Annie in Thailand

John 12:30-33 – Jesus answered, ‘This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgement of this world; now the ruler of this world will be driven out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’ He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die.

Devotion: “Who cares about Annie in Thailand?” a local pastor asked me as I interviewed him about the rapid growth of his suburban church. “Is she any more important than Bob at the business across the street?” “No,” I thought to myself.  “But I care about Annie.”  It was apparent that he did not know her, nor did he want to know her either. His church focuses on people in Quincy, nowhere else. The church receives thousands of dollars which they spend on staff, buildings, and programs for their members. Little or no money is shared with the broader work of God in the world. This anti-missionary attitude is unBiblical!  God is working around the world to draw all people to himself in the cross of Christ – locally and globally.

Who cares about Annie in Thailand? I do!!! Our partners at International Ministries tells us Annie Dieselberg serves as our American Baptist Missionary in Bangkok, Thailand, a bustling metropolis of more than 10 million people. She is the founder and CEO of NightLight – an international organization committed to addressing the complex issues surrounding trafficking and prostitution by catalyzing individual and community transformation. NightLight’s vision is to offer intervention to sexually exploited women and children, to enable them to discover their dignity, and to provide a program of holistic transformation, empowering them to live and work in their community.

Missionaries and volunteers build relationships and provide hope, intervention, rescue and assistance to women and children exploited in the sex industry by offering alternative employment through the registered jewelry business NightLight Design, Co. Ltd., as well as vocational opportunities, life-skills training and physical, emotional and spiritual development to women seeking freedom from sexual exploitation. NightLight builds support networks internationally to intervene and assist women, men and children whose lives are negatively impacted by the sex industry. Your gifts to the World Mission Offering tells Annie and the World that God’s global workers matter to you and Central Baptist Church!

Find more information about NightLight at www.nightlightinternational.com.

Prayer: God our Father of all people, we praise you in the name of Jesus Christ for your creative power working in the world by the Holy Spirit. We confess that You made all things and You are making all things new in Jesus.  Accept our humble confession that we do not see the world as You see it.  We are narrow-sighted when You take the long view.  We are worried about ourselves while You are mindful of all people on the earth.  We want to take care of our wants, needs, and wishes while You are taking care of building the Kingdom of God.  We are sorry for these shortcomings.  Lift our eyes to see the people and places where Your Spirit is working to draw all people to You in Jesus Christ.  Make it our mission to join Your mission in the world, for the glory of your Name.  Amen.

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About Dr. Ivan E. Greuter

A native of Nebraska, Ivan accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and Savior and experienced a call to the ministry at a young age. He graduated from Kearney Senior High before attending Ottawa University (Kansas) where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. He attended Northern Baptist Theological Seminary in Lombard, IL to earn a Master of Divinity in Pastoral Care and Counseling (1999) and a Master of Arts in Philosophical Theology (2002). In 2014, Ivan earned a Doctor of Ministry in Missional Spirituality from the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. His dissertation: “Searching For God When You Have Lost Your Dogma: The Promise of New Life for an American Baptist Congregation by Increasing Passionate Spirituality through Devotional Consideration of the Doctrine of the Trinity and Natural Church Development.” He served as the senior minister at First Baptist Church of Wood River, Illinois (1999-2006), and Central Baptist Church of Quincy, Illinois (2006-2016) prior to joining the staff at West Side Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. Ivan enjoys French cooking, fly fishing, gardening, and playing games with family and friends. Ivan and his wife, Rexanne, live in Topeka with their three children – two daughters and a son.
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