For years, Alabama Baptists have followed the story of two of their own — Jess and Wendy Jennings, International Mission Board missionaries in the Philippines.
Much of their time is spent mobilizing young people. Since 2004, through Nehemiah Teams they’ve mobilized almost 2,400 students from the United States and 1,200 Filipinos to reach the islands and beyond.
“We really believe God wants to use young people, and we are pleading with this generation to make their lives count for Jesus because He is worthy. There’s no greater cause than to live for Him and to make sure that in our lifetime we give every person in the world a chance to hear about Him,” Jess Jennings said.
The Alabama natives’ work is featured on Day 3 of this year’s Week of Prayer for International Missions, set for Dec. 4–11. The week of prayer kicks off the season of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for International Missions, which this year has a national goal of $196 million. Alabama’s goal is $12 million.
The offering supports the work of Jess and Wendy Jennings, as well as the work of the other 3,550 IMB missionaries around the world.
100% goes to missionaries
One hundred percent of all funds given to LMCO goes straight to missionaries who are making disciples and multiplying churches among unreached people groups.
Some of those missionaries are from Alabama, including the Jenningses as well as Steve and Chrissy Wanslow, who serve in a small city in the Asian Pacific Rim region.
They and their daughters have been investing their lives there for a decade, sharing the gospel with people who have never heard it before.
They stay faithful although they haven’t seen a person among their people group choose to follow Jesus.
Revelation 7:9 vision
Steve Wanslow said Revelation 7:9 is a big encouragement.
“As we look at the vision that all will be in the throne room worshipping God, we know there will be people from our people group there,” he said.
Southern Baptists’ support through prayer and gifts to LMCO also encourages them greatly, he remarked.
“It directly supports everything we do, from our ministry budget to medical expenses … the house we live in, everything. It’s a huge blessing for us,” Steve Wanslow said.
“Without that, we would have to raise our own support. But because Southern Baptists give so willingly and freely, it allows us to focus on the work and not have to worry about those kinds of things.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — Some names have been changed for security reasons.
Week of Prayer for International Missions
Day 1 — Global lostness
One Christ follower can’t be everywhere, and neither can his or her church. But by partnering together through IMB, churches can make a global impact.
Day 2 — Health care
Around the world in hard-to-reach places, medical clinics run by missionaries open doors into communities that desperately need the hope of Jesus.
Day 3 — Students
Alabama missionaries Jess and Wendy Jennings invest their lives discipling and mobilizing students to reach the unreached in the Philippines and beyond.
Day 4 — Refugee ministries
As IMB missionaries in Moldova meet the needs of Ukrainian refugees, they’re seeing God at work and lives changed with the gospel.
Day 5 — Cities
IMB missionary Erik White said Southern Baptists send missionaries like him to cities across the globe to share Jesus with people who are searching for a better answer than Islam.
Day 6 — Diaspora
Southern Baptists work together to reach refugees, immigrants and international students God is moving to more accessible countries.
Day 7 — Missionary partners
Partners all around the world work alongside IMB missionaries to reach every people, tribe and language with the gospel.
Day 8 — Global lostness
IMB missionaries need prayers as they train national partners in South Asia to disciple new believers among a people group that previously had no known Christians.