October 4, 2007 Publishing Good News since 1884 Volume 124 Number 235

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Maguire State Mission Offering: 2007 Daily Prayer Guide

Goal: $ 1,372,000


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"And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom and healing every infirmity. When He saw the crowds, He had compassion for them because they were scattered and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd." Matthew 9:35-36.

JACKSONVILLE (FBC)—The Maguire State Mission Offering has a missionary purpose—helping new congregations through no-interest church site loans, supporting pastors in partnership states and countries and spreading the Gospel through evangelistic ministry. The offering enables a mission enterprise that develops Christian believers through youth and family camps; helps churches in Florida communities, ministers to migrant farm laborers and helps rebuilds lives in the aftermath of disasters.

When giving through the Maguire State Mission Offering, Florida Baptists are looking at the state and its needs through the compassionate eyes of Jesus. By giving sacrificially, they extend His hand in salvation and forgiveness.

By joining in prayer and giving, Florida Baptists are seeing the Florida mission field through the eyes of Jesus.

Pray each day for these missionaries serving on the Florida mission field.

Maguire State Missions Offering material was provided by the Florida Baptist Convention.



Pastor Jose Vega leads about 100 persons from 14 different nationalities in Jacksonville where 50,000 Hispanics live.

Members of his congregation, Iglesia Bautista Deermeadows, purchased 2.5 acres of land on a major thoroughfare in south Jacksonville with the help of a $75,000 loan provided by the Maguire State Mission Offering's new work loan program. When the loan has been paid, they will begin the process of constructing their worship facility.

A native of Paraguay, Brother Vega began serving the Spanish language church in 2001, about a year after it began as a Sunday school class at Deermeadows Baptist Church. The growing Hispanic congregation meets in the sponsoring church's facilities.

Pastor Vega has led the congregation to minister within the community. Weekly soccer games draw area Hispanics to one of their favorite sports. At the conclusion of the game, Vega preaches the Gospel to the players and fans. English as a Second Language classes held at their sponsoring church also brings many new members.

Pray for Pastor Vega as he leads the congregation to be the light of Christ in a world of darkness. Pray that he can prepare the congregation to acquire needed funds to construct their new building. Pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to dwell in their midst and in their proposed house of worship.



What does God's blessing look like?

For Rick Canfield, pastor of Lighthouse Baptist Church in Ivydale, West Virginia, God's blessing looks like a gravel parking lot that will one day be a children's playground. God's blessing looks like a monthly stipend check that allows him to fulfill his God-given ministry. God's blessing looks like believers earnestly praying for people to be reached with the Gospel.

Through the state-to-state missions partnership with Florida Baptists since 2002, Florida Baptists have provided financial assistance, supplemented through the Maguire State Mission Offering, prayer, and direct personal involvement.

Canfield dreams that his church, in an economically deprived, drug-infested community, will one day be a "life-saving station," where residents can find hope. With a $75,000 interest-free loan from Florida Baptists, the church purchased an elementary school, which it is transforming into a "safe haven." It already is attracting about 50 people to Sunday morning worship services.

Canfield dreams of a playground for children, a temporary transitional home for at-risk teens, a daily lunch program for local impoverished residents, a weekend activity program for children, a week-night Bible study and fellowship for adults, even a free daycare.

The partnership with Florida Baptists will transform those dreams into reality, Canfield believes. "Our number one need is for Florida Baptists to pray for our ministry," he said.



Chaplain Bob Hart brings the voice of redemption and hope found in the Gospel message of Jesus Christ to 2,000 prisoners and 900 employees in Marion County. After retiring as a corrections officer, Hart found God calling him to remain involved the jail ministry, sharing the Gospel of love with persons imprisoned both physically and spiritually and with the police and correctional officers and administrative personnel who need a word.

He was led to minister to inmates "who made bad choices and never had a clue about Jesus Christ," he said. "They look at me and say 'here is a guy who enforces the law but who shows love' and that makes a difference."

The Maguire State Mission Offering provides funding to help Florida chaplains evangelize the prison population and law enforcement officers. From these funds, the Marion County chaplains receive salvation tracks, Bible study materials, 500 Bibles a month and specialized training.

Hart asks Florida Baptists to pray for the "officers, for their minds, hearts and safety. We also need prayer for the inmates that the seed of faith is planted and they grow into Christians."



Cortney Stewart never felt called to the foreign mission field. That was until her Baptist campus minister encouraged her to go to Nicaragua as a summer missionary. The trip ignited her passion for missions. And through her efforts, a 14-year-old Nicaraguan boy accepted Christ as his Savior.

"I went to Nicaragua to prove it really wasn't for me and met this little boy who totally took my heart. That was when I really opened my heart to allow God to work, move and show me His heart for the nations."

Since then, the Florida State University student has served on short-term mission trips in nine countries. Starting this fall she will serve in Asia again as a two-year journeyman with the International Mission Board.

Each year, the Maguire State Mission Offering underwrites summer mission opportunities for college students sponsored by the Baptist Campus Ministries on their campuses.

These life-changing summer experiences come at a critical juncture in a student's pilgrimage and can instill a lifetime zeal for missions. They serve as primary tools in developing future Southern Baptist missionaries, pastors and committed lay persons.

Pray for Stewart as she goes to Asia that God will give her strength and wisdom to accomplish great things for Him.

Pray for the 133 students who served as missionaries this past summer that God will use their experiences to mold the next generation of committed Christ-followers and that many will be called out for a lifetime of service on the mission field.



Brenda Delphin, a first-generation Haitian-American, like most first-generation youth, has faced difficulty finding a place to belong.

During the Florida Baptist Convention's Haitian summer camp, the Avon Park resident found her place and her purpose. After attending her first camp at age 13, Delphin's life was transformed as she discovered her identity in the eyes of God.

Crediting the influence of camp and her parents' testimony, she accepted Christ at age 14.

Now, at age 29, she shares her experiences with the youth she leads at First Haitian Baptist Church of Avon Park and takes them to the camp each summer.

"The kids come back so on fire for God. Once they get a strong foundation, God can use them more," Delphin said.

Each year, the Haitian camp and six other Florida Baptist youth mission camps, made possible through gifts to the Maguire State Mission Offering, are investing in the lives of the church's next generation.

Delphin asks Florida Baptists to pray for the next generation of believers—starting with their own children. Pray that those youth who attend camp this summer will find their places of leadership in God's Kingdom "that He will use them in a mighty way."

She added, "Prayer is the key to keeping more of our youth in the church and doing the work of the Lord."



Victor Samuel Gonzales, a respected oncologist in Havana, Cuba, currently serves as the first lay president of the Western Cuba Baptist Convention.

Because Gonzales is the son of a long-time Cuban pastor, he knows the struggles that evangelistic believers have faced through the years. Some pastors from his father's generation were even imprisoned because of their evangelistic zeal. In spite of that persecution Gonzales and many others from the younger generations persevere in their determination to call their fellow Cubans to a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ.

"Dr. Gonzales serves with compassion and focus as the Cuban convention seeks to see 'Cuba for Christ' become a reality," said Craig Culbreth, who directs Florida Baptists' partnership effort with Baptists in Western Cuba.

The partnership began in 1996. This involvement affirmed a commitment made more than 112 years earlier when in 1885, the state convention sent the first Southern Baptist missionaries to the Caribbean nation. The current partnership focuses on evangelism, church starting and leadership development. As a component of that partnership, the Western Cuba Convention is allocated $120,000 from the Maguire State Mission Offering, which represents a little more than 50 percent of the Western Cuba Convention's operating budget.

Today the Western Baptist Convention of Cuba is composed of more than 200 constituted churches and hundreds of house churches.

Pray for Dr. Gonzales and the daily work of the Cuban pastors as they lead their people. Pray for Seminary students training to be God's leaders of tomorrow.

Pray for Dr. Gonzales and the leadership of the Western Cuba Baptist Convention as they continue on their quest to lead the churches and pastors.



As director of ministry for the Confraternite' Missionnaire Baptiste d'Haïti (CMBH), Etienne Pierre brings organizational skills and pastoral resources to help develop the 662 Baptist churches in Haiti. His work is supported through the Maguire State Mission Offering.

Since 1995, Florida Baptists have been in partnership with Haitian Baptists, seeking to bring the Gospel to the eight million persons living in that impoverished island nation.

Mission work in Haiti is difficult for many reasons—poor economy; dilapidated condition of roads and lack of transportation; worship of voodoo and the occult; lack of education and political instability. But when seen through the eyes of Jesus, it is a worthy investment for Florida Baptists.

"Haiti is a special country," said Pastor Pierre. "It is very poor spiritually, morally and financially," In spite of such challenges—or, some may think, because of them—inroads with the Gospel are being made.

"God is at work in all of Haiti," Pastor Pierre emphasized.

"The partnership with Florida Baptists has made a big difference in my ministry in Haiti," the sincere and soft-spoken pastor continued. "Without this partnership, nothing should be possible! The partnership with Florida Baptists is extremely important!"

He asks Florida Baptists to ask for God's protection on him and his fellow pastors, keeping them from harm and temptation so that the Gospel can be shared and lives changed. Pray for those students training in Bible institutes as they become God's leaders of tomorrow.


In 2006, Time magazine named "You" as the person of the year, an award of distinction for men and women who changed the world either positively or negatively. As last year's recipient "You" were acclaimed as having shaped the world through community and communications brought about primarily through the World Wide Web, the magazine said.

So it is with the Florida Baptist mission field. You can make a difference. You have the power to change hearts and lives. You have the faith and vision to see Florida through the eyes of Jesus.

There is more to the state than fun in the sun. Of the 18 million Florida residents, two out of three persons do not claim a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

The need to start new churches is overwhelming. Every day, 1,005 residents move to the Sunshine State, creating population shifts in urban and rural areas and pockets of communities void of a New Testament congregation. Florida is the home to 4.5 million people who speak nearly 200 languages and need to hear the Gospel message in their own heart language.

Each year, Florida Baptist churches set aside time to focus on the close-to-home needs of the world-wide mission field.

It is a time for you to reflect on God's love shown in the death of his son, Jesus Christ. It is a time for you to give to the Maguire State Mission Offering to help fund new congregations, camps, medical clinics and missionary partnerships. It is a time for you to pray for the spiritually lost within the state.

It is a time for you to look at the Florida mission field through the eyes of Jesus and recommit yourself to personally participate in sharing God's grace with your neighbors and friends.

You are a missionary.

Today, consider what God will have you to do to bring hope to a state in need of a message of hope. Pray that God will use you sacrificially.