by Darrell Goemaat
More international partners were still walking in the door on the second day of the All-Partners Conference in Bangkok when Hoi Cung Tum of Myanmar was speaking in the morning session about the foundation, duty, ministry, and result of the church.
Hoi Cung Tum is general secretary of the Chin Association of Baptist Churches, principal of Chin Baptist Theological College, pastor of Grace Baptist Church, and a member of the International Partnership of Fundamental Baptist Ministries Council of Eight.
He said that God’s heartbeat for people is that they might be saved, and the lostness of man is the heartbeat of the
New Testament church. He challenged the pastors to think about their preaching, saying, “Real change takes place when people hear the gospel. We fundamental preachers should depend upon the power of the Holy Spirit.”
The message was followed by a time of prayer, with the partners gathering in small groups around the auditorium.
For the next three days, each morning session will include an opportunity for guests to share 10-minute profiles of their country ministries. Each one shared his own challenges of evangelizing unreached people groups—often Hindus—and the specific ways God was growing and blessing their ministries.
Tuesday’s first three presenters were Pastor Priyanath Rufus of India, Pastor Kiatisak Siripandorn of Grace Baptist Church in Thailand, and Pastor Llunkhosa Singsit of Manipur, India. Other speakers included Pastor Gulshan Lal, Pastor M. Rejoppa, Pastor T. Nirmal Kumar, and K. Hezekiah Rajur.
After lunch, Dr. Jim Vogel, state representative of the Empire State Fellowship of Regular Baptist Churches, spoke on “Staying on Mission with the Great Commission.”
Jim said every local church should have a Great Commission vision. “God’s plan for reaching this world is through the local church—making disciples until Jesus comes. The Great Commission is the hub of the wheel that is the local church.”
Jim summarized the Great Commission. A disciple goes out and reaches the lost with the gospel; those who respond in faith become disciples who are baptized and indoctrinated in the local church; then those believers reach out to the lost. “And on and on and on it goes,” he said. “Disciples making disciples. This is God’s plan. There is no other plan! The greatest work that you and I can be involved in is bringing men and women to Jesus Christ.”
In the afternoon, Jim’s wife, Jeannie, spoke to a group of about 20 ladies in their own workshop about the importance of leaders leaving a legacy by being faithful to the end. Her theme was from Acts 20:24—“That I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
Jeannie, author of Accepting the Challenge: Leadership Lessons from the Life of Moses, pointed to the example of Moses, who was faithful to God despite what happened in his life. Moses praised God with three songs. “On each of those occasions, God did not give Moses good news, but he praised God anyway in each situation,” she said.
In the men’s workshop, Ariel Abadiano of Philippines-based PARTNERS International spoke about the importance of understanding the worldview and culture of another person in evangelism. He said it is important that people are guided about the content and context they need to provide for a lost person to have a faith response to the gospel.
Abadiano said, “To be fully understood and effective, people should be able to develop the God-given ability to discern what approach and Biblical context and content to use in evangelism.”
In the evening session, Dr. Samson Sathish Divakar of India spoke about the lostness of man. He gave examples of people who suppress the truth. “God’s general revelation is ignored by people and they are without excuse,” he said. “I sit down with people and ask them, ‘Who made the wood that your idol is made of? Do you understand the difference between the creature and the created?’ My message to us is that we make a fresh commitment to reach out to people of all races and regions with the gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Pastor JD Enosh of Faith Baptist Church in Karnataka, South India, is attending the All-Partners Conference for the second time. He said the first time he came he was motivated and challenged by the preaching.
He said, “This time I asked the Lord to speak to me. Being here is like charging my battery. As I was thinking about the heartbeat of God, it gives me a burden to strengthen and challenge our believers in the Lord.”
Darrell Goemaat is director of photography for the Baptist Bulletin.