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Holly Pond couple headed to South Asia is next addition to state strategycomment (0)

June 27, 2013

By Neisha Fuson

Paul and Leah Nations are headed to South Asia with their son, Elisha, in October. This young family is the most recent addition to the Alabama Acts 1:8 Connections partnership effort.

The Nationses, who grew up in Holly Pond and are members of First, Holly Pond, will remain connected to Alabama Baptists through their home church and four other nearby churches: Duck River Baptist, Mount Zion Baptist and Spring Hill Baptist, all in Cullman; and Walter Baptist, Hanceville.

The Nationses met with First, Holly Pond, Pastor Benjamin Smothers and Walter Baptist Pastor Gary Waddell on June 17 to discuss how Alabama Baptist churches can “be on the same page … and be helpful and encouraging” to the Nationses once they are overseas.

They met with Scotty Goldman, an associate in the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions (SBOM) office of global missions, the office that oversees Alabama Acts 1:8 Connections.

“The key to successful partnership is to be intentional,” Goldman said, noting the importance of two-way prayer. 

The churches should pray for the Nationses and the Nationses should be given the opportunity to pray for the churches, he said.

Leah Nations said she was excited for the church members “to pray about things and for them to see how God is answering their prayers.” 

She said she is praying “that these churches see us as regular people being obedient to God and that God would use that to call more people out to go … and realize the vast lostness in the world.”

The people group the Nationses will serve is 99.8 percent Hindu. 

They asked that Alabama Baptists pray for house churches that multiply, national believers they can partner with, language learning and for a love for the people and culture.

Smothers said First, Holly Pond, plans to pray regularly for the Nationses and hopes to have a monthly prayer meeting specifically focused on them and their work. The church also is looking forward to going on missions trips to South Asia once the Nationses are settled, Smothers said.

The Alabama Acts 1:8 Connections missions strategy is meant “to provide opportunities for Alabama Baptists to be involved in missions by connecting with International Mission Board (IMB) and North American Mission Board (NAMB) [representatives],” Goldman said. It is a shift from a geographic partnership model to a partnership with individual representatives from Alabama, no matter where they serve, he said.

With more than 400 representatives from Alabama currently serving with the IMB and NAMB and new appointees heading out each year, there are still many opportunities for churches and associations to get involved. The network can be created based on people group, location or individual representative.

For more information about Alabama Acts 1:8 Connections, to suggest representatives from Alabama who might welcome this type of partnership or to get connected with representatives who need a prayer network, call Goldman at 1-800-264-1225, ext. 387 (sgoldman@alsbom.org). 

Editor’s Note — The Nationses’ names have been changed for security reasons.

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