“He’s called your name,” David Platt told 51 new missionary appointees Sept. 13. “You are His.”
IMB photo by Chris Carter*
Danielle and David Flannery share about their call to the international mission field. The Flannerys are sent by Mountain View Baptist Church in Hamptonville, N.C., to share the gospel with European Peoples.
The appointees, along with friends and family and about 950 emeritus missionaries were part of a Sending Celebration at Ridgecrest Conference Center in Black Mountain, N.C.
Platt, the International Mission Board’s (IMB) president, shared from Hebrews 11-12, describing men and women of faith.
“God is saying to you: Never stop looking to Jesus” Platt said.
David Flannery, former student pastor at Mountain View Baptist Church in Hamptonville, N.C., credited his dad’s military career with opening his eyes “to the lostness in Europe.”
He and his wife, Danielle, plan to take their son, Kaleb, with them to Italy. Danielle said her time in France as an exchange student helped solidify her call to the international mission field.
“Through the outreach focus of our sending church, God has confirmed our call to European missions,” she said.
The couple, who is expecting their second child, will be serving in Milan.
North Carolina has three other appointee couples, all going to secure areas. Samuel and Hannah Lull,* Liam and Emily Halloway* and Thomas and Emma Parker* are going to three different areas: Northern Africa and Middle East, Central Asia and Southeast Asia, respectively.
Story after story was shared of how God gripped each appointee. While each has their own story, Platt emphasized that they are going out to share “the greatest news in all the world.”
He asked them to think back to the first time they knew of their sin before a holy God. “He’s the founder of your faith,” he said. “He’s the perfecter of your faith.”
While Hebrews shares quite a list of patriarchs, early fathers and mothers of faith, Platt warns not to “start to think those are giants of faith.”
“The Israelites?” Platt asked. “Would we call them giants of faith?
“They complained about everything, in spite of God’s faithfulness in bringing them out from under Pharaoh’s rule.
“Faith isn’t about what any one can do,” he said. “Faith is about what God can do through any one.
“The whole picture is, you’ve got people of faith just holding onto His promises.”
He reminded them to stay in God’s Word, resting on those promises.
“No matter what happens to you, He has your back,” Platt said.
Listing some missionaries who had died serving overseas, Platt shared that when the appointees go to field-personnel orientation in Virginia, “you’ll see a list of men and women who were living by faith when they died.”
“His power will strengthen you in your weakness,” he said. “His promises will never let you down. Never stop looking to Jesus.”
* Names changed.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Dianna L. Cagle is production editor at the Biblical Recorder, Baptist news journal for North Carolina.)