BWA Connect January 2018
Happy New Year!!
From the General Secretarygensec
Elijah Brown

Is the Kingdom of God Enough?

In mid-2017, while traveling in Somalia to visit with a network of underground believers on behalf of the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, I was profoundly impacted by the testimony of Iman. Several years ago - though he had never met a Christian or seen a Bible - Iman's reading of the Quran led him to the conviction that God was revealing God's love to humanity through the person of Jesus Christ. 

Member Bodies in Action mbody

José Sebastián Latino, director of the Baptist School in Nicaragua, standing  by the many sports and other trophies the school won

Baptists are among the strongest Protestants throughout Nicaragua and are making a significant impact. The various ministries of the Nicaragua Baptist Convention are spreading the Gospel and meeting urgent needs.

One of the more notable institutions is the Baptist Hospital in the capital, Managua. Founded in 1930, the 130-bed facility was the first private hospital in Nicaragua and is one of six such private institutions in the country. The hospital serves about 400,000 in and outpatients each year and performs roughly 800 surgeries each month. It employs more than 600 persons, more than 60 percent being doctors and nurses.

In addition to general medicine, the Baptist Hospital operates the second largest dialysis clinic in Nicaragua. Started just three years ago, there are 50 dialysis units with plans to add 50 more by the end of 2018. It meets an urgent need. Though the causes have not yet been scientifically determined, residents of western Nicaragua, the sugar belt, suffer high incidences of kidney disease.

The hospital invests up to US$250,000 annually on social programs. Baptist pastors and their families and residents at the Baptist nursing home receive free medical care. Baptist church members receive medical services at a discount.

A total of US$3 million is being invested in expansion. Under the leadership of medical doctor Juan Carlos Solís, the hospital has improved its infrastructure. In addition to the new and expanding dialysis clinic and an intensive care unit, there were investments in new technological equipment for MRI, laparoscopic surgery and X-ray, among others.

The radio station, which began operation in August 1991, is at the forefront of Baptist mission and evangelism in Nicaragua, concerned not only in proclaiming the Gospel, but in promoting Christian and wholesome values and reaching the vulnerable.

With financing already secured, plans are to acquire a new transmitter in 2018, as well as a mobile studio. The transmitter is expected to broaden coverage across the country while reducing electricity, maintenance and other operational costs. The savings realized will go toward servicing the loan.

The Baptist school, which celebrated its centennial in 2017, is the oldest Baptist institution in Nicaragua. With 1,500 enrolled students, it runs from preschool right up to high school level. It has 130 full time staff, about 90 being teachers. The children of staff and Baptist pastors either attend for free or receive scholarships.
Nearly 100 percent of graduating students go on to university, testifying to the quality of the school's program and the high regard in which it is held. Some former students who are in the construction sector, such as architects and engineers, have made contributions to the expansion of the school.

Established 76 years ago, The Baptist seminary has just fewer than 100 enrolled students. It operates six extension centers in other parts of the country that include more than 160 students. While the student body is primarily Baptist, there are Moravian, Assembly of God and even a few Catholic students, as well.

One purpose of the extension centers is to make training more accessible and less costly and to reduce the dropout rate, which has been significant. Students at the seminary earn a bachelor's degree awarded by the Baptist University, which approved the curriculum, while the seminary awards its own diploma for a three-year program.
Church Spotlight church 

First Baptist Church, Temple, Texas, in the United States, believes "everybody has a mission or a ministry" and "members are equipped to be authentic disciples." They endeavor to lead persons to God and to grow in the ways of Christ.
The church community has worship at the center of life, focused on living according to God's word while contributing to God's work by walking with God's people and having an impact on the world. "We plan and expect for a refined quality in everything we do."
Through various Life Groups, First Baptist seeks to nurture and minister to members and others through service to the church, community and the world.
Congregants are encouraged to participate in member care, especially for those persons in hospital and nursing homes, as well as in teaching and mentorship, such as teaching or facilitating college life groups or mentoring students.
The Baptist World Alliance Global Impact Church is engaged in several mission opportunities, including Churches Touching Lives for Christ, which helps meet the physical and spiritual needs of those who are homeless or in need; Kids Against Hunger/Hope for the Hungry that feeds children locally and globally; Helping Hands and Family Promise, which help homeless and low-income families; and the Body of Christ Clinic, a provider of basic health care services.
Memoriam memoriam 

Norman Smith, pastor emeritus of the Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Rectortown, Virginia, in the United States, died November 6, 2017. He was 89 years old.
Prior to his retirement, Smith was pastor of Mt. Olive Church for more than 50 years. He began his pastoral ministry at Prosperity Baptist Church in 1961.
A bi-vocational pastor until 1983, he retired from the United States Postal Service to become full time pastor at Mt. Olive.
A former member of the Baptist World Alliance Commission on Baptist Heritage and the Baptist World Aid Committee, he was chair of the Executive Board for the Lott Carey Baptist Foreign Mission Convention, from 1988-2002.
Smith chaired the Northern Virginia Baptist Center Board and the Executive Board of the Northern Virginia Baptist Association; was president of the Northern Virginia Baptist Ministers Conference and the Fauquier County Branch of the NAACP; and was an organizer for the Fauquier County and Vicinity Ministers Coalition.
Called the "Dean of Preachers," Smith helped prepared about 66 ministers for ordination.
Funeral service was on November 15 at Mt. Olive Baptist Church-Centreville.
He leaves Grace, his wife of 67 years; daughters, Faithe, Leah and Lorri; and sons, Norman Jr. and Timothy.
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Baptist World AidBWAid 

The following are disbursements by Baptist World Aid during the month of December. Unless otherwise stated, amounts are in United States currency. 

South Sudan                  Food Relief                               $10,000.00
Zimbabwe                     Chicken Project                         $3,000.00

India                            Living Water Project                    $1,775.00

Latin America
Colombia                       Peace Building                           $6,000.00
*BWA Publications* Publications
*BWA Publications* Book

Engaging the Jubilee: Freedom and Justice Papers of the Baptist World Alliance (2010-2015)

Purchase at
Jesus Christ, the Door: The Official Report of the Twenty-first Baptist World Congress

Purchase at
About the Baptist World Alliance
The Baptist World Alliance, founded in 1905, is a fellowship of 238 conventions and unions in 124 countries and territories comprising 40 million members in 177,000 churches. Its priorities are nurturing the passion for mission and evangelism; promoting worship, fellowship and unity; responding to people in need; defending human rights and justice; and advancing relevant theological reflection.
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