By Kerry Bender
VP of International Missions
This has been a difficult season for most of us, but for those working within the international mission community, it has been particularly difficult. In light of this, it was a high priority for the NAB leadership as a whole, and especially the International Missions department, to provide an opportunity for our NAB missionaries to gather for a time of fellowship, worship, and rest.
This last month, we gathered the majority of our NAB missionary team in Rome for a retreat titled “Christ as Rest.” Our time together was focused on the discipline of finding rest in Christ and its associated practices, especially in the midst of both external and internal pressures that those within Christian ministry often feel. Drs. John and Marissa Kiemle led times of prayer and worship that focused on these practices and disciplines.
It was a wonderful chance for some of missionaries to meet each other for the first time and our newest missionaries learning from and fellowshipping with some of our longest serving missionaries! It was a time of reflection on the historical faithfulness of God and Christ as peace in the midst of the most difficult of times as we visited the Colosseum, where thousands of Christians were martyred. And it was a time for our missionaries to find a moment of rest and relaxation in the midst of very busy lives and ministries. Thank you for your ongoing prayers and support of our missionaries!
The UMR Welcomes Dan Andrews as New RM
Since Dr. Jim Renke retired as regional minister last fall, the Upper Mississippi Region has been in need of new leadership. To fill this need, God has brought forth Dr. Dan Andrews.
Since 1997, Dan has been pastoring at Victor Baptist Church in Victor, Iowa. He previously served as an assistant pastor in Shoreview, Minnesota, and as a Bible college professor in Bangalore, India. He and his wife, Renee, have five children, the youngest of whom will be a freshman in high school this fall.
Dan grew up in a Christian home in southwest Minnesota and put his faith in Jesus Christ as a young person. Influenced greatly by his parents and the pastor of his home church in Marshall, he answered God’s call to full-time ministry while attending a small Bible college. He received his master of divinity degree from Central Theological Seminary in Minneapolis and his doctor of ministry degree from Trinity Seminary.
Dan enjoys technology, golfing, and a good mystery show. He and Renee work well together as a team, and they cheerfully anticipate being first-time grandparents later this month. He loves sharing God’s Word and looks forward to mentoring and serving the churches of the Upper Mississippi Region of the North American Baptists.
Feel free to send Dan an email welcoming him to this new role.
New Interim RM for Northwest Region
Dan Andrews is not the only new regional minister. The Northwest Region recently appointed Marcus Elmer as the interim regional minister, taking up this temporary role between the previous RM, Chris Gorman, and whomever God is preparing to serve in this position in the long term.
Previously, Marcus served as the senior pastor at West Hills Community Church in Salem, Oregon, a role he held for twenty years. As a lover of hiking, given the chance Marcus would visit every US National Park. He also loves reading, with Desiring God by John Piper sitting at the top of his list. Marcus and his wife, Kahori, have two adult daughters, Rachel and Rebecca.
We welcome Marcus to the regional ministers’ team, and we pray God uses him during this interim to announce the Kingdom in the Northwest and beyond.
Want to send Marcus a note of welcome? Click on the link below!