by Eddie Lyons
The Baptist Bible Fellowship International has, from its inception, been committed to missions. The key has been local churches working together. Our missionaries have transferred our Fellowship’s passion to the leaders they have trained all over the world. Today, the missionary outreach has multiplied as mission fields are now sending their own missionaries.
Recently, I was privileged to speak at the 60th anniversary of the church my wife’s father, Bob Hughes, planted in Cebu City, Philippines. Dr. Armie Jesalva has led this ministry for over 40 years. The evangelistic and church planting emphasis came across loud and clear during this great celebration. This ministry has planted over 400 churches. They have sent missionaries around the world. I met lay leaders in the church who now also pastor churches on nearby islands. Some of them continue to work in their professions during the week and spend their weekends serving as pastors. Evangelism and church planting is what makes this Fellowship so outstanding. The same can be said of the many mission fields all over the world. Our missionaries not only preach the Gospel and plant churches, they also instill within the leaders they train the DNA of the Baptist Bible Fellowship.
Missionaries approved by our Fellowship share their vision and ask churches to partner with them through monthly support. While this idea can seem quite ordinary, done over many years, it delivers amazing results — as seen in the story of Bob Hughes and Dr. Armie Jesalva in Cebu.
Let us not forget the power of local churches standing behind our missionaries to change the world. Missions continues to be our Fellowship’s focus.