Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Dinner Rolls

Thanksgiving is almost here! 
Let the baking begin! 
Thanksgiving is definitely one time of the year that I love to bake dinner rolls to compliment all the other delicious food we are blessed to enjoy as we give thanks to God for all He has done for us.
A friend of mine gave me this recipe years ago after we were invited to her house for dinner and she served these rolls. They were SO delicious I had to try to make them myself. They have been a part of our Thanksgiving table ever since!


2 pkg. dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup shortening
3 eggs, beaten
6-6 1/2 cups bread flour (I use an all-purpose)


Soften yeast with water, sugar, and salt in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, microwave milk and shortening until melted. Add milk and shortening to mixture along with eggs. Stir in flour a little at a time. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. 
Cover and let rise for one hour. Punch down dough. Shape rolls into balls, place onto baking sheet (they can be touching), cover, and let rise for 30 minutes. 
Bake at 180 Celsius (375 F) for 15-18 minutes.
Makes three dozen rolls. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Racist Missionary

Jonah is an anomaly.

His book is unique among the prophets because it is entirely autobiographical. He did not desire the incredible ministry successes he experienced. God took the initiative to show His grace to the Assyrians by sending them a missionary. Jonah was not merely apathetic about this, he was antipathetic--he did not want that ethnic group to be converted. They were a different skin color, language group, and geography from him; and their culture was vastly different. He wasn't interested in their conversion.

And after ten years on the mission field, I can see that Jonah was not the only missionary to struggle with racist feelings.

What, a racist missionary? Isn't that an oxymoron? How could a racist be a missionary? Well, emotions of bitterness and cynicism towards the people on your field don't come all at once. Missionaries don't ever go to the field thinking that they could even become close to being racist! After all, they've given up everything because of their love for another people group, right? Nevertheless, negative emotions towards the very people you want to love can creep in over time after many adverse culture-shocking experiences. (Look at the results of "culture stress.")

jonah gourd
Jonah is a good bad example of NOT loving the people to whom you are sent. Thus Jonah's story is a great starting-place in a biblical discussion of racism. Jonah was "very angry" when God showed mercy to the Ninevites. So God used an object lesson of a quick-growing, then quick-dying gourd, with some gentle questions, followed up with a gentle, insightful rebuke to show Jonah that his hatred towards the Ninevites was wrong.

And God said to Jonah, Doest thou well to be angry for the gourd?

And he said, I do well to be angry, even unto death.

Then said the LORD, Thou hast had pity on the gourd, for the which thou hast not laboured, neither madest it grow; which came up in a night, and perished in a night:  And should not I spare Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more than sixscore thousand persons that cannot discern between their right hand and their left hand; and also much cattle?

~Jonah 4:9-11
Who are these persons that God is talking about? Who cannot tell the difference between their right and left hands? Isn't it the children? In other words, some litmus tests of whether you are racist or not are the following:
  • if you are unable to show love towards people from another ethnicity
  • if you wish for genocide including the children
  • if you believe that a person from that race cannot be converted, or
  • if you believe that all the people in that culture are only bad, thus even the children have no good potential.
I still remember a defining moment for Seth and me as new missionaries. We had just moved to a rural village in South Africa and were visiting neighbors in an attempt to meet them and learn their culture. We came across an old man who had been almost raised by Swiss Presbyterian missionaries who pioneered missions to the Tsonga people. They had sent him to school abroad, and his English was excellent.

Trying to answer his wife's questions as to why we were there, we began evangelizing, assuming that they knew basic ideas of salvation and the Gospel because of their background as staunch Presbyterians. Imagine our surprise when his wife inquired what we meant by "salvation." She queried, "You mean, baptism?" Startled, Seth began expounding the Gospel. Her husband cut us off with an eye-opening statement: "Oh, you'll never get them to understand details like that. These people will never get the details."

The Gospel? Details? Sadly this man was a living example of his own stereotype.

I remember another shocking scene in my first year here. Our landlord came over drunk one night to visit with us. I will never forget him pouring beer on the hood of our pick-up truck for his pet monkey to lap up, while saying, "This chimp is smarter than any of those * blacks."

After years of ministering to a pagan culture, missionaries can get very discouraged from witnessing repeated sinful behaviors. They can get bitter from attacks or disappointments by untrustworthy people. They can become cynical, wondering if fruit is real or how long it'll last this time. Harmful generalizations are made: "These people are all like that. They will never get better."

Missionaries to less civilized people groups eventually have to deal with the question, "Why are these people like that?" When a missionary hits that disillusioned stage of being so frustrated, it seems that two paths lie before him. He can explain the deficiencies he sees in another culture in one of two ways:

He could say that those people are like that because they are inherently inferior. They are simply unable to become an enlightened, Christian culture. He could become like our landlord, bitterly saying that the people have no more hope than animals. In other words, he could become a racist.

We have decided to take the second path, however, which explains stereotypical problems of another race with this answer: The Devil has blinded their culture for so many thousands of centuries and they have had so little common grace given to them, that they need a lot more time and work of the Holy Spirit to reflect Christianity in their culture. (2 Cor. 4:4) In other words, it is Satan we are fighting, not people.

Missionaries need to guard their hearts and thinking about pagan cultures. If you don't believe that cultural sins and deficiencies are strongholds of Satan, and that these are spiritual issues deserving of your empathy, you will become a racist missionary, constantly embittered and frustrated instead of responding with compassion. Because if the answer is not that the Devil has a stronghold in that culture, then the answer is that those people are just inferior, inherently, for centuries. And that is racist.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

12 Days of Christmas Giveaways! Coming Soon!

Starting December 1, here on the Baptist Missionary Women Blog,
we will be hosting
12 Days of Christmas Giveaways!

The giveaways are for anyone with a US address.  So, if you're living overseas, that's okay, just find a friend or family member willing to let you use their address.  All of these items have been donated by our Baptist Missionary Women.  

If you have something you would like to donate to our giveaway,
please leave a comment or send us a message via facebook.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Peanut Butter Cookies

(Originally found recipe here)

YIELD: About 30 cookies


½ cup butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter
¾ cup white sugar
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1¼ cup all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
Sea salt, or other light tasting flaky sea salt


In a large bowl, beat together butter and peanut butter using an electric mixer until well combined.
Add sugars and continue to beat until fluffy.
Add egg, milk, and vanilla extract and mix until smooth.
Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and ¼ teaspoon of salt and mix just until blended.
Roll balls of dough in white sugar before placing on an ungreased baking sheet.
Press down lightly with the prongs of a fork to create a criss cross pattern.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 10 to 12 minutes. Do not over bake.
Sprinkle lightly with sea salt as soon as you remove the cookies from the oven.
Let cookies cool on baking sheet for at least 3 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Life of a Missionary in One Word

It happens so often.

We are asked what it is like to be a missionary.

It's difficult to explain actually. Oh, not because we are confused about the work and ministry of missions. It's just that what we do cannot be so easily summed up in a quick, passing conversation.

But I think we have done it.

Several BMWs submitted pictures to try to help us all see what it is like to be a missionary.

Come join us as we show you...

Missions isn't just feet.

It's hands.

It's hands that comfort and cuddle the sick, the weak, and the helpless.


It's hands that bake...


And muffins... 


And baby showers.

It's hands that chop...

Hands that roll...

And hands that fill soup bowls.

Missions is hands that dig...

And hands that garden.

Hands that sort...

And hands that can.

It's hands that stuff envelopes.

It's hands labeling tracts.

It's hands that give invitations...


And hands that give Bible verses.

It's hands that give flowers...

And hands that give the Gospel.

Being a missionary is hands that help...

And hands that heal.

It's hands that encourage a spouse to keep on preaching.

It's hands that hold a steering wheel for hours.

It's hands that glue...

And staple...

And organize...

It's hands that strum...

And make beautiful music...

It's hands that play...

And hands that work...

And build...

And teach...

And snuggle up with a book...

It's writing hands...

Thank You cards...

Hands practicing a language...

And hands speaking a language.

It's hands that plan...

And hands that design.

A missionary is hands that create...

And hands that operate.

It's hands that wash...

And wash...

And wash...

It's hands that serve and share a cup...

And it's hands that pray.

Ultimately, the life of a missionary is hands that point the way.

It's hands that pack and go...

Hands that take hold of the hands of others and help them navigate the road of life...

It's grabbing a walking stick, hitting the path, and leading the way for a people God has called you to.

It's hands that reach out...

Hands that love.

There is no greater demonstration of what the life of a missionary is than the nail scarred Hands that not only willingly went to the cross, but they were the same hands that picked up a basin and a towel to wash feet... 

What is it like to be a missionary?

It's hands.

"And let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us: and establish thou the work of our hands upon us; yea, the work of our hands establish thou it."
Psalm 90:17


(Thank you to all who contributed pictures for this post.
Your hands are treasured.)

by Charity, Southern Asia