The Harvest: The Need in Mali
Mali, a large country in West Africa, is a land filled with extreme need. It is a land filled with 22 million people, roughly equal to the population of Florida. It is a land filled with natural resources such as gold and cotton. But, it is also a land filled with religious extremism and instability. Yes, it is a land with extreme needs.
One of those needs is the economic condition of its people. Despite its natural resources, Mali ranks as one of the poorest countries in the world. Over half of the population live below the international poverty line of $1.25/day. The physical needs are great and overwhelming.
At the same time, the spiritual needs are even more staggering. According to the Joshua Project, over 91% of the population are unreached. The majority religion is overwhelmingly Islam. Some of the most extreme forms of Islam are found in Mali and have contributed to the rising insecurity found throughout the country.
It is sobering to consider the statistics mentioned above. At the same time, we must rejoice at all that God has done in the country of Mali. FBM has record of missionary activity in Mali dating back to 1950. For decades, missionaries have worked tirelessly to advance the Gospel in this desert land. The results of their efforts are seen today.
Today, in Mali, there is a growing Federation of Evangelical Baptist Churches. This federation is led by Malian nationals. Its churches are led by Malian pastors. These churches work together to lead the church planting efforts throughout the country. FBM missionaries come alongside this Federation to assist their efforts. This assistance comes in the form of theological training, well drilling, construction, and basic medical care. Much work has been done. And yet, there is still so much to do. Truly, the harvest is still plentiful!
As we look to the future, we are asking the question – Are missionaries still needed in Mali? The answer is undeniably YES! Missionaries are needed to assist with ongoing church planting efforts. Men and women are needed to come alongside our Malian brothers. Because of the faithful efforts of missionaries both past and present, our Malian brothers now lead many of the ministry initiatives in Mali. They just need help.
How will you respond to this need? Will you go? Will you pray for God to send laborers to Mali? Ask God if He wants you to serve Him in Mali. If you feel God calling you to Mali, please email our Executive Director, Stephen Simpson, at firstname.lastname@example.org. He would love to talk with you about this.
Mission Trips Opportunities
At Faith Baptist Mission – “We Love Missionaries .” We include this tagline on pens, bracelets, stickers, and even t-shirts. But, “We Love Missionaries” is more than just a slogan. It is central to why we exist! Our mission statement clearly states, “FBM exists to Glorify God by obeying the Great Commission and caring for those we serve.” “Caring for those we serve” is simply another way of saying “We Love Missionaries!” We care for our missionaries in many ways. One way we do this is through carefully planned mission trips.
Last August, FBM welcomed Bill Donnan to our staff as our mission trips coordinator. With over 30 years of experience in the construction field and experience leading multiple international mission trips from his church, Bill has been a huge blessing to FBM. In fact, Bill has previously led multiple teams to Mali to help FBM Missionary Rich Marshall.
With Bill’s help, FBM has planned three mission trips in 2023. These teams will serve at the Walter Gomez Seminary located in Pachuca, Mexico. This seminary was started years ago by another mission organization (EMM) that partnered with FBM in early 2020. Since it opened in 1955, the seminary has trained many students who are in full-time ministry today. These students serve in Mexico, United States, Nicaragua, Indonesia, and China. Each team we send this year will focus on painting and general maintenance needs on the seminary campus.
We praise God for filling up our first team! They leave on April 8th. We are still working to fill up our other two teams. These trips cost $1,200 per person. A deposit of $100 is required to officially “sign-up.” Visit www.faithbaptistmission.org/mission-trips for more information.
FBM believes in the value of mission trips. God often changes lives on mission trips. It is common for team members to return home dramatically changed. We pray that God will use these trips to call some into a lifetime of missionary service. Sign up today for one of our mission trips! It just might change your life!
Update: Rich & Anna Marshall
As many of you know, Rich Marshall, FBM Missionary to Mali, was seriously injured on November 20, 2021. Many of you prayed fervently for Rich and Anna. God answered your prayers and brought Rich safely back to the US for treatment.
Since that time, Rich has traveled a long and painful road. This road has included multiple surgeries, lots of medicine, and lots of pain. In January, Rich underwent another surgery. Praise the Lord, his surgery went well and Rich has noticed a wonderful decline in his pain. Additionally, there appears to be little to none of the resistant bacteria that has plagued Rich ever since his accident.
What’s next for Rich and Anna?
Only God knows the future. We make plans to the best of our ability and then we trust the Lord. As for the immediate future, we are praying that ALL of the infection will be gone when Rich has lab work done in a month.
We are praying that Rich will be able to start physical therapy very soon. Amazingly, Rich is currently able to walk some without crutches. But, his leg is understandably very weak. Pray that God will allow Rich to begin physical therapy ASAP so that the strengthening process can begin.
Pray for Rich’s upcoming cataract surgery on both eyes. Pray for successful surgery and complete healing.
Pray that God will allow Rich & Anna to return to Mali. Their desire is to return to help the churches with the camp project at Mounzou. Pray that God will grant their desire.
So many of you have prayed faithfully for Rich & Anna. So many of you have written and called to check on them. So many of you have sent extra financial gifts to help them and to encourage them. Thank you for your faithfulness! Thank you for your generosity! Thank you for your partnership in the Gospel!
In the past few months, FBM has received notification of three estate gifts. In each case, the individual desired to leave a portion of their estate to assist a specific missionary or project. We mention this so that you will rejoice with us at God’s provision! We serve a generous and gracious God who faithfully supplies all of our needs. We also invite you to consider FBM in your estate planning. Please contact us if you have any questions.