Northwest Church Ministers in Uganda

By Sheila Allen

September 29, 2016

Locals and Northwest volunteers tend to the needs of children's feet while on a mission trip to Uganda.

Pastor Dave Hunter admits readily that his heart was captured by Ugandan Thunder, a children’s choir that performed at Wenatchee Valley Baptist Church. He didn’t know his enthusiasm would lead to an international trip of personal ministry for alongside fellow church members and other volunteers.


The Ugandan Thunder tours the United States raising support for Pennies for Posho, a staple food item for Ugandans.


“This is a super loving, evangelistic, serving church and we have been in a rebuilding and healing phase,” said Hunter of the congregation where he is pastor. “Prayer is the backbone of ministry and it is our heart’s desire to be a sending church.”


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Washington Couple Among New IMB Workers

By Julie McGowan

September 29, 2016

IMB president, David Platt

A Washington couple identified publicly as Stanton* and Rachel Bender* -- from Crosspointe Baptist Church in Vancouver -- are fulfilling the missions call they felt from God to work where Jesus Christ’s name is unknown in Central Asia.


When Rachel was 18, she attended a conference where God gave her a desire to share the gospel among the nations. For Stanton, that desire came on his 14th birthday while he was on a short-term trip to Thailand.


They are among 27 new missionaries appointed Aug. 24 by the International Mission Board during a special Sending Celebration near Richmond, VA. The celebration featured testimonies from each of the appointees, a scriptural charge from IMB president David Platt and an emphasis on the role local churches play in assessing and sending Southern Baptist missionaries.


“God showed me that He created me with skills and interests which I should use for His glory among the peoples of the world,” Stanton said.


Nearly 3,100 miles across the country from Vancouver, God led Patrick and Erin Schwartz from Lowell, Massachusetts, to follow Him on mission. The new missionaries, being sent from Mill City Church to take the gospel to European Peoples, have been on a journey of obedience for years.  


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Foundation President Completes Year of Leaderhip

By Clint Overall

September 29, 2016

For 60 years, the Northwest Baptist Foundation has passionately supported the ministries of the Northwest Baptist Convention. As we look forward to continued service, I am excited to share a few changes.


First, our new logo was designed specifically to renew our steadfast focus on the cross. Our logo conveys to the world what is most important to us – the redemptive and captivating power of the cross. The colors circling its foot symbolize fundamental services provided by the Foundation: church loans, scholarships, estate planning, charitable giving and trust administration. This new logo aligns with and complements our vision: to encourage stewardship across the Northwest so that others may experience the cross. 


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Gateway Seminary - New Name, location for continued mission

By Cameron Crabtree

September 29, 2016

Sonya Fitzpatrick gives instructions at orientation at the beginning of a new year at the Northwest Campus of Gateway Seminary.

The fall 2016 semester at the Pacific Northwest Campus of Gateway Seminary began with “the largest incoming class” since 1998, according to campus director Mark Bradley.

Among all the students beginning the fall term recently, 22 are new to Gateway Seminary. The school – formerly known as Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary – changed its name earlier this summer.


 “The diversity of our new students is strong,” Bradley noted. “Of the 22, five are Korean, two are Hispanic, two are African-American, one is Vietnamese, and three are female. They include many church planters, an IMB missionary, pastor’s children, a pastor’s wife, an aspiring worship leader, and an aspiring hospice chaplain.”

Journey to East Asia Creates Lasting Bonds

By Sheila Allen

September 29, 2016

Warmth enveloped Northwest volunteers as they took their first breaths upon arrival at their destination in East Asia, a vivid reminder not only of the tropical climate, but also the reception given to team members who joined hands for a worthy cause.


Phil Wardell*, IMB’s East Asia affinity leader, 18 months earlier asked Northwest Baptist Convention volunteers to staff an affinity group meeting in fall 2016, the first such gathering in seven years. The request shared potential service opportunities that included full day programming for 450 children and youth, information technology support, medical personnel, security and more for the large conference.


A year of prayer and planning preceded the journey of 163 Northwest Baptists who traveled halfway around the globe and selflessly gave their time, resources and boundless energy to serve those on the frontline of international gospel efforts.


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NW Volunteers Make a Difference

By Sheila Allen

September 29, 2016

A Northwest team provided full day programming for second graders at the recent East Asia AGM.

Editor’s note: Security concerns prevent publication of most names associated with the recent affinity group meeting (AGM) held in Asia.


Stark reminders of personal costs for those advancing the gospel in international settings were on display for Northwest Baptists who traveled to Asia recently to serve Southern Baptist global workers. Many volunteers were reminded anew of the toll some shoulder not only for themselves but also for their families as they seek to live out the call on their lives for the nations.


“AGM means connecting and reconnecting with people who share life with us every day, but distantly,” said an international worker. “It is sitting down for meals with long-time friends, those who care enough to circumscribe the globe to serve with us and listening to one another’s stories, celebration, hurts and just letting our hair down.”


The conference offered daily opportunities for worship among colleagues and friends in their heart language, that they did not have to prepare or lead, a rarity in most settings.

Missionary First Person Account

By Susan Vessey

September 29, 2016

The Walk

In the months since accepting the International Mission Board’s retirement incentive, I have thought back over my years on the field. In summer 1977, I was among eight Baptist Journeymen with the Foreign Mission Board (now the IMB) who went to serve two years in Japan.  Our first two weeks there, a missionary couple who had gone to Japan not long after World War II oriented us to the culture -- introducing us to the food, customs and beliefs of the Japanese people.  After that, each of us traveled to locations where we would serve. 


I flew to the southern island of Kyushu to its most well-known city, Nagasaki, staying the first two weeks there with Pratt and Rita, a missionary couple with whom I would work.  After my first week there, Rita took me two streetcar stops from their house to visit the little two-room apartment that would be my home.   Rita left me to work on the apartment, telling me just to return to their house in time for dinner. 


When it came time to return to their house, I decided to walk back rather than taking the streetcar. Rather than following the streetcar line, I struck out on what seemed to be a more direct route over the hill to their house.


I’m not adventuresome.  People sometimes think I am since I’ve lived in five very different countries over the years.  Instead, I’m someone who appreciates the secure and doesn’t find change easy.  The reason I made it while living overseas speaks volumes about who God is and hardly anything about me.


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