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New ‘God focused’ missionaries share stories in IMB Sending Celebration

March 3rd, 2017 / By: Joni Hannigan / comments

RICHMOND, Va.—Three years ago Aaron and Kristy K. moved into an apartment complex in Fort Worth where over half the residents are refugees. 

“I had never considered international missions before I met Aaron,” Kristy said, “but through many short term opportunities, God began softening my heart.”

Kristy and Aaron were among 29 new Southern Baptist missionaries—six with ties to Texas—appointed through the International Mission Board March 1 near Richmond, Va.

Sent from Wedgwood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Aaron said their family, after living among refugees has “seen their needs and heard their stories and come to a deeper understanding of their needs.” 

The celebration featured other couples from Texas who shared testimonies of their faith and commitment:

  • *Andrew and Hannah Wilde, who will serve among North African and the Middle Eastern Peoples, noted their specific call to that region. “We live in a time when there are more refugees and more displaced people than any other time in history,” Andrew said.
  • *Caleb and Clara Yun, also to serve among NAME peoples, spoke of God’s faithfulness. “We are excited to carry on the church’s mission,” Caleb said.
  • *Eric and Cait Marshall, who will serve among the Central Asian Peoples, and are sent by a Texas church, talk about God’s interruption while he was pursuing the American dream. “Jesus was worth the sacrifice of following His desires,” Eric said. 


Addressing the new missionaries and their families, IMB President David Platt told the newly appointed missionaries theirs will be the “most complicated work in the entire world.” 

“I can’t think of anything that is more complicated,” Platt said. “To go into every ethnic group in the world and live and speak in such a way that people in that ethnic group totally transform … what they believe in themselves and the world, their customs and cultures accordingly and what they value and what they live. …

“That makes negotiating peace in the Middle East easy comparatively,” Platt said.

Telling the appointees, “I think you’re good, but you’re just not that good,” Platt reminded them “this is a work that only God can do.”

Speaking of the importance of prayer from the text of Exodus 33:1, Platt asked what the greatest obstacle might be to advancing the gospel and emphasized the power of fervent prayer for the purpose of God showing his glory.

“We cannot do this work apart from the power of the Almighty God,” he said.

Drawing an illustration of Moses being told he could have the promise of God without the presence of God, Platt said this is similar to the “blasphemous” prosperity gospel preached across the world. 

Moses’ refusal to step away from God is key to how missionaries should live, Platt told them, offering four guiding principles for how they live: 

  1. You have an assignment you cannot fulfill, Platt said. If people overestimate their own resources and do not rely on the power of God, they will fail, he said.
  2. You have a privilege you cannot forsake. “Once you taste the glory of God, you want to see more and more and more,” Platt said.
  3. You have a family you cannot forget.
  4. You have a God you cannot fathom.