Holguin, Cuba - A Letter from Ed Davis
I am pleased to report that we came home humbled and excited for the work that God is doing in the hearts of the people of eastern Cuba. We found a people open to the Gospel and a church on fire for the Great Commission of making disciples of all nations. We are now in the process of building a multi-church coalition in the BBA to establish a three to five year partnership with the churches of Holguin with the purpose of training, evangelism and construction. This is a brand new work. In fact we were informed that we would be the very first churches to come and help the church of Holguin in their ministry calling.
To this end, we are planning a follow up trip to Holguin for September 9th - 15th, 2017. The details of this trip are still being ironed out. But we feel that the trip will entail all three phases of our mission. We are asking that you prayerfully consider joining us for this next trip to Cuba. If not you, maybe God would call one of your staff or a member of your church. Total cost for this trip should come in under $1000.
If you have any questions you can contact either Mike Hoffmann at the BBA or me, Ed Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org or on my cell at (321)821-8559.
Thank you and God bless.
Ed Davis, Pastor
First Baptist Indialantic
BBA Missions Opportunity Team Leader
On Board with Cargo Chaplain Jeff Johnson
What's it like serving as a chaplain to the crews on cargo ships? You never know what to expect! On a recent visit to a ship at the port, Chaplain Jeff Johnson is greeted at the top of the steep gangway by two Filippino crewmen with their hard hats on. Jeff gives a greeting in Tagalog (the native tongue of Filipinnos) and they go fetch the First Officer. Once inside the Officers' Mess Jeff greets the Captain of the ship after he has finished talking to the foreman of the dock workers. Captain Vladimir is from Russia as well as the other officers. This was the first time on board this ship so Jeff explained the purpose of the Seafarers Ministry is to serve those working on the ship. Jeff showed the Captain the wonderful resources he brought to the ship. First the WiFi hotspot equipment the Space Coast Seafarers Ministry provides for those who cannot come to the Seafarers Center - the little box offers the gift of communication via the web. Captain Vladimir began to smile as he understood the blessing of having access to the internet. "High speed?" he asks in English. "Yes!", Jeff replies. The Captain smiles more. Then Jeff pulls out the cell phone and offers phone cards for purchase. "I'll leave the phone on board and pick it up before your ship leaves." Then Jeff pulls out what looks like a cell phone but is a MP3 player from the In Touch Ministries of Charles Stanley. Jeff shows how it works and says, "Push this button and you can listen in English, or, push this button, and you can listen in Russian. I give this to you as a gift." The Captain was not sure and asks, "What is its purpose?" Jeff explains it shares wonderful stories from the Bible and talks about God's love." After delivering another In Touch MP3 player in Tugalog and some National Geographic magazines to the Crew Mess we say good-bye. With a broad smile the Captain shakes our hands and thanks us for the gifts. Jeff arranges to return later to take the workers to the Space Coast Seafarers Ministry Center and to the mall. All of this in the space of 45 minutes. That's the work of Chaplain Jeff Johnson and the Seafarers Ministry. You can "Like" the Space Coast Seafarers Ministry to keep up with some of what God is doing through this world-class ministry. Or on the web www.seafarersministry.org
Reports from our State Board of Missions Reps
Florida Baptists celebrated an historic day on May 29, 2015, as Dr. Tommy Green was recommended, confirmed, and accepted the call to serve as the new Executive Director-Treasurer of the Florida Baptist Convention (FBC).
A part of Dr. Green's vision is to adjust the disbursement of monetary gifts received by the convention. Currently, the FBC keeps 54% of gifts received to be used in Florida, and sends 46% to the Southern Baptist Convention for ministries such as the International Mission Board, North American Mission Board, etc., and includes "shared funding". However, Dr. Green will be recommending that Florida keep 49% for in-state purposes and send 51% to the SBC, with no shared funding. This would take effect immediately, producing a budget decrease for the state and an increase to the SBC of $2.88 million. The State Board of Missions has been assured that no agencies (Children's Home, Baptist College, etc.) will lose funding or be affected in a negative way by this change. If approved, Florida will be the first state convention to give this percent to the SBC. Please pray for Dr. Green as he leads our FBC into the future.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you, Brevard Baptists, on our State Board of Missions.
Stephen Shelhamer, Pastor
State Board of Missions Report by Lynne Phillips
Last year when I learned that Dr. John Sullivan, executive director of the Florida Baptist Convention planned to retire, I wondered if the individual who would follow him would possess the same level of compassion and strength of leadership. However, God has provided just such a man. On May 29, 2015, a historic day for Florida Baptists and a most exciting one for me personally as I, and the other members of the Florida State Board of Missions, received the search team’s recommendation for Dr. J. Thomas Green to serve as our new executive director. As Dr. Green shared his testimony of accepting Jesus as a young boy during a revival service, his call to full time pastoral ministry, and his subsequent pastorates, I was most struck at how he continually expressed his great love for and devotion to Jesus and His church. Dr. Green cast his vision for the future which he described in three parts which will require a “whole paradigm shift” in the Convention: These three aspects are:
Decentralization - a different way of setting up Convention structure and ministry that does not require a building (Jacksonville)
Regionalization – where Convention personnel will live in regions to build relationships with our churches
Personalization – Convention personnel showing up in our churches to pray with and encourage congregations and their leaders.
In an interview with the Florida Baptist Witness, Dr. Green was asked how he would calm the nerves of those who think their jobs will change or disappear, he answered, “I will meet with people and talk with people. I’m a pastor at heart, and will do everything with compassion, mercy and love.”
I should have known God would replace David with a David.