VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 10/21/15)—Joyce and David Reed, American Baptist International Ministries (IM) missionaries, are striking out in a new direction as regional missionaries to Iberoamerica and the Caribbean.
After 15 years serving in Baja California Sur, Mexico, working with the local Mexican Baptist Convention to start new churches, build a theological school and develop its program, and host mission teams, as of August 1, 2015, the Reeds embarked on a related but new ministry of spiritual renewal, spiritual formation and vocational calling.
In July 2016, the Reeds will return to Mexico to serve in their new role as regional IM missionaries working alongside local Baptist partners throughout Iberoamerica and the Caribbean. They hope to draw pastors and lay people into a closer relationship with God through spiritual disciplines such as stillness, listening, prayer, creative worship and spiritual companionship.
“Dietrich Bonhoeffer says that people who are no longer listening to each other, will soon no longer be listening to God,” shares Joyce. “Therefore, part of our new work will be cultivating an environment of intentional listening.”
Joyce and David will offer retreats at which pastors and leaders can find rest, renewal and resources for self-care. They will develop curricula for spiritual formation courses to be taught in theological schools and will mentor young people who sense a call to ministry. This regional ministry is rooted in the concern that Christians around the world have become a very busy people who have lost sight of the movement of the Spirit.
The Reeds are excited to discover how their new role can renew and encourage local congregations in the United States, as well as in Latin America. Last fall they were invited to offer a workshop on Spiritual Renewal as part of one church’s Monthly Leadership Training initiative.
David was invited to lead a regional retreat for pastors on the theme of rest and renewal. Joyce led a Women’s Retreat that focused on the theme of “Standing on the Threshold” and what it means to step into a deeper relationship with God. “People in our local churches are hungry for more of God,” says David. “Our desire is not only to be available to our international partners, but also to our American Baptist churches.”
For ten days in July, David and Joyce attended their first residency as part of the Spiritual Guidance program with the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation based in Washington D.C. Shalem’s Spiritual Guidance Program draws on the rich resources of Christian contemplative tradition to enhance and deepen the spiritual lives of those called to this ministry.
In a surprising development, the Reeds were extended an invitation to teach Spiritual Formation as part of an online Master’s level of study by Palmer Theological Seminary for students in Latin America. When a good Internet connection is not available, the Reeds will be available to travel to Cuba to facilitate Spiritual Discernment with IM’s Cuban partners.
In addition, Joyce and David will travel in January 2016 with representatives of the ABC Rocky Mountain region to explore how to deepen their relationship with indigenous churches in Chiapas, Mexico, and how to encourage these pastors and leaders to deepen their relationship with God.
Please join IM in celebrating this new focus of ministry and praying for Joyce and David as they complete their schooling and prepare to return to the field. The Reeds are inspired by this Scripture from Isaiah 30:15: “In repentance and rest is your salvation; in quietness and trust is your strength .”
Download a bulletin insert with David and Joyce Reed’s ministry information, prayer requests and more.
American Baptist International Ministries is celebrating 200 years of ministry in 2014. Organized in 1814 as the first Baptist international mission agency in America, IM 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 relationships with God and change their worlds through the power of the Holy Spirit. IM works with respected partners in over 70 countries in ministries that meet human need.
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.