From the Worldwide Faith News archives

ABCUSA: World Mission Conference Explores 'Evangelism and

From "SCHRAMM, Richard" <>
Date Thu, 14 Aug 2003 10:40:00 -0400


by Eleanor Lundy, American Baptist International Ministries 

American Baptist News Service (Valley Forge, Pa. 8/14/03)--More than 700
participants experienced global mission and ministry in action at this
year's World Mission Conference, held Aug. 2-9 at the American Baptist
Assembly in Green Lake, Wis.  Sponsored by International Ministries (IM),
the conference offered a colorful feast of opportunities for mission
education and involvement. Workshops, multimedia presentations and special
sessions around the conference theme of "Evangelism and Discipleship"
challenged conferees to an expanded vision of global mission.

"We are here because we are Great Commission people, and we know the words
by heart," declared IM's retiring executive director, the Rev. Dr. John A.
Sundquist, noting the close relationship between evangelism and
discipleship. The Rev. Dr. Kirkpatrick G. Cohall, president of the Board of
International Ministries, welcomed conferees on behalf of the board and
issued a resounding call to mission involvement through a radical,
life-changing encounter with Christ. "Evangelism and discipleship [means]
crossing boundaries and proclaiming a message not only of personal
transformation, but also a message that challenges institutions, governments
and authorities that enable injustices to continue," Cohall said. 

The Rev. Hictor M. Cortez, IM's newly-elected executive director,
participated in conference leadership and presented several vignettes
illustrating God's call to Christian service and cross-cultural mission in
his life.  David Hunt, president of American Baptist Churches USA, also
offered words of encouragement and hope in his remarks to conferees.  

Some 30 International Ministries missionaries, currently on U.S. assignment,
shared testimonies and prayer requests illustrating the scope and depth of
American Baptist mission work with global partners. The missionaries, along
with IM staff and international guests from nearly 20 countries, facilitated
workshops exploring dimensions of evangelism and discipleship in global
mission. They also led devotional times and hosted an "International

Daily Bible studies were led by Dr. Molly T. Marshall, professor of theology
and spiritual formation at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas
City, Kans.  Special music was provided by the Heritage Chorale of Milwaukee
under the direction of Ella Washington, who also served as conference
songleader. Brad Berglund of Englewood, Colo., also provided music
leadership. The Korean Children's Choir entertained attendees on Thursday
evening with their pure voices, colorful costumes and deft choreography. 

Evening programs led by IM's area directors highlighted global mission
through personal testimonies, drama and multimedia presentations. The
programs offered glimpses of growing partnerships between American Baptist
congregations, missionaries and national partners throughout the world. 

Fresh from exciting cross-cultural mission adventures, three Xtreme Teams
sponsored by International Ministries made presentations at the conference.
During July two U.S. teams traveled to Ghana and Japan, while a team from
South Africa, representing four partner conventions with International
Ministries, traveled among American Baptist regions in the northeastern U.S.
The teams, each made up of eight young adults and four leaders, reflected
the rich ethnic diversity of American Baptist Churches USA.  
Ten new and reappointed missionaries were formally commissioned on Friday to
serve with International Ministries: the Rev. Edith Yamina Apolinaris
(Spain); Ann E. C. Borquist and Bruce R. Borquist (Brazil); the Rev. Daniel
L. Buttry (global service missionary for peace and justice); the Rev. Jorge
L. D. Damasceno and Hermelinda A. Damasceno (Albania, in a joint appointment
by International Ministries and the National Baptist Convention of Brazil);
Dr. Stanley D. Slade (regional missionary for Iberoamerica); Philip B. Smith
(Brazil, in a joint appointment by International Ministries and Hope
Unlimited International); and the Rev. Charles W. Sydnor IV and Carole J.
Sydnor (Nepal).  

Dr. Billy Kim of South Korea, president of the Baptist World Alliance, was
the featured speaker for the commissioning service. Issuing an urgent call
for world evangelism, Kim said, "We as Christians need to fulfill the Great
Commission in this generation, and I believe it can be done if we put our
hearts into it."

A special offering of nearly $65,000 was received during the conference in
support of the appointment of new missionaries. About 50 walkers and runners
also raised $10,568 to benefit International Ministries' Student Tuition and
Expense Program  (STEP), a scholarship program for the education of children
and young people around the world.


American Baptist News Service: Office of Communication, American Baptist
Churches USA, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851; (800)ABC-3USA x2077
/ (610)768-2077; fax: (610)768-2320;;

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