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Grace Baptist Mission Annual Mission Day 2019

04 November 2019 13:19

Grace Baptist Mission Annual Mission Day 2019

On Saturday 27th October the Friends Meeting House in London played host, once again, to the many hundreds who gather annually for Grace Baptist Mission’s Mission Day.

Visiting missionaries included Jason Murfitt, preparing for church planting work in Madeira; James Hammond, currently involved in the establishment of a new church in Bordeaux; Phil and Carolyn Reid, recently returned from service in West Africa; Daniel and Ellie Caballero, serving the Lord in both Ireland and Peru; and Theo and Sonja Donner from Medellin, Colombia, where Theo teaches in the Biblical Seminary of Colombia. Others reported on work being done here in the United Kingdom.

As always, one had to make a choice of which speakers and reports to listen to and, as always, the choice was a difficult one to make! But there were also two plenary sessions when everyone came together.

The first of these was a multi-media presentation entitled My church – our mission: The local church as God’s base camp for mission. This was led by Jim Sayers, GBM Communications Director, and began with a little history. The Mission Council of what was then the Strict Baptist Mission had called for a day of prayer and when it took place on the 19th of November 1894 it proved to be remarkable both in itself and in its fruits. Churches came together and prayed and afterwards those churches co-operated in the sending out of missionaries to India

It was the first of a number of illustrations of a basic principle, namely, that “the work of mission ultimately flows from local churches sending out their members into mission. It is churches that plant churches, churches that send people across borders with the gospel”.

The second plenary session was the final meeting of the day. It had a bitter-sweet flavour. Presentations were made to Jean Ellis, now retired after almost forty years as a missionary in Austria, and to Jim Sayers, who is leaving his post with GBM to head up a church planting work in Didcot. Deep appreciation was expressed for the work these servants of God have done and both spoke movingly of their years of service. We pray for God’s blessing on them as a new chapter begins for each

We had some great singing of some great hymns at the final session. Then Theo Donner brought the closing message. The passage read was 1 Corinthians 1.17 to the end. In the course of its exposition we were directed to the prayer-burden of missionaries that God would work through them (or in spite of them) to do a lasting work in the hearts of their hearers. We were challenged to join them in this and to pray that they would not stand in the way of the message (“lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power”, v.17), but that the love of God would flow through them.

Amid these so very dark days through which we are passing as a nation, Mission Day was a day full of joy and encouragement.

David Campbell