First Some Facts
- Missions week began three days early and included two Wednesday nights instead of one.
- For the first time we included an all-night prayer meeting with at least 150 beginning the night together at 10 PM, Friday, November 7.
- For the first time there was an international “banquet.”
- Over 400 attended the showing of Peace Child and lecture by Don Richardson.
- The all-day Saturday seminar on the biblical foundation for missions hope (“The 4000 Year Connection”) was attended by 206 registrants (the second largest seminar Richardson has held in a church).
- The two-week missions offering (whose goal was $10,000) amounted to over $18,000. At the same time $26,000 came in for the budget in those two weeks.
- The climax of our week last Sunday night was one of those rare transporting experiences of worship that leave the tears on your face and a zeal for God in your heart.
- God awakened new dreams for missions and solidified many commitments among our people.
Now Some Interpretations
1) Bethlehem has rebounded from the collapse of the negotiations with First Baptist.
2) God has confirmed the profound connection between two of our deepest commitments: a passion for frontier missions and a zeal for intense worship.
3) God has confirmed the church's wisdom in changing Tom Steller's job description from “Associate for Students and Education” to “Associate for Students and Missions.” This is utterly strategic at this point in our history.
4) God has delivered an $18,000 “message in money” to Deacons, Trustees, and church assembly: “Do not cut back on your missions advance. Do not play it 'safe' as man counts safety. I have astonishing plans for you! Listen to what I have done this week! Remember the Gideon giving of December, 1985! I have spoken! Listen! Listen! Listen!”
5) God gave us “Missions Week '86” as a trajectory for all future BBC launchings. Whatever we plan for the future it must be strategically conceived to advance and not curtail the ministry of worship and missions.
Let us pray without ceasing for the light and power of God as the Day approaches.
With deep gratitude to God,