My recent trip to East Asia was a tremendous success in every way.
The CEOs who travelled with me made a lasting and indelible mark on those who attended the seminars. The people of our host country had the privilege of seeing Christianity in the workplace. Attendees learned from men who have been successful in the eyes of the world, but who see their greatest success as the impact they are able to have for the cause of Christ.
The hunger to learn from American Christians is great. The people who attended the seminars were like sponges soaking up both the teaching and the time spent in fellowship. In fact, while they loved the teaching times, they asked that, next time, we plan more time in fellowship and casual conversation. It was in these times we had the opportunity to share the Gospel and answer questions regarding the application of biblical truths to life’s challenges.
Christianity is growing at such a fast rate in this big, red country that many are new believers. These new believers have a deep desire to live for Jesus, but have not been discipled, and they certainly do not have the materials we have. There is a huge potential for Americans to train and develop believers.
The people of East Asia love Americans. I know that seems odd since our governments live in significant tension. The people with whom I had the privilege to speak were grateful for America’s stand for goodness and desire to help the world. These Christians could not speak more positively and graciously about the contribution to world evangelism made by American believers, and they recognize the missionary impact of American Christians on their nation. The seeds planted by missionaries of long ago bore fruit even after communism swept the nation.
Southern Baptists were major contributors to the spread of the Gospel. Our first Southern Baptist missionaries poured out their lives for the sake of the Gospel. Oppression, persecution and death could not destroy the seeds planted—a bumper crop is now being born more than 150 years later.
The Christians of East Asia believe they will become the number one missionary-sending nation of the next few decades. The economic growth they are experiencing will be the support for missionary efforts around the world. The growth of Christianity is among financial leaders, and the dollars needed for missionary efforts will be available. These missionaries are prepared to be tentmakers. Their people have large populations around the world and are readily accepted. I believe this nation will do for the movement of the Gospel what America did in the last two centuries.
The culture of East Asia and its largest country will change. Christianity is growing most among the intellectuals, financial and business leaders. These Christian business leaders will have the stature and positions in society and government to bring about change. They are bold and brave. Many host churches in their factories and businesses, and the government gives them safety because they are making a huge economic difference.
I am thankful that Oklahoma Baptists have been called to make a difference in East Asia. We have the expertise and spiritual maturity to help disciple and train new generations of Christian leaders. Oklahoma Baptists can join other Christian leaders to make an impact.
You and your church can be involved. Contact the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma’s Partnership Missions office at 405/942-3800, ext. 4336, for more information. The BGCO will help you make a connection with East Asia and pray with you concerning how you can be involved. You can make a difference regardless of the size of your church.
Anthony L. Jordan is executive director-treasurer of the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.