Many Arkansas Baptists don’t realize just how far their impact can reach. But the truth is that Dixie Jackson missions efforts have a worldwide impact, reaching even into places where Christian missionaries are not allowed to go.
How is this possible? God has brought the nations to Arkansas!
PEOPLE FROM NEARLY 150 DIFFERENT PEOPLE GROUPS FROM AROUND THE WORLD are currently making their home in Arkansas. Some are here for only a few months at a time, taking advantage of short-term student exchange programs in high schools and universities or participating in temporary job assignments. Others are more long-term, choosing Arkansas schools for their education or finding permanent jobs here.
An even more powerful reality is that over 80 of the people groups represented are unreached. No Gospel witness has been able to penetrate these people groups in their home countries. Instead, God has brought them to our home, enabling Arkansas Baptists to engage with them right here in our own cities.
Magnolia, Arkansas, a city with a population of just over 11,000 people, is a perfect example of this reality. Over 41 people groups are represented on campus at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia.
BEN COULTER, pastor of Immanuel Baptist Church in Magnolia, recognizes the urgency of ministering to the nations God has brought to his doorstep. Reaching these nations is as simple as forming relationships with students and professors. Many of them are lonely and hungry for friendships. They need rides, English lessons, or help navigating the differences of our culture.
WE CAN DO THE SAME IN OUR OWN COMMUNITIES. We can build relationships, sharing the love of Christ with internationals while they are here. Then when they leave, they will be able to carry that love and light back with them to their home countries, even countries completely closed to missions work.
While it is still light, we can reach the world simply by befriending internationals right here in our own towns.