

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3,202 DECISIONS FOR CHRIST REPORTED IN BRAZIL

By Will Hall
Baptist Press

A church helper and a volunteer interpreter react with tears of joy upon learning an elderly woman could now see with the help of donated prescription eyeglasses fitted by Sue Johns, a member of First Baptist Church in Graceville, Florida, and mother of Brent Johns, administrative and discipleship pastor at First Baptist Church in Houma.

A church helper and a volunteer interpreter react with tears of joy upon learning an elderly woman could now see with the help of donated prescription eyeglasses fitted by Sue Johns, a member of First Baptist Church in Graceville, Florida, and mother of Brent Johns, administrative and discipleship pastor at First Baptist Church in Houma.

BELO HORIZONTE, Brazil (BP) — Southern Baptists returning from Belo Horizonte, Brazil, are sharing testimonies of widespread revival in churches, communities, prisons and schools, following an 8-day schedule of crusades, medical ministries and other outreach efforts in this South American country.

Wayne Jenkins, director of evangelism and church growth for the Louisiana Baptist Convention, said there were a recorded 3,202 salvation decisions resulting from events conducted July 10-17.

“God did exceedingly above all that we could think or ask,” Jenkins said.

“Even working for the first time with this Brazilian association, the way was smooth in constructing three church buildings in five business days and reaching the number of people who came to know Christ, especially in some difficult areas. [Read more…]

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CHALLENGES ABOUND IN RIO

Baptist Press

Sid Hopkins, shown at the 2010 Olympics, will serve once again this year in Rio.

Sid Hopkins, shown at the 2010 Olympics, will serve once again this year in Rio.

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — Sid Hopkins is an eye-catching sight when he visits the Olympics.

The retired director of missions for the Atlanta-area Gwinnett Metro Baptist Association dons a hat and vest decorated with hundreds of pins that people aren’t bashful about inspecting. Hopkins trades pins with other Olympics fans while distributing pins made especially for the Olympics that tell the story of Jesus.

“There is an openness by people to talk with one another and to talk about spiritual things,” Hopkins said. “So sharing the seeds of the gospel through the ‘storytelling’ witnessing pin is well-received. Then the seeds of the gospel go back all over the world as the people return home.”

Hopkins is in Rio de Janeiro as the world prepares to turn its gaze on the first South American city ever to host the Olympics. The Games, kicked off with the Aug. 5 opening ceremony, will become the centerpiece of family entertainment and workplace discussions for more than two weeks. [Read more…]

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