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We as Southern Baptists work together to support missions through a giving effort called the Cooperative Program. In April, we’re highlighting the ministries supported by the Cooperative Program in prayer. These missions are impacting the world 24 hours a day, 365 days a year with the message of God, and YOU are a part of it!

Sign up to receive 31 Days of Prayer for Cooperative Missions so you can join in the prayer or during the month of April, read the prayer requests that will be posted below.

IMB Missionaries

Day 10When 24-year-old Steven Kunkel became a volunteer missionary to Japan, his mother gave him a jigsaw puzzle piece. “God’s still putting the puzzle of your life together,” she said.

For Tim and Iracema Kunkel, the “puzzle” surrounding their son, Steven, began almost 20 years ago when doctors diagnosed him with autism, a developmental brain disorder. The Kunkels were new missionaries to Uruguay.

“Let’s just pack up and go home,” Tim recalls thinking.

But the Kunkels stayed, serving God with their three children. Because Uruguay offered few services for autistic people, Iracema studied special education so she could teach Steven herself. Soon, God opened doors for sharing the Gospel with Uruguayan families affected by autism.

Meanwhile, Steven made amazing progress. He accepted Christ and, at age 15, felt called to Japan. Later, the Kunkels transferred to Paraguay, where many Japanese immigrants live.

“A lot of what God’s had us doing on the missions field ... [wasn’t] so much about us as missionaries,” says Iracema, a native Brazilian. “It was about Steven. God was [putting the] puzzle pieces in place ... so this autistic child could grow up to be a missionary.”

Pray many lost people in Japan will accept Christ through Steven’s testimony.

Ask God to lead Tim and Iracema to key Paraguayan believers to train and mobilize for missions.

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