Staff Picks from 2020

Favorite stories, videos, photos and designs from the IMB communications team

Editor’s note: The Global Communications Team at IMB is responsible for creating the graphics, photos, videos and stories you see on IMB’s website and beyond. We hope you enjoy looking through some of our favorite content from this year.

“This is a popular tourist spot in Prague, the Lennon Wall, where people go and write their message of love and take a selfie. I thought the picture of this wall sums up the year of 2020 pretty well. We have all been affected by COVID-19 in one way or another this year. Even the legendary singer was not immune from having to put on a face mask for protection from the virus. The message on the wall says, ‘all you need is love.’ Yes, we need more love, but that love has to be God’s sacrificial love to change this world. Hopefully, in 2021 John will not need his face mask anymore and his wall would say instead, ‘all you need is Christ!’” – Luke In, photographer, Prague, Czech Republic


“Since the IMB has done many stories about Sam James and honored his remarkable missionary work in many ways, it was definitely an honor to be able to interview him for the 175 project. This story he told me was just a brief aside in the midst of many other questions about him and Rachel starting their work in Vietnam, working to design ILC and other highlights from his missionary career. However, I love this story because it highlights the vulnerability of learning language and getting to know the people you’re seeking to serve, yet also the instant human connection that can be made when you’re not too proud to say the wrong thing in an unfamiliar tongue!” – Alex Smith, video archivist and editor, Richmond


Sudanese villager

Permanent resettlement not a reality for 99 percent of refugees

“Though this was a difficult story to tell, it was a reminder that many of the stories that most need to be told are the ones that cause your heart to break—that pulsating hurt that leads to action. Listening to missionaries share the heartbreaking reality that the majority of refugees will never be permanently resettled is sobering and tragic. Imagine living a life of sustained and ongoing trauma where there is no permanency, no stability and often no safety. I plan to continue to advocate for refugees, and I hope you are moved to do so as well.” – Caroline Anderson, writer, Thailand. Read the full story here.


11-year-old’s challenge to give $32 to IMB raises $13,000—and counting

“I loved everything about the stories on Abby and her gift to missions. Her expression in the video when she found out the total given was over $13,000 is something I could watch over and over. The total given today is close to $20,000! May we all be this excited to give and see others give to support missions around the world.” – Leslie Peacock Caldwell, senior editor, Richmond. Read the full story here.


Open windows in Madrid allow missionaries to let praises ring

“As our team navigated how to share God’s continuing work among the nations in a global pandemic, this story and video of two missionaries who used their gift of music to share the hope of Christ with their apartment complex in Madrid cheered my soul. I’m so grateful for them and for the way God used their creativity to make His name known.” – Ann Lovell, internal communications director, Richmond. Read the full story here.








“The graphic series of 12 stories on Global Highlights was very meaningful to me because each week we looked at the data with a fresh eye and tried to convey it visually to our audience. For each affinity I tried to highlight unique statistics and challenges so Southern Baptists could download the graphic and know how to pray.” – Terry Pedigo, graphic designer, Richmond. View the Annual Statistical Report here.


Downloadable Tech Backgrounds 2020

“I love the IMB tech backgrounds that reflect the people and cultures of the world each month on my laptop, while also providing a calendar (always useful!) As I look at the faces or the geography in the stunning images, there’s an opportunity to pray for the people pictured, or the people who live in that place. And it’s a reminder of what an amazing Creator God we love and serve. Each month I look forward to seeing who will be featured.” – Julie McGowan, AVP of communications and public relations, Richmond. View the Downloadable Tech Backgrounds for 2020 here.


“At the end of a year that has been unforgettable in so many difficult ways, it has been a source of immense joy and hope to reflect back on my last overseas photography assignment in February 2020, just before the COVID crisis halted international travel. During a few memorable days I walked alongside IMB personnel and national partners as they demonstrated God’s love in action among the “trash eaters” of Naivasha, Kenya. When I am shooting photographs I sometimes observe small details that powerfully illustrate the story. This unpublished photo from the assignment spoke volumes to me about the compassion and practical love shown by IMB worker Kristen Lowry to each of these street boys, whose clothing and appearance would cause many of us to find an excuse to look the other way.” – Hugh Jackson, photographer, England

Week of Prayer for International Missions: Day 1

“I too was moved by the story in Kenya. I am immensely grateful for the opportunity I had to travel to Kenya in February of this year, before COVID put the world on hold. After witnessing firsthand how our IMB missionaries sacrificially share God’s love to the nations and provide physical help to those in need, I left Kenya encouraged and inspired. Telling the story of how God is at work through IMB missionary Kristen Lowry and the Children’s Shelter will forever hold a special place in my heart.” – Catherine Finch, writer, Richmond. Read the full story here.


“This is a design for the Student team for their SendMe campaign. This was one of my favorite projects this year because it allowed me to do some hand drawn illustrations, something that I love but seldom get the opportunity to do. I completed three designs for the campaign – one that represented a jungle location, one a desert location and one urban location. The urban location is special to me because I chose to use my own city, Vienna, Austria, as my inspiration. I built in iconic Viennese structures as the background and an image of our actual streetcar that runs through our neighborhood.” – Patrick Royals, graphic designer, Austria


“My highlight of the IMB’s year has to be the IMB Commemorative Coffee Table Book. As one of the IMB’s photographers I was thrilled to see this project come together and the final product exceeded my greatest expectations. The quality of the book is on par with the finest art books. When I got my copy I went through it several times just admiring the pictures. Then over the next few weeks I took the time to delve into the 175 years of amazing stories of Baptist mission work around the world. It is quite a testament of how God has used so many generations of faithful Southern Baptists to give sacrificially, go to the unreached and pray for the nations. Everyone passionate about missions should have a copy!” – William Haun, photographer, Ghana. Purchase your copy of the Coffee Table Book here.