DAVIS—Gathering under the theme “For the Sake of the Name,” approximately 180 parents of International Mission Board (IMB) missionaries met at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center, May 3-5, for the National Retreat for Parents of IMB Workers. This is Falls Creek’s first time to host the bi-annual event.

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Harry and Ivetta Black connect with a missionary parent. Harry is director of missions in Capital Association;

Amy Cordova, women’s missions and ministries specialist for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO), explained that the event was designed with the needs of parents of missionaries in mind. “Encouraging parents of missionaries on the field is an important part of supporting mission work overseas,” Cordova said.

The retreat program included times for worship, prayer, speakers, breakouts and recreation. Topics for discussion included “How to pray for your children/grandchildren;” “Changing cultures: supporting your children through greater understanding;” and “How the IMB supports your children/grandchildren.”

Missionary parents, whose children serve in the same affinity, met together.

In addition, missionary parents whose children are serving in the same affinity were able to meet to discuss needs and issues that are of particular relation to their children’s missions’ assignments.

“It was an honor to be able to host this special weekend for parents from all over the United States,” Cordova said. “One couple in attendance had just sent their child overseas for the first time three weeks ago. This timely event was a great encouragement to them.”

Parents of missionaries spent time praying for their children

Teresa Roberts, a member of Oklahoma City, Quail Springs, welcomed parents of missionaries to the International Parents Retreat. Roberts leads the Oklahoma International Parents Fellowship. More than 40 missionary parents from Oklahoma were present at the retreat.

Oklahoma City, Quail Springs Praise Band led the theme interpretation for the weekend based on 3 John 4-8. The song was composed by emeritus missionary and Oklahoman, Mary Dickey.

Speakers included Todd Lafferty, IMB executive vice president and emeritus missionary, who joined a panel of IMB field personnel. Tom Elliff, former IMB president, was the keynote speaker for the Saturday evening session. He encouraged parents of missionaries through Scripture in their support and prayer for their children. Hance Dilbeck, BGCO executive director-treasurer, taught the Sunday morning session on Mark 10:28-31, encouraging parents to have biblical expectations as a hedge of protection against disappointment.

Members of the planning committee for the International Parents Retreat were Sharon Pumpelly, who serves with the IMB; Roberts; Debbie Moore, Arkansas WMU Director; and Cordova.