Posted on March 31, 2022 Transforming ministries – a sign of hope

Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. (Romans 12:2, The Message)

Hands of all shape and colorsAfter two long years of anxiety, loneliness, and loss, we are beginning to hear expressions of hope, joy, and relief from global partners and friends. As we emerge into a post-pandemic reality it’s safe to say that we have all been shaken out of our comfortable pre-pandemic routines! The world is no longer the same. Our sisters and brothers in Christ see God at work through new opportunities for transformed and transforming ministries. For example, the ministries we highlighted in our last update are no longer just opportunities: a new reality is taking shape!

Synergists for the World Evangelical Alliance Mission Commission. The first fruit of our involvement as “synergists” is Ann’s participation in an online conference 6-8 April offered by the World Evangelical Alliance Mission Commission. The theme is “The Future Wellbeing of Missions” in today’s transformed world. Ann’s presentation on 8 April will focus on the topic “TEE [theological education by extension] for Contextualised Leadership Training 2022.” 

Faith-based social enterprise planning course poster, EcuadorEquipping faith-based social entrepreneurs. We were so encouraged to receive this message from an Ecuadoran Baptist leader in one of the courses we teach about the principles and practices of faith-based social entrepreneurship: “I learned that a social enterprise can do social and Kingdom work and [at the same time] earn money to be sustainable.” We are now mentoring two leaders from the Baptist seminary in Quito who will teach the course in May and June.

We are also equipping a new generation of Christian social entrepreneurs in the Philippines, India, Nepal, and Myanmar. We were touched by the feedback we received from a student in India after a recent class. They wrote: “I’ve learnt that it’s not only about sharing the gospel, but we need to understand the needs of the people and help in every possible way we can. Social entrepreneurship is a new lesson for me, but it has really inspired me to do something good for the people. This session is indeed an eye-opener for me. I’m thankful.”

Affirmed and Called book coverAffirmation for Affirmed and Called. Ann’s book Affirmed and Called: A Study of Women in Leadership in the New Testament was released in Portuguese and English in January. Leaders of the Brazilian Baptist publisher say sales are “booming.” Plans are now underway to translate the book into Spanish (and possibly French). Ann has been invited to teach a 4-session course for the national Brazilian Baptist seminary based on the book and to speak at upcoming state and national conferences of the Women’s Union of the National Baptist Convention of Brazil.

Transformation at a Brazilian Baptist seminary. The Board of Directors of the National Baptist Convention of Brazil was inspired by the strategic planning process we facilitated for a theological seminary in the Federal District (see our last ministry update). We are delighted to hear that the seminary may be elevated to national status. New initiatives in the seminary’s plan include earning government accreditation, developing new courses based on input from local churches, offering church leadership training at various levels, and expanding online course offerings.

We’re grateful for your prayer and financial support that enable us to be part of these transforming and transformative ministries!

Ann and Bruce

PS: thanks to Terri Anderson (Manette Community Church, Bremerton, WA) for the new banner!

Praise God with us for

New opportunities to join with God in ministry that transforms and empowers God’s people.

Please pray 

For the leadership of the National Baptist Convention of Brazil as they decide whether to transform Steb-DF into a national seminary.

For those participating in our Christian social enterprise development courses, that God would use them to address unsolved social and environmental problems in a sustainable way that expands the Kingdom of God, creates positive social change, and generates economic value. 

That God would use Ann’s book to encourage all of us to look deeply and prayerfully into Scripture to understand God’s desire to use the gifts of both women and men to guide and strengthen the Body of Christ.