ROCHESTER, Minn.—Calvary Baptist Church learned the importance of missions during the church’s Missions Emphasis Jan. 26–30.
Guest speakers included Shane and Erin Latham, serving in southern Brazil with Endvision Missions; a couple working in a creative access nation in Asia; and Dr. Patrick Odle, president of Baptist Mid-Missions.
Speaking from Matthew 9:38–28, Patrick reminded the congregation of the importance of “helping in the harvest.”
“The size of the harvest represents great opportunity,” Patrick says. “There will never be a lack of work, because there will never be a lack of souls that need Jesus Christ.”
A key component of Missions Emphasis was giving the missionaries opportunities to connect with small groups, including children and teens. Through the missionaries’ teaching the first night, a Wednesday, these young people heard firsthand of the work God is doing around the world.
“Your church youth group felt so alive,” one of the missionaries told Pastor Greg Linscott. “I think there is a lot of potential in that group of kids to chase hard after God. They were very engaged in what we were sharing, and I hope we encouraged them as much as they encouraged us.”
Jacob Ostergard, a recent high school graduate, certainly was encouraged.
“I really appreciate how they took time to connect with us and made the time they had to impact lives like mine,” Jacob says. “They challenged me and made me consider my next steps in life.”
On Saturday, the missionaries’ presentations were coupled with activities for men, ladies, and youth, allowing people to have personal conversations and strengthen bonds with the missionaries.
Some of the activities the groups enjoyed were axe throwing, playing arcade games, bowling, and conquering a climbing wall.
The Missions Emphasis ended Sunday night over pizza, trivia, and a message from Patrick Odle. He reminded the church members that God is using them as partners in ministry.
“You never know if God might use this weekend to raise up another missionary from our church,” says Bill Smith, a youth sponsor and father.
Deb Muehe, another church member, agrees. “We were blessed by the challenges presented, the encouragement given, and the fun activities.”
While the Missions Emphasis blessed and challenged the congregation, the missionaries report being blessed and encouraged too. The missionaries received personal gifts from church members to encourage and equip the missionaries and their children. And the event itself—through its times of sharing and recreation with the congregation—allowed the missionaries to refresh and reset themselves.
Missionary Shane Latham says, “We were greatly blessed and finish this appointment encouraged and fully supplied to continue the journey.”