Friday, December 6, 2013

Closer than they seem

"Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" He said to him, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.
Matthew 22:36-39

This week is the International Mission Board week of prayer for international missionaries.  Read these stories each day and open your heart to these missionaries.  Pray for them and their families as they are accepting the challenge to do whatever it takes to take the Gospel of Christ to the world.

The Mixteco of Mexico and Valley Baptist Church in California
Orange dots on a world map marked the locations of more than 3,000 people groups — people groups that no one was telling about Jesus.

What struck California pastor Phil Neighbors was how many were clustered in southern Mexico. His church, Valley Baptist of Bakersfield, had prayed about taking the Gospel to such a people group.
To learn more, he contacted Chris Ammons, a missionary in Mexico who had partnered with Phil’s church on short-term missions projects. Chris offered to help find the best fit for Valley Baptist.
Soon afterward, Chris visited a rural area near Oaxaca, Mexico. There he made a stunning discovery — the local Tijaltepec Mixteco people had a large migrant population living just 20 miles from Bakersfield.

After much prayer, Valley Baptist made a long-term commitment to take responsibility for this people group. The church regularly sends volunteers to both the Tijaltepec Mixteco in southern Mexico and the 700 Mixteco immigrants in central California.

A total commitment to be His heart, hands and voice. 
“When we ‘embraced’ this people group, that means they’re ours,” says Phil. “If they’re going to be reached, it’s going to be through us. And that’s a heavy burden, but a good burden. We’ve got to do this.”

Pray for missionaries who train and guide Southern Baptist churches in reaching unengaged, unreached people groups.

Pray other churches will follow Valley Baptist’s example.

Scripture to Claim:
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.  Acts 1:8 

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