Advance Magazine
Fall 2023

President’s View

They Stepped Out of Their Boat

Matthew 14 describes the familiar scene of the disciples struggling to cross the stormy Sea of Galilee in the middle of the night. Despite their best efforts for nine hours, they found themselves in the middle of the sea, desperately wondering if they would survive. Then Jesus appeared to them, walking on the water.

Terrified, the disciples thought Jesus was a ghost. But after Jesus assured them it was He, Peter responded, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” Our Savior’s simple response was, “Come!” Peter obeyed the Lord and walked on water (well, kind of) to Jesus. All of us know the rest of the story, but before we focus on Peter’s failure, we should consider his initial success. He heeded Jesus’ call to step out of the boat and walk to Jesus.

“When we think of missions, we typically think of words like, “Go!” “Go … make disciples!” “Go … preach the gospel!” But missions also means heeding Christ’s command to come. ”

Missions is all about going. Missionaries cross cultural, language, and international borders to reach people with the gospel of Jesus Christ. But going also includes coming to Jesus. In response to Jesus’ invitation to come to where He is already working, missionaries take significant steps of faith, leaving their boat for the Lord. They leave the familiarity and safety of their homes, their jobs, their families, and their culture. How do they do this? By faith! The faith of missionaries compels them to heed Jesus’ command and forsake all for Him.

In this issue of Advance, you will be introduced to our newest class of missionaries who have stepped out in faith to serve Jesus Christ. Read about them! Get to know them! Pray for them! Invite them to your church! Anticipate how God will honor their faith by using them to reach souls with the gospel!

Odle web1

Dr. Patrick Odle

In 2020, Dr. Patrick Odle became Baptist Mid-Missions’ ninth president. He came to his position with 26 years of pastoral experience and eight years as a BMM Council member, along with service as a vice president of Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary.

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