One of the interesting things I have the privilege of doing as executive director-treasurer is to attend the board meetings of our four Oklahoma Baptist affiliates: Oklahoma Baptist University, WatersEdge, Baptist Village Communities and Oklahoma Baptist Homes for Children—not to mention our own board of directors meetings.
In each of these meetings and in being on various campuses, I’ve been blessed to hear testimonies of lives changed by the Gospel through the ministry and work of each of these affiliates. Here is just a sample of some of those testimonies from the past year:
- A child who had no home because of abuse or neglect now lives in a caring environment and loves the youth group at church.
- A young, expectant mother with no support in her life wondering what to do and where to turn found people who told her of the value of the life in her womb, gave her a place and resources to live and walked with her through a fear-filled time of her life.
- A young woman called to missions at Falls Creek and a young man called to pastor a church both found a university that educated them from a Christian worldview and trained them in their calling, giving them opportunities for practice and experience.
- A homeless single mother who battled addictions for years found people who cared for her and her child, gave her a place to live and job training, and introduced her to Christ in whom she found identity and hope.
- An elderly widow whose husband faithfully pastored small churches their whole lives was in need of resources to survive and a community to love her, and she found both.
- A family whose home was destroyed by a flood felt hopeless and wondered what they would do, having no insurance, when men and women wearing yellow shirts arrived and worked on their house free of charge.
- College students, who came to school to play sports or get an education to give them a lucrative career, heard the Gospel on campus and found something far greater than anything the world could give them.
All these testimonies are strong reminders of why Oklahoma Baptist churches choose to partner together: to fund and facilitate missions and ministries to advance the Gospel and see lives changed for God’s glory. This is why we chose to come together in 1906 and why we still work together today.
The beauty of our partnership is that every one of our churches—large and small, rural or metropolitan, new or old—all have an important part to play in what we do for the Kingdom. Oklahoma Baptists learned long ago that we can do more for the Kingdom together than we can apart. When we are focused on the message and mission God has given us, we are at our very best. May that especially be true in this coming year!