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Embrace Conference: Embrace the Ends of the Earth
Wheat Ridge, Colo.
By Kaylee Looney
“God has put it in the hearts of churches to not just support missionaries, but to be missionaries.” – Steven Roach, Bambara Strategy Coordinator, Mali
Thirty three churches were challenged to “embrace the ends of the earth” on November 4th during International Mission Board’s Embrace Conference located at Applewood Baptist Church in Wheat Ridge, Colorado.
Individuals in attendance were introduced to 9 affinity groups: American, Central Asian, East Asian, European, North African/Middle Eastern, South Asian, Southeast Asian, Sub-Saharan African and Deaf people groups. Former missionaries and representatives described the people represented by each affinity group and the work being done by missionaries. Speakers also emphasized how local churches can make a big impact including:
1. Prayer: for God’s plan for each church and for missions locally and globally
2. Research: IMB Connect website and different unreached people groups
3. Contact: IMB Connect to connect the church with a missionary on the field
4. Commit: long term support, prayers and partnership
“I think the biggest challenge for a church looking to ‘embrace’ an unreached people group is 99% of the time financial. It comes down to having an outward perspective and faith that God will supply the resources”, said Brian Dickinson, Pastor of Missions at Applewood Baptist Church (ABC).
Pastor Dickinson explained how ABC began to “embrace”, focusing more and more on global missions. ABC has sent short term teams to Belarus, Israel, Kenya, Haiti, San Diego and Georgia to name a few. Most recently, the church has begun exploring a partnership with missionaries Jake and Dodie Glover in Peru working with the Matsés people.
Ten percent of the Matsés people are Christian and fairly new believers. One long-term goal is to strengthen the faith of the Matsés people, for them to reach their neighbors with the Gospel of Jesus, including unknown groups such as the “night people”.
While the full extent of the partnership has not yet been determined, ABC has committed to sending teams 2 or 3 times a year to lead Bible conferences and discipleship trainings for the Matsés people. ABC is planning a trip to Peru in August to set a vision for what their partnership will be.
To read more about churches that have committed to "embrace" people groups click here.
For more information about IMB connect and for "embrace" resources visit call2embrace.org.