Dr. Familiaran Represents ABC on Philippine Typhoon Relief Mission

By Benjamin SL Chan, International Ministries
Rev. Dr. Elmo Familiaran, Associate Regional Pastor/Area Minister of the American Baptist Churches in New Jersey (ABCNJ,) is running a series of meetings on typhoon relief in the Philippines beginning January 28, 2014.  American Baptist International Ministries (IM), the World Relief Office and ABCNJ are working together to plan the second phase of typhoon relief in the Philippines.  Rev. Familiaran, Associate Regional Pastor/Area Minister of ABNCJ, has graciously agreed to visit the affected areas and represent the three organizations to meet with leaders of the Convention of Philippines Baptist Churches. He is helping us gain better understanding of the current relief work, and what is needed to restore the operation of the Baptist institutions and normal life of the citizens. The information gathered will be used to shape the focus of the coming relief work. We will share the plan with American Baptist family.
Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines on November 8, 2013 and devastated the country. Click to read related posting:

Join the ABCNJ Delegation at IM's 200th Anniversary!

NOTE:  This invitation is only for ABCNJ churches and members!

International Ministries is hosting a 200th anniversary conference at Green Lake on July 21-25, 2014.  All of our missionaries, 150 foreign partner dignitaries, and over 1,000 American Baptists will be in attendance.  It promises to be an inspiring and historic milestone in the history of ABC missions.  For details on the conference, see:

I have secured a block of 20 rooms at Green Lake for ABCNJ's use, with 16 still available.  We need to send in our confirmed reservations by the first week in October.

To secure your room, email Dr. Lee B. Spitzer as soon as possible - we will assign rooms on a first-come, first served basis.  For each room, a down payment of 2 nights is required by Green Lake to hold the room.  Your check for the deposit needs to be in by October 7.

If you and members of your family wish be part of the ABCNJ delegation, NOW is the time to secure your reservation through ABCNJ.  Green Lake is already totally sold out.

Room choices:  We are assuming a 7 night stay (arrive 7/19; leave 7/26).  It may be possible to arrive a day later; I am not sure yet.  But if we have a good group of folk, I will plan something special for the Sunday!  There are a variety of room options and sites.  When you reply to this email, please indicate your first and second choice.

Roger Williams Inn - $99 per night.  Bed options are: 1 Queen; 1 Queen & 1 Single; or 2 Singles.  Roger Williams is a "stately" older building, right on the lake.  2 NIGHT DEPOSIT: $198.

Kern Lodge - $116 per night.  Bed option: 2 Queens.  Hotel style rooms.  2 NIGHT DEPOSIT: $232.

In addition to the lodging, of course, you will have to pay for the conference registration ($119 per person) and transportation to and from Green Lake.  We are working on options for group travel to save everyone money.  Let's have a great time in Green Lake!


Endless Possibilities a Blessing in Brazil!

How can you put the puzzle pieces of your life together so that they make sense and reveal how God has been active in your life? How can you discover God’s will for your next journey? Why is it so hard to be patient while waiting for “the next thing?” What role do my friends play in my journey? How can I pray for others and myself according to my journey themes? IMG_9213

We addressed these and many other questions during the module we recently taught at the National Baptist Convention’s cross-cultural missionary training center here in Brazil. Rev. Dr. Lee Spitzer's book on the Spiritual Journey Paradigm (SJP), Endless Possibilities, provided the core content for discussion and reflection.

And our students loved it!

Danielly spoke for the whole class when she said: “Your material was so helpful for our whole team [of missionaries in training]. Now we can better understand our spiritual journeys. Thank you so much!”

The students are especially grateful for Pr. Lee’s generous contribution of study materials for the class.

ABCNJ is playing an important role in equipping a whole new generation of Brazilian missionaries that are serving literally around the world!

Explore Your Call at Embrace the Cause

large_Embrace_the_Cause_stacked_CROPPEDWhen and Where

August 9 - 12, 2013

Green Lake Conference Center, Green Lake, Wisconsin

Is God Calling You Into Global Mission?

Wondering what's really involved in cross-cultural global mission service?  Not sure how to prepare or what steps to take?  Got questions but you don't know whom to ask?  This event is for you!

During this high-intensity, focused weekend, you'll meet with experienced missionaries and IM staff, many who are former missionaries themselves.  They will help you evaluate your call, pray with you, answer all your questions and banish misconceptions of what it really means to be a missionary in today's world.

Worship, inspirational messages, interactive sessions and personal reflection time will combine to make this a powerful discernment experience.  No matter where you are in the process, you'll leave with a clear understanding of next steps.


Registration is $80.  Meals and housing are extra (see further down for details).  Call the Green Lake Conference Center to register and choose your housing.  (920) 294-3323.

Limited scholarship help is available from International Ministries.  Write to or call 800 222-3872 ext. 2245.


The retreat begins with supper at 5:00pm on Friday, August 9th.  You can head home on Monday morning, August 12th.    Click here to see the full schedule for the weekend.  The retreat will be held in Lone Tree Lodge just a few minutes walk from the central part of the grounds.


Please fly into the Appleton, Wisconsin airport (ATW).  Green Lake will provide shuttle transportation but only if you fill out their "Transportation Request Form" at least a week before the retreat.  You can access the form on their website at: Click on "About Us" and then the "Travel and Maps" submenu.  Cost for shuttles is $30 per person one way.

Green Lake is about 50 minutes from the Appleton airport, so you'll want to select a flight that lands by 3:30pm to be at the conference center in time for supper on Friday.  We strongly suggest that you choose a return flight that does not leave earlier than 9:00am.  Please read the Helpful Travel Tips further down on Green Lake's Travel page.

Housing and Meals

The meal package price is $88 and it begins with supper on Friday (5-6pm) through breakfast on Monday (7:30-8:30am).   Green Lake's dining room offers a buffet of options at every meal but if you have dietary restrictions, there's a form on their website you can fill out a week ahead of time.  Look under "Facilities" and then click on "Dining" to access the form and see photos.

Lone Tree Lodge is $85/night and the rooms all have 2 or 3 twin beds.  Kern Lodge is $110/night and the rooms have queen size beds, and family rooms have twin beds &/or bunk beds.  All the rooms have private bathrooms.  Click on the name of either building to see photos and descriptions.

If you would like to share the cost of a room with another attendee, please call the offices of International Ministries at 800 222-3872 ext. 2313 and we will try to help you find a roommate.

Featured Leaders

Morning Speaker

Rev. Dr. Lee Spitzer    Click here to see Lee's bio and photo.

Evening Speaker

Rev. Dr. Stan Slade    Click here to see Stan's bio and photos.

Worship Leader

Mr. Jared Messer     Click here to see Jared's bio and photos.

Mission Personnel

  • Mercy Barnes-González - missionary in Mexico
  • Kristy Engel - regional missionary in the Caribbean and Iberoamerica
  • Debbie and Flint Miller - former missionaries in the Philippines
  • Ketly and Vital Pierre - missionaries in Nicaragua
  • Becky and Larry Stanton - endorsed for service as missionaries in Liberia
  • Walt White - global consultant in cross-cultural evangelism.  Joining Walt is his wife Jeanine.  Together they served as missionaries in Bangladesh.



Join the 2013 World Day of Prayer


Friday, March 1st is World Day of Prayer 2013. Services begin at sunrise in the Pacific and follow the sun across the globe. Women, men and children in more than 170 countries and regions will participate in this ecumenical movement of believers from many traditions who come together to observe a common day of prayer. It is founded on the idea that informed prayer and prayerful action are inseparable in the service of God’s kingdom. ABC International Ministries asked the missionaries for prayer requests from their fields of service. We invite you to share them with your friends and family, and in your communities of faith as you join with believers around the world on March 1st. Or choose another date that works for your community.

The host country for 2013 is France, on the topic, “I Was a Stranger and You Welcomed Me” encouraging welcome for migrant people worldwide. It strives for a Christian response to struggles concerning immigration and for ways to welcome “the stranger” and to identify with “the least of these” in Matthew 25. The focus this year draws on customs of hospitality found in Leviticus to paint a picture of welcoming the stranger, and to help us put ourselves in the shoes of “the stranger”. We will remember our own feeling of being on the outside, and the joy of the blessings of being welcomed.

Dan Buttry – Global Consultant for Peace, Justice and Conflict Transformation

  1. Pray for Kenya to have a peaceful election on March 4 and in the weeks before and after. I’ve been working with Central Baptist Theological Seminary’s Wilson Gathungu and others for the last two years in conflict transformation training. In April we will do follow-up trainings and strategy sessions to continue the work for peace. Pray for all of Africa, me and Wilson Gathungu of Central Baptist Theological Seminary, as we put together a 10-day Training of Conflict Transformation Trainers in September that will shape key Christian leaders in Bible-based peacemaking skills. Registrants so far are from Zimbabwe, Angola, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria, Uganda, and Kenya. Pray for the members of the IGNITE team who will be in the Republic of Georgia in May and June, exposing emerging Christian leaders from the U.S. and Georgia to the challenges and opportunities of mission. Lauran Bethell – Global Consultant for Anti-Human Trafficking
  2. Pray for those who are walking the streets of Europe, meeting victims of human trafficking/prostitution as they meet together in April in Waterloo, Belgium. Pray that they learn information that strengthens their ministries. Pray for me as I help plan the meeting and also speaks in one of the plenary sessions, that the Holy Spirit will speak words of truth and power through me. Pray for the European Baptist Federation’s Anti-Trafficking Network, as they meet together near Barcelona, Spain in April. Pray that the Holy Spirit will guide them to know more effective ways of ministering to victims of trafficking from Africa and Eastern Europe. Ingrid Roldán-Román missionary in Panama & Costa Rica:
  3. Pray for students of the School Tutoring Program in Changuinola, Bocas del Toro, Panama so they can continue to acquire skills that will help them in their learning process and that through me they will know God. Pray for the membership of the Baptist Church in Sixaola, Costa Rica that can remain faithful to God and sharing the gospel with others. Pray for my return to the mission field after my time at home for Puerto Rico & US visitations.

Dan and Sarah Chetti missionaries in Lebanon:

  1. After 7 years of ministry among imprisoned maids in Lebanon, I (Sarah) am launching INSAAF – an Integrated Center for the Ministry among the Maids. Please pray that the harassed, discriminated, suffering maids from several Asian and African countries will find a safe haven where someone listens to their stories and ministers to their needs. Please pray for people to help me, to convert the building creating counseling and work stations, and for money for the renovation work.
  2. Lebanon right now is over whelmed by more than 200,000 refugees due to conflicts in neighboring Syria and Iraq. Families are living in difficult situations including unfinished buildings open to the elements in this cold winter season. Many refugees are Christian minorities, and the students of the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary (where we work) identify with the refugees and are deeply disturbed by these changes in society. Join us and our students in praying that Lebanese churches will reach out to the refugees and minister among them, and for churches & donors in the US who would like to participate in this ministry.

Kit Ripley missionary in Thailand:

  1. Please pray for the ministry of the New Life Center Foundation. We work with tribal girls who have experienced labor exploitation, domestic violence, sexual abuse or human trafficking, and girls who are "at risk". We are in a period of structural change and staff transitions, and are seeking God's guidance as we consider how we can be best equipped to meet the changing needs of tribal girls in the upcoming years.
  2. Insufficient access to citizenship continues to be a challenge for minority people groups in Thailand. Please pray for the government to open up channels so that minority people can access legal Thai citizenship.

Wendy Bernhard missionary in the Democratic Republic of Congo:

  1. Pray for our seminaries and Bible institutes as they prepare pastors for ministry in today's turbulent world.
  2. Pray for the young people of Congo, that they would learn and follow Christ's way in their lives.

Deb Mulneix – development worker in India and Nepal:

  1. Making strangers into friends is the goal of all of all of our Partners in Ministry in India and Nepal. This week, I received news about the weddings of two new friends. Not long ago, these women were selling alcohol, drugs, and sometimes themselves. Then they were introduced to Christ. Today, they understand the difference between loving someone and using them. Their new husbands show them respect that they have never experienced before. Now that's a Welcome to a Stranger! Please keep these new families in your prayers, as well as the shelter and the women and staff who work there.
  2. Education in India is a very high priority. Our early missionaries were aware of the need and established many schools around the country. Today, Christian schools are well respected, and many non-Christian children are enrolled in them. The residents of a small, remote village approached their Christian neighbors to open a school. Even though they had no funds, no teachers, and no buildings, these believers began a school. The first year there were 75 students, and today, three years later, they number around 350, with less than 10 of these students from Christian homes. Like this one, many of our schools are in remote areas, and funding is not easily available. Please keep the students, faculty, staff, and parents of our Christian schools in your prayers.

Mike Mann – Global Consultant for Rural Development:

  1. Many villagers in China, Burma and Thailand live in extreme poverty and do not have access to clean water, proper sanitation and micro-loans. Pray for the mission projects that will address these challenges giving villagers hope for a healthier life and stronger economic future.

Madeline Flores-López missionary in the Dominican Republic:

  1. Pray for our economy which is directly affecting many families in the DR – a basket of basic supplies has gone up from 16% to 26%. Food and basic needs are now more prohibited and unaffordable for poor families.
  2. Pray for our college students who are the future in the DR. They face expensive transportation, no school supplies, and limited opportunities making an education nearly impossible. Please pray for more opportunities and scholarships for college students.

Chuck and Ruth Fox:

  1. Pray for children all over the world who are in need of education, and particularly for the children who receive STEP funds through IM. We have many Akha children who are receiving educational support because of the generosity of individuals and churches; we pray that others in need will receive the help they need, and that those in the program will see and understand the help they receive as God's provision in their lives.
  2. Pray for the Chiang Rai International Christian School, a school in Chiang Rai, Thailand, created to "serve the servant" families who come to minister in many capacities to the people of northern Thailand. Please pray for the development of the school as it grows, particularly for volunteer teachers who have a heart to serve in a setting like this. The school has served, and is served by, three IM missionary families, as well as 5 full-time IM volunteers this year. Many non-Christian Thai children are also coming to the school now, and we are excited to see them come to an understanding of Jesus and his love for them.
  3. Pray for the Akha people, that they might come to all know the saving power of Jesus Christ, but also discover what His love and the power of the Holy Spirit can mean in practical ways to achieve peace and their families, in their communities, in the church and in relationship to other Christian groups, as well.
  4. Pray for the projects we are involved with that are helping to provide self-sufficiency for the Akha people, namely the Akha Craft program, coffee production and drug rehabilitation efforts. May these programs be strengthened and may the people involved develop the leadership skills they need to carry these programs forward.

"Ignite" takes off with 2 ABCNJ Young Adults

Haiti and American Baptists have a long history of partnership and service together.  And yet, due to internal conflicts in Haiti, the western half of Hispaniola has never been host to an Xtreme Team or Ignite team, until now.  After a year hiatus, the American Baptist International Ministries young adult program is back under the name IGNITE and is headed to Haiti.  A group of four young adults and one team leader will be serving, learning, and living mission and outreach in Haiti this summer. The orientation training, trip and debriefing of this first IGNITE experience will run from June 23 through July 28th. Upon completion, the team will share their stories at the Immerse Youth Event in Washington, DC from July 24-28th. IGNITE enables young adults to spark a connection, kindle spiritual and personal growth, and blaze with passion for Jesus Christ.  The month long adventure of cross-cultural mission service will push them out of their comfort zones into an extraordinary faith walk with God. During their travels, team members deepen their relationship with God while seeking a deeper understanding of how people of other faiths view God, Jesus, and followers of Jesus.  The IGNITE team will be blogging regularly on their website.

“In Haiti the IGNITE Team will meet believers who have suffered great trauma from chronic poverty and the devastating 2010 earthquake yet have a vibrant witness to God’s blessing and peace,” says Reid Trulson, Executive Director, International Ministries. “This month-long experience with Haitian brothers and sisters may ignite profound changes in the Team members’ understanding of God’s presence, Jesus’ love and the Spirit’s power. We should not be surprised if it helps clarify their call and their unique participation in the mission of God in the world.”

Members of the 2012 Haiti team are: Tyrone Choate, Jr                    Red Bank, NJ

Catey Hobza                               Douglas, WY

Nathan Kang                             Monmouth Junction, NJ

Sarah Nunez                               Dearborn Heights, MI

Leaders are:

Ketly Pierre                                        Nicaragua

Dan Buttry                                           Hamtramack, MI, USA support

Deliris Carrion                                   Haiti

Nancy and Steve James                   Haiti

Monel Jules                                        Haiti

Team members regularly post journals and photos to highlight their Xperiences throughout the trip. Visit  to follow the adventures of this year’s team. Join the network to get regular updates by email.  We encourage you to be a part of their support team and spread the news of the IGNITE experience and post their journals to your own social media page.

Please keep these young adults and their mentors and leaders in your prayers!

The IGNITE team is open to young adults ages 19 - 29.  More information is available on the IGNITE team website

ABC International Ministries Begins Celebration of 200 Years of Ministry

  IM MissionsStarting this year, American Baptist International Ministries (IM) will begin celebrating 200 years of global mission. “This is a remarkable occasion for IM. Not many mission agencies have been able to reach this milestone. We are indeed grateful for God’s leading and guidance during our 200-year history,” commented Reid Trulson, executive director. “We are honoring the past while moving forward into the future.”

IM’s overarching theme for the next three years is Mission to the Third Power or Mission3. U.S. and Puerto Rico churches, friends, missionaries, donors, ABC regional staff, volunteers and missionary partnership network members will begin seeing this theme on all IM materials starting in 2012. “We’re excited about Mission to the Third Power because it recognizes our missiology rooted in the Gospel of Jesus Christ,” commented Trulson. IM’s 3-year bicentennial theme, Mission3, is a short hand way of expressing the following core ideas:

  1. IM’s entrance into its third century of mission
  2. The mission of our triune God
  3. IM’s three-fold understanding of making disciples: helping people come to Christ, grow in Christ and change their worlds with Christ.
  4. Three years of bicentennial celebrations, starting in 2012
  5. Three mission foci: evangelism; health & healing; and anti-human trafficking

IM will kick off the three-year anniversary with a huge 7-day World Mission Conference (WMC) May 18 -25, 2012. After a six-year hiatus, the weeklong WMC is coming back to the Green Lake Conference Center in Green Lake, WI. The 2012 conference, which will include a 3-day call retreat, focuses on discerning God’s call to Christian service and how to make that call a reality. The theme for 2012 is Mission3: Hear the Call. (For more information go to

The “Call Retreat” portion of the WMC will be an experience designed to help individuals consider and discern God’s call to ministry in an international and cross-cultural setting or right here in the U.S. in pastoral leadership of a local church or missional engagement in local church communities. “International Ministries is moving into an era of renewed, proactive efforts to cultivate missionary candidates and match them with the invitations and opportunities from our international partners,” notes IM Director of Recruitment Jim Bell. “We are looking forward to meeting and interacting with persons whom God might be calling to step out into faith into new ventures of service.”

Moving forward into 2013, IM will be providing information about significant celebrations in Myanmar (Burma). Baptists in Myanmar are inviting American Baptists to their country to share in bicentennial celebrations. 200 years ago in 1813, American Baptist missionaries Adoniram and Ann Judson arrived in Burma as the first Protestant missionaries from North America. They translated scripture, led people to faith and helped establish churches, schools and medical work in Burma. The Judson’s mission and work inspired many Americans to hear the call to support mission and to become missionaries. Their ministry 200 years ago was an early part of the remarkable movement of people throughout S.E. Asia becoming followers of Jesus.

June 21-23, 2013, American Baptists in the U.S. and Puerto Rico will gather in Overland Park, KS for the ABC Biennial meeting. IM will bring its global missionary focus to the Biennial, celebrating the missionary service of Adoniram and Ann Judson under the theme of Mission3: Embrace the Cause!

The year 2014 will include a grand finale: all the American Baptist missionaries will be brought back to the U.S. for a national bicentennial World Mission Conference to celebrate IM’s founding 200 years earlier in 1814 as the “General Missionary Convention of the Baptist Denomination in the United States of America, for Foreign Missions” and to launch us into our “third century” of global mission. The conference will be held July 19-26 at the Green Lake Conference Center in WI. The theme for 2014 will be: Mission3: Rise to the Challenge!

American Baptist INTERNATIONAL MINISTRIES is a Christian mission organization connecting U.S. churches and individuals to holistic missions around the world. Organized in 1814, American Baptist International Ministries is the first Baptist mission agency formed in North America. We serve more than 1,800 short-term and long-term missionaries annually, bringing U.S. and Puerto Rico churches together with partners in over 70 countries to tell the good news of Jesus Christ while meeting human needs.

IM’s mission is to glorify God in all the earth by crossing cultural boundaries to help people come to Christ, grow in Christ and change their worlds with Christ.