VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 4/4/13)—Adoniram and Ann Judson arrived in Burma in 1813 and dedicated their lives to making God’s love and salvation known in this distant land.
Today, American Baptist International Ministries (IM) missionaries Duane and Marcia Binkley serve the descendants of early Burma Christian converts here in the United States and also in Thailand.
“Nearly 100,000 ethnic Burma refugees have legally immigrated to the U.S. in recent years,” according to Florence Li, convener and coordinator of the ABC Burma Refugee Task Force. “They fled the former Burma military regime that persecuted ethnic minority people groups and restricted freedom of religion. People’s lives, villages and churches were destroyed.”
“Nearly 50% of the Karen, Chin and Kachin and other Burma refugees who were resettled in the U.S. call themselves Baptists,” Li continued,” and can trace their roots back to the first missionaries to come to Burma, Adoniram and Ann Judson, who were American Baptists.”
Duane and Marcia Binkley partner with Central Baptist Theological Seminary to organize training classes for pastors and church leaders from churches in the U.S. that serve the many thousands of ethnic Burma refugees. They also maintain relationships with Baptist organizations in Thailand and within the refugee camps along the Thai-Burma border.
Conference participants can meet the Binkleys and learn about their important Burma refugee ministry at the American Baptist Mission Summit/Biennial Gathering in Overland Park, KS on June 21 -23, 2013. For more information and tickets, go to http://www.americanbaptists2013.org/. The Burma Refugee Task Force is helping to organize two 200-voice Chin and Karen choirs. The choirs will perform at the Summit’s June 22 evening worship service.
The Binkleys are jointly appointed by IM and the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF). Within the U.S., the Binkleys work with national and regional mission entities of American Baptist Churches USA and the local churches of the ABC and CBF.
The Burma Refugee Task Force is a cooperative effort between IM, Board of General Ministries, American Baptist Home Mission Societies, American Baptist Women’s Ministries, Chin Baptist Churches, USA, Karen Baptist Churches, USA pastors and lay leaders from Tabernacle Baptist Church, Utica, NY, Zophei Christian Church, Indianapolis, IN, and Lake Avenue Baptist Church, Rochester, NY.
Also at the Mission Summit will be an exciting celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Judson’s arrival in Burma with 22 of IM’s global servants. Attendees have the opportunity to connect face-to-face with IM development workers, global consultants and missionaries, as well as newly-endorsed missionaries who are preparing for their first global assignments.
Conference participants will learn how God is calling a vast variety of people to serve with Him… how He is at work in the world today… and the many ways individuals and families can join in service to God through IM.
Deb Mulneix – India
Carole Sydnor – Nepal
Emerson and Ivy Wu – appointed for service in Macau
Dan Buttry – Peace and Refuge
Lauran Bethell – Anti-Human Trafficking
Mike Mann – Economic Development
Stan Slade – Theological Education
Mylinda Baits – Regional, Iberoamerica/Caribbean
Wendy Bernhard – Democratic Republic of the Congo
Duane and Marcia Binkley – Thailand/U.S.
Ann Borquist – Brazil
Kristy Engel – Regional, Iberoamerica/Caribbean
Anita and Rick Gutierrez – South Africa
Becky Mann – Thailand
Katherine and Wayne Niles – Democratic Republic of the Congo
Jeni Pedzinski – Mission Apprentice
Becky and Larry Stanton – Endorsed for service in Liberia
The ABC Mission Summit/Biennial is the opportunity for IM to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the Judsons in Burma, and examine the impact of their ministry on global mission today and into the future. The IM luncheon is Noon – 2:30 pm on Saturday, June 22. The IM Creative Response is Saturday evening, June 22. The IM exhibit (you can’t miss it, just look up!) will be open throughout the event in the main exhibit hall. For more information on IM events, go to www.internationalministries.org and click on Mission Summit.
The ABC Mission Summit is a new approach to the ABC Biennial Meeting. It is an opportunity to share challenges, ideas and information with other American Baptists. Conference participants will be transformed by what the Spirit is leading them to do in their churches and communities. Participants will discover 25 major changes on the horizon, engage in interactive discussions and networking opportunities and learn tools to transform ministries and congregations which will lead to action items that will enable churches to thrive into the future.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.