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My Hope

by Danny Williams

To read more about Free Will Baptist International Missions, visit their website at

OUR ENGLISH WORD "HOPE" IS NOT STRONG for the Greek word, elpis, translated hope in the Bible. In our modern society hope carries the idea of a wish or dream. More times than not, we do not really believe what we hope for will happen. The biblical meaning, on the other hand, carries the idea of a favorable and confident expectation, or a happy anticipation. This hope is founded on the promises and power of God, and not on personal preferences. One writer used an acrostic to deliver the truth behind genuine hope: Having Only Positive Expectations.

As a pastor, I have seen the difference a hopeful outlook makes. It is hard to be excited and expectant if it appears God is not actively at work. In contrast, people become enthused and energetic when they see obvious signs of His involvement. That is where I am. When I look at Free Will Baptist International Missions, the evidence of God’s hand produces a spirit of thankfulness and eager anticipation within me.


I am inspired by the progress we are making. The 2005 annual report for FWBIM reflects real growth in the Mission. Over the past 10 years overseas church attendance has almost tripled. The number of churches/missions has jumped from 240 to 775. Giving to the Mission has increased from $4.5 million to over $6.6 million. The number of pastors and lay preachers has risen by 75 percent. These visual evidences make it obvious the Lord is working. We are blessed to be part of His great work.

Photo: Sean Warren; an Algerian couple eyes the camera with obvious suspicion.


I am thrilled because of the places we are going. Throughout my life as a Free Will Baptist I have followed our missionary efforts in India, Ivory Coast, Panama, Cuba, Brazil, Uruguay, Spain, France, and Japan. Praise the Lord for the faithful witness in these countries over the years. More recently, God has allowed us to begin ministry in Russia. We are preparing to enter Central Asia and Bulgaria. Not so long ago, these were fields in which it would have been impossible for us to labor.


My confidence soars when I see the personnel we are sending. Since the beginning of our missionary efforts, Free Will Baptists have commissioned and supported missionaries who have proven to be godly, hard-working servants of the Lord. Serving at this moment are pioneers, veterans, and first-term missionaries who are demonstrating faithfulness to the Lord and their call.

In addition, as a member of the Candidate Committee, I am privileged to interview those desiring to serve overseas. We are sending men and women of high quality with excellent training and experience who, more importantly, have a passion for reaching people. As I watch their tears and hear their determination, their willingness to sacrifice and follow the heart of God is so evident. I am convinced they are going to make an impact for the Kingdom. Our newly appointed missionaries bring joy to my heart.


Furthermore, I am excited about the people we are reaching. Last year FWBIM reported 1,441 conversions. Thank God for every precious soul saved! As wonderful as the number is, it takes on much more significance when you see the faces of the converts. Recent opportunities to visit Russia and Uruguay, have allowed me the privilege of meeting some of those believers. Seeing their smiling faces, hearing their testimonies, observing their prayers, and watching their worship is something I will never forget. These people have changed lives with real hope. This is missions at its best!


The participation we are experiencing is another factor in my expectations. Individuals and churches are becoming involved with International Missions. This year a record number of churches participated in the World Missions Offering. The largest group ever of E-TEAM students ministered this summer. Short-term group trips are increasing and volunteers in several professions are finding a place to work. We are learning our role in world evangelism is not just giving money. It is giving of ourselves, our time, and our talents.


I am encouraged by the purpose we are fulfilling. Free Will Baptist International Missions is all about the Great Commission—the final command and foremost concern of Christ. Going with the Truth, we are making disciples and planting churches. The establishing of churches is the primary activity and objective of our Mission. Over 250 Bible institute students are training to work and lead in local churches. These churches will in turn reach out to win others to Christ and start additional churches. New churches may even be planted among different people groups or in neighboring countries. It is imperative we never change this purpose, for I am certain it is not only our duty to obey this command of Christ, it is a delight to fulfill His purpose.


Finally, I look to the future with anticipation because of the potential we are expecting. Several of our fields, after years of sowing, are experiencing harvest time. Others could join them very soon. Doors of opportunity are opening. Believers in national churches are hearing and responding to the call of God for them to go with the gospel. New fields need to be opened, new missionaries sent, new resources developed, and more souls reached. Only God truly knows what lies ahead, but even that is thrilling to know since He has promised to guide and provide.

Yes, I have positive expectations for FWBIM; however, this does not mean I am ignoring the existence of obstacles. Are there challenges to be faced? Absolutely. Are there problems to be solved? Certainly. Are there difficult decisions to be made? Without a doubt. But I remain excited and hopeful about the future. After all, it is as bright as our Almighty God. I hope you will join me in my expectations and be part of the Lord’s work through Free Will Baptist International Missions.

Danny Williams, pastor of First FWB Church in Winfield, AL, is the new chairman of the Board of FWB International Missions.








©2005 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists