One of the lasting lessons I’ve learned these last few months is that you can meet with people through a computer and it can actually be productive. I’ve been involved in Zoom teleconference meetings with individuals, small groups, and even large groups of people and they have all been interesting experiences. Three months ago I hardly knew what Zoom was and had never really used it firsthand. Today, Zoom is like a right hand that I almost feel like I can’t do without.
I was recently in a Zoom meeting that lifted my spirits as much as anything has in a long time. This meeting involved missionaries scattered around the world who are serving with the International Mission Board. This was a diverse group of people. Some of them were single adults, and some of them were couples. Some had children at home, while some didn’t. Some of them are serving in open countries where the Gospel is welcomed, but some of them are in areas where the message of Christ is unwanted.
Though a few of these missionaries were familiar, many of them were complete strangers to each other. They were appointed at different times, serve in different parts of the world, and have never met along the way. I was thrilled at the fellowship they felt as they shared about their work.
The one thing everybody in this virtual meeting had in common was their connection to Mississippi. In many cases both a husband and a wife were rooted in Mississippi, came to know the Lord right here among us, and felt God’s call to missions in one of our churches. These were people who graduated from Mississippi universities and know the various counties and small towns that make us who we are.
As we visited, my heart overflowed with joy! I rejoiced because these were people who had been raised in Mississippi Baptist churches and had learned about missions in RAs, GAs, and Acteens. Many of them had been to Garaywa Camp and Conference Center in Clinton and Central Hills Retreat near West and had sung in choirs and gone on mission trips with student ministers, right here in our neck of the woods. In every way, they are the product of our churches and a reminder that the reach of Mississippi Baptists extends far beyond our small part of the world.
The second source of joy is in knowing that our Cooperative Program gifts are supporting missionaries around the world who are penetrating the darkness with the light of the Gospel. The stories they told of God’s work to open eyes blinded to the truth, start churches where there had been none, and grow disciples to go and make other disciples resonated with the mission-mindedness of Mississippians. We have been called to reach our communities and state, and may our commitment to this call never waver. At the same time, we have been called to reach the world, and I’m thankful to share that Mississippi Baptists are on the job!
The author may be contacted at email@example.com.