Auburn couple among 79 new missionaries appointed; other Alabamians participate in sending service

When Beau and Heidi were in college, they learned that there are people who have zero access to the gospel.

“We grieved that our great God was not receiving the worship He deserved among all nations, because we know He is so worthy,” Heidi said.

And as they grew at Lakeview Baptist Church, Auburn, through missions classes, trips to Asia and reaching international students at their university, God began to stir in their hearts to move their family overseas one day, Beau said.

They, along with their two children, are being “joyfully sent” by Lakeview Baptist to be International Mission Board missionaries in Southeast Asia, Heidi said — “to reach the lost and equip believers so all nations, tribes, peoples and languages will one day praise God around his throne.”

Originally planned for Alabama

The couple, along with 77 other new Southern Baptist missionaries, were appointed during a virtual sending celebration Nov. 18. The celebration — originally intended to be held in Montgomery as part of the Alabama Baptist State Convention annual meeting — was moved online in light of COVID-19.

“While we wish we could’ve been in person today in Montgomery, Alabama, as originally planned, we are excited that technology offers us this opportunity to gather to celebrate our newest Southern Baptist missionaries,” said Paul Chitwood, IMB president.

He thanked Rick Lance, executive director of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, and all Alabama Baptists “for partnering with us in this sending celebration and for your generosity in supporting these new missionaries and all those who are already serving overseas.”

“We are excited that 79 new missionaries are being sent tonight,” Chitwood said. “Thanks to your generosity through praying and giving we are able to send and sustain these missionaries.”

LMCO goal: $175 million

Heading into Lottie Moon Christmas Offering season, the IMB’s offering goal is $175 million in honor of its 175th anniversary of sending Southern Baptists like Beau and Heidi to the nations with the gospel.

Lance, who opened the celebration with prayer, said the Great Commission “is not on pause, and it’s certainly not in quarantine.”

As part of the celebration, listeners heard testimonies from missionaries headed to each affinity group, or groupings of peoples who share similar languages and cultures. IMB personnel also shared some of the current top needs for missionaries, such as someone to share the gospel through a sports business in Central Asia and someone to do videography in East Asia. More information about those needs is available at imb.org/send.

To kick off the service, two Alabama groups also led in musical worship. A combined effort by the Alabama Singing Men and Alabama Singing Women — in a video edited together by Josh Spivey, worship pastor at Thorington Road Baptist Church, Montgomery — sang “No More Night,” and a virtual choir led by Michael Adler, worship pastor at Shades Mountain Baptist Church, Birmingham, sang “Total Praise.”

The video of the sending celebration is available at imb.org/send, along with Beau and Heidi’s video testimony (in the Southeast Asia section) and others not included in the service due to time constraints. Downloadable prayer cards for the new missionaries are also available.

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