August 4, 1999






Tell Texans Jesus saves,
WMU leadership challenged

___By Ken Camp
___Texas Baptist Communications
___WACO--Because they have been transformed by God's power, Christians have a responsibility to tell others "Jesus saves," speakers told about 1,200 participants at Texas Leadership Conference.
___The training event for Woman's Missionary Union of Texas leaders was held July 22-24 at Baylor University. Speakers wedded the conference theme, "Transformed to Take the Stand," and the theme for the upcoming Week of Prayer for Texas Missions, "Together Tell Texas Jesus Saves."
___"To take the stand is to be a witness, and Jesus calls us to be witnesses," said Bill Pinson, executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. "Witnesses have one task--to tell the truth as they have experienced it."
___While each person comes to Christ individually, the Christian life and witness is lived in community and carries a missionary mandate, Pinson said.
___"We can't have a healthy church unless we have a mission-minded church," he said.
___God is the ultimate encourager and enabler who offers his people the ultimate equipment--his spiritual armor, said Russell Dilday, BGCT president and professor of preaching at Baylor University.
NATHAN PORTER, world hunger consultant with the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission, explains to Michelle Marsden of Mineral Wells how rice bowl offering boxes can be used in local churches (Photo by Ken Camp)
___Dilday led a Bible study from Ephesians on the conference theme. Christians are transformed spiritually so they can share God's transforming power with others, he said.
___"Don't be ashamed of the best thing that ever came into your life," he said.
___Judy Hughes from Emmanuel Baptist Church in Waco described how her church's local English as a Second Language ministry had a global impact, thanks to one woman whose life was transformed.
___Josie lived near Emmanuel but pledged, "I will go to that church over my dead body."
___However, when the church offered free English classes, she enrolled. Through that ministry, she became a Christian who grew burdened for her unbelieving family in the Philippines.
___When members of the church learned about the difficult economic conditions Josie's family faced, they started sending assistance on a regular basis. And because Josie was concerned about her family's spiritual condition, the church contacted a Southern Baptist missionary in the Philippines who visited them.
___They were so appreciative of the love gifts Emmanuel Baptist Church had sent to them and of the English skills the church had taught their daughter, Josie's parents made their home available to the missionary as a preaching point.
___Even so, they still did not become Christians themselves.
___Finally, Josie made a trip the Philippines to witness personally to her family. On the front porch of their home, she led her mother, father and sister to faith in Jesus Christ.
___Featured missionaries at the conference included Sandy Wisdom-Martin, leader of church and community ministries for Arkansas Baptists; Ana Marie Houser, a "missionary kid" who has served in South Africa; and Karen and Frank Morrow, who work with an unreached people group.
___Morrow urged the Texas Baptist women to pray especially for the one-fourth of the world's population who lack access to the gospel message. He asked them to consider adopting a specific unreached people group.
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