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Internship at BMA America

By Mati Spencer

I have always loved to write.

There’s just something about interweaving nouns with verbs, clauses with phrases, that allows me a great depth of freedom and creativity. This childhood interest soon turned to passion, though, when I decided I wanted to spend the rest of my life weaving together stories, specifically stories about the Lord.

Originally I wanted to enter into the political or investigative journalism fields. I knew the adrenaline rush from tracking down and discovering vital information would be addictive, yet I also knew I would eventually tire of the constant stream of corruption and lies that I would have to feed my readers.

After much prayer, I decided there was only one topic I could never tire of writing about, that I would consider a privilege to give to those who read the stories I had crafted. That topic was the gospel of Jesus Christ.

When considering a college that would equip me for writing about the Lord, Central Baptist College stood out. With its close proximity to the BMA America offices and its caring journalism staff, I soon began attending this school in Conway, Arkansas, three hours from my hometown of Washburn, Missouri.

I continued to grow in my knowledge and love of all aspects of journalism, taking classes and working for the Tower school newspaper. In my junior year of college, I applied for and received an internship at the BMA of America, where I am now learning under Holly Meriweather in their media department.

In this internship, I am completely at Holly’s disposal, observing what she does, and learning how to work in media ministry. I copyedit and proofread materials distributed by the BMA, including articles for mission:world magazine and Compass literature from DiscipleGuide.

I have also worked in raising awareness for Lifeword Sunday, and the new sponsorship program Lifeword is beginning for businesses and organizations to support the ministry.

Undoubtedly, God had a plan when he gave me a passion for him and a passion for writing. He knew I would desire to write for him and graciously led me to my current internship at BMA America. When I graduate from CBC in 2017, I will use the information learned in my internship and my undergraduate classes to share with people the hope of the world: Jesus Christ.

(Note by Holly Meriweather: Brandon Cox, pastor at Grace Hills in Rogers, Arkansas, encouraged Mati, who did not grow up in a BMA church, to consider CBC. We have appreciated her work at Lifeword and BMA Development and look forward to her continued internship in the fall semester after her summer-long mission work in Haiti.)

April Update from the Lingles

We Are Finally Mobile!

We decided when we moved to Thailand to not have a car the first few years. We did this because we knew it would force us out into public transportation. This would stretch us and make us learn more language, and give us opportunities to meet and share with taxi drivers and people. I met one of my best friend here in Thailand on the subway. I have also had the opportunity to share my faith with taxi drivers.

But, times are changing. We are now expecting our second baby in June, and we are SO thankful for a family in Fairfield, Tx that has purchased us a mini-van!! We have had it for a few days now, and it has been so much easier to get around and haul our stuff. Having this is a huge blessing, and we are so thankful!


Easter was special this year. We got to hear a good sermon from Jo, and Josie enjoyed her time in the nursery. The day before we had some people from the church come to our party to celebrate Easter with us. After they left, Brittney and I talked about how encouraging it was to have them come over and share their time and laughs with us.

Buying Bibles

Jo and I purchased 20 Bibles and 4 Study Bibles for the future to give out and use in our Bible studies. We are thankful for Mrs. Pam and members of New Hope for making it possible! Bibles are expensive in Thailand. This is because there is not a big demand for them so nobody in Thailand has the special machine and paper used to print Bibles, so they are made in Korea.


Editorial Bautista – April 2016

Writer´s Training

At this writing we are traveling to Mexico to attend the BMA of Mexico national meeting. During that time we will meet with the writers there to select a place and time for the second section of training on how to plan a curriculum.

We are also in the process of planning writers conferences in Central and South America.


Back in the 1970´s an 18 year old girl came to work at Casa Bautista Misionera de Publicaciones, which is now Editorial Bautista.

For over 40 years Gloria Hidalgo has worked in BMAA Spanish publications, not only as a translator and graphic designer (her favorite jobs), but also as secretary, artist, and even running the presses and collating materials.

The desire she has often expressed of leaving this world sitting at her computer working on Spanish literature is a reflexion of her devotion.

Last fall Gloria began working on curriculum for Junior high students, which has been on her heart for years. She was able to finish 2 quarters before being diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer which had spread all over her body.

We ask you to please remember this faithful warrior in the Lord´s work, her husband, Federico, son Eric, daughter, Cristina, her mother, Ann, and her 2 grandsons in your prayers.



Experience Makes A Difference!

The following is an email sent to Missionary Care Director Bro. Jerry Kidd from Myint Aung, missionary to Burma (Myanmar). He and his wife Mal were last-minute attendees of the Asia-Pacific Missionary Care Conference February 8-12. Lifeword’s Burmese speaker and BMA Missionary Rama (and wife Lalhmu) Bochung also attended:

Myint and Mal Aung

Myint and Mal Aung

The Family Care Conference in Manila had been a blessing for us.

BMA’s Asia-Pacific Family Care Ministry Conference in Manila (Philippines) was a special one for us. From Myanmar Rama and Lalhmu, my wife Mal Sawmi and I were able to join and participate in it without much preparation in advance. Sarah Hamilton was so quick and so helpful in everything when we needed information or helps. I give you credit, Sarah, for your hard work! We are so glad we have come and joined with you as family at this peaceful and lovely conference.

As I know it was a conference created, sponsored, hosted and led by the BMA Family Care Ministry. I don’t know how many times our BMA’s Family Care Ministry had been having this kind of conference in the past. I sincerely hope it will have again and again in the future because it is so enjoyable and so good for the missionaries who attended, in many ways. Thanks be to God. And thank you, Bro. Jerry Kidd, for this family conference so nicely done under your guidance and leadership.

For us it was an experience we will not easily forget. We were able to meet and get to know other missionaries who are serving the Lord in Asia-Pacific region such as, India, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, etc. We also had opportunity to meet and get to know a team of those who had come from America to this conference including Mrs. Sue Kidd. It was also a time of reunion with old friends and with those we had not seen for a long time. Above all, we had opportunity to make friendship and fellowship with other missionaries, and to pray for one another, from this conference. This, we would never get unless we have come together at one place, like this.

Rama and Lahlmu Bochung

Rama and Lahlmu Bochung

At this conference we heard great preaching from the Word of God every evening. We also sang great songs every day and night. I realized that we came here together not to shut our hearts, mouths, eyes and ears! It is important that we must open them all when we come to this kind of conference so that we would not be left behind. All were enjoyable!

Great learning! The lectures taught and explained to us every morning by our BMA Foreign Missions Director Bro. Phil Knott was very good. The Guiding Vision of out BMA Missions and many others that we learned from Bro. Phil Knott’s power point presentation were excellent! Many others who took parts in the leading, sharing and teaching in those many sessions during the conference did so well. No one could have done it better.

We thank God, and had really appreciated and enjoyed our participation at this conference. The worship, fellowship, friendship were all warm and lovely. Everybody there was friendly, polite, and loving. It was a conference nicely done in a Christian, family, care and love atmosphere. We now know how to pray and what to pray for one another who are serving the Lord in various countries of Asia-Pacific region. We will remember each other in prayers, and we will always remember this conference. I believe it is a blessing for all of us.

The BMA Family Care Ministry Director Bro. Jerry Kidd said many good things during this conference for us to remember. One among them was “Be fair spiritually with God.” And that’s what I always want to be.


Mexico Update from the Roses

By Tommy and Sarah Rose

The time is approaching and we will be moving to a larger city to plant a church. Queretaro is located just two hours from Pachuca where we have been for the past two years and is rapidly growing.  We have made life lasting friendships here at El Alba but we are also very excited for what God has in store for the city of Queretaro.

At the end of every month we have been visiting Queretaro getting to know the city and also speaking with those that are interested in joining our core group to begin the church. In May we will be visiting with the hopes of finding a house and moving in by the first of June.

In July we are excited to be traveling to the States to visit churches until August.  We would like to thank all of the churches and individuals that pray and support us as we plant churches in Mexico.


Dominican March Update

By Jesse & Rebecca Hales
Dominican Republic

It’s even more exciting to see more people get involved in a ministry that really needs help.  One of the churches here that has needed more workers for a while just had a ministry fair and had new workers signup in almost every area.  This is very encouraging!  Help us pray that this is a moment that can really be capitalized on.  With God’s help this could make a big difference.

In an attempt to be more proactive in all of the ministries of the different churches at the same time, we have started adjusting our approach this year.  We are trying to get away from the larger, less frequent workshops we’ve been holding and start having more personalized, more frequent meetings with the leaders form the individual ministries.  So far this has been a very positive change.  We are finding that it allows us to dig deeper into the struggles and challenges of each ministry.  This is opening the door for growth and forward movement.  It’s always exciting to see the leaders get excited about what they are called to do.


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BMA America Recognized by Best Christian Workplace Institute

BCI_Certified_2016_ClearBest Christian Workplace Institute (BCWI) has recognized the Baptist Missionary Association (BMA) of America Global Ministry Center (GMC) as a Certified Best Christian Workplace for 2016. Four BMA departments and agencies are housed at the GMC in Conway, Arkansas: BMA Foundation, BMA Missions, DiscipleGuide and Lifeword. The Certified status reflects a “healthy-to-flourishing” culture, meeting predetermined standards of excellence through a formal employee engagement survey.

The detailed, fifty-question survey model measures eight essential factors of a thriving, healthy culture including Life-Giving Work, Outstanding Talent, Uplifting Growth and Development, Rewarding Compensation, Inspirational Leadership, Fantastic Teams, Sustainable Strategy, and Healthy Communication. “Attaining BCWI Certification is not easy,” said BCWI President Al Lopus. “About half of the organizations we survey achieve Certification, and many organizations survey multiple years before receiving this distinction.”

The leadership team at the GMC uses the results of the annual survey to gain valuable input from employees to aid in their quest to model servant leadership and to strive for continuous improvement in the organizational culture. To see the institute’s complete list, use this link: http://www.bcwinstitute.org/bcwlists.html.

Thailand March Update

Hey Supporters!

We are always grateful for another opportunity to share with you what’s going on over here in Thailand. The past month has been really busy. Lots of exciting things to share with you, and situations and people we need you to pray for.

Philippines Conference:

This trip was such a blessing. BMA Missionary Care put on a retreat/conference to help encourage missionaries who serve in Asia. As you can see we had a good group. I enjoyed hearing their stories and getting to know leaders, helpers, and other missionaries that serve on this side of the world. We are so glad God made it possible for us to go. The things we learned about (prayer, communication with spouse, ways to handle stress, and parenting tips) are still fresh on our mind and we are trying to live it out.

Baby #2:

Two days ago we went for a check up and both Brittney and the baby are doing well. So far this pregnancy has been more challenging than the last, but we are thankful the little man is growing and will be making his way into the world in June (Lord willing).


Missionary Care Conference

The 2016 Asia-Pacific Missionary Care Conference in San Pablo, Philippines, was held February 5-9. Seven countries were represented by forty-four missionaries and their families: Burma-Myint and Mal Aung, Rama and Lahlmu Bochung; Cambodia-John and Louela Page; China-Dar Li, the Johnsons, the Andersons, Jojo, Radarlyn, RJ, DJ, and Jaja Vallejera; India-Jeremiah, Abigail, Evan and Ethan Shetti; Prashant, Golda, Joanna and Jason Prakash; Laos-Joy Vargas; Philippines-Danny and Rita Ballard; Sam, Dawn, Tristan, Zane, and Seth Freeman; Fil, Lisa, and Justine Kakilala; Doug and Diane Lee; Doyle Moore; Vincent and Maraya Ferrer; Thailand-Brandon, Brittney, and Josie Lingle.

According to Assistant Director Sarah Hamilton, the mission statement of BMA Missionary Care “is ongoing preparation, equipping and ministry to missionary personnel so they may be fruitful in life and ministry.”

Sarah explained that “Missionary Care Conferences fulfill that mission statement through gospel worship, teaching and fellowship. During worship time, missionaries had a chance to revel in the beauty of the gospel and respond in praise. Gospel teaching from God’s Word emphasized prayer, life matters, field ministry, effective communication and family worship. Lastly, gospel fellowship was enjoyed when brothers and sisters of the body of Christ encouraged each other, prayed for one another and shared what it is to live out the gospel in a foreign land. Each aspect of the conference is intended to help them see and savor Jesus who is the center of the gospel, because he is the Good News that they first embraced and now gladly share with the nations.”

The four night, five-day event took place at the Rizal ReCreation Center, a Christian campground and conference center, and began with a “Get to Know You” session followed by a message on the theme of “Prayer,” which was continued each of the remaining three nights. Each morning there were breakout sessions and each afternoon included free time, giving missionaries a chance to get to know each other, the counselors in attendance, BMA staff members and lay leaders.

Director Jerry Kidd said, “Our prayer is that we can encourage and strengthen missionaries so they can spread the gospel as effectively as possible, to as many as possible, for as long as possible. Conference attendees told us they weren’t sure at first about the conference, but once it was over, they realized it was exactly what their entire family needed. Another attendee commented, ‘Before the meeting, I didn’t realize that I was so dry spiritually. The preaching, teaching and singing truly renewed my spirit.’ When I asked the children what they enjoyed the most, one of them replied, ‘the kids’ Bible study.’”

If you would like to encourage and pray for these and other missionaries, be sure to order your Missionary Prayer Calendar at bmamissions.org, where you will find their contact information. Missionary Care Conferences are financed through the Missions general fund, which anyone can give to at the same website. Please pray for these and all missionaries on World Missions Day, Sunday, February 28.

2016 Asia Pacific Missionary Care Conference attendees pose for a picture on the last day.

2016 Asia Pacific Missionary Care Conference attendees pose for a picture on the last day.


The Vallejera children, RJ, DJ and JaJa

The Vallejera children, RJ, DJ and JaJa


Missionaries Dar Li, Louela Page, Sam Freeman, Lisa and Fil Kakilala and Danny and Rita Ballard pray after an evening service

Missionaries Dar Li, Louela Page, Sam Freeman, Lisa and Fil Kakilala and Danny and Rita Ballard pray after an evening service.


Missionaries who attended BMA Seminiary pose for a picture.

Missionaries who attended BMA Seminiary pose for a picture.

Dominican Update February 2016

After filling out reports for the office I realized how helpful it is for me to stop and reflect on what has happened in the ministry.  You’re a vital part of our ministry so I wanted to also encourage you with this reflection.  Our ministry is encouraging, coaching and training other leaders.  The only way I know to see if this is being successful or not is to look at the ministries of those we are ministering to.  Not everything we tried to do this past year has been successful, but through God’s help, your prayers and a lot of work on the part of those we minister to, God has done great things here.

In 2015 two different ministries to children and youth were started.  The first is a children’s program in Bienvenido.  They meet in the carport of the parsonage below the church.  They have packed out the little carport and just bought about 40 more chairs, because more kids are still coming.  The second is the multi-church outreach to the juvenile detention center that I told you about last month.  At the last meeting we had 5 of the youth come forward and ask for God’s forgiveness.  Beyond these 2 ministries several people came to Christ in the evangelism ministry in Sanchez and the church there has grown because of it.  Also, the children’s program that Rebecca is working with right now has seen new life and become an encouragement to people even outside of that ministry.

These are just a few highlights of the things we get to see and be a part of all the time.  I don’t share these with you to say look what we have done, because that is not true.  I share this to say God has been working here and that is in large part due to your prayers and support of this ministry and the people here.  Be encouraged and know that God is using you to make a difference.  Thank you!!