Our Journey to the Uttermost Parts
We have dreams. The broad strokes are clear in the Bible, stated as certainties, not possibilities or probabilities. Certainties. “You will be my witnesses.” Our church, First Southern Baptist, Caldwell, Idaho, has been pressing into those certainties confident that there we can share to a different people the abundant life God gives.
We have worked hard to be witnesses in our town. We support church planting in our region. We felt God leading us to do more. We were certain He had a people for us in the world to whom the good news has been seldom, if ever voiced.
Mike Hand, from the International Mission Board, captured us with a vision for unreached people groups around the world. We saw the great need and began asking God to show us how, when and where. He connected us with Brad Bessent.
Brad Bessent led a church like ours to follow God’s leading to the uttermost parts. He shared his story and their experiences. He is a real guy and they are a small church that God used in mighty ways.
Brad led us to explore options. We prayed over blank maps. We circled every place our eyes fell. We prayed for specific indicators. Our map has pictures of a canoe and a biscuit. I laugh now, looking at the map on my wall. By the end of Brad’s visit we were confident we also could do what we felt God was calling us to do.
After Brad’s visit we hosted missionaries on stateside assignment. We have been to many of these presentations. Most have been, regretfully, forgotten. We did not have “eyes to see” or “ears to hear.” God sent Brad and through him, prepared our eyes. When we entered the intersection of our seeking and God’s revealing we knew with certainty where we were to go and with whom we were to partner.
Six of us took a vision trip to a city of 3 million. It is the most concentrated center of unreached people groups in their country. We saw hard places, white fields and ways the Father will use us as laborers. We have heard God speak. The trajectory of our lives has been forever altered. The mission of our church now has the global component we sought. Brad’s consultation was an indispensible component of our journey.
By the way, our hosts prepared breakfast for us our first morning in the new city. Venture to guess what it was?
The canoe had become a blue canoe during our planning meetings. We toured the river that flows through the city anticipating a blue canoe and someone we could share with. There were dozens of blue canoes shouting from the Father, “This is our place, this is our city, this is our people.”
We will return, often.
Pastor, First Southern Baptist Church