Breaking cultural captivity: How to Mission

Breaking cultural captivity:

How to Mission

BMS World Mission partners with the World Church to grow God’s kingdom.

“We don’t know how to do that. But BMS does,” Tony, from a Baptist church in Shropshire, tells me. Tony and I are at “How to Mission”, a BMS conference, chatting about the need Tony’s so clearly identified: “to engage in cross-cultural mission with the people we find around us.” It’s a need that’s more pertinent than ever.

A man speaking with his hands up.
BMS’ key speakers brought together a wealth of knowledge from Asia and the Middle East to Latin America and Britain.
Mission ACTS

Want some guidance on becoming a missional church? Read more about Mission ACTS and how you can engage with mission.

It’s a pivotal time for both UK Baptist churches and BMS as we seek to grapple with globalisation, new technologies, immigration and increasing secularism. Keeping abreast of cultural change, BMS is moving towards a new strategy for 2021 and has just announced a partnership with Spurgeon’s College to deliver an academic course on mission. Our How to Mission conference (8-10 July), where I met Tony, was part of this ethos, sharing the knowledge BMS has gleaned from 225 years of mission.

As UK churches are realising, cross-cultural mission is not just relevant when going overseas. As Prabhu Singh, Principal of the South Asia Institute of Advanced Christian Studies explained in his insightful two-part lecture, a young person in the UK and a young person in southern India might share more in common than with their own families, despite being so far apart, due to the rise of new technologies and globalisation.

A mother and her son sitting on a doorstep smiling and holding a football in Uganda.

If you’d like to know more about how your church can get involved with helping refugees, check out our Leader’s guide for South Sudan’s Conflict Survivors.

Prabhu has been leading the largest body of research into Christian movements in India, where the church is the fastest growing in the world even in the face of alarming religious animosity. He also revealed that nearly 90 per cent of new believers in India are actively engaged in evangelism, and that those who had come to Christ primarily did so through a friend, family or mission worker. It’s a challenge to UK churches, that we need to not only preach the gospel in words but also in actions, building relationships along the way.

Themes like solidarity with the marginalised and forgiving your enemies surfaced repeatedly, this being a significant theme for speaker Elie Haddad, President of BMS partner the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary. On Monday, he shares with us how, in his home country of Lebanon, people pushed aside their historic animosity when Syrian refugees arrived on their doorstep.

As churches began to take action and become more missional rather than internally focussed, they were unified and are now growing exponentially.

A man smiling at the camera with a bush in the background
Refugees living in Bristol arrived on How to Mission delegate Richard Skinner’s doorstep and now his congregation regularly welcomes refugees into the church.

Welcoming in those with different cultures, stories and struggles involves dismantling our own sense of what is culturally comfortable. Our cultural boundaries were challenged with Loun Ling Lee and Kang-San Tan diving into theological thinking from Asia, Latin America and Africa. Michele Mahon, a BMS youth worker in Peru, also led us in sung worship in styles from all over the world.

“We are all culturally captive. I came here to be pushed out of my cultural comfort zone,” Susan, a Baptist minister in Wales, says enthusiastically.

A woman speaking and smiling
Michele Mahon led us in worship with songs from the UK, Nigeria and songs in Spanish.

With all this grounding, Deborah Hancox, a consultant to Christian development organisations, led us on how to put this missional thinking into action on Wednesday: beginning with organisations like BMS, which is perhaps the very first of the Christian development organisations, and then spreading into our UK church congregations.

And on the final day as we leave BMS’ Mission Training and Hospitality Centre in Birmingham, there’s an excitement in the air. From mission workers in Peru to members of UK Baptist churches, God was re-commissioning us and sending us out into all four corners of the world.

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Words by Melanie Webb.

Director for Mission appointed

BMS announces new Director for Mission

BMS World Mission appoints new Director for Mission.

BMS World Mission has confirmed that Rev Dr Arthur Brown has been appointed to succeed Rev Peter Dunn as Director for Mission.

General Director Dr Kang-San Tan commented: “The selection panel of four, led by me and including two BMS trustees, was unanimous in reaching the decision to appoint Arthur to this crucial role within BMS.”

He went on: “Arthur has substantial missional experience from his 13 years of service with BMS in Lebanon, with our partners at the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development (LSESD), where his contribution was highly valued. He was selected from a strong list of candidates both from within and outside BMS.”

Rev Dr Arthur Brown, wearing a blue shirt and standing in front of greenery, is appointed as Director for Mission at BMS World Mission.

Rev Dr Brown has a background in youth and community development, cross-cultural Christian ministry, multi-faith work and higher education. He is committed to social and racial justice and to peace-building. He is passionate about seeing the local Church fully engaged with its local geographical community, ‘here on earth as it is in heaven’.

The date for when he will take up his new role is still to be confirmed.

Mark Craig, Director of Communications

Mission: it’s so much more than you expect it to be


It’s so much more than you expect it to be

We all learn about mission in different ways. But many of us come to it with the same preconceived ideas of what it’s all about. Part of our work at BMS World Mission aims to change that. So even (and perhaps especially) if you think you know what it’s all about, read on. We might just surprise you!

Where do you expect mission work to happen?

An illustrated map of the world

When we imagine mission workers overseas, we often imagine them being sent to far-flung places we would never be able to visit. We think of people flying off to Africa or India and doing things we could never do at home.

Where does mission work actually happen?

A woman stands with a microphone and a Mozambican man stands outside a building.
Our mission workers serve all across the world – from France to Mozambique!

We do send mission workers to places like Mozambique, India and Peru – but we also work much closer to home! Christine Kling serves as an associate pastor in Paris, about two hours away from London.

And we support work in Southend, helping fight modern slavery. In fact, we’re also helping UK churches learn from and with our brothers and sisters in the world church, changing theologies and learning to minister better – and all that is mission too!

Who do you expect mission workers to be?

Illustration of a woman in brown clothes standing in a desert

Who do you picture when you think of a mission worker? It’s easy to imagine western Christians who have worked overseas for many years. It can be difficult to imagine anyone other than ‘white saviours’ with imperial attitudes and insensitive approaches maybe?

What does a mission worker actually look like?

An 80-year-old woman sits on a sofa and a Ugandan woman stands outside a building.
Anyone can be a mission worker, no matter what you look like or where you come from. In fact – every Christian is!

Mission isn’t restricted to a single age group. Whether they’re 18-year-old Action Teamers or an 80-year-old BMS volunteer like Ann Bothamley serving in India, all our mission workers are an important part of God’s work across the world.

And mission isn’t just sending people from the ‘West to the rest.’ We have mission workers serving in their own countries, and crossing borders. People like BMS lawyer Annet Ttendo Miller, who was born in Uganda but who is currently serving in Mozambique, or like Ben Francis, planting churches in his homeland, India!

What do you expect mission work to be?

An illustration of a teacher and a doctor

It’s easy to imagine that the main thing mission workers do is preach. Or provide traditionally ‘missionary’ things, like medicine or teaching. We imagine them distributing Bibles to local people or setting up health clinics, and it can be difficult to see them doing anything else.

What does mission work actually look like?

A woman in a blue top sits outside and a woman in a white top sits outside.
Our mission workers want to serve the communities they’re working with in the best way they can, which is why their jobs aren’t always what you would expect them to be!

Mission work can be almost anything. Healthcare and education are a big part of what we do – but even that isn’t constrained to teaching English. Take the BMS supported Siloam Bible Institute in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Many young Karen people enrol there, so that they can study the Bible in their native language. Or our many training programmes to develop crucial skills in local Christians around the world!

Mission today is about responding to the World Church’s needs. Laura-Lee Lovering is an environmental scientist working on a number of different sustainable horticulture initiatives in Peru. And Lois Ovenden is serving as a speech therapist in Uganda, helping those who struggle to communicate. We have physio therapists, chief executives, HR professionals and computer geeks – all serving God alongside local Christians, bringing life in all its fullness to people in Jesus’ name. And it happens because people like you support it. And because people like you go.

We’ve hopefully shown you how much amazing work is done under the umbrella of mission across the world. If you want to help us keep changing expectations of mission work, share this story with your friends and family, and show them what mission actually looks like.

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Words by Laura Durrant.

The frontline is everywhere

The frontline is everywhere:

nine encounters with the realities of mission

Our mission workers are doing inspiring things in incredible countries around the world. And their blogs definitely show that! We’ve picked nine that we’d love for you to read today.

1. When a rock the size of a sofa tumbles towards you

Ever hit a pothole or been held up by roadworks? It won’t seem so annoying after you’ve read what BMS World Mission teacher trainer Annie Brown went through in Nepal. Thick mud, monsoon-flooded roads and steep hillsides were challenging enough. But then came the landslide.

2. The French church that needs your prayers

BMS mission worker Christine Kling gives a sermon in France
Christine Kling is taking on scepticism and a secular nation as she shares the truth of God’s love.

Church planting in secular France is very hard, and often lonely. But BMS pastor Christine Kling is giving all she’s got to try and help people get to know Christ, and God is with her. Please read Christine’s latest blog in which she shares some of the amazing opportunities she has to share the gospel, and please keep her church in your prayers.

3. How a sewing machine can spark dancing and hope for a better life

Sara’s husband is unemployed, just as her four adult sons are. Many others in her neighbourhood in Maputo, Mozambique, struggle to find work too. Your support for BMS worker Susanna Barrell means something is being done to help not only Sara, but others who want to learn a new skill to bring in money.

4. The day dozens of soldiers showed up at a hospital in the desert

BMS pharmacist Claire Bedford at Guinebor II Hospital as soldiers walked the grounds
The day when soldiers turned up at Guinebor II Hospital to do some gardening, captured by BMS pharmacist Claire Bedford.

It was turning out to be a relaxing Saturday for BMS pharmacist Claire Bedford at Guinebor II Hospital in Chad. She’d chilled out with a friend over lunch, watched a film and arrived home before dark. And then her phone rang. Claire’s weekend of peace and rest was no more… the military were on their way for an important visit. It was a memorable affair. We’ll let Claire complete the story.

5. Bringing a whole lot of joy to some amazing mothers

Songs, games, gifts, and a lot of smiling. What a great celebration of mothers this was in the village of Wang Daeng, northern Thailand. BMS workers Helen and Wit Boondeekhun will explain the rest.

6. Home assignment in numbers: ten facts from the Judkins family

BMS church planters Claire-Lise and David Judkins
BMS church planters Claire-Lise and David Judkins travelled over 5,000 miles during their recent UK visit.

Did BMS church planters Claire-Lise and David Judkins visit your church over the summer? Aren’t they great?! Even if you didn’t get to hear about their work in France, we think this set of important, interesting, and slightly quirky facts will give you a taste of their time visiting churches in the UK was for them and their four children. Check it out!

7. 'Jesus means everything to me’

What beautiful words these are, spoken by a woman at a baptism in Tirana, Albania, and included in a blog by BMS workers Annie and Dan Dupree. Through Tek Ura (a BMS-founded NGO), the Duprees are helping to provide health, social inclusion and education ministries in one of the poorest and most marginalised communities in Europe.

8. A sermon in the jungle, an exhilarating boat ride… and dolphins

As family trips go, the one taken by the Mahon family into the Peruvian jungle is certainly unforgettable. Find out what Baptist ministers Dave and Michele, and their three children Jonathan, Ruth and Phoebe, experienced when they left the city behind them and went up the mighty Nanay River, heading for the village of Santa Rita.

9. ‘These poor people work literally until they drop’

Two female tea pickers in Bangladesh
It is a very hard life being a tea-picker in Bangladesh.

Your tea of choice may well have been produced ethically. But it’s not the case for all the tea on the market, as BMS workers Louise and Phil Proctor document in their powerful blog post about the backbreaking work many tea-pickers in Bangladesh endure.

Thank you for your incredible support for our mission workers. Of course, there are so many other blogs that we could have included above. We do our very best to feature as many as we can on our Facebook page, where you can also keep-up-to date with the latest BMS news, stories and prayer requests.

Please check the page out today and share this story as another way to show your support for the Christians you’re partnering with around the world. They inspire us every day, as do you.

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The top 10: Action Team photo competition 2018

The top 10:

Action Team photo competition 2018

We bring you the finalists in the annual BMS World Mission Action Team photo competition.

Be warned, you’re about to be bitten by the gap year bug. We certainly were as we looked at the Action Team photos submitted by the class of 2017/18, though sadly most of us are beyond our gap-year years! If you know anyone who isn’t old like us and might want to do a Christian gap year in places like these, share this story with them! They could be our next crop of Action Teams

We loved judging these photos. And, after much debate (it went on for hours), we finally picked our top ten. They are beautiful.

Tenth place: Nepal

A mountain isin the distance, while in the foreground is a bench, with sunlight shining on it
What a stunning sight this is. We adored this photo of the Annapurna Himalayas the moment we saw it.

Rachel Paton will never forget this view from a five-day trek in the Annapurna Himalayas.

“As we got ready to begin our descent early in the morning, the sun filled the valleys with a golden haze,” says Rachel. “I was overwhelmed with a sense of how privileged I’d been to see sights such as these.”

Ninth place: Nepal

A woman in red clothing, crouches behind a statue, pinching a cigarette in her fingers
This candid shot of a woman smoking a cigarette was taken when the Nepal Action Team were visiting a temple.

This woman was begging at the foot of a temple staircase in Bhaktapur, a town east of Kathmandu. And then for a moment, she retreated behind an enormous stone statue just as Rachel Paton took her picture.

“She seemed to be hiding; weary, perhaps, of being visible but often ignored by so many people passing by,” says Rachel.

Eighth place: Guinea

Children sit behind desks as a teacher writes on a chalkboard
Children fill a classroom in Guinea, though just like in classrooms around the world, concentrating all the time is not possible for every child.

There are over 80 young children packed into this preschool classroom in Guinea. Teaching assistant and Guinea Action Team member Eleanor Hyde found space somehow to take this photo of the children’s eagerness to learn.

“They jump up to show you their work, and with huge smiles encourage you to keep teaching them,” says Eleanor. “These are God’s children, gifted and purposed.”

Seventh place: Nepal

Small blue boats on a lake with mist in the distance
This picture from Nepal captured our attention because of its beauty and the sense of tranquillity.

The serenity of Phewa Lake in the Pokhara Valley was captured by Rachel Paton (she really did take a lot of great photos!), with its stillness contrasted by what was happening behind her.

“There were tourists out for a stroll, locals using the lakeside footpath, Tibetan refugees selling handcrafted jewellery, and women washing clothes at the edge of the water,” says Rachel. “It is a wonderful place to visit.”

Sixth place: Nepal

Children in blue clothing smile and laugh as they pull on a flag
It is play time at a Nepal school, with these young children having the time of their lives.

Children couldn’t contain their excitement when this parachute was brought out at a rural school in Nepal. And Action Teamer and gifted photographer Rachel Paton was there to capture the joy.

“We had to work hard to convince them that this particular parachute was not to be used for flying, just for playing with on the ground!” says Rachel.

Fifth place: Guinea

Children in the distance wade through water
Children on a small island off the coast of Guinea head into the water in search of fish to catch.

Guinea Action Teamer Mhairi Cole was on a small island off the African nation’s coast when she saw a group of children being given a fishing lesson.

“They proudly presented their huge catch,” says Mhairi. “And then later on, we had the opportunity to try some. I would give the fish a five-star rating!”

Fourth place: Mozambique

A young child peers behind a tree in Mozambique
This adorable scene during a game of hide-and-seek was captured in Mozambique.

Who doesn’t love a game of hide-and-seek? The children Action Teamer Rhiannon Cleghorn met in Mozambique clearly do. And though this boy had only trees to hide behind when Rhiannon was playing, it meant an adorable photo of him could be taken.

Third place: Mozambique

A man and a woman walk on a beach at sunset
Along with great need and a history of conflict and colonial oppression, Mozambique has glorious beaches enjoyed by local people every day. They are even more stunning as the sun sets, as this image shows.

Living by the coast was one of the biggest blessings for the Action Team in Mozambique, says Rhiannon Cleghorn.

“Sunday afternoons were spent at the beach playing football and making some of our best friends,” she said. “To top it all off, the sunsets were always serious ‘creation appreciation’ experiences.”

Second place: Nepal

Bells of different sizes hang from a pole, with a mountain range in the background.
These prayer bells in Nepal were wonderfully captured with the contours of the valley in the background.

This is a photo that makes you want to stand where photographer Rachel Paton did. She took this photo at the iconic Buddhist temple, Swayambhu, which is on top of a hill in the Kathmandu Valley.

“We were up there as the sun was setting, and the evening light striking this row of bells caught my attention just before we started to head down,” she says.

And the winner is: Nepal

An elephant with a trunk painted with colours looks at the camera
This photo, taken in Nepal by Rachel Paton, caught our attention straight away.

What a striking photo this is, and an obvious first place in this year’s Action Team photo competition. It was captured in Nepal by Rachel Paton (who else?!), and shows the beauty of God’s work in the form of this majestic elephant, Mayabhati.

“Three men were responsible for her around-the-clock care,” says Rachel. “It was amazing to see her, just as it was amazing to learn about the unique relationship that people in Nepal have with these parts of the country.”

Congratulations not only to those in the top ten, but to everyone who submitted a photo. You’ve inspired, moved and challenged us, and reminded us all of how magnificent God’s creation is.

Do you know a future Action Teamer?

Our Action Teams programme is one of the best Christian gap year programmes out there. If you know anyone aged between 17 and 23 who wants to serve God overseas then encourage them to get in touch with us today. You never know, they might just make next year’s photo competition top ten!

The seven must-read chapters of an extraordinary mission worker’s life

The seven must-read chapters of an extraordinary mission worker’s life

“Is this going to be short-term, or for life?” For BMS World Mission worker Ann Bothamley, there was only one answer.

She stared down the devil when she was weak. Overcame dysentery, major spinal surgery and crushing loneliness. She founded a hostel for children of mission doctors, helped thousands of people through her nursing service, and returned to work after retirement to give pastoral care to patients. Ann Bothamley has been an ambassador for Christ in India since 1968. We’re inspired by all that she’s done in the past, and all that she continues to do. We know you will be too. This is Ann’s story.

Chapter one: The beginning

I gave my heart to the Lord when I was nine years old. After Sunday School one day I went to the superintendent and said, “I’ve decided I want to follow Jesus.”

I then went in for a Bible quiz and won a Bible. It had, ‘Presented to Ann Bothamley’, and at the bottom was the verse from Matthew 28: 19, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel”. I remember saying to my mother, “I think that means me. I think I have to go.”

So even then, I knew in my heart that God wanted me to go out as a medical missionary somewhere.

A black and white photo of Ann Bothamley smiling in her nurse's uniform
Ann in 1967, months before leaving for India, where she has been serving with BMS for over half a century.

Chapter two: The call

I was quite sure that God wanted me to be a doctor, but I didn’t do terribly well at school. I went to work in the microbiology department of St Thomas’ Hospital, and one day the professor said to me, “why don’t you go in for nursing?”

Within six weeks, I was in. I really enjoyed it and knew I was in the right place. I wanted to have more qualifications, so I did a ward sister course, but twice during my training I slipped a disc in my back. After the second time, the matron said, “I think you might have to give up nursing”, and I thought, ‘no way’.

I ended up having a laminectomy [the removal of part of a vertebrae] after my fourth year. There was a lot of waiting and I wondered what God was saying to me. But I got through all that and got better very quickly. I did midwifery in Glasgow, and then did a year as a night sister in a large hospital in Croydon. I decided then that it was the time to go to BMS.

Chapter three: The journey

I think God planted it in my heart that I was going to India. I knew, too, that it was going to be for life. I was asked at the candidate board, “is this going to be short-term, or for life?” That was how it was put in those days. I said, “no, for life”. And so I was accepted by BMS.

The journey to India was a very long one. We travelled across Europe to Venice, where we boarded a boat to Brindisi, and then went on to the Canary Islands, and down to Cape Town where we boarded the boat to Mombasa.

You can’t send me home. My God is greater than you.

From Mombasa we went to Karachi and on to Bombay, as it was then. I got on the train about 2 pm and arrived the next afternoon, about an hour from Vellore. I was met by someone called Miss Thompson. We were sitting squeezed up on the front seat of the car and she said to me, “well, I hope the Lord has brought you here. Because if not, you might as well go back now.”

A view from high up on a hill of a city in India, with homes and many trees in view.
Vellore has been Ann Bothamley's home since she arrived in 1968, after a gruelling journey that began at Victoria Station in London.

Chapter four: The attack

There was no question of going back. I was where God had put me. I had quite a few problems to begin with. I had dysentery and it was a very horrible thing.

I also remember being sent up into the hills after suffering sunstroke. I was sitting in a garden and it was as though the devil was saying, “I’m going to get you home.” I can remember telling him, “no, God is with me and I am not going home, and don’t think you can send me because God is greater than you.”

One of the amazing things in those first six months was that every so often Miss Thompson would hand me a little note with a verse of Scripture on it. It was quite amazing, and always seemed to me that God was saying, “I am with you.”

Chapter five: The loneliness

There have been times when I have known great loneliness. Sometimes one can be in a huge institution and still be very lonely.

But every so often God would send somebody I could pray with. I’d be tremendously encouraged and God would say to me, “I want you to rely on me more. Just keep relying on me.”

A mature woman with grey hair sits at a table in a hospital cafe with an elderly man on one side, and an elderly woman on another.
Ann Bothamley catches up with friends at the Christian Medical College in Vellore. Friends back home support her too, ringing her to chat and ask for her prayer requests.

Chapter six: The blessings

God has blessed me through some of the experiences I’ve been through. Three years ago, when I had major surgery on my spine, two families I didn’t even know were amazing to me, absolutely amazing.

God has been so faithful to me over the years, and blessed me so much in enabling me and giving me the privilege to meet such a diversity of people and patients.

Watch the moment when Ann is presented with a gift to mark her 50 years’ service with BMS.

Chapter seven: The support

I could not be here, but for the support and prayers of people at home. I have two friends who phone me about every two weeks and jot down all the things I would like them to pray about. And there’s a church too that does the same thing.

Prayer makes a difference, a huge difference. I’m sure there have been difficult times when I’ve been carried by the prayers of people at home.

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Could you be the next Ann Bothamley?

BMS has mission workers all over the world showing people what following Christ looks like, just as Ann is doing today. If you’re sensing God calling you overseas, you need to read the article 10 reasons why you should serve with BMS.

You can confront injustice. Free women from trafficking. Teach children robbed of an education. And you can introduce people to Jesus. We’ll be with you every step of the way. Start by getting in touch here. We would love to hear from you.

Pray for Peru: our workers need your prayers today

Pray for Peru:

our workers need your prayers today

The land of Machu Picchu, rainforests and stunning mountains is loved by God and served by faithful Christians. All of BMS World Mission’s workers in the beautiful and diverse country of Peru will value your prayers this week.

Local Peruvian BMS workers America and Jorge are running social and recreational projects, as well as discipleship programmes for children and families in the town of Chincha.

• Pray that America and Jorge receive fresh energy when they are feeling tired.

• Pray they are encouraged in their work, and pray for the children they are serving. Pray they experience joy and form strong friendships.

Denise and Melany run an after-school club at the BMS-founded El Puente Baptist Church in Cusco. We rejoice that a church founded by BMS is now being led by Peruvian Christians and we give thanks for the privilege of partnering with them.

• Pray for the Holy Spirit to work in Denise and Melany’s lives and ministry. Pray they would feel guided in making decisions, and every day they would sense the joy that knowing Christ brings.

• Pray for Pastor Amilcar at the church. Pray for continued wisdom in his work, and that he would feel God’s strength in his meetings and conversations.

Children wave at an after-school club in Peru
Children at the after-school club at the El Puente Baptist Church.

Daniel and Regiane Clark are based in Lima, working at the Baptist Seminary. They also support children and adults in deprived areas, helping to organise medical check-ups with a team of volunteers that includes a doctor, nurse, dentist and a psychologist.

• Pray for Daniel’s teaching at the Seminary to be blessed and for Regiane to sense God’s presence in her administrative work and with student placements.

• Pray for the medical work they support. Pray that God would provide the resources needed to help people who are sick.

Pastor Luis is serving at the BMS-supported Nauta Integral Mission Training Centre, where Christian leaders from river communities in the Amazon region are taught theology and biblical literacy, as well as practical skills in caring for their land.

• Pray that Pastor Luis senses your encouragement today. Pray that he feels a fresh sense of conviction in his teaching, and that doors are opened for him to show the love of Christ.

• Pray that supported partner workers Judith and Pedro feel lifted up today, with fresh enthusiasm and energy, and discernment in their work.

• Pray for all the students who have attended the training programme. Pray they would lead their communities wisely, reflecting God’s love for them.

Pastor Luis Alvarado Dolly looks at a camera
Pastor Luis is strengthening pastors in rural Peruvian communities.

Baptist ministers Dave and Michele Mahon and their three children are based in the city of Iquitos, in northern Peru. They work with nine churches in their region and support the running of the Nauta Integral Mission Training Centre.

• Dave, Michele and their children Jonathan, Ruth and Phoebe, arrived in Iquitos last month. Pray that they settle in well.

• Pray that Dave and Michele find local people to come alongside them in their work, and that Dave builds strong relationships with pastors.

Show this video in your church to inspire prayer for the Mahon family

Laura-Lee Lovering is helping to develop the Nauta Integral Mission Training Centre. As an environmental scientist, she’s teaching community leaders sustainable ways to care for their land.

• Pray for Laura-Lee to find extra strength this week as pastors from river communities are trained at the centre. Please pray that more pastors attend the training, and that they arrive safely.

• Pray for the pastors training at the centre. Pray they would be inspired by what Laura and her colleagues teach them, and that they would encourage others to come forward and learn.

Life on the Amazon: a behind the scenes tour of Laura-Lee Lovering's workplace

Lori and Neil Brighton are BMS volunteers serving at the Nauta Integral Mission Training Centre. Lori is helping with the centre’s finances, and Neil is helping to redevelop the training course for pastors.

• Pray for their Spanish language development so they can become more effective in their roles.

• Pray the Holy Spirit would guide them in their work, and they would sense the support of people around the world praying for them.

Thank you so much for praying with our mission workers today, and for your continued support of them.

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10 reasons why you should serve with BMS

10 reasons why you should serve with BMS

Choosing to serve with BMS World Mission could be the most incredible, life-changing step you ever take, and it might just be around the corner. If you’re wondering if God can use you overseas, here are ten reasons why you should push that door open right now and find out more.

1. You'll help transform lives around the world in the name of Jesus

A woman uses a sewing machine at skills centre in Uganda.
When you serve with BMS, you’ll witness the incredible joy that a transformed life brings.

When you serve with BMS, you get the chance to show people what Christ’s love feels like, and looks like, and it will be one of the most beautiful things you’ll ever do.

From accountants and doctors to development specialists, our workers are helping bring life in all its fullness to some of the world’s least evangelised and most marginalised people – and you can join them. You can confront injustice. Teach children robbed of an education. Alleviate poverty. Free women from trafficking. Introduce people to Jesus. This is what we do at BMS, and we’ll be with you every step of the way.

2. You won't be going alone

People stand and worship at the Baptist Assembly in 2017
During your challenges overseas, remember that Christians back home are praying for you.

BMS has been supported by Baptist churches across the UK for hundreds of years, and we still are today.

Christians you may never meet will pray for you every day, lifting you up to God, because when you serve with BMS, you’re part of a big, beautiful family.

The training is second to none and is of vital importance for preparing you for long-term overseas service

3. You don't have to be rich

Money is not everything. But it’s not nothing, either. Being able to take care of your family and think about your future are not things you need to sacrifice to serve with BMS.

That’s why we cover housing costs, living expenses and even pension contributions for our workers.

4. You’ll get to work in some amazing places

Afghanistan is beautiful. Seriously, seriously beautiful. Just take a look at the photo below, at those magnificent colours, and remind yourself how stunning God’s creation is.

An aerial view of mountains in Afghanistan

Well, you could be in Afghanistan, making a very real difference to people’s lives.

“Hearing first-hand how the work you have been involved in has helped change lives is both humbling and rewarding,” says BMS development worker in Afghanistan, Tim*. “You also experience amazing hospitality, and share in the joy and the heartache that your local friends, colleagues and neighbours are going through.”

And if you don’t find yourself in Afghanistan, you could be in Chad, where BMS is making a huge impact on the health of local people, and where the sunset over the River Chari is stunning:

The sun sets over the River Chari in Chad.

Or, you might be in Guinea, working on projects to empower women and children, and you’ll get to see scenery like this:

A tree in Guinea

Mission isn’t tourism. But it is an opportunity to see parts of God’s creation most of us never encounter. We should also mention that your annual travel costs to and from the UK are covered, you receive a generous leave allowance, and when you return home we will help you travel round UK churches telling people about what God has done in and through you.

5. You’ll join an amazing, global team

Members of the BMS-supported legal team in Mozambique stand in front of their office entrance
The BMS-supported legal team in Mozambique speaks up for the poor and needy, and is made up of BMS workers from the UK, Uganda and Mozambique.

This is one of the very best parts of serving overseas with BMS. The people you work alongside are some of the most passionate, wonderful Christians you could ever hope to meet. They are our fellow workers and partners overseas. They’re the World Church. They’re our brothers and sisters, and you will learn so much from them.

Want to find out more?

Just click here to get in touch and find out more about serving overseas with BMS.

6. You'll be well prepared

Language studies. Living in community. Biblical and mission training. We will help you with it all, in the field and at our mission training and hospitality centre. You’ll learn about God, you’ll learn about yourself, you’ll be discipled for service in another culture. Tempted yet? Let pharmacist Claire Bedford tell you more.

“The training is second to none and is of vital importance for preparing you for long-term overseas service,” says Claire, who is serving at a BMS-supported hospital in Chad. “Many months of UK training gives time to adjust to the fact that you’re going to be leaving the UK for quite a while, as well as learning how to live in community.”

Unconvinced? Let our very own Mission Bros address your concerns

7. You'll make history

Albania was a closed communist state until 1991. Nepal, a Hindu kingdom hostile to the gospel. When they opened to mission, BMS was there. And you’ll be serving in countries where we have faith that God has more exciting plans in store.

8. We take security and your welfare very seriously

We have someone on hand 24 hours a day, seven days a week, ready to answer your call in an emergency.

We have protocols for evacuation and kidnapping should either situation ever arise, and measures to protect your identity in sensitive countries.

Mission can be dangerous, but we’re risk-aware, not risk averse.

You’re looked after so well, with all aspects of your life cared for

9. Worried about your children? We care about them too

We pay for your children’s education overseas, help them learn the local language, and take care of any medical needs they have, just as we take care of yours.

And some of the happiest kids we know grew up with mission families, learning first-hand what it means to serve the least of these. Take Graeme in the video (above), he grew up as a mission kid – and just look how much good work he is doing now!

10. We've always got your back

You’ll always have someone to turn to at BMS. We pride ourselves on our pastoral and professional support, no matter where our workers are. And we want you to thrive.

“BMS is great to work for,” says Sophie*, who is helping to run the communications of a BMS partner organisation in Tunisia.
“You’re looked after so well, with all aspects of your life cared for, not just the job you signed up to do.”

Click here If you're praying for people to serve with BMS
Do you feel God could be calling you?

We are urgently looking for people to serve in Afghanistan, Chad and Guinea. We also have other exciting mission vacancies all over the world. If you would like to find out more, email or call 01235 517651 and speak to Tom, our Mission Personnel Organiser.

Don’t put off the new adventure God has waiting for you. If you feel God is calling you, and if you have the skills we’re asking for, get in touch today!

* Names changed

Meet the Vokuhls

Nepal bound:

Meet the Vokuhls

Pippa, Toby, Jakey, Ella and Millie Vokuhl fly to Nepal on Saturday with BMS World Mission. Find out why they feel called to mission and what they’ll be up to overseas.

After months of preparation, Pippa and Toby Vokuhl are ready to begin an exciting new chapter of their lives, serving God in Nepal. They are part of Headington Baptist Church in Oxford and have three children: Jakey (nine), Ella (seven) and Millie (three).

Amidst packing up their house, saying goodbyes and doing other last-minute tasks, Pippa and Toby sat down with us to talk about the adventure they’re getting ready to embark on.

Pippa and Toby, along with their three children, Jakey, Ella and Millie.
Pippa and Toby, along with their three children, Jakey, Ella and Millie.

Have you always wanted to work overseas?

“I would say yes for both of us – since our teenage years we’ve felt called to work overseas,” says Pippa. “We both worked in separate places overseas before we got married. I worked as a physiotherapist in Uganda and Toby worked as a carpenter in Nazareth.
“Toby and I actually met at All Nations Christian College,” Pippa continues. “So even from the start of our marriage, mission was very much on the agenda.”

How did you decide to move overseas?

“When we started to consider whether an overseas assignment might be right for us as a family and if that was something God might be calling us to,” says Toby, “it led us to start having conversations with BMS.”

“We had a Skype call with someone in Nepal telling us about the project and whether Toby would consider taking this role,” says Pippa. “As we got off the call, we both looked at each other and went, yes! This is the right one! So we both had a deep peace about this being the right thing to do.”

I’m looking forward to being able to encourage Nepali Christians and likewise them to encourage us

What will you be doing in Nepal?

“My background is in construction management,” says Toby. “I will be working with a local BMS partner as part of their disaster response and resilience department, based in Pokhara – there’s still a lot of ongoing work in terms of the reconstruction of housing that was damaged in the 2015 earthquakes.

“I’ll be working with local colleagues to help with the construction of houses, as well as training craftsmen, giving people the necessary skills to build a better future for themselves by teaching them how to improve the quality of their own homes.”

“For me, it’s a bit less clear at the moment,” says Pippa. “Initially when we get there it will be about settling the family in.

The Vokuhl family will be based in Pokhara, helping with relief work.
The Vokuhl family will be based in Pokhara, helping with relief work.

“We’ll both be doing some language study for a couple of months, and then after that I’ll be praying that God will give me the right role.”

The Vokuhls were the 'family of the week' on the BBC Oxford radio breakfast show back in November
The Vokuhls were the 'family of the week' on the BBC Oxford radio breakfast show back in November.

How did your children react when they found out they were moving?

“We were really encouraged by their response – they were really up for it and excited,” says Toby. “They’re now working through the sort of thoughts of losing friendships and how they can maintain them in Nepal, but in general they took it really well.”

What are you looking forward to when you go?

“Getting to know local Nepalis,” says Pippa. “Getting to know Nepali Christians and learning from them, being able to encourage them and likewise for them to encourage us – to be part of that global Christian family. I’m also looking forward to seeing my kids having new cultural experiences as well.”

“For me,” says Toby, “I’m really looking forward to meeting local colleagues, meeting with local Christians and joining in with the ongoing relief efforts, as well as the cross-cultural experience and the chance to learn new things.”

Even from the start of our marriage, mission was very much on the agenda

What can people be praying for?

“If you could pray for the kids,” says Pippa. “Toby and I have had experience overseas, so we know what to expect. But if people could pray for them with the transition, that they would just feel really settled and happy.”

“I think pray for general health really, that would be great,” says Toby. “It would be a shame to catch the flu just as we’re getting ready to go out!

“You can get tired and weary with all the work involved in a move, so also pray for energy, calmness and for peace. And please pray for the journey to Nepal and our stay in Kathmandu, before our journey to Pokhara where we will then settle ourselves in.”

If you’re an individual and want to commit to giving regularly to support the Vokuhl family, you can become a 24:7 Partner by clicking the box on the right.

If you’re a church and want to support the work they’ll be doing out in Nepal, you can become a Church Partner with us by clicking here.

Want to support the Vokuhls? Click Here

Could you be called to mission overseas?