Baptist World Alliance

TopBWA Connect
September 2012  
In This Issue
From the General Secretary
What BWA Member Bodies are Doing
Church Spotlight
In Memoriam
In Sympathy
News from the BWA
Baptist World Aid
Monthly Prayer Guide
Upcoming Events
BWA Calendar
From the General Secretary 


By Neville Callam  


Neville Callam

In the early 1970s, to send a letter to someone, the main avenue available was the mail service. One would craft a letter, edit it, place it in an envelope, take it to the post office, purchase and affix a stamp to the envelope and mail it. What wonderful memories! Then, a new means of communication - electronic mail or email - burst on the scene.


Wikipedia traces the advent of emails to the Arpanet. Proposals for encoding email messages emerged in 1973. With the advent of the Internet, the use of emails to exchange digital messages increased greatly. Furthermore, when in 1981 the American company, IBM, launched the first personal computer, electronic mail was to emerge as a preferred mode of written communication.


In the early 1980s, the extent to which emails would revolutionize communications might not have been clear to everyone. As it turned out, the speed of email communication spurred the demand for immediate answers. Emails radically altered people's expectations.  


When some people send an email, they expect the addressee to receive it in minutes or even seconds, and often they anticipate receiving a prompt response. Sometimes, if that response is not forthcoming, another email follows asking whether the original email did not come to the attention of the addressee and seeking word on when a response might be expected. The impatient email sender does not realize that, sending the second email so soon after the first only contributes to an overload of the recipient's email box, with the likelihood that this could further delay the expected swift response. The on demand approach in email communication is astounding.


The problem is exacerbated by those who like to send a single email to several persons who, in turn, dispatch their response to all the recipients of the original email. Then, there are others who address an email to a particular person and copy the email to additional persons whom they surprisingly expect to respond to the emails that are not addressed, but only copied, to them.  


Today, pressure is on email users to find time to read numerous emails, quickly formulate a response, and send it right away to the correspondent. Hardly is there time to craft a reply, edit it, and then, with the click of a button, send it on to its way to its intended destination.  


Once we click the send button, we should not assume the email we have sent is always swiftly delivered. An email may get lost in cyberspace or, especially if the recipient's computer is connected to an office network that does not work efficiently, delivery of an email at the intended endpoint may not be achieved. Consequently, discerning email users refrain from assuming their emails are actually delivered. Nor do they quickly surmise that the absence of a response is due to the tardiness, inefficiency or unresponsiveness of the persons to whom they wrote.


It is true that the popularity of emails is fading before the amazing new communications technologies that are appearing today. However, those who still use electronic mail as a principal means of communication will want to be careful to note its attendant hazards. They will also seek to develop a fairly sophisticated understanding of the email medium itself. This is one sure way to avoid mistaken conclusions.


What BWA Member Bodies are Doing

Baptist Union in Slovakia 


The first Baptist church in Slovakia was established in 1888 in Kezmarok in the eastern part of the nation. The area was part of Austria-Hungary until the end of World War I, and was known as Czechoslovakia from 1918 until 1992.


After Czechoslovakia was split into Slovakia and the Czech Republic on January 1, 1993, the Czechoslovakian union was divided on January 1, 1994, forming the Baptist Union in Slovakia and the Baptist Union of the Czech Republic.


The Baptist Union in Slovakia now comprises 24 churches and more than 20 mission stations.


Like other Christian churches, Baptists experienced disruptions in church life with the establishment of communism in the Central European country beginning in 1948. State supervision and administrative management of the church were conducted by the State Office for Church Affairs which often competed with, and was a counterweight, to church hierarchy and leadership.


During this time, evangelism by Baptists was mainly through personal relationships and the distribution of religious literature.


With the collapse of communism, a new missionary board was established in 1994 to develop, coordinate and encourage the spread of Baptist mission in Slovakia by preparing and sending missionaries to areas where there was no Baptist witness, supporting itinerant evangelists, distributing Bibles and Christian literature, equipping pastors and missionaries for ministry, and planting new churches.


The union ran a four-year educational program between 2007 and 2011 that offered practical and biblical courses aimed at members and "friends" of Baptist churches to encourage them into a life of discipleship.


The Slovak union also runs a school of pastoral counseling designed especially for those who respond to God's call to offer pastoral support services, helping students to acquire the necessary skills aimed at serving others, including support for couples in preparation for marriage and in dealing with crises.


The union operates Bible on Wheels, vehicles that are used as a mobile bookstore, a library, a tea room, and space for workshops, screenings, counseling, and other services.


Church Spotlight

Immanuel Baptist Church 

Madrid, Spain    


Immanuel Baptist Church (IBC) was organized in 1961, to minister to the English-language community of Madrid. During its first 25 years, IBC was the church home of mostly US military personnel, as well as international diplomats and business persons.


Its mission is "to connect, disciple, and equip culturally diverse believers in worship, fellowship, Bible study, service, and witness."


There are now members from more than 35 nations of various cultural backgrounds and a wide variety of personal and professional experiences. Some nationalities, such as Ethiopians, Eritreans, Filipinos,Indonesians, and Japanese establish fellowship groups that convene on a regular basis.


Numerical growth has led the church to embark on a major building expansion to accommodate the increased numbers and a more diversified ministry.


Ministries include discipleship training, Home Fellowship Groups that meet in different locations in and around Madrid, including groups for predominantly German, Spanish and English speakers.


IBC, a Baptist World Alliance® Global Impact Church, is affiliated with the Baptist Evangelical Union of Spain, the Spanish Baptist Theological Seminary, the International Baptist Convention, and the Bible Society.


"We are called to be a people of prayer, because prayer and Scripture are the main places where we get to know our God and His heart for the world," says David Carey Dixon, pastor of IBC. "We cannot do His work if we don't spend time with Him, both on our own and in small groups."


In Memoriam: Edwin Lopez

Edwin Lopez Edwin Lopez, Baptist World Alliance® regional secretary for Asia from 1980 to 1997 and general secretary of the Asian Baptist Federation during that period, died on August 31, of cardiac arrest, in Iloilo City, Philippines.


Lopez was previously general secretary of the Convention of Philippine Baptist Churches (CPBC) from 1976-1979, and prior to that, held pastorates in several churches in the Philippines.  

The Asian Baptist leader led the CPBC to undertake a number of initiatives while he was general secretary, including the launch of CLASP, a program to assist pastors who did not receive adequate support from their churches. He also helped to launch the Total Integrated Church Development Assistance (TICDA) program which included training in evangelism, stewardship emphasis, and a "New Frontier Ministries" initiative. TICDA enabled CPBC to organize one congregation every two to three days within one year.


An ecumenist, Lopez worked closely with other evangelicals in his native country, as well as with Roman Catholics and Muslims. He was also involved in several community health and development projects.


As BWA regional secretary, Lopez played a role in helping increased Baptist growth in Asia such as in Nepal and Bhutan, and was part of various BWA human rights teams in Asia, including visiting Karen refugees from Myanmar in Thailand.


He leaves wife, Pat, and other family members.


Funeral services are on September 8.


In Sympathy
To Roy Medley, general secretary of American Baptist Churches USA on the passing of his mother, in July

To Bonny Resu, BWA regional secretary for Asia and general secretary of the Asia Pacific Baptist Federation, on the passing of his father, in July.
News from the BWA
For these stories and more, visit the BWA website at
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Baptist World Aid
BWAid grants for the months of  July and August 2012

Grants recorded in United States dollars unless otherwise noted


Post Disaster Recovery Work 38,784.00
Post Disaster Recovery Work 46,667.00


Seeds for Flood Victims 5,500.00
Ethnic Conflict Relief 10,000.00

Landslide Victims Assistance 8,000.00
Landslide Victims Assistance 8,000.00

University 180.00

South Africa
Seminary 794.38

Seminary program 6,057.17

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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 September we will remember the following:


September 2-8

Baptist Church in Bosnia/Herzegovina

Baptist Union of Croatia

Baptist Union of Christian Baptist Churches in Serbia

Union of Baptist Churches in Serbia

Union of Baptist Churches in Slovenia


September 9-15
Baptist Union of Bulgaria
Baptist Union of Hungary
Baptist Union of Romania
Convention of Hungarian Baptist Churches of Romania

September 16-22
Union of Evangelical Christian Baptists of Belarus
Union of Evangelical Christian Baptist of Moldova
Euro-Asiatic Federation of Christian Baptist Union
Union of Evangelical Christian Baptists of Russian Federation 
All-Ukranian Union of Associations of Evangelical Christians-Baptists


September 23-29
Union of Evangelical Christian Baptists of Armenia
Evangelical Christian Baptist Union of Azerbaijan
Evangelical Baptist Church of Georgia

Upcoming Events


8th Asia Pacific Baptist Congress, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, September 4-8



European Baptist Federation Executive Committee, September 25, Elstal, Germany 


European Baptist Federation Council, September 26-29, Elstal, Germany      

BWA Calendar
Hunger Month - October 1-31

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