Man on a mission
Guardian Lifestyles Editor
Published: Jun 20, 2013
Short-term mission trips provide an opportunity for believers to engage first-hand in God’s work around the world. It is a way to personally experience ministries of compassion, justice and evangelism in a cross-cultural setting.
The experiences not only bless others, but are one of the most powerful catalysts for the person’s spiritual growth. Mission trip experiences help people see the world through God’s eyes, experience authentic Christian community through relationships and experiences, contribute meaningfully, humbly and energetically to a team and integrate new learning into their faith and life back home. The trips also help people understand their next steps to living out God’s calling on their lives.
And it’s these sort of trips that retired senior pastor at New Covenant Baptist Church Bishop Simeon Hall wants to participate in over the next seven years.
“I want to finish my day on the mission field,” said Hall, who recently returned from a mission trip to Uganda that was a few days shy of two weeks.
“I’ve been preaching now for 46 years and I’ve done mission work for most of those years, but now I’m free from the day-to-day responsibility and pastoral duty, and I’ve just shifted my focus to missions and evangelism.”
Hall’s mission trip took place as the All African Conference of Churches met in its annual convention in Kampala, Uganda, with 600 missionaries descending on the continent. Reverend Keith Davis from New Covenant Baptist Church made the trip with Hall.
Hall was afforded the opportunity to speak to members of a number of churches and the residents of a village while there. His message to them was that Jesus Christ is Lord and the fact that the light still shines in the darkness.
“Africa is faced with a myriad of problems, and I tried not to be condescending in any way, but to say that regardless of the dark, economic, social and in some cases, racial and tribal problems that they are faced with, Jesus Christ’s light still shines in the darkness,” said Hall.
As he looks forward to travel the globe in the next few years and taking God’s message with him, Hall said evangelism and missions are things believers and ministers should engage in, regardless of what stage in life they are it.
“Mission trips allow believers to get something. The people, you’re going to get something. You preach a word, you inspire them, in some cases you give money, but what it does to you as a person if you believe that’s your calling is it gives you a sense of accomplishment,” he said. “And one of the reasons for my retirement was so that I could travel to different parts of the world, and I am now able to do that,” he said.
The Uganda mission was Hall’s first time to that nation. Prior to his most recent trips, he had gone on five other missions – one to Egypt, Nigeria and Ghana, and two trips to South Africa. He has also preached in 45 of the American states.
Since his retirement, Hall has ministered in Jamaica and St. Kitts.
Hall, who is vice president at large of the International Region of the Progressive National Baptist Convention (USA), has been invited to preach in South Africa in September and India in October. It will make for his third South African trip and first trip to India. The only continents he has not preached on are Australia and Antarctica, but one of the goals he has set for himself is to preach in Australia.
“I’ve asked God to open a door in Australia, and from there I would be able to say I have preached on every continent [where people live] in all the world,” he said, adding that nobody lives on Antarctica.
As he travels on his missions, Hall said he likes to say that he has gone a long way from where he grew up, to the four corners of the world.
And as he prepares for future missions, the Baptist pastor said all believers are invited to travel with him to do something great for themselves and the country as they take The Bahamas to the world.
“I’m trying to get believers to do something great for the kingdom of God and one way they can do that is through support [of people going on missions], or going on mission themselves,” said Hall.
He said all of his trips have been self-sponsored with the support of New Covenant and friends and supporters who have a burden to preach the gospel to others, especially to those people who have never heard the name of Christ.
“I know that other pastors have been pacesetters in this area of mission, but I want to do more missions in this area and I thank God that I’m able to do it,” said Hall.
|Last Updated on Friday, 21 June 2013 16:57|