We are Asher and Loren Cross* serving with the International Mission Board. Although we grew up in Fort Smith and Dardanelle, we call Conway our adult home. We met at the University of Central Arkansas and settled near there after graduating college. We are members at The Summit Church in Conway. In 2013 we left Arkansas for East Asia and our two children, Lilly and Evan, were born there.
Today, a Christian couple sits in prison. Arrested for sharing the gospel, they wait for another trial date to face the authorities and angry family members. They’ve been to trial already but have not yet heard a final verdict or sentencing. Trials are often postponed and drawn out, while government leaders look for further evidence against Christians and hope that believers will renounce their faith in Christ.
Traumatic experiences are part of the context for many missionaries, pastors and leaders who currently work with people who have been affected by some type of tragedy, especially in this time of pandemic. The suffering and the aftermath left by these experiences are part of the challenge that the Christian worker faces in presenting the message of the gospel.
A local Bambara subsistence farmer in the village of Falako in Mali, West Africa shows an IMB missionary and volunteer the worms that are killing his crops. This village is one of 120 that will benefit from 500 tons of millet. The grain was provided to help stave off the starvation for about 31,000 people living in this rural area.
In January 2020, International Mission Board President Paul Chitwood announced 2025 targets built around the IMB’s vision and mission to engage unreached people and places in the next five years. The first target is “send an additional 500 missionaries.”
We are Travis and Beth Burkhalter and are currently serving with the International Mission Board (IMB) in Medellin, Colombia, with our four children. Our home church is University Baptist Church of Fayetteville, Arkansas. We have served with the IMB for over 11 years. The first eight were spent in a small jungle town on the Amazon River, and the past three have been spent in the city of Medellin in the Andes Mountains.
Winter scenes at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp near Kraków, Poland, are never cheerful and the weather usually has a big part to play. Even the cheerfully colored umbrellas of tourists exploring the ruins of the old camp barracks cannot change what history wrote there—the scar of concrete fenceposts and lives lost remain.