At the end of 2023, we will be saying goodbye to two amazing NAB missionary families: Paul and Melissa Ewing, and Ron and Jeannie Seck. We are sad to see them go, but we are so thankful for all they brought to NAB International Missions during their years of service.
Paul and Melissa, along with their boys, served in Japan since April 2001. Paul and Melissa planted Komyo Christian Church in Osaka, which was handed over to national leadership in 2022. In addition to church planting work, Paul served as the NAB field director in Japan and worked closely with our partners, the Japan Baptist Conference. However, Paul and Melissa’s influence on NAB missions was not limited to their ministry in Japan. Paul served for years on the NAB Mission Advisory Team and served alongside North American regional ministers to help bring continuity between what the NAB is doing missionally in North America and around the world. For the last year, Melissa has also served on a task force with Dr. Harry Kelm and others reviewing clergy accountability. Their influence in NAB International Missions and the broader NAB missional movement will be missed. We wish them the best in their next endeavors.
Ron and Jeannie came to NAB missions after pastoring an NAB church in Michigan for thirty-six years. Their service with NAB missions began in 2012. Their hearts for holistic evangelism and community development among the Roma and other impoverished people in Hungary, Central Europe, and the Balkans have been an inspiration. In addition, their passion to engage and help support local national leaders was a significant spark to begin NAB’s Global Missionary Partners (formerly NAB National Missionaries). While Ron and Jeannie are hands-on with the ministry, raising up and forming these national leaders is quite possibly the greatest part of their legacy to NAB missions. In Serbia, they identified and further trained Marijana Cizmanski, and in Hungary, Laszlo and Eszter Daróczi-Csuhai. The significance of the Secks’s ministry and their leadership to begin the Global Missionary Partner program for the NAB will be felt for years to come.
For those of you who have faithfully supported the Ewings or Secks, thank you! Your support is greatly appreciated. We would encourage you to consider transitioning your financial partnership. . .
It is our pleasure to introduce the newest members of the NAB International Office! Our two new directors of Advancement officially started earlier this week, and we could not be happier with who God has brought to us to help in our fundraising efforts.
Serving as our Canadian director of Advancement, Terry Okken comes to the team with a long history of pastoral leadership, currently in his twenty-first year at McKernan Baptist Church in Edmonton, Alberta, as the executive pastor. Terry has also worked in the past in admissions at Taylor University (now Kairos University) and University of Sioux Falls. He holds several degrees, including an MBA and a masters in Christian Leadership from Sioux Falls Seminary (now Kairos University). Terry will continue serving at McKernan, giving roughly one day a week to the NAB, as well as some travel throughout the year.
David Curtis comes to us from Dallas, Oregon, where he serves as lead pastor of Salt Creek Baptist Church, where he has served since 2015. David holds a masters in Exegetical Theology from Western Seminary. He will continue in his role as lead pastor at Salt Creek and will be committing roughly one day a week to NAB work, with some US travel as well.
Join us in welcoming them to the NAB International Office staff as they help direct our fundraising efforts and connect with donors in the US and Canada!
Wiesenthal Baptist Church is the quintessential rural church; the two closest population centers are Leduc to the north (pop: 30,000) and Millet to the southeast (pop: 2,000), both at least a ten-minute drive from the church. Prior to coming to Wiesenthal five years ago, Pastor Stephen Epp had mainly lived in the city. He soon realized he would need to learn new ways of connecting with people, of becoming a part of the community. He began practicing “the simple homesteading things,” like chickens, gardening, and even beekeeping.
These simple acts of homesteading are exactly the kinds of missional activities practiced by NAB pastors and leaders across North America. It is not the gardening or beekeeping in themselves that are missional, but rather it is living incarnationally, connecting with people where they are. This reflects God’s instructions to the Babylonian exiles in Jeremiah 29:5–7 to plant gardens and “work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I have sent you” (NLT). When you give to the Ministry Resource Fund, you are helping, in part, to support the training and Gospel work that encourages and provides resources for this kind of missional ministry.
Follow the link below to read the rest of the story about Pastor Stephen and his bees, give to the NAB’s 2023 Christmas Offering, and find resources for your church or home group.
As you consider donating to the NAB in tax year 2023, here are a few factors to keep in mind to make sure we are able to give you a tax receipt for calendar year 2023:
- If you are sending a check, please make sure the check and the envelope postmark are both dated no later than December 31, 2023.
- Online credit card transactions must be charged no later than December 31, 2023.
- Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) forms must be received at the NAB’s Roseville, California, office no later than December 18, 2023.
- The last day to donate stock prior to the end of the year was December 11, 2023.
Please note the NAB International Office is closed beginning at 4:00 p.m. (PST) on Thursday, December 21, 2023, and reopens at 7:00 a.m. (PST) on Tuesday, January 2, 2024.