Platt urges new missionaries to look to Jesus

“He’s called your name,” IMB President David Platt told 51 new missionary appointees Sept. 13. “You are His.”

The appointees, along with friends and family and about 950 emeritus missionaries, were part of an International Mission Board Sending Celebration at Ridgecrest Conference Center in Black Mountain, N.C.

Platt spoke from Hebrews 11-12, describing men and women of faith.

“God is saying to you: Never stop looking to Jesus,” Platt said.

Hilda Cowsert, who was appointed as an IMB missionary to Brazil in July 1952, prays for new appointees during the September 2017 Sending Celebration at Ridgecrest. IMB Photo by Chris Carter

Hebrews shares quite a list of patriarchs, early fathers and mothers of faith, but Platt asked, “The Israelites? 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 anyone can do,” he said. “Faith is about what God can do through anyone. The whole picture is, you’ve got people of faith just holding on to His promises.”

He reminded the new missionaries to stay in God’s Word and to rest on God’s promises.

“No matter what happens to you, He has your back,” Platt said.

Called to go

Listing some missionaries who had died serving overseas, Platt noted that when the appointees go to orientation for field personnel 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.”

The new missionaries voiced story after story during the Sending Celebration of how God had gripped them with a call to missions.

David Flannery, former student pastor at Mountain View Baptist Church in Hamptonville, N.C., credited his father’s military career with opening his eyes “to the lostness in Europe” and, now, to missionary service based in Milan, Italy, with his wife Danielle and their son Kaleb.

David and Danielle 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. IMB Photo by Chris Carter

Danielle Flannery, who is expecting their second child, 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.

While all of the new missionaries have their own story, Platt emphasized, they are going out to share “the greatest news in all the world.”

Check out how you can go with IMB.

Pray now for those who go and those who need to hear the gospel.

Dianna L. Cagle is production editor for the Biblical Recorder, Baptist news journal for North Carolina. This story first published at