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Unreached People Groups

What Missions Conference Means to Me

As I became older, missions became more than just missionary displays and signatures in my Bible.
 |  Brian Ragle  |  Unreached

As I reflect on the Missions Conference here at First Baptist Church, my heart and mind race back to my childhood. Missions Conference was the spiritual highlight for our church every year. In fact, this is still true for our church today. It was not just another time set aside for preaching. It was a time set aside by our church for God to work in the midst of our congregation concerning missions. I always anticipated who God was going to call out from among our body to go to the mission field.

My first encounter that I truly remember was when I was in the fourth grade. This was not by any means a spiritual encounter. I just remember being introduced to a young boy who was going to be in our school for one year only. Our teacher began to tell us that this young boy’s family were missionaries to Mexico and that they were coming home on furlough. This young boy became my best friend that year.

When I was in elementary school, I was so excited to see the missionary displays. It fascinated me to see what the missionaries brought back to put on their display so we could visualize that part of our world. At that time, I did not see the faces that needed Him. They were just people that looked different than me. We went from display to display seeing all of the artifacts and enjoyed getting our Bibles signed by these men. I still have the Bible that was signed so now I can look at the names of these men and understand what God called them to do.

Growing up here my entire life allowed many seeds to be planted in my life concerning missions. As I became older, missions became more than just missionary displays and signatures in my Bible. Missions became real when I visited the country of Germany my senior year. I was able to see the faces of the people of Germany that did not know that there was a Redeemer ready to redeem them. These folks were different than me, but we both had the same need. My need was met when I asked Jesus into my life as a second grader, but their need had not been met yet.

Last year, I had the opportunity to visit our El Paso property during the 100 Men Retreat. What a wonderful time of fellowship we had with the men of First Baptist Church. I remember getting on that bus and making my first trip into Mexico for a Sunday evening service. I saw poverty like I have never seen it before. Children were running in the streets. Homes were tiny, gated, and made as secure as they possibly could with what they had in their possession. My heart was broken for the people of Mexico.

Immediately, I had to thank God for all that He blessed me with in my short life. It was hot and I remember sweating profusely on the way to the service. It was even hotter when we were in the church building. This did not affect the congregations worshipping of the Lord. I saw a people that desired to worship the Creator.

I share this testimony so that you can see how early the idea of missions was planted in my life here at First Baptist Church. Many families surrendered during this time and went to the mission field. I am reminded of God’s truth in the Bible found in Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Our ministry continues today to sow the seeds of missions in the hearts of our people. We have the wonderful privilege to print the Word of God here with the ministry of Bearing Precious Seed. This message though must have a messenger. Pastor Duttry’s philosophy, “training Biblical mission-minded servants for all levels of ministry,” helps provide the necessary training for willing servants. We have taken this philosophy and implemented it here at Milford Christian Academy as well. We desire that our students will be exposed to this philosophy in every area of our school.

I am reminded of Romans 10:15, “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” I am so thankful for Pastor Duttry and his vision to invest in the lives of the people at First Baptist Church of Milford. He has a true desire to see people continue obediently in what God has called them to do. He also has a desire to make sure they are equipped for the ministry. I have the opportunity to meet with Pastor every week as the administrator of Milford Christian Academy, and I can honestly say that this is his heartbeat for every area of our ministries.

In closing, Missions Conference is the greatest spiritual highlight of the year for me at First Baptist Church. I anticipate God doing great things during this year’s conference. As I look at our students here at MCA, I know that God is going to call some of them to go, and my prayer is that they are obedient in answering the call! God is not done calling since the need is great. I truly believe He is calling more to go than ever before. Will you go if God calls you?