Are We There Yet?

“Are We There Yet?” is a challenging question being asked in this year’s international missions emphasis.  The question is being asked to call attention to our progress in taking the gospel to every people group on earth.  Are we there yet – have we reached this goal?  The  answer is no, but we are closing in on it. While over 6,000 people groups are yet to be reached, progress is being made.  This should cause us to give and pray even more.

“Are we There Yet?”  Kentucky missionaries serving around the world would say no, but we are making progress.   Their letters reveal stories of people coming to Christ and churches being started. They want us to know how much they appreciate our prayers and support through the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

Next Sunday/Monday, the question of “Are we there yet?” will be asked often as Linda Cooper and I travel to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania to attend the East Africa Baptist Women’s Union meeting.   We are going at the request of the Tanzania Baptist Women’s Union president, Mrs. Lugano Isack.  Kentucky Baptist Convention had a partnership with Tanzania and has continued to work with Tanzanian Baptist leaders. 

An invitation to participate  in the Eastern Africa Baptist Women’s Conference has been sent to Baptist women in  Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Djibouti and Congo.  Please pray that representatives from each of the eleven countries will be able to attend the Dec. 14-18 conference.  Pray that women will have the financial resources to attend the meeting.  Pray that the women will experience God’s love, blessings, and encouragement in a unique way through the conference.  Pray that Linda and I will be encouragers to them in their missions work.

“Are We There Yet?” has been on my mind today as I have reflected on on a missions trip to Kyrgyzstan in 1997.  We went to prayerwalk, paint an apartment to be used by other volunteers, and lead VBS for the preschool children of missionaries from several denominations who were serving in Bishkek.  I will never forget walking around a mosque, praying for the people  there, and praying for a Christian witness to grow.  At that time, there were only a small number of known believers in the country.

During our week we had an afternoon for shopping.  I told our hostess that I collect nativity sets from around the world and would like to purchase one.  She told me that she doubted we would find one in that predominately Muslim country, but much to her surprise, we did find one in a little shop.  Today the WMU staff gave me another nativity set from Kyrgyzstan that is made by Masters Handicrafts.  I was thrilled to receive it because I believe it points to progress in the spread of the gospel in that country.  “Are We There Yet?”  Getting closer!!

The final question on the IMB graphic for this year’s emphasis asks “What more can I do?” The answers include praying daily for missionaries on the prayer calendar, give more to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, go on a missions trip, or even go as a career missionary.  I heard two IMB missionaries to Mexico speak tonight.  They were ordinary folks when they felt God’s call to go. But when asked “what more can I do?”, their answer was “send me.”  What is your answer?

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