June 2, 1999

Texas Partnerships embodies
commitment to missions

___"In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now" (Philippians 1:5).

___Texas Baptist involvement in missions is rooted in our commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord, who commissioned us to take the good news about him to all people everywhere. Neither humanitarianism nor the desire for adventure could explain the extensive involvement and generous financial contribution that characterize Texas Baptists. Rather, these are the results of a love for Jesus and a passion to help fulfill the Great Commission.
___The financial contribution has continued to be large. About one-half of all the money received from churches by the Baptist General Convention of Texas through Cooperative Program and direct gifts goes beyond Texas for various Baptist causes, most of these

Executive Director
BGCT Executive Board

related to home and international missions. No other state Baptist body comes close to the amount of dollars contributed to missions.
___The involvement of Texas Baptists has carried them to every part of our nation and world to proclaim the gospel and to minister to people in Jesus' name. Some of these have gone as career missionaries, committed to spending a lifetime in some other state or nation in order to reach persons there for Christ. Others have been involved in shorter terms of service, such as those related to Baptist Student Ministries, Texas Baptist Men or Mission Service Corps.
___Another dimension of personal involvement is through Texas Partnerships, previously known as Partnership Missions. The BGCT was the first state convention to have a staff member who devoted time exclusively to partnership missions. Now the BGCT staff has expanded to include several full-time people, plus a number of part-time and volunteer helpers.
___Texas Baptist long-term partnerships for missions have included a number of places in the world as well as states in our own country. Currently, extensive partnership efforts are under way in Australia, Estonia, Germany and the Northwest Baptist Convention. Plans are being formulated for a major effort in conjunction with other state conventions with the Baptists of the Northeast. Limited projects of Texas Partnerships are found in Cuba, Mexico, Brazil and Siberia. Prayer partnerships deal with Egyptian Bedouins, Bengali Muslims and Sundanese people of Indonesia. Requests under consideration include other states and nations. Volunteers are needed for all of these partnerships. Perhaps God's will is for you to be involved.
___Volunteers through Texas Partnerships typically serve for a short time, usually a week or so, paying their own expenses. In addition to short-term volunteers, Lay Envoys live in another nation, working in a secular job but giving much of their time to helping missionaries make and mature disciples and start and strengthen churches.
___People interested in serving through Texas Partnerships should contact Don Sewell, Director, Texas Partnerships, 333 North Washington, Dallas 75246; phone, (214) 828-5183; e-mail, sewell@bgct.org.
___Please pray for Texas Partnerships. Pray for Don Sewell and Joe Bruce as they lead this ministry. Pray for the thousands of people who will be volunteering to respond to the needs of people in various states and nations.


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