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Bethany Baptist Church closed out the Annual Mission Conference Sunday afternoon. Special guests for the week were, Hal and Dawn Baker and their family, church planters in Clinton, Arkansas, and Samuel and Barbara Martin with World Missions Bearing Precious Seed of St. Robert, Missouri.
Hal Baker provided special music and spoke Wednesday and Thursday evenings. One of his messages on judging by outward appearances was illustrated by his wearing torn and shredded shirt and tie covered with a very nice appearing suit jacket. Another message he illustrated with a very real appearing plastic snake to represent the viper coming out of the fire and biting Paul. Hal warned us that when a preacher preaches hard against the sins of the world, that vipers will come out to try to stop this preaching. We need to support our faithful preachers when they come under attack.
Lt. Col. Samuel Martin has just finished twenty-four years of active and reserve duty with the US Army. He had recently come back from a yearlong tour in Afghanistan. He has put in for retirement and then will be able to be full time in the ministry of publishing and distributing Bibles, scripture portions, and tracts. Part of his ministry is to inspire local churches to support this publishing ministry by their prayers and donations.
Donations are used to purchase paper and pay the cost of shipping. A roll of paper costs about $450 and will print 12,000 John/Romans scripture portions. The Johns/Romans have been printed in ten languages and shipped to such places as India. These are a valuable tool for missionaries and pastors around the world.
The World Missions Bearing Precious Seed is a ministry of Maranatha Baptist Church of St. Robert, Missouri. Willing volunteers there and in other local churches get involved by helping in the folding, stapling, trimming, and packing the Bibles and literature.
Only 5% of the world’s languages have whole Bibles written in them, only 9% have the New Testament, and only 18% have portions of the scriptures. The efforts to translate continue and the need is great.
Samuel brought a message Sunday morning from Psalm 68:11, “The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it.” John chapter one says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, ( and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth.” John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Jesus gave his life to save sinners. There is no greater love than to lay down a life for someone else.
The Lord gave the word. We are part of the company whose responsibility it is to publish it. Whether it is by word of mouth, by our example of behavior, or by the actual printing and distributing process we are told to take God’s word to all the people of the world. A church or individual may be part of that “great company.” It starts with prayer, with gifts, with printing, cutting, binding, packing boxes, and shipping. The boxes are opened, the materials are passed out, they are read. Changes are made in lives, someone tells others and they become part of the great company.