Tony Mathews thought international missions wasn't for everyone, that as a pastor his focus should be on the local church.
North Garland Baptist Fellowship, where he has served for 22 years, supported the Cooperative Program. Members of the Texas church had gone on international missions trips, which the pastor had supported - from a distance.
That changed in 2012 when he helped lead activities for children of Southern Baptist missionaries in Africa. Talking with those missionaries, including Adam and Suzie Hailes form Madagascar, rocked Tony's world - how he saw it and himself. He realized how enriching a pastor's personal involvement in international missions could be to a local church. That's a message he now shares with other African=American pastors in the Dallas area. He recruits them to go on missions trips with him, most recently in partnership with missionaries Johnny and Donna Maust to reach Afro-Ecuadorians. The church also partners with the Hailes.
And, the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering is becoming part of the church family's vocabulary.
"Now, I desire that everyone craves to be a part of it," Tony says. "I want to show my people that God is not only their personal God but He is also a global God and we need to be there to share that news with others."
Pray - about how you can share the gospel both near and far, according to the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20)
Pray - for missionaries like the Maust and Hailes families, who rely on support from fellow Southern Baptist.
Posted on Sun, November 30, 2014
by Donna Shiflett