Southern Baptist Convention

Missionary Highlight: July 16

Danny

SOUTH ASIA

Many of our Southern Baptist churches across the United States have ministries for deaf people. In recent years our International Mission Board has sent increasing numbers of missionaries to share the gospel with deaf people overseas. Today we want to pray for one of those missionaries to the deaf serving in South Asia. His name is Danny. Our church supports him through our Cooperative Program giving. Danny met a deaf man named Abhay (say AHB-hay) who was a Hindu. Abhay had been to the United States to attend a school for the deaf. Christians there witnessed to him, but Abhay would not listen. He returned to South Asia, where he later met our missionary, Danny. Danny became friends with Abhay and began to tell him Bible stories, using the same sign language Abhay uses. Abhay heard the gospel and for the first time understood God's love for him as shown through Jesus Christ. He gave his life to Christ and became a follower. This story is being repeated all over South Asia and entire churches with deaf members have been started. Today let us pray for our missionary Danny and for these new believers, that they will continue to grow in their understanding of the Lord.

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Devotion: July 16

A Transmission's Function and Stewardship

DAVID WAGANER

Our daughter's car recently had some unusual sounds coming from under the hood when she attempted to drive faster than 40 MPH. I offered to drive it and give her my opinion. Not only did I hear the sounds, but I also could tell that her automatic transmission would not shift into overdrive. Most dads out there can guess what happened next: I was blessed with the opportunity of finding a transmission shop to take it for an evaluation. And most car aficionados could guess the trouble: The transmission needed to be totally overhauled or replaced. This transmission difficulty is like a modern-day parable. Sometimes there are unusual sounds transmitted from our lives that signal a failure to shift to overdrive in service to the Lord. Have you ever wondered why the emerging generations are failing to be committed stewards, even though in many cases they are coming out of families where their parents are committed stewards? Gregory Bateson, in "Mind and Matter," states, "In the transmission of human culture, people always attempt to replicate, to pass on to the next generation the skills and values of the parents, but the attempt always fails because cultural transmission is geared to learning, not DNA." Bateson's comments here give tremendous insight into the challenge the church faces in discipling members to become faithful stewards. To do so, we must not assume the discipline will emerge from one's DNA. Think for a moment about what is done to help members grow in their understanding as disciples regarding stewardship. How long has it been since you studied a stewardship lesson or heard a sermon on stewardship? Every congregation needs to put stewardship development plans on the calendar, or in time there might not be a church to attend. Will you be such a force for your church?

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