Looking back at 2019

Editor’s note: As we look back at 2019, our editorial team selected our choices of IMB’s most significant moments told through stories and photos this year. 

Chitwood installed as IMB’s 13th president

Unity, fellowship and promises of mutual support characterized the installation of International Mission Board President Paul Chitwood and the Sending Celebration of 19 newly appointed international missionaries at Grove Avenue Baptist Church, in Richmond, Wednesday, Feb. 6. Chitwood is the 13th president of the 173-year-old International Mission Board, the largest denominational missionary-sending body among American evangelicals. Read the story: Togetherness, Unity Mark Presidential Installation and Sending Celebration

Chitwood family visits Uganda

In April, Chitwood, his wife, Michelle, and their 12-year old daughter, Cai, traveled to Uganda to see the work of IMB missionaries there. The weeklong trip included stops in the capital city of Kampala to meet with missionaries focused on urban ministry and in Jinja to visit the Uganda Baptist Seminary. Read the story: Missionaries to IMB President Paul Chitwood: ‘You’re one of us’

Sharing hope with Venezuelan refugees

In May, Chitwood visited Colombia and worked alongside IMB missionaries and Colombian and Venezuelan Baptist partners to meet the physical and spiritual needs of refugees fleeing Venezuela as a result of Venezuela’s economic collapse. In this first-person account, Chitwood shares his perspective of the hope IMB missionaries and Baptist partners are offering to those who have no hope. Read the story:  Hope-givers Reaching Lives on the Brink of Despair

Reaching East Asian herdsmen

It takes tents, sleeping bags, and a lot of food for Peter Station* to get out in the remote areas of his East Asian country — the places where the herdsmen live. He throws all his gear in the back of an SUV, drives several days into the wilderness and camps beside them so he can share the gospel with them. Read the story: Week of Prayer for International Missions: Day 3

Influencing generations in northern Ghana

Can a Christian become a chief in northern Ghana? Fifty years ago, this was unheard of. Then in the 1950s, the young son of a local tribal king was led to Christ by a missionary. He began attending church, and his brothers complained to the king that he was lazy because he refused to farm on Sundays. The king berated him and told him to renounce his newfound faith. The young man refused. Today, this young man and other Christians are chiefs of their tribes. In this fascinating photo collection, IMB missionary William Haun, who lives in northern Ghana and is known locally as “the young white men’s chief,” tells the story of the Christian chiefs of northern Ghana. Read the story: The Christian Chiefs of Northern Ghana

Partnering to advance the gospel

In August, IMB signed a historic covenant with One Sending Body, the sending entity of the five Southern Baptist conventions in the Philippines. The agreement forges an official partnership between the two missionary-sending organizations and facilitates teaming between Filipino and IMB missionaries to advance the gospel. Read the story: Filipino Baptists sign historic covenant with IMB

Fighting for the living in Poland

Kelvin Joseph*, an IMB worker in Poland describes his experience visiting cemeteries on All Saints Day. “I got saved and I realized this holiday doesn’t fit with the Bible. At first it was difficult,” a Polish Baptist friend told Joseph. “Now I feel like I am free. Now I realize it is important to fight for the people who are still alive. Here Polish people are celebrating dead people, but they are not thinking about those who are alive.” Read the story: All Saints Day: Celebrating the dead or fighting for the living

Giving to fulfill the Great Commission

Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, Georgia, received its largest one-day offering for Great Commission causes in the church’s history in a special collection Nov. 3. The offering, which totaled $5,104,848.09, honors outgoing pastor Bryant Wright and his wife, Anne, for 38 years of service and is totally devoted to fulfilling Christ’s Great Commission. Read the story: Johnson’s Ferry Baptist Church celebrates record $5.1M Great Commission Offering

Lottie Moon’s Church designated as historical site

Lottie Moon, one of Southern Baptists most famous missionaries, served as a missionary to China from 1873 until her death in 1912. Lottie’s legacy will now be preserved beyond the Southern Baptist realm. Wulin Shenghui Church of Penglai in Shandong province, where Lottie Moon was a member during her time in Dengzhou, China, has been designated as a nationally protected historical and cultural site by The State Council of the People’s Republic of China. Read the story: Chinese government designates Lottie Moon’s church as historical site

Creativity to advance the mission

If you’re heading to Mount Harmony Baptist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee, you don’t need to stop at a fancy coffee shop on your way to church. Multiflavored coffees and lattes will be ready for you when you arrive, served by smiling baristas. Donations at the coffee counter raise money for the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, but also raise awareness about the offering’s namesake. Read the story: Church gets creative with lattes for Lottie

Your gifts to the Cooperative Program and the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® allow 3,656 IMB missionaries around the world to share the hope of the gospel with those who have not yet heard. Thank you for your faithfulness to pray, give, go and send in 2019. We look forward to sharing more stories of God’s work around the world through your support of IMB missionaries in 2020!