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Published on March 8th, 2019 | by ABCUSA

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Christian Educator in Okinawa, Japan, Appointed for Global Mission Service by IM

VALLEY FORGE, PA (3/8/19)—Ryan Baumgart, originally from Roscommon, Michigan, now residing in Okinawa, Japan, has been appointed to serve as an associate global servant with International Ministries (IM).

For the past two years, Baumgart has been working as an educator at the Okinawa Christian School International (OCSI) teaching Old Testament, New Testament, Apologetics and Biblical Applications to high school students.

As an IM associate global servant, Baumgart will continue teaching at the Christian school that is a long-time partner of IM devoted to equipping students in their walk with Jesus and impacting their worlds for Christ.

With a passion for sharing his faith in any context, inside the classroom or out, Baumgart believes that the cultures, values, ideas and personalities of each student have value. His goal is to help each student maximize his or her individual gifts and talents within a framework of biblical truths.

Baumgart believes that his transition from a short-term volunteer to an IM associate global servant is a natural progression and an affirmation of the work that the Lord continues to accomplish in and through him.  “I deeply appreciate IM for inviting me to join the IM family,” said Baumgart. “I am most grateful to be a part of this ministry that played a large role in my progression to the mission field. From the first contact to the official appointment, IM has always given me the freedom to minister in the culture and capacity that the Lord presents.”

“I am very thankful that Ryan is teaching at OCSI where I served for many years,” says the Rev. Leslie Turley, IM area director for Southeast Asia and Japan. “He is in the right place as his heart’s desire is to share the gospel in a multi-cultural environment with students from many different religious understandings and backgrounds. Ryan first learned about OCSI after he contacted the IM Short-Term Mission office and shared about his desire to serve. After a conversation about possible opportunities, Ryan began researching OCSI and ultimately made the decision to apply and eventually be hired.”

When asked about his approach to Christian education within the Japanese culture, Baumgart replied, “Many people establish their biblical understanding from popular authors, good speakers and resource-based material. In my classes, we use Scripture. I firmly believe that Scripture alone is sufficient. Its source and author is the one who gives life. This is what my students receive when they enter my class: God’s Word from God’s Word.”

The Rev. Dr. Rodney Ragwan, IM’s director of Mission Mobilization agrees that Baumgart is an excellent fit for IM and for OCSI. “Ryan is a millennial who is deeply grounded in his faith and has responded enthusiastically to God’s call to teach young people at OCSI. He embodies IM’s holistic approach to mission. Given his awareness and appreciation of the Japanese culture, values, ideas and personalities of each student, as well his commitment to biblical truth, Ryan will, no doubt, model a faith that will make a difference in the lives of his young students.”

Baumgart’s church home, St. Helen Community Baptist Church in St. Helen, Michigan, is supportive and excited about his deeper affiliation with IM.

“It goes without saying that we at Community Baptist Church share in this good news regarding Ryan’s appointment,” said the Rev. Ken Peterson, pastor. “It has been our joy as a local church to have had a part in introducing Ryan to Jesus and witnessing his public profession of faith. We have watched as he consistently grows in faith and willingness to respond to God’s call to ministry and service. We are extremely proud of Ryan and trust that he will continue to represent Christ and the American Baptist family well.”

As an associate global servant, Baumgart will continue to be employed by Resourcing Christian Education International (RCE), an organization that serves international schools (including OCSI) and educational ministries in their mission of providing exceptional educational opportunities with a biblical foundation and a Christian worldview. He speaks both Japanese and English.

For more information about Ryan Baumgart and an opportunity to sign up to receive his newsletter, go to his profile page on the IM website.

American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.


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