Faces of the Cooperative Program: You partner with us as our church sends missionaries

By Chris Boggus | May 23, 2024

Tiffany Ford (from left) and Camyrn, Tricianne, Reagan and Caleb Spacht relax with part of the mission team from Happy Valley Baptist Church.

Over the past four years, the Lord has called several members of our church into international missions and church planting. Last October, we sent a small team to Paris to visit all our international partners.

Our purpose in bringing Tiffany Ford from West Africa to Paris and traveling to see Caleb, Tricianne, Reagan and Camryn Spacht in Paris came from the same sentiment Paul expressed in 1 Thessalonians 3:11-12, where he wrote, “Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you.”

We hoped to encourage them face to face with all the love of Christ we have for them.

Thanks to God, I believe we accomplished that goal as we spent deliberate time in prayer and worship with them, prayer-walked through areas where they are ministering, and invested in their family by providing date nights and spending intentional time with their kids.

In the process, we received significant encouragement ourselves by seeing how others have joined with us in supporting them on the field.

We are fully committed to supporting, equipping and visiting our members whom the Lord has called overseas, and we regularly pray for more.

However, this work is more than our normative-sized church can handle on its own. Seeing the realities of their daily lives renewed our thankfulness for the partnership we have with all Southern Baptist churches.

Through the collective gifts of the Cooperative Program, our church can focus on unique modes of encouragement and pastoral care for our missionaries while leaving things like training, strategy and handling real-time needs in the hands of the International Mission Board. Simply put, we are not alone in sending our members to the nations.

Every Southern Baptist church in our city, state and national convention shares in the burden of sending missionaries as well as the joys of their successes. For that we are tremendously grateful.

All our church’s international missionaries are currently going through intensive language learning. Seeing Caleb and Tricianne in language school gave us specific insight into how meaningful it is that our church partners with thousands of others in this mission.

A seminary professor of mine used to say, “A call to preach is a call to prepare.” That sentiment is even more true for people launching into cross-cultural ministry.

Effective missions ministry is most often a long, slow endeavor and requires time to learn the language, the culture and the city being reached. Doing that well requires an investment far beyond what our single congregation can make.

But together, regardless of the congregation from which the Lord calls missionaries, Southern Baptists can engage in taking the gospel to every language, culture and city in lasting, meaningful ways.

Together, the Lord can do more through all of us than any one of us could ask or imagine.

Chris Boggus is lead pastor of Happy Valley Baptist Church in Glendale.

Share This Article:

Recent Articles:

Eight students graduate from Gateway Arizona

May 29, 2024

The class of 2024 at the Arizona Campus of Gateway Seminary graduated on May 11. Eight students graduated in the commencement ceremony at CityView Church in Phoenix. The ceremony was…

Bivins: 10 years as Gateway Arizona Campus director

May 29, 2024

Dallas Bivins recently completed 10 years as director of the Arizona Campus of Gateway Seminary. “We have a great resource here at Gateway Seminary Arizona Campus to be able to…

Mission:Dignity recipients in Arizona receive 13th checks thanks to AZMN

May 29, 2024

Mission:Dignity recipients in Arizona received an extra blessing to start the year thanks to the efforts of the Arizona Mission Network of Southern Baptists. For the second year in a…