Sam Watkins grew up in a small town in South Carolina. He joined the army and said he enjoyed the military experience and his opportunity to do “what guys pay tons of money to do for a hobby.”
But the enjoyment did not last. His marriage suffered, and time spent with his children was miniscule. “We figured it up one time that out of my middle child’s first three years of life, I think I was gone about 80 percent of his life,” he said as a feature in a promotional video about this year’s Oklahoma State Missions Offering (SMO).
With the possibility of his wife and family leaving him, Watkins found out he had Stage 4 cancer. He describes an emotional scene of both the army surgeon and his wife crying as he was about to hear the bad news of how the cancer may affect his life.
Two months later, the surgeon opened him up and found no cancer in his body. “It wasn’t anything I’ve done,” the surgeon told Watkins. “It has to be this God that people talk about serving.”
God healed him from Stage 4 cancer, and Watkins called out to God, “Is this what you had in mind for me?” But God had even more planned for him, which involved becoming a church planter of Victory Chapel, located near Tinker Air Force Base near Midwest City.
In the video, Watkins describes Tinker as “the world’s largest depot base.” He mentions the surrounding area of Midwest City/Del City has a population of 85,000 with only 10-15 percent being believers in Christ.
The confidence and excitement Watkins shares in the video can inspire viewers. He explains how Victory Chapel has the “biggest opportunity in the state of Oklahoma to cultivate the field for international missions.”
“You have service members that can be right here today in Oklahoma hearing the Gospel, being discipled, growing in their faith, and in two years from now, they could be living all the way around the world,” Watkins said. “That’s why we are planting a church here, because not only do we want to bring them to a saving relationship with Christ, we also want to disciple them and see them grow in their faith, and go out to the ends of the earth and fulfill the Great Commission.”
This is one of five promotional videos that is used to inform Oklahoma Baptists of the importance of the SMO and the missions and ministry endeavors it will support. The announced giving goal for the 2015 SMO is $1.135 million.
“With the church, Victory Chapel, we are so appreciative of every dollar that you guys have given through the State Missions Offering because it helps us to do what we are doing here (near) Tinker Air Force Base,” said Watkins, concluding the video as the logo “We are Oklahoma Missions” appears.
The video is less than four minutes long and could be a brief feature in a church service to promote SMO. It is downloadable through the website, www.bgco.org/smo. Other resources can be ordered on the website including free printed materials and promotional posters.
Churches also may call the Mission Offering phone line at 405/942-3000, ext. 4335, to order materials or email the Women’s Missions & Ministries Office directly at [email protected]. Deliveries can take up to two weeks.