USA (MNN) — International Mission Board recently appointed
21 missionaries who will soon be ministering to people on four different continents.
Of these individuals, 18 have served short-term missions
before, with several couples going back to serve another term in areas they have
already served two or three years.
One of these couples is Charles and Nicole Stoddard, whose
names were changed for security reasons. The couple finished a three-year term
in Asia at the beginning of the month and will be returning.
While serving their previous term, the Stoddards witnessed
to a family of five, whose grandfather died three decades before believing in a
one true God. He told them before he died "to wait for the day someone would
come to tell them more about this God," according to IMB.
When the one of the family's sons heard about the Stoddards,
he knew they were the people he had been waiting for all those years.
"We've waited fifty years for you to come," was the family's
reaction, according to IMB.
It was then that Stoddard and his wife realized, "This family,
who had never met another Christian, who didn't even know that a Bible
existed–God had been preparing their hearts for 30 years to hear the Gospel of
The other missionaries commissioned with the Stoddards
shared similar stories of God's magnificence in their past terms, which
contributed to their serving again as well.
These excited individuals were appointed on July 12 at
Urbancrest Baptist Church in Lebanon, Ohio. The new appointees bring the number
of IMB missionaries to 5,544.
Many of these missionaries will be entering high-security areas, and their locations cannot be disclosed. However, IMB President
Jerry Rankin, who spoke to the missionaries, is not at all discouraged by this.
According to IMB, he said, "The fact that we cannot identify
the places where many of you are going indicates that God is opening doors … to
proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ."
Rankin then warned the group there would be times when they
grew discouraged and overwhelmed with the amount of lost people around them,
but he also said the Gospel can never be overestimated.
Please pray along with Rankin and IMB for these 21
individuals spreading out across the globe to deliver the great hope of Christ's
love and salvation.
To learn more about IMB and their ministries, visit their Web site.