In their home in São Paulo, Brazil, Scott and Joyce Pittman have plastered a giant map of the city across their wall. It’s a picture of the work still to be done in the metro area of 22 million people. And now that image is plastered across the hearts of the members of Highland Baptist Church, Shelbyville, Kentucky, too. Ever since they partnered with the International Mission Board city strategy leaders several years ago they haven’t been able to get São Paulo out of their minds.
“When you see that map you can see the vision Scott and Joyce have for the city. They do a great job of explaining what it will take to reach it,” said Chris Platt, pastor of Highland Baptist.
“Then when you go out into the city and meet the people, your love for missions just comes alive. You give more, you pray more and you think more about missions.”
Ever since the Kentucky Baptist Convention kicked off a partnership with the Pittmans in São Paulo, teams from Highland Baptist have traveled regularly to the city to participate in a “variety pack” of ministry. They arrange basketball camps, children’s clubs and women’s events, all through a partnership with a specific local church. It’s a relationship forged for the sake of offering encouragement and support to the believers there.
A face to missions
“We’ve been able to model for them how to go door to door, how to share the gospel and how to show the love of Christ to the community, and they seem to be embracing what we’re doing,” Platt said.
Highland Baptist is “no superstar missions church,” Platt points out, but the trips have made the church see it is “one piece of the puzzle.”
“God’s leading the way and we are really growing in missions,” he said. “You’ve got missionaries doing what they can and the church doing what we can. I think our partnership has created something tangible. It puts a face on missions.”
Scott Pittman said it makes a big difference. “Hundreds if not thousands of churches need to be planted in order to reach the people of our city,” he declared. Their partnership with Highland Baptist “builds long lasting relationships … and makes it possible to multiply ourselves,” Pittman said.
How to pray:
Pray for missionaries like Scott and Joyce Pittman to be effective in strategizing ways to reach big cities with the gospel.
Pray for church partners to rise up and become a piece of the missions puzzle through praying, giving and going. (Missions Mosaic, IMB)