September 29, 1999

Valley Baptist Missions/ Education Center:
New promised land needs education

___Ruby Red grapefruit, white-wing dove hunts, winter vegetables, South Padre Island and King Ranch chicken describe southernmost Texas to some. Yet the gateway to NAFTA, maquiladoras, a Hispanic populace and River Ministry witness also picture the Rio Grande Valley. As the Valley goes, so goes Texas, the crossroads to Central and South

American manufacturing, consumer markets and people. What does this mean to Texas Baptists in 1999? A new promised land for Christian education and evangelism partnerships in the new millennium.
___For 50 years, Texas Baptists have provided hundreds of young people the privilege of a high school education at Valley Baptist Academy.
___The VBA heritage and the continued support of the Baptist General Convention of Texas will enable Valley Baptist Missions/ Education Center to continue the secondary schooling of VBA and will expand the ministry of Christian education with partnerships and opportunities in theology and church lay leadership training and university studies.
___The privilege to study the Bible in a Baptist university or a seminary has not been a reasonable dream for most Valley Baptists. That is why VBMEC has accepted II Timothy 2:15, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth," as the scriptural guidance.
___We have accepted the challenge to meet the hunger of Christian study for ministers, leaders, lay people and youth in the Valley, but we will need Texas Baptist prayers and support in the good years to come.
___The good news today is that the center's Harlingen Christian School/Valley Baptist Academy boarding and day student enrollment is up 33 percent, and the center's educational divisions are offering a second annual schedule of university, theology and leadership courses in partnership with Howard Payne University, Hardin-Simmons University, Hispanic Baptist Theological School and Texas Baptist Leadership Center. Also, the center provides facilities to help Texas Baptists who do mission work in the Valley.
___The center has many unique on-campus opportunities for others to be a part of the new promised land. We need Christian college and seminary students as semester interns, retired people as campus craftsmen, teachers as tutors, church groups for summer work projects and everyone's prayers.
___If you have an interest in helping the center in the Christian education promised land or just want to know more about VBMEC, call (956) 423-0632 or fax (956) 423-7913; visit our new website: www.vbmec.org; or write Valley Baptist Missions/ Education Center, 3700 E. Harrison, Harlingen 78550.


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