Ann and Bruce Borquist, serving in Brazil with the National Baptist Convention
Ann and Bruce serve as regional missionaries with partner Baptist conventions in Southeast Asia, including Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, New Zealand and the Philippines. They work alongside national leaders to build capacity in servant leadership, church-based community and economic development (including social entrepreneurship) and cross-cultural missionary training. Ann and Bruce have served since 1987 in the Philippines, the U.S. and Brazil. Most recently, they have worked with the National Baptist Convention of Brazil as co-coordinators of the Integral Mission Network and the office of Leadership and Ministry Development. They also have helped equip Brazilian missionaries to share the good news of Jesus Christ in Brazil and around the world. Languages used in ministry: English, Portuguese, Burmese, Bahasa Indonesian.
They write in their latest Ministry Update for September 2017
We were part of an amazing gathering of Christian sisters and brothers in Indonesia at the end of September that was organized by the Asia-Pacific Baptist Federation (APBF)! If one phrase could capture the message of the events we attended, it would be this: global mission is no longer just for the West.
Ann participated in a pre-Congress Consultation on Theological Education with seminary leaders from across the Asia-Pacific region. They shared moving reports about the challenges and victories of training local church pastors and leaders in difficult, sometimes dangerous, economic, cultural and political situations. Several members were interested to learn about Ann’s initiatives to help the Cambodian Baptist Union and the Baptist Convention of Vietnam develop contextualized theological education programs.
At the same time, Bruce participated in a Consultation on Development organized by Asia-Pacific Baptist Aid. Since this region is regularly pummeled by devastating natural and human-caused disasters, a majority of the 80+ participants were involved in humanitarian aid and relief programs through their Baptist conventions. It was encouraging to learn that these programs are increasingly incorporating a development approach that not only meets immediate needs after a disaster but also helps affected communities become less vulnerable and more resilient. Bruce was invited to give a formal response to a paper presented by Roshan Mendis of the Christian development organization LEADS in Sri Lanka on “Good practice in deeds and advocacy” during one of the plenaries.
The APBF Congress itself was evidence of the size, strength and diversity of the Body of Christ in this region. The Congress drew over 1,100 people representing Baptist churches and institutions spanning the Asia-Pacific region from Japan and Korea to Australia and New Zealand, from the Philippines and many Pacific island nations to India and Sri Lanka – and almost all countries in between. It was a snapshot of the Baptist movement in the most populous, diverse and least evangelized region in the world.
A workshop on the last day summarized the event for us: “Global mission is not just for the West.” Even though Christians make up only about 7% of the population in this region (see this report and this report by the Pew Research Center), speakers and delegates at the Congress demonstrated that their countries and the region as a whole are no longer just the objects of cross-cultural mission by the West. They are co-participants in God's mission with the worldwide body of Christ.