Maguire State Mission Offering 2014 Season of Prayer: Daily Prayer Guide
Sep 5, 2014
By BARBARA DENMAN
Florida Baptist Convention
Working bivocationally at Starbucks while planting Crestview’s Mosaic Church, James Ross often invited coworker Marisela Davis to church. After four years of unfulfilled promises, she visited, heard the gospel and accepted Christ as Savior. Her life has been radically transformed.
God is changing lives through Mosaic, which draws from one of the fastest growing regions in the nation—the Destin-Fort Walton-Crestview corridor adjacent to the Eglin Air Force Base. Many of the 200-plus in attendance are military families.
The contemporary church, planted in 2008, has had difficulty finding a permanent location. As Mosaic grew, a nearby church found itself declining with only a handful of members. The two churches merged and the older congregation gave their property to Mosaic, thus maintaining a Southern Baptist witness in that location.
Armed with an interest-free loan from the Maguire State Mission Offering, Mosiac is now transforming the 1950’s facility into a contemporary style worship center that will continue to draw spiritually lost seekers.
“With this loan, we have remodeled in a way to go forward with full strength to reach more people,” said Ross.
Pray for James Ross and his family as he continues to seek nonbelievers and the Mosaic Church as it transforms its community for Christ.
When Peter Vega went on his first mission trip to Western Cuba in 2011, he had no idea that God had bigger plans for him.
Returning home, “I felt a strong tugging on my heart. I asked my wife to pray with me because I sensed God was calling me out for Cuba,” he recalled.
As Vega and his wife prayed, John Holloway, Florida Baptists’ partnership missions strategist, was praying for a layman to help lead a new partnership between the Florida Baptist Convention and Eastern Cuba Baptist Convention.
Today, Vega, a retired military man who participated in military missions throughout the world, has embarked on a new mission as Florida Baptists’ volunteer coordinator with the Eastern Cuba Baptist Convention.
The Eastern Cuba partnership will focus on evangelism, church planting and leadership development, undergirded by funds from the Maguire State Mission Offering.
Pray for Peter Vega as he discerns and follows God’s leadership in Florida Baptists’ new partnership with faithful believers in Eastern Cuba.
Megan sang “Jesus Loves Me” to Guatemalan children, separated from their families, as they spent time in a malnutrition center regaining their health so they could eventually return home.
Amber walked through the streets of Bruhl, Germany, praying for the physical and spiritual needs of the German people.
Olivia taught English classes to university students in East Asia, seeking opportunities to share the gospel. Serving in different parts of the world, participating in different activities, meeting different people, Megan, Amber and Olivia are just three of the 200 college-aged student missionaries sent out annually by Florida Baptists.
“God uses students to bring change through them and to them,” said Lance Beauchamp, campus minister for Baptist Campus Ministries at Florida State University.
Student mission trips, funded in part by the state mission offering, “open the eyes of the students to a whole new world of purpose and people that need the gospel,” he explained.
Pray for Megan, Amber and Olivia as they continue to seek God’s leadership and for the many college students who will follow in their footsteps, touching lives with God’s love through collegiate world missions.
At age eight, Ami Martinez attended the Florida Baptist migrant children’s camp and made a decision to accept Christ, changing her life for eternity. Now returning as a camp counselor, the young woman led four young girls to Christ this past year.
The migrant community is a “mission field,” Martinez asserted. “You don’t have to go to another country when there are so many needs right here; so many children need to know Christ.”
The camp, held in December at Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center, pampers the migrant children with presents, food, fun and the love of Christ.
Thirty percent of the campers are unchurched; brought by pastors as an evangelistic outreach. Counselors are sensitive to spiritual needs of the children—22 campers prayed to receive Christ in 2013.
Migrant families with multiple children earn as little as $5,000 a year. Few would be able to afford for their children to participate in the camp. The Maguire State Mission Offering underwrites the cost of the camp, assisted by donations from churches and associations.
Pray for the migrant children who will attend this year’s camp that they will embrace the love of Christ and the gospel message.
After crying out to the Lord to remove his cravings, Pat McArthur escaped years of drugs and alcohol abuse and now by the grace of God has embraced seven years of sobriety. During his most desperate days, he spent 17 years in prison.
Now as pastor of Shady Sea Missionary Baptist Church in Crawfordville, he knows how difficult it is for persons leaving prison to get their life back in order. They are released with a little money, one set of clothes, and many times no family to embrace them or support their return.
With the blessings of his congregation, McArthur has begun a transitional home for newly released prisoners where they study the Bible, attend Celebrate Recovery and do odd jobs to help others in the economically hard-hit Panacea community where the home is located.
“If the gospel truly changes lives, and the Lord reaches His grace out to everyone, regardless of sin, someone has to be salt and light to the captive,” said Sean McMahon, director of missions for the Florida Baptist Association. “Pat is doing this.”
Pray for Pat McArthur and the Shady Sea congregation as they seek to be the Light of Christ to a segment of society most people choose to ignore.
The clang of the prison door is a familiar sound to Rick McClung.
As associate pastor for community evangelism at First Baptist Church in Panama City, McClung embraces his heart’s desire to reach people for Christ and help them overcome their addictions.
He travels to five prisons and Bay County jails to teach the Most Excellent Way, a faith-based program designed to help those who struggle with alcohol and drug abuse.
The program also is a vital outreach of the downtown church. Between 80 and 100 former addicts attend weekly support groups and Bible studies targeting their needs.
Hundreds come to Christ through the church’s ministry, said Pastor Craig Connor. “We discovered the majority of inmates in prison were there because of substance abuse. We offer them freedom in Christ.”
More than 100,000 prisoners are housed by 55 state prisons. For Florida Baptists to reach their state for Christ, they must embrace the evangelization of this population, larger than many towns across the state.
Pray for Rick McClung and those who his ministry has touched as he disciples them; and for those prisoners he continues to reach that the truth shall set them free.
Sometimes when people set foot in Miami for the first time, they wonder if they are still in the United States, according to Jose Abella, pastor of Providence Road Church there.
In the city of 5.6 million people, half were born in other countries. Two-thirds of Miami’s residents are Hispanic; 18 percent are African American; and 15 percent are Anglo. In the area’s schools, 180 languages are spoken.
“Miami is international,” he said, “and the gospel is international. It is for everybody.”
The second most unchurched city in America, Miami is one of 30 key cities included in the North American Mission Board’s “Send” evangelistic church planting strategy.
About three and a half years ago, Abella, with a team of two other ministers, Alex Comesañas and Jesse Crowley, planted Providence Road Church.
Since that time, the trio has embraced Florida by confronting Miami residents with the claims of Jesus Christ.
Last summer, with funding from the Maguire State Mission Offering, the church held two Vacation Bible Schools—one at their church facility and the other in a local park—and also a Christian concert in the park.
Pray for Jose Abella and Providence Road Church as together they reach out to Miami residents with the gospel message.
Courtney Dobson and her family serve Southern Baptists in a strife-ridden Middle Eastern city of 20 million people because Florida Baptists sponsored GA camp where she served as a counselor. It was there that God called her unambiguously to His service, leading her far from home.
Dobson, whose name cannot be released for security reasons, and all of the ministries you have prayed for during the past week, have benefitted from Florida Baptist gifts to the Maguire State Mission Offering.
Through the offering, Florida Baptists can Embrace Florida by being a blessing to those who are taking His name into the highways and byways of the state—to undergird, encourage and strengthen them by giving, praying and going.
As you consider your gift to the Maguire State Mission Offering, reflect on the urgent spiritual needs as you “Embrace Florida.”
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