Lifetime Service Award

Posted on September 25, 2013 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Down Home in Mississippi

Last week was a memorable week in Texas. Following a Sunday mission emphasis at Nassau Bay in Houston and a few days with Russell’s family in their new home in Waco, we attended the North American Mission Leaders Summit in Dallas where I was recognized with the “Lifetime Service Award.” Pictured making the presentation were Steve Moore, president, and Marv Newell, Vice-President of Missio Nexus.

LifetimeService-awardMissio Nexus is a consortium of several hundred evangelical missionary organizations, and the annual summit was attended by more than 1100 leaders from throughout the country. Each year a prominent leader is chosen to be recognized for a lifetime of effective leadership and influence in missions. Previous recipients have included such notable missiologists as Ralph Winter, Greg Livingstone, George Verwer, Robertson McQuilkin and David Hesselgrave. It was a surprise to be honored this year as all of the former recipients were much older, and, as I quipped, “I did not consider my lifetime of service had been completed!

LifetimeService-TomElliffThe conference included testimonies of innovative ministries and messages by keynote speakers, David Platt and Francis Chan. One of the most moving presentation was testimonies by Maryam Rostampour and Marziyeh Amirizadeh, two young ladies who had been imprisoned in Iran for their zealous witness. Since the International Mission Board shared in the recognition I received, most of the executive leadership team was present, providing an opportunity for fellowship, including dinner with my successor as president, Dr. Tom Elliff (pictured).

LifetimeService-BaylorColiseumFollowing the Dallas Conference we returned to Waco to attend World Mandate, a massive mission conference sponsored by Antioch International Ministries. We have provided consultation for their missionaries and staff in recent years, and it was a joy to connect with many of those serving with Antioch around the world. World Mandate is a unique event in which more than 5,000 people from across the country, mostly students from Texas and Oklahoma, gather in the coliseum at Baylor University and are challenged to give their lives for the glory of God among the nations.

LifetimeService-worshipSome would think they were attending a Christian rock concert as the music was very contemporary and a dominant feature of the program. At the close of each session the altar and aisles were filled with young people responding to give their lives to reach the lost and minister to the suffering and needy. There was a focused emphasis on eliminating human trafficking with a campaign, “Your NO is their HOPE.” These events inspired us to realize that God is moving in a powerful way among a younger generation to take up the mantle and fulfill God’s mission.

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