IMB, SBTC booking vision trip to mainland China

The Southern Baptists of Texas Convention and the International Mission Board are sponsoring an April trip to China for pastors and lay leaders interested in taking mission teams there to work with IMB representatives.

The SBTC took a small group of pastors and lay leaders last March to China to gain a vision for the needs there, said Terry Coy, SBTC ethnic church planting strategist and the contact person for the ChinaVision 2004 trip.

China is the most populous nation on earth,” Coy noted. “The most generous estimate is that there are 100 million Christian believers. That is pretty impressive until one realizes that leaves 1.1 billion who are still lost without Christ. We arethrilled tobe partners with the IMB for theChinaVision trip. Our passionate desire is that many SBTC churches willdevelop partnerships with IMB teams on the fieldand have a directhand in penetrating the vast darkness of that land.”

The trip is scheduled April 12-22 and will involve developing a partnership between SBTC missions groups and an IMB team in the field. Specifically, the participants will discover the needs in select cities and among people groups there and gain “intense personal exposure to the heart of the strategy coordinator (SC) and to the population segment God has called them to reach,” according to the IMB.

An East Texas pastor (unnamed for security reasons) told the TEXAN that last year’s vision trip “confirmed in me the need to make sure I don’t waste my time, to present the gospel to people wherever I am, continually moving on to the next place.”

The same pastor said being surrounded by people with no knowledge of Christ caused him to grieve for the lostness there. “My heart was heavy as every time we passed by those thousands and thousands of people, I was reminded that they had not ever heard, ever.”

Another Texas pastor said the trip was the most important of his ministry career.

“The Lord has clearly called me to pastor here in Texas,” he said, “but he now has also called me to be an advocate for the people of China.” The pastor will take a group of 12-15 college students and adults to China early next summer for two weeks of gospel work involving prayer walking, evangelism and English instruction.

Each pastor who goes is encouraged to bring one person with him to help with the partnership. Wives are excluded from the trip by IMB request. Two pastors and those accompanying them will be assigned to each IMB strategy coordinator and location. A church profile will be requested from each participating pastor and fellowship.

The itinerary for the ChinaVision trip involves leaving April 12 and arriving in Hong Kong April 13 with orientation there on April 14. The group will arrive at its focus location April 15 staying through April 19, departing for Hong Kong April 20 and arriving home April 22.

The trip cost is $2,500 and includes plane fare, Hong Kong expenses, mainland China expenses, hotel, food, transportation, insurance, visas and other needs. A $500 deposit is due at the registration deadline on March 1, with the balance due March 15.

For additional information, contact Coy by e-mail at terryc@sbtexas.com or Cassy Pevehouse at cassyp@sbtexas.com or at 972-953-0878.

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