Published December 25, 2014
DULUTH — Summer has long gone, but Georgia Baptist Convention state missionaries are sharing about their experiences from mission trips around the world as well as planning for those coming up in 2015.
Pat Collins, who works in Sunday School and Small Groups, traveled to the village of Cuyali in Honduras in early July with other members of Zion Hill Baptist in Buford in partnership with First Baptist Jackson. The group primarily concentrated on medical care – aiding more than 1,500 patients – in addition to assisting in youth and children’s evangelism. They also hosted a daily ladies conference.
In a veterinary corral where livestock and pets were typically treated, the group gave away 2,000 bags of clothing, Collins reported. In terms of salvations, she added there were “63 children and 77 adults that prayed to receive Christ, and 35 rededications.”
This wasn’t Collins’ first time on a mission trip, having traveled previously to Russia, Moldova, Germany, and Puerto Rico in addition to New York, Chicago, and Florida stateside.
Raising up church leaders was the focus of John Bryan’s time in Laogone, Haiti in late April.
“It was my privilege to teach 24 pastors in leadership training as a group of five GBC state missionaries served a week in this town near the epicenter of the 2010 earthquake,” he said. “Our GBC team trained in chaplaincy, Sunday School skills, church planting, and computer training. We left the pastors with laptops to facilitate their ministries.”
Bryan, of Cooperative Program Advancement and Endowment State Missions, noted that Ricky Thrasher of GBC Church and Community Ministries, Chaplaincy, and World Hunger led the trip.
“Five GBC state missionaries took part,” Thrasher explained. “John, Butch Butcher (Church Planting), Tim Smith (Sunday School and Small Groups), Tim Huggins (Information Services), and I partnered with Baptists 4 Haiti in focusing on training 30 pastors and preaching in churches. The local pastors also received a computer as a gift.”
Helping church plants grow
Smith was part of that group training pastors in Haiti alongside Thrasher and Bryan, but was also involved in an October excursion to New York City. There, he and his wife Cathy ministered alongside members of New City Church in Long Island City. Patrick Thompson, who until January 2012 had served Georgia Baptists in Sunday School/Small Group Ministries and Youth Ministries, moved to New York with his wife and two teenage children to plant New City Church.
“[In New York] we conducted a community outreach event for the church that reached over 1,000 people and had over 150 people express interest in the church,” Smith reported. Those efforts helped lead to New City’s first baptism service, held Nov. 2.
International ministry, stateside
Marie Still, of Convention Financial Services, traveled with others from First Baptist Snellville to Disney World. There her group comprised of single adults and their children ministered directly with the service industry, “engaging people from around the world,” she reported.
“Our team brought hand-designed thank you notes and inspirational crafts such as bracelets and keychains that shared the message of hope through Christ.
“These random acts of kindness were well-received and greatly appreciated. We were also able to assist with feeding the working poor and providing groundwork support for The Gathering INC, a local non-profit church movement for the service industry,” Still added.
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