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Grace Baptist Mission CIO

12 Abbey Close, Abingdon

Oxon, OX14 3JD, UK

T: 01235 520147

infodesk@gbm.org.uk

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Annual Mission Day 2017 Report


GBM’s Annual Mission Day is always a special day for us, as over 700 of our supporters come to listen to GBM missionaries and enjoy fellowship in mission. This year’s AMD was in London on 28 October, and because of its proximity to the big Reformation anniversary three days later, had a particular reformation theme, based on the opening words of Luther’s ninety-five theses: ‘Bringing the truth to light.’

During the day people had the opportunity to catch up on the work of Sarah Clay who serves in Peru, the GBM Radio Team, Andrzej Kempczynski from Poland, Graham and Sally Jones in Kenya and many others. Thank God that we also had a New Missionaries session where we introduced four new missionary couples who, God willing, are going out to work in different contexts around the world, from International Student outreach to the training of pastors.

The main afternoon presentation, ‘Bringing the truth to Light’, focussed on key aspects of the Reformation and how they continue to shape mission today. Justification by faith alone is still the most powerful message to those enslaved by works-based religion, whether it be Polish Catholicism or an Asian woman observing Ramadan. Luther used the new technology of printing to spread his message. In a similar way, GBM uses the technology of radio to spread sound teaching in the highly oral cultures of Africa, where they face the challenges of the prosperity gospel and of African Traditional Religion. Finally, Tom Forryan spoke of the need for a new reformation in France, and we watched a video message from church-planters in Germany.

Annual Mission Day also includes our church delegates meeting, which this year had to face some significant financial challenges. Over several years GBM’s income has fallen short of expenditure, and while this gap has been filled in some years with significant legacies, this has not happened in the last two years and we have had to cover the gap from rapidly diminishing reserves. For this reason the meeting agreed to a budget for 2018 showing a reduction in spending of £225,000. Because of the severity of the cuts involved, we hope this will not be necessary, and hope that churches and individuals will be able to respond to this need. On the day, the offering in the final meeting was £19950.53 (+ gift aid), for which we are very thankful.

In the final session of the day we said goodbye and thank you to Gilbert McAdam for his long years of service in the Philippines. Gilbert returned to the UK last January with his wife and daughter, to become the pastor at Wick Harbour Mission. We also heard from three of the four new missionary couples who could join us. Phil and Lydia Evans are going out to work alongside Malcolm and Ruth Firth at the International Church in Riga, Latvia. Tom and Lucy Forryan who are going out to get involved in church planting in Paris, France, and Chris and Helen Hawthorne who are going out to Zambia with their three children where Chris will become principal of Proclamation Institute Zambia.

Matt Gamston from Trinity Baptist Church, Gloucester, preached a rousing exposition of 2 Corinthians 1:1-11. Matt drew on his experience in Manila to show that ‘Bringing the truth to light’ means (i) suffering (ii) weakness (iii) dependence and (iv) power.

You can download a recording of Matt’s ministry here.

Next Year’s Annual Mission Day will be at The Renewal Centre in Solihull, on Saturday 27 October, 2018, when the guest preacher will be David Campbell from North Preston Evangelical Church.