by Reggie Hester, SBC of Virginia Regional Missionary
When Pastor Brent Hobbs of New Song Fellowship in Virginia Beach learned of the opportunity to join an SBC of Virginia vision trip to Lithuania, his heart was stirred. He had attended an SBCV Pastor Fellowship luncheon at River Oak Church in Chesapeake, where the guest speaker was Milton Magalhaes, IMB missionary to Lithuania. Milton made a passionate plea to the pastors in attendance, “Please come to Lithuania and help us reach people with the Gospel.”
Almost a year earlier, SBCV Executive Director Brian Autry and Eddie Urbine, CFO and director of Ministry Support, had taken an exploration trip to Lithuania. It was out of that trip that SBCV’s partnership with Lithuania was birthed.
“As I listened, I felt drawn,” recalls Pastor Brent. “As Milton explained what he wanted churches to come and do in Lithuania, I thought, ‘This is something we can do!’ So many of the other mission connection opportunities I had heard about in the past involved commitments that I was hesitant for our smaller church to make.”
The October 7–14 vision trip included Brent Hobbs and three other SBCV pastors: Micah Voight, Western Branch Baptist Church in Suffolk; Paul Martin, Fairview Heights Baptist Church in Portsmouth; and Pat Fiordelise, Kingsland Baptist Church in Richmond. Voight and Martin had heard about the vision trip at the very same luncheon as Hobbs.
Pastor Micah shares, “I was amazed how much the church in Lithuania reflects the early church. The church there is full of new Christians with very little in the way of formal training.” Lithuania is less than 1% evangelical Christians. There is a great need to equip leaders in the churches since many of them are new converts. “We are working on plans to see how our church might be involved in God’s work in Lithuania in the future,” says Pastor Micah.
If you would like to explore how your church can connect with Lithuania or any of our other mission partnerships, visit sbcv.org/lithuania.