Filipino Baptists plan to mobilize missionaries from the Philippines to join the International Mission Board in addressing global lostness. At a recent National Congress for Global Missions in Koronadal City, Mindanao Philippines, 12 new missionary candidates were presented to more than 400 attending the conference.
The Filipino Baptists from different conventions and organizations gathered to dream about the future and how they could weave their new missionaries into the IMB’s Global Missionary Partner program. The program will have missionaries from the Philippines (and other countries) work together with IMB missionary teams to be steadfastly present among those who have never heard the gospel.
Franklin Mariano, pastor and executive director of the Luzon Convention of Southern Baptist Churches, said he believes Filipino churches are uniquely positioned to get the gospel to their near neighbors who have yet to hear the good news.
“We are at the door of the 10/40 window,” Mariano said, referring to the world region with greatest concentration of people who have not been reached with the gospel. He urged fellow believers to take to heart God’s call to reach all peoples without boundaries — geographic or social.
One Sending Body (OSB), a Filipino Southern Baptist missions agency, has worked with the IMB since the organization began in 2008. It’s been years in the making — praying and training — to reach this point of sending and cooperating. In 2018, IMB personnel trained OSB leaders to build a sustainable system to raise up, send and support missionaries from the local church to the lost. In 2019, the OSB pledged to partner with the IMB to make disciples of all nations.
OSB represents five different conventions, seminaries, churches and the Filipino WMU organization. Historically, each sent their own missionaries independently — whether that was within the Philippines or a nearby country. Through OSB, the entities pooled their resources to train and fund missionaries. Global Missionary Partners who serve alongside IMB teams are fully funded by their sending agency, such as OSB.
“[There are] 2,000-plus Filipino Southern Baptist churches,” Jimmy Fundar, OSB president, said, as he pointed out the potential of what God can do through Filipino Baptists working together. “Missions is not an option. It is a mandate for us.”