Over and over, the International Mission Board (IMB) sees examples of Southern Baptists coming together to take the gospel to every nation. The cooperative efforts have never shone brighter than this year. Churches set a record with their generous giving. The Lottie Moon offering was the largest in the 177-yearhistory of the IMB with $203.7 million.
IMB president Paul Chitwood, top photo, reminded those attending a sending celebration at the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) in Anaheim, Calif. that 100 percent of this offering goes to sending and equipping missionaries, just like it has since the beginning. In fact, 25,000 missionaries have been sent to the nations throughout the 177 years. Now, more than 3,400 missionaries are on the field in 2022 engaging the 4.7 billion least reach peoples.
“They need us, Southern Baptists. They need you,” Chitwood told the SBC audience back in June. “This is why we came together, and this is why we must stay together.”
Southern Baptists send IMB missionaries to be present among those who have never heard the gospel. As the IMB looks back on 2022, they saw each of their top stories for the year pointed to this commitment.
The IMB believes missionary presence helps cultivate gospel access that knows no boundaries. This has never been more apparent than in the countries surrounding Europe this year. As the conflict between Ukraine and Russia elevated and refugees flooded into neighboring countries, Southern Baptists were there to help—physically, emotionally and spiritually. A decades-long partnership with Romanian, Moldovan, Ukrainian and Russian Baptists allowed Southern Baptists to not only be among the first to respond but to be there for the long term.
More than $10 million was raised by Send Relief for Southern Baptists to use in 72 different relief projects related to this war. While that is impressive, the best part is how quickly churches responded to a need and joined national believers and churches already at work.
Baptists in Poland respond to support Ukrainian refugees—Polish Baptists and International Mission Board missionaries quickly rallied to respond to the needs of Ukrainian refugees crossing the border to seek sanctuary from the attack on their homeland.
Thousands of Ukrainian Christians find solace in Polish Baptist church—Chelm Baptist Church’s response to Ukrainian refugees who made long and arduous journeys out of their homeland and burdened by the loss of life as they knew it in Ukraine was something right out of the Bible.
Broken for Bucha—Southern Baptist response teams overflow with compassion for those coming out of the war zone to seek safety. A team of Southern Baptists from California, Missouri and the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention manned a station, offering coffee, snacks, reading glasses, Bibles and QR codes leading to a Gospel website developed by the IMB.
Every day 157,690 people die apart from Christ and spend eternity in hell. More than 90 percent of IMB missionaries actively engage at least one least reached people group or place. This Gospel belief results in lives transformed.
First known believer baptized among people group—Sarah, the first known follower of Christ among her tribe, couldn’t stop smiling as she explained her decision with the community. This moment was years in the making. In fact, Southern Baptists began specifically praying for this three years ago.
For so long, the definition of “finishing the task” has been when the local church can stand on its own. But it’s not truly finished until they can come alongside and be part of reaching other peoples with the Gospel. When IMB missionaries disciple and plant churches, they want this to lead to local ownership of God’s mission.
Warriors to missionaries—Only a few decades ago, the Bugkalot people were one of the fiercest tribes in the Philippines, known for beheading their enemies. Now, they send missionaries to neighboring tribal people to share the good news that transformed their own lives.
IMB missionaries train global partners to reach world—The IMB knows it cannot reach those who have never heard the gospel alone. It takes local ownership of the Great Commission to fulfill the Revelation 7:9 vision. Six Taiwanese global missionary partners are sent by Taiwanese Baptists to serve two years with IMB missionaries.
God cannot make Southern Baptists’ purpose any clearer than He has through these stories of ministry in 2022. Together, IMB seeks to take the Gospel to every nation, all tribes and peoples and languages. Visit imb.org/newsroom to read more about the work God is doing around the world through IMB missionaries.