Today is a special occasion in the life of Holt Baptist Church.
Today we are commissioning Josh and Carissa Bell as they leave for ministry to West Africa with Ethnos360. Years ago, a young 18-year-old girl decided to make HBC her church home. She was a student at what was then New Tribes Bible Institute in Jackson. And as she started coming, it wasn’t long until a young man who had taken an interest in her starting coming with her. It was my privilege to later baptize Josh Bell. In May 2013 Josh and Carissa were married. After graduation from the Bible institute Josh served a summer internship here. The Bells departed that fall for Missouri where they continued their training. They were formally approved to raise support a little over a year ago – and now that support has been fully raised. We took a step of faith to financially support them at 10%. And God has blessed that decision. The Bells fly to West Africa on January 22.
Later today at 3 pm the commissioning service will begin. Other local pastors and churches will participate who have joined the Bell team. Carissa’s father, Dan Falls, will speak. Our elders will lay hands on the Bells as the church in Antioch did so many years ago as Paul and Barnabas were sent out to spread the gospel.
Pray for Josh and Carissa as they leave us. Pray also more will follow. But regardless of where we serve – all of us are in essence missionaries to our worlds – work, neighborhood, doctor’s office, social gatherings. May we each be faithful a witness to Christ and his gospel.