Editor’s note: Gerardo Acevedo pastors Emanuel FWB Church in Montevideo, Uruguay. He also serves as president of the International Fellowship of Free Will Baptist Churches. He sent this letter to other leaders in Free Will Baptist works around the world earlier this year.
Dear Free Will Baptist Brother:
As those affiliated with the powers of darkness close ranks around the world, and the mystery of iniquity works (2 Thessalonians 2:7) more and more:
In this scene, the Church of Jesus Christ neither sleeps nor remains static; we hear news of growth in India, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, and Mexico. New mission fields are opened in Bulgaria and in Central Asia. Moreover, the IFOFWBC missions committee is structured to help move us toward an organization that will help to carry the gospel to the ends of the earth.
Imagine! In the near future we hope to see missionaries go out from other parts of the world, where brothers and sisters full of compassion await the opportunity to serve on fields where today there are no missionaries, or where there is a need to strengthen the missionary presence where a work already exists.
The fascinating panorama of missions is wide open today, glory to God! If you have the call and are considering leaving family, home, culture, and language to work cross-culturally, I encourage you to prepare yourself by taking missions courses and to begin to familiarize yourself with the new language you’ll need to learn. Think about the privilege of serving to the ends of the earth, from the morning to the evening.
How do we read the Free Will Baptist panorama in regards to cross-cultural missions?
If we are even moderately optimistic, we will not be surprised if, in this generation, we see the greatest harvest of souls ever around the world. We will see the glory of God, as an anticipation that His coming is very, very near.
The first missionary to India (for Free Will Baptists in the modern era) was sent out 74 years ago. But it was only after patiently sowing and watering the seed with prayer and with tears, and we clearly see the great harvest of souls that now number in the thousands. Praise God!
In the last 11 years, the number of congregants outside the United States has tripled! This means that both missionaries and nationals have gone out to whitened harvest fields to reap the harvest. I ask you, according to the influence you can have, and taking advantage of the opportunities God gives, that you be a valiant witness, generous, loyal, proactive, making history, and winning souls for the glory of God.
The hour has come to renew our commitment, looking forward with our hand on the plow, as our Master taught us in Luke 9:62. If God has called you to preach, preach! If you have compassion for the lost, go after them. If you have a burden for other nations, pray, become a missionary, or be a facilitator so that others can go through your prayers and offerings. And pray that the Lord of Harvest would send forth laborers into His harvest.
This is a chorus we sing in Uruguay. “From every tribe, people, and race, many will come to praise. From many cultures, languages, and nations, they will come to worship in time and space.”
Finally, I would like to make an appeal to the member countries, very much aware of the global financial crisis. Let’s put forth our best effort to send in our dues to the International Fellowship. Trust in God, who owns it all. Make it your privilege to give, do not be discouraged. Our prayer goes up for those who have lost jobs, houses, and are concerned about their future. Be strong and of good courage; the Lord will repay your faithfulness and will provide for your needs.
God is self-sufficient, but He prefers to count on you.
God bless you!
Gerardo Acevedo, Uruguay