VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 6/27/13)—Jennifer “Jeni” Pedzinski from Niles, Michigan has been endorsed for service as a development worker by American Baptist International Ministries (IM). She will serve in Sobhan Village near Phnom Penh, Cambodia with IM partner Jumpah, a Christian economic and community development initiative. The announcement was made at the 2013 American Baptist Churches Mission Summit in Overland Park, Kansas on June 22, 2013 to a gathering of over 2,400.
Pedzinski grew up attending IM’s World Mission Conferences in Green Lake, Wisconsin and at a young age felt God beginning to call her toward missionary service. Since then, she has sought to prepare herself for cross-cultural life and ministry through focused education and international experience. Pedzinski served as IM’s first Mission Apprentice (September 2012–June 2013) and is enrolled in a dual-degree program at Eastern University and Palmer Theological Seminary.
“Jeni has a passion to see people come to Christ and grow in the Lord, both in understanding and faithful living,” commented Reid Trulson, IM executive director. “She has great potential, and I am eager to see all that she accomplishes in the name of our Lord.”
Most recently, Pedzinski co-led IM’s program for young adults, IGNITE, to the Republic of Georgia for a month-long immersion experience into Georgia’s culture and the ministries of the Evangelical Baptist Church of Georgia, an IM partner (http://internationalministries.org/teams/570). The team, including co-leader Dan Buttry, IM global consultant for peace and refuge, returned to the U.S. on June 19.
In the year ahead, Pedzinski will visit Cambodia for consultation about her role with the Jumpah Project focusing on economic and church development. Upon completion of this experience and her academic work, she will be appointed and commissioned for full-time service as an IM development worker. Pedzinski will return to Cambodia to serve with Jumpah.
When asked why she feels called to this ministry, Pedzinski responded, “Many people have asked me, ‘why Cambodia?’ Have I always wanted to serve there? Is there something particular about that country that draws me? I tell them the truth – I am not called to ‘Cambodia.’ I am called to obedience and to the work of caring for God’s flock.”
“We must rely on God to direct our course according to God’s sovereign knowledge, with no condition,” Pedzinski continued. “God’s direction has brought me to the doorway of Cambodia. I am most looking forward to discovering our God in Cambodia; in the Khmer culture and history, their language and landscape, and most of all, in the people themselves.”
Rev. Jim Wing, pastor of Pedzinski’s home church, is excited about her call to serve the Lord. “I have known Jeni for many years. She grew up in the community of faith at First Baptist Church in Niles, Michigan and has always exhibited a love for Jesus, a heart for evangelism, and a smile that reveals the joy she lives out each day. Her heart for mission is strong, yet tender. May many unreached people be introduced to the Savior through Jeni’s faithfulness.”
Charlene Mell, mission board secretary and organist at Niles First Baptist Church, added, “Jeni was an active young person when growing up. She loved music, and frequently sang solos for our church. Jeni definitely has leadership qualities, as well as musical abilities.”
As an endorsed candidate, Pedzinski will form a Missionary Partnership Team (MPT). In the months ahead, Pedinski, her MPT and IM home staff will work together to build her Missionary Partnership Network. They will invite individuals, groups and churches to partner with Pedinski by committing to share the spiritual, relational and financial support needed to begin her ministry with Jumpah in Cambodia.
Please join IM in celebrating this new endorsement and praying for Pedinski as they invite others to join her. Pedinski is inspired by this scripture from Exodus 33: “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Words of encouragement for Pedzinski may be sent to email@example.com. Learn more about her ministry on the IM website: http://www.internationalministries.org/teams/529-pedzinski
American Baptist International Ministries was organized in 1814 as the first Baptist international mission agency in America. It began its pioneer mission work in Burma and today works in Asia, Africa, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas serving more than 1,800 long-term and short-term missionaries. Its central mission is to help people come to faith in Jesus, grow in their relationship with God, and change their worlds through the power of the Spirit. It works with respected partners in over 70 countries in ministries that meet human need.
American Baptist Churches 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.