Mississippi: “most religious state in America”

The Summer 2011 edition of On Mission Magazine discusses the South Region of the United States and I was particularly interested in their discussion of Mississippi.

First, out of the more than 104.3 million people living in the South, 64% or 67 million, are considered to be “lost” – without Jesus Christ.

Second, Mississippi was voted by USA Today to be the “most religious state in America”, with one church for every 1,300 people. However, according to statistics by ONE8 church planting network, 50 – 54 percent of Mississippians are unchurched. Our statistics in many categories should reflect a different story if we are the most religious state.

The message is that our work is never ending and God’s word must reach each new generation that comes along. Church Planting is an effective way to reach the unchurched portion of our population – new churches must evangelize and do outreach in order to survive – and the environment is commonly different. Two examples of new church plants in Mississippi include “Lifepoint Baptist Church” in Senatobia where there is a membership of about 700 in just six years, and “The Life” which began January 2011 in Oxford, less than one mile away from First Baptist Church, who is responsible for planting the church. 75 – 100 people regularly attend.

Our recent trip to Grace Life Church in Forrest City, AK with a team on the ground assisting the church with outreach and street evangelism showed our team the value of sharing the Gospel.

The full Summer Edition and the full article entitled “Unleashing the Missions Engine”, can be found at www.onmission.com .

link to article: http://www.onmission.com/onmissioncb.aspx?id=8590001236

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Bogota Day 11

Travel day! Pray for safe travel and no ear pain. I can’t wait to get home. I am also looking forward to hearing a sermon that I can actually understand in English. No pressure Chris! See you Sunday!
Love,
Mary Lyn

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Bogota day 10

Packing Day! We finished our shopping and for the most part just sat and stared into space! We are all pretty exhausted! Pray for safe travel and no ear pain! Thanks for all you have done. See you soon.
Love,
Mary Lyn

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Bogota day 9 Final day of school

Fiesta Day!! What a fun filled day. There was lots of food, fun, and fellowship! There were plenty of tears and long goodbyes. One class even brought Brittney Spears thinking all Americans must like her! This has been a great experience. After our graduation ceremony we reviewed all of the registration cards where questions are asked about their experience at the English school. We started the school with 408 enrolled. 350 graduated with 177 praying to receive Christ and 190 requesting contact from the Pastor. Even though the 177 is probably inflated due to some checking that box because they were already Christians, the impact of our 2 weeks was substantial. Praise God! See you Sunday!
Love, Mary Lyn

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Bogota day 8

The last day of English classes was bittersweet. My students were excited about planning the fiestas we will be having today. They are bringing all the foods that are traditional for Bogota. It should be interesting as I am a picky eater and there have been strange foods here. Yesterday after our lesson they wanted to talk about Hurricane Katrina. They had seen news coverage but wanted to know what it was really like. They wanted to let everyone in our church know that they will be praying that no hurricanes come our way this year. Last night the church had a fiesta honoring us. They served chicken wings and french fries just for us. We had a great time! Please begin praying now for safe travel and no ear pain. You got me through on the first leg of the trip so I am counting on you again! Thank you so very much for walking through this journey with me. I can’t wait to see everyone on Sunday!
Love you all,
Mary Lyn

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Bogota day 7

God has taught me many things during this mission trip. First, let go and just let God! I am not very good at that but have been faced with that several times. Sunday, when Sunday School was just finishing, the translator came in and said that the pastor requested that Jason, music minister at FBC Cov, and I sing in the service that morning. Michael B will tell you that I will wear you out practicing before I sing. So with no practice we sang Amazing Grace, My Chains are Gone. Yesterday was family day in my classes. We learned the names for each family member and the students were asked to bring pictures. Luis stood in my morning class and showed a picture of himself as a younger child. He is now 17. He said this is the only family I have ever had – just me! I have never had a mother, father, or anyone. I live at the government run facility. It was a great opportunity to talk about the family of God and to be reminded of how blessed I am to have a wonderful family and to be a part of a wonderful church family. Keep praying for our students and opportunities to share the gospel. See you soon.
In Christ,
Mary Lyn

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Bogota day 6 English classes

English classes have been alot of fun. After a week of vocabulary development and sentence formation, things were getting a little dry. So yesterday we learned “Head, shoulders, knees and toes”. I also taught them “Zacchaeus was a wee little man”. There is good vocabulary in that song as well. We laughed alot and had a really good time. Pray for those that will hear the gospel presented again today and be moved. It is very comforting to know that you are praying for me as I lead my students each day. Great things are happening for His Kingdom.
In Christ,
Mary Lyn20110628-080241.jpg20110628-080146.jpg

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Bogota weekend of rest

We all enjoyed a weekend of rest in Bogota. We visited several museums and Monserrate, a monestary on the top of a mountain above Bogota. There is a walking tour of the 15 stations of the cross. It was very pretty. Today our class time will be shorter so Glynn can present the gospel. So be in prayer for those who will hear and be led to accept Christ as their Lord and Savior. Looking forward to my last week here and also to getting home! See you soon.
In Christ,
Mary Lyn

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Bogota day 5 English class

Day 5 was really powerful in my English classes. It was testimony day for me in all of my classes. In my afternoon class one of my students said we know in our heads who Jesus is and what he did but we need people like you to come and show us Jesus. Wow!! What an awesome priviledge to be the hands and feet of Jesus! He said we are watching you to learn how to live for Jesus. My translator asked me to sing my favorite hymn so I sang Amazing Grace. They sang along in Spanish. It was unbelievable and something I will never forget. Please continue to pray that more people will come to know Christ. So far 10 people have accepted Christ. I look forward to getting home and seeing all of you.
Mary Lyn

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Bogota Day 4 of English classes

We had another great day in Bogota yesterday. I asked a translator why so many students want to learn English. She said that the people of Bogota are anxiously awaiting the day when the US signs a free trade agreement with Colombia and then they feel the jobs will come. They want to be ready with good English skills. Thank you for your prayers yesterday for my talk to the Businessmen’s lunch. It went very well. I told them about my family and the wonderful people in my church and then was able to share my testimony. They were very attentive and receptive. I was even asked to sing a duet with Jason, the music minister from First Bapt Covington. We sang Amazing Grace, My Chains are Gone and How Great Is Our God. I really enjoyed that. God is doing great things here in Bogota. I feel very blessed to be a part of it. Thank you again for your prayers and support. Our focus scripture today is 1 Timothy 4:6-14
In Christ,
Mary Lyn20110624-080614.jpg20110624-080928.jpg

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