Commissioned to Serve in the Middle East
Melanie Baggao of Placentia, California, was commissioned to serve with American Baptist International Ministries (IM) in the Middle East. Baggao is IM's third global worker to be serving in this part of the world. She departed for her field of service on October 21, 2015. The commissioning service was held in Baggao's home church, Epic Church in Fullerton, California on October 4, 2015.
In partnership with the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary of the Lebanese Society for Educational and Social Development, Baggao, as a student in the Seminary's Master in Religion program, will focus on language acquisition (Arabic), enculturation, relationship-building, and preparation for future ministry in Arabic-speaking cultures. A former middle school teacher, she will also volunteer as a teacher at the Seminary, assisting some students studying English.
Epic's lead pastor, the Rev. Kevin Doi, gave a homily entitled "His Arms: God's Invitation to Mission." Paralleling Baggao's call to service with that of Abram (Genesis 12:1-3, 15:1, 5-6), the Rev. Doi told of how one evening when Baggao was on a mission trip in Arizona, she looked up to see the stars filling the night sky and felt God saying, "See, as numerous as the stars are all my children who do not yet know me." Then, when Melanie as a young adult traveled to Egypt, she fell in love with the Arab world and remembering those Arizona stars thought, "God is calling me to the Middle East."
Keep Melanie in your prayers that she would feel the presence and the power of the Holy Spirit, especially when she feels most inadequate. Pray that she would remember to focus on doing only that which she is able to do and leave the rest in God's keeping.