TAYLORS, S.C. — “We do not have lofty goals of world success,” missionary Christine Moffett said. “Our desire is simply to live through Christ and to proclaim His message of grace and salvation.”
Moffett, a South Carolina native, was among 89 new missionaries appointed by the International Mission Board (IMB) during a March 18 service at Taylors First Baptist Church in South Carolina, bringing the current missionary count to 5,569. The new appointees will serve throughout the world, joining missionaries in all of the board’s current 11 regions of service. The March appointment service would have been the IMB’s fourth-largest group of appointees had 14 more approved missionaries been able to participate. The 14 are delayed because their stateside houses have not sold yet.
Moffett will be serving with her husband Andrew in Argentina.
Three couples with N.C. ties also were appointed.
Russell and Ingrid Woodbridge will be serving in church and leadership development in Central and Eastern Europe. Woodbridge was assistant professor of theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest and also was missions pastor at The Summit Church in Durham. The Woodbridges have four children, ages 6 and 12.
Jeremy and Deanna McSwain, both Shelby natives, have also been appointed to Central and Eastern Europe but in community outreach/development. They have two children, ages 3 and 8.
He previously was on staff at Crestview Baptist Church in Shelby and was an educator. Most recently, Deanna was working at a Shelby jeweler.
Appointed as strategy coordinator to Middle America & Caribbean, Jaime and Myrna Pagan have three children, ages 4 to 12.
Myrna has been a teacher, assistant principal and principal in the Raleigh area. Jaime was an environmental engineer in Durham. They are members of Apex Baptist Church in Apex.
Officials said other N.C. missionaries were appointed but names were not available because of security concerns.
God wants to “turn the hearts of people to what only Jesus can provide,” IMB President Jerry Rankin said in addressing the new missionaries.
Speaking from Colossians 1, Rankin encouraged each person to use the Apostle Paul’s prayer for spiritual provisions as an example — pray to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will, to always walk in a manner worthy of the Lord and to be strengthened by His power and presence.
Being a missionary is not just a job, Rankin reminded, but rather a witness for Jesus Christ, a representative for Him in a lost world.
The most effective witness of Christians is the way they live their lives. Believers need to “demonstrate peace in the midst of adversity, joy in all circumstances,” Rankin said.
Each new missionary carries the indwelling presence of Jesus Christ onto the mission field, he said. No believer is limited to his or her own strength and ability to handle difficulties.
“You folks are going to go through the fire again and again and again,” Rankin said.
“But you can be certain your Lord will show up and see you through.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE — Brandon is a writer with the International Mission Board.)