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October-November 2023

Forging Ahead


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IM serves churches, pastors, and people by helping them fulfill their role in establishing churches beyond North America so unreached peoples can know the joy of a relationship with the living God. To find out more about the ministry of IM, visit www.IMINC.org

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Taking the Greatest Journey

Free Will Baptist churches around the globe participate in packing and distributing Operation Christmas Child (OCC) shoeboxes through Samaritan’s Purse each November through January. Some people travel from Free Will Baptist churches in the States to help our works and partner countries distribute boxes. Children (and their families) in Panama, Cuba, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, Ivory Coast, Brazil, and more have benefited from this ministry.

OCC reaches far beyond the Christmas season. Each shoebox provides an opportunity to participate in a 12-week Bible study, taking children on a journey toward faith. Many overseas churches sponsor shoebox distributions and outreaches and follow up with “The Greatest Journey” studies.


On July 13, Ivorian partners (BERACA) reported more than 150 children in Tanda, Ivory Coast (above), received a certificate for completing “The Greatest Journey.”

In Kaspichan, Bulgaria, residents of a children’s home completed their journey in May. Eleven children then attended camp in July where three older children accepted Jesus as Savior. These children continue to enjoy weekly Bible club meetings.

Whether providing access in gospel-resistant areas or a positive interaction in unreached, distant villages and towns, the shoebox gifts launch journeys to faith.



Pleven Church Celebrates Baptism

Bulgaria—Jonathan and Amy Postlewaite celebrated the baptism of Georgi, who has been part of the Pleven church for almost four years. About 20 church members traveled by bus to a river in Georgi’s hometown of Vratsa. There, he publicly declared his desire to commit his life to Christ.



Georgi stated, “I was baptized as a child in the Orthodox church, but I didn't know Christ then. Now, I know Him! I believe He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. I am grateful for you all [the church]. Because of you, I am growing more in Christ, and He is growing more in me.”

Afterwards, the group visited places meaningful to Georgi and enjoyed breathtaking parts of God’s creation.



Snapshots Around the World


Spain—The Alpedrete congregation held a Vacation Bible School July 11-15 (pictured below). The theme, “Twists and Turns,” illustrated the way following Jesus “changes the game, even when life throws twists and turns your way,” wrote Anthony Edgmon.



France—In early August, members of the Mosaic Church and non-believing friends took a three-day downhill biking trip in eastern France. The annual event offers opportunities for deep conversations about faith and salvation.

Japan—The New Life Church and Taipei Chapel in Hokkaido hosted a Korean college team July 20 to August 3. For two weeks, these students worked with four area churches. They participated in college outreach, distributed flyers, and hosted two Korean nights. Not only did they see a good turnout for the Korea nights’ cultural events, but also two people who entered New Life Church for the first time indicated they wanted to learn more about Jesus and the Bible.

Panama—On July 23, the San Vicente Church celebrated Kid’s Day. The theme “You Are Important to God” provided children with a biblical sense of worth.



Cuba—Four men graduated (above) from the Cedars of Lebanon seminary extension classes in Bayamo June 14. Three men received a B.A. in Bible and Ministry; one man graduated with an A.A. degree. The seminary expects 11 students to participate in next year’s classes.



Brazil—Four people were baptized at the Nova América FWB Church (above) in Campinas Sunday, June 25.

Japan—Emily Petty reported 98 first-time visitors entered the Hope Alive Church in Tokorozawa during the first five months of 2023. The church expanded worship space by tearing down a wall and adding 32 chairs.

On June 4, the first Sunday with the larger space, nearly every chair was full. Emily requests prayer for “God to continue to knock down walls in people’s hearts and for new people to continue to show up every Sunday.”

©2023 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists