|From the General Secretary|
By Neville Callam
|Callam, right, with Philip Mudzizi of Zimbabwe|
Maputo, Mozambique, was the venue for an important BWA-sponsored conference last year. This was a memorable occasion when some 100 Baptist church leaders from nine countries in Southern Africa gathered to reflect on the church's evangelistic mandate.
Three of the countries sending representatives to the conference were Zambia, Malawi and Zimbabwe; they sent a total of 48 delegates. I asked them to tell me about the journey they took to the Maputo conference. The Zimbabweans were quick to respond.
Philip Mudzizi and his group left Gweru, a city in the Midlands province of Zimbabwe. They drove through the Beitbridge border post into South Africa. From Polokwane, they took the journey toward the Kruger National Park and arrived at Nelspruit on the border with Mozambique.
After traveling for 30 hours covering 1,200 kilometres, the Zimbabwean Baptist group completed the journey from Gweru to Maputo. According to Philip, the journey was "a bit tiresome and adventurous because none of us had traveled this route before. But, it was really worth the struggle to gather and share in the conference in Maputo with brothers and sisters of Southern Africa, together with leaders from the BWA and AABF (All Africa Baptist Fellowship)."
The delegates were unable to afford the cost of traveling to the conference by air. From the very outset, they knew they were going to face challenges to attend by the means they chose. But they were determined to benefit from the fellowship and opportunity awaiting them in Maputo. They left the conference reinvigorated for the crucially important evangelistic work that God calls the church to execute.
If we are to faithfully fulfill the mission on which God in Christ sends every single Christian, we need to be willing to add determination to our readiness to follow Christ. Our friends from Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi remind us that we are called to the kind of "self-denial readiness" that Christian service requires.
In this New Year, let us decide to pursue, with determination, the road of responsible discipleship. Only so will we be able to run the Christian race to the very end.
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|What BWA Member Bodies are Doing|
| The All-Ukrainian Union of Churches of Evangelical Christian Baptists
The All-Ukrainian Union of Churches of Evangelical Christian Baptists (AUCECB) is one of the largest Baptist unions in Europe with more than 2,400 churches and more than 130,000 members.
Formed in 1994 out of several antecedent church bodies and after the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, the union operates two universities, three theological seminaries, and 15 Bible colleges. There are an estimated 20,000 college and university students enrolled in schools run by the union.
Committed to evangelism, the AUCECB has a coordinated national structure that is replicated in the associations and churches. Each congregation, and each of the 25 regional associations, has a director of evangelism. When meetings are held, evangelism directors from the churches meet at the associational level; nationally, the directors of evangelism from each association meet together to make and execute evangelism plans. The same general plan that is conceived at the national level is implemented through the associations and in the churches.
At the height of the growth of the union in the 1990s and early 21st century, between 50 and 100 churches were planted each year in Ukraine.
Missioners from Ukraine have served in Moldova, Romania, Belarus and Armenia, as well as in Australia, Afghanistan, Israel, Portugal and Canada. Approximately 450 missioners have served in Russia alone, including in Siberia.
Ministries by the union and its churches include rehabilitation centers for drug addicts, orphanages, care for prisoners, charity lunches, legal and spiritual help for sailors, distribution of wheelchairs for the handicapped, free medical examinations, and a special mission to the blind.
The AUCECB is engaged in publishing activity and has an extended mass media network which includes the Evangelical Fields magazine, the Resurrection newspaper, and Voice in the Wilderness for the hearing-impaired.
"The church is separated from the state, but not from the society. Christians cannot stay indifferent to the needs of tendencies in society, in which they are members," one Ukraine Baptist leader said.
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|First Baptist Church of Alexandria
First Baptist Church of Alexandria (FBCA) in Virginia in the United States, describes itself as "a mix of evangelical believers from across the country and around the world, and our chief desire is to glorify God in all that we do."
The overall aim of the congregation is to "Touch God"and to"Touch People" through Bible Study and large group worship, and "through fellowship, ministry to those in need, and mission to those without a relationship with Christ."
The congregation, formed in 1803, has established a range of ministries, including a weekday preschool; a deaf ministry that includes the First Baptist Deaf Congregation for the hearing-impaired; a clothing closet that provides clothing to some 75 persons each week; Teen Mom Outreach, a program to assist teenage parents through mentors and the provision of baby supplies; and Samaritan's Feet, aimed at distributing 500 pairs of new shoes to homeless men.
The Baptist World Alliance Global Impact Church, which is close to Washington, DC, also participates in ALIVE, a community-based ecumenical initiative that donates food to low-income families within the city of Alexandria; Meals on Wheels, which provides food for community members unable to leave their homes or prepare meals for themselves; and works with the Alexandria Pregnancy Help Center and Carpenter's Shelter, which seeks to end homelessness in the Washington, DC, Metropolitan region through services, education and advocacy.
The congregation also provides a meeting place for Alcoholics Anonymous; Al-Anon/Alateen, a fellowship of relatives and friends of alcoholics in order to help solve their common problems; and a Boy Scout Troop.
FBCA also hosts Iglesia Bautista Hispana, a Spanish-language congregation.
|In Memoriam: Leon Lawton|
Leon Lawton, former treasurer of the Seventh Day Baptist World Federation, died on July 18, 2010. He was 86 years old.
Lawton served as a missionary to Jamaica from 1950 until 1964, serving as supervisor and corresponding secretary of the Jamaica Mission Field; was director of Evangelism on the Home Field for the USA Seventh Day Baptist Missionary Society between 1964 and 1969; and was executive vice president of the missionary society from 1970-1991. He served as treasurer of the world federation for 21 years.
Lawton was a member of the General Council of the Baptist World Alliance from 1990-1999, and was also a member of the BWA's Baptist World Aid Committee.
A memorial service was held at the Pawcatuck Seventh Day Baptist Church in Westerly, Rhode Island.
He leaves wife Dorothy.
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Baptist World Aid
|BWAid grants for the month of December|
Grants recorded in United States dollars unless otherwise noted
Agriculture Project - 29,000.00Myanmar
Cyclone Giri Relief - 10,000.00Pakistan
Flood Relief - 20,000.00
Tropical Storm Nicole Relief - 10,000.00EuropeBosnia
Winter Help - 3,000.00 (Euros)Latin AmericaChile
Earthquake/tsunami ReliefBack to top
Monthly Prayer Guide
Each week, the staff of the Baptist World Alliance prays for conventions and unions throughout the world.
We invite all other Baptist conventions and unions, and individual Baptists everywhere, to join us in these prayers.
For the month of January we will remember the following:
Egypt Baptist Convention
Association of Baptist Churches in Israel
Jordan Baptist Convention
Lebanese Baptist Convention
Baptist Convention of Syria
Baptists scattered throughout the Arabian Peninsula:
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen; Iran, Iraq
Baptists scattered throughout Cyprus, Greece and Turkey
Baptists scattered throughout North Africa:
Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Western Sahara, Tunisia
North American Baptist Fellowship Annual Gathering, Birmingham, Alabama, USA, January 10-11
European Baptist Federation Children and Youth Workers' Conference, Irpin, Ukraine, January 14-19
Asia Pacific Baptist Federation Theological Colloquium, Daejon, South Korea, January 25-27
Asia Pacific Baptist Federation Executive Committee, Daejon, South Korea, January 28-29
In the December 2010 issue, congratulations were offered to John Sundquist, member of the BWA Membership Committee, former chair of the Personnel Committee, and for many years a member of the BWA General Council and Executive Committee; on being appointed director of spiritual service and advancement for American Baptist Homes of the Midwest.
The appointment was that of John David Sundquist, the son of John Sundquist. We regret the error.