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Baptist Assembly 2024: Pentecost and the mission of God

On the day of Pentecost, a group of believers received the power of the Holy Spirit and were sent by God to be his witnesses “in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of earth.” (Acts 1: 8)

God is still sending people out in the power of the Spirit to be his witnesses today – not just from the West to the rest, but from anywhere to everywhere.  

At the Baptist Assembly 2024, Baptists met to celebrate the day of Pentecost and reflect on what it means to be filled afresh with the gift of the Spirit. BMS World Mission shared about how people across the world are finding abundant life in Christ in so many ways.

The road to reconciliation

Division and rift are an inevitable part of life but as Christians we are called to reconciliation, which can be a hard, long and costly journey. On Friday, Matty Fearon, Editor of Mission Catalyst, and Arthur Brown, Director for World Mission, shared what they had learnt about seeking reconciliation from the Lebanese theologian Martin Accad.

After living through a civil war, Lebanese people from all sides are experimenting with Martin’s work to heal deep divisions between people who are very convinced of their own perspective on the conflict. Churches are still learning how to “clothe themselves with kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” (Colossians 3: 12-14)

Their experience of seeking reconciliation means that Lebanese Christians have much wisdom to share with churches in the UK. Matty and Arthur explored what it might mean for UK churches to allow kindness and love to direct our relationships and disagreement.

Don’t forget this country…

On Saturday our new mission worker Oksana* spoke to attendees by video from Afghanistan. She urged us to not to forget the country. Whilst Afghanistan may no longer be in the headlines, there are now harsh restrictions imposed on women by the ruling government. New laws mean that women can’t even go for a picnic in the park with their family.

God is still at work in Afghanistan through the practical love of faithful Christians. “Even if we cannot share by our words, we can by our deeds,” said Oksana. “We are hoping that we can be a testimony to God’s glory in our country.”

Pentecost and gender justice

Annet Ttendo Miller, BMS Gender Justice Co-ordinator, powerfully prayed for the women of Afghanistan after Oksana spoke. Ttendo has written a gender justice charter to ensure that all BMS work reflects a commitment to gender justice. This has now been translated from English into eight different languages: Arabic, Bengali, French, Hindi, Nepalese, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swahili.

BMS mission workers and partners read out the charter in six of these languages. It was moving on the weekend of Pentecost to hear Christians speaking in their own language about their commitment to gender justice. Here was a picture of a diverse Church, united by one Spirit, affirming the equal dignity of women and men.

Ttendo powerfully prayed for the women of Afghanistan.

You will be my witnesses…

On Saturday evening four new mission workers – Oksana, Lucia Bastos and Ingrid and Roger Hamlet – were commissioned by BMS General Director, Kang-San Tan.

It was so encouraging to see God call people from both the Majority World and the UK to serve in mission. All those years on from when God first poured out his Spirit, Jesus is still sending out people to be his witnesses from anywhere to everywhere.

*Name changed for security reasons.

Author: Chris Manktelow

Photos: Ed Axtell

Published: 20/07/2024

How to pray

Please pray that God will soften the hearts of Afghanistan’s leaders towards women. You can also pray that the translation of the BMS Gender Charter will make gender justice “the air we breathe” at BMS and pray that our new mission personnel will know the Spirit’s power and be witnesses of God’s love.

For daily prayer points from all our partners on the ground, why not sign up to receive Engage magazine, and get the BMS Prayer Guide delivered free, three times a year?

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By completing this form, you are confirming that you are happy for us to contact you. You can change your mind at any time by emailing supporterservices@bmsworldmission.org or phoning 01235 517638. We will never sell your data and we promise to keep your details safe and secure. We are registered with the Fundraising Regulator.

For more details on how we use and protect your data, visit www.bmsworldmission.org/privacy