John Day – Liberia, Sierra Leone and Central Africa; served 1830 – 1856

John Day born in Virginia 1797. John Day was the first African American appointed by the Southern Baptist Conventions Foreign Missions Board (SBC).

He was ordained a Baptist minister in 1821 and had hopes of ministering in Haiti but could not garner enough support among Virginia Baptist . In 1830, he migrated to Liberia to minister and shortly thereafter was appointed by the Triennial Convention’s Baptist Board of Foreign Missions. In 1844, he resigned from the Triennial Convention post and was appointed by the SBC and given the lead of their ministry in Liberia. Day was a missionary to Liberia, Sierra Leone and Central Africa and is known as a founding father of Liberia because he signed its Declaration of Independence and also became the Republic’s chief justice.

Within one year of his family’s arrival in Liberia, his wife and all of his 5 children died. John Day spent 13 years in Africa and is estimated to have preached to more than 10,000 people during his ministry. In 1856 he founded Day’s Hope, a high school and seminary intended to train African boys as missionaries to their own people. John Day died on February 15, 1859 and on his deathbed, when asked how he was feeling, said these words –

“If I speak with regard to the union subsisting between me and Christ, I am well.”

Tainted Water …

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Lloyd and I were driving by a village in Ghana once where there had recently drilled a water well for the local community. There were young local children fetching water from the well.  The children were pulling together on one rope to get their bucket out, and then came shock – horror!  They were fetching the water in a turpentine can! 

We lived among this particular people group, and we knew that the container was not washed out with soap and water or bleach or boiling water; it was only rinsed in the local pond until they couldn’t smell the turpentine and then declared it fit for use.  This community clearly needed not only to know that clean water was important but they needed to understand what things would contaminate the water and what was necessary for them to avoid introducing contaminates into their drinking water.  They needed to know that if contaminates were introduced – this water would bring death and not life.

There is a tendency in the Western world to believe that once we have shared the truth of the gospel with people and they have confessed that they believe – we have done our part.  But I am a witness that what you leave behind is a person that believes the truth, but has no idea what the truth is, or what to do with that truth.  They twist it to fit their circumstance, they ignore the parts that they cannot easily understand, some rise to a position of leadership and then exploit the little that they know to their own benefit – – some minister an adulterated gospel and taint the water for entire congregations!  What is the answer???  The answer is to teach the complete gospel.  That means that we go beyond salvation – and take people to the entire truth of the gospel. 

We have to teach people to study the word of God so that they can come to know the person of God.  If they can’t read the Word, we have to be willing to give the time and resources necessary to teach them how to interact with The Word; audio Bibles, simpler translations, etc. After teaching them to read the word or to listen to the word, we must teach them to interact in the word in such a way that it becomes something that they can apply to their life!  When we equip them with these tools – they will know what the truth looks like and are less likely to fall prey to any contaminated word.  When we equip them with these tools then we are preparing them to protect the word that is taking root in their hearts.  When we equip them with these tools – we ensure that the word will bring them to the abundant life that God has planned for them.

But 🙃 – THIS. TAKES. TIME!!  And, be honest, how many of us are willing to give our precious time to another??  I can tell you as one who lives a life of discipleship,  that it is a 24 hour a day commitment.  The women that I disciple call me whenever they need to, they visit whenever they need to, they invite me to delve into places in their lives that I don’t want to go!  And I am also a witness – that you might have an 8 week program – but I have yet to disciple a new Christian in only 8 weeks!  Discipleship is life on life – LIFE on LIFE!!  It means (here I go again!) loving someone as much as you love yourself. Would you drink tainted water willingly?! I think not!!

Making disciples is easily defined as: TEACHING PEOPLE THE WORD OF GOD! TOUCHING PEOPLE WITH THE LOVE OF GOD!

Touching them with His love means that we’ll give our lives to them for the sake of His glory.

Interestingly – our Savior’s last words to us were that we should go, preach, teach and make disciples.  He really did not say go, preach, teach, and get them saved!  We’ve got to be willing to give our whole lives to the purposes and passions of our Savior and King – He wants them to know Him, He wants them to know the Father, He wants them to be filled with the Holy Spirit.  In the words of my husband, “time has come to stop dunkin’ ‘em and droppin’ ‘em” – we’ve got to start counting them as so dear to us that we not only give them the gospel but our very lives. (1 Thess 2:8)

No More Fear!

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Have you ever been asked to do something new? odd? different? Do you, in spite of your gifts/talents, shrink back a bit when tasked with something that feels bigger than you?  I’m sure you don’t – but I sure do.  

There is something about stepping out into some new ministry when you’ve had success in a smaller place that can take your breath.  When I was in church ministry I felt like God was allowing me to work and minister in my sweet spot.  But, I didn’t start off that way.  I was quite content being an alto in the choir.  My friend and mentor, the late Evangelist Brenda Waters, was talking to me over lunch at Picadilly Restaurant in Houston — she looked me square in the eye and said, “Whatcha scared of girl!? God has given you an ear for His music; He has given you a heart for His people; He has given you a voice that quiets a room!  Just lead — you’re not a background singer; God created you to lead!”  That started my life as a worship leader – my sweet spot.  But just as I settled in to that, the call to missions came.

I couldn’t take my musical gift to Ghana in the same way that it had been used in the USA so I floundered for a short while and entered into a time of fear, afraid of being insignificant in the work of the Kingdom.  Then the Holy Spirit helped me to see and understand what I was supposed to do in Ghana; lead people toward a life of worship; not just lead them in a worship service.  Being in authentic relationships with people so that they would know what it was to live, move and have their being in Him.  My new sweet spot!  But before I knew it – another call came — lead!

This time He asked me to worship Him with my whole life in a way that others would do the same; to love Him in such a way that the people that I ministered to would feel His love poured out through me.  Terrified!  Didn’t God know about my failings? my bad attitudes? my own personal kind of crazy?!  Yes! He knew all about it and we stepped into this role as ministry directors for Africa.  And — you guessed it — my new sweet spot! Every time I get an email from a missionary saying that they feel heard and cared for — I know that this is place I’m supposed to be!  The fears fell away – nothing is left except the power of God, the love of God and a mind that is clear about His purpose for me in this season and serious about being continually developed to operate fully in His purposes.

I want to encourage you.  Push past the fear.  Push past the feelings of inadequacy.  Push past your fears and timidity.  Push past your ego and your false humility.  Push past the enemies lies that tell you that you are less than enough; inadequate; ill equipped.  Press into the presence and power of God and you WILL find that your fears will cut tail and run!  Trust me!  More than that – Trust Him!  When God asked you to do that next hard thing, that next new thing, that next step off of a cliff — know that He delights in showing forth His glory through you and doing more in and through you than you could ever have asked, thought or imagined!  I don’t know who or what was vexing dear Timothy and making him feel timid — but Paul’s words to Him are for you today too…

For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.  2 Timothy 1:7

Father, I’m grateful – so very grateful – for your work in me. I could not do any of it apart from Your power; Your wisdom; Your guidance; Your will and my own submission and humility. I bless you tremendously, because you reminded me each and every day that all I needed was All Of You! Thank you for filling me with your Holy Spirit every day! Thank you for teaching me that leading meant reflecting Your Son, Jesus Christ each day AND submitting to you in a way that leads others to You! Thank you for letting me see and experience your daily new mercies! Thank you, Lord, for using me for the sake of Your glory, for helping me move past fears because You ensured me every day that what is in me are Your gifts and NOT MY OWN! My Wonderful and Faithful Father, I will be bold, loving and filled with good sense because I know what You have given me and I praise You for it!!

There is room on the mission field for you too!

Lloyd and Jan Chinn

Thank you for reading my blog during National Black History Month. I highlighted just a few of my heroes. I have heard of more and have even met some that will be highlighted soon. I do pray that as you’ve seen these people, your own call to missions has become real and strong!


Here’s my story:

Lloyd and Jan Chinn are native to Texas. Lloyd from Edna, TX and Jan from Houston, TX. The Chinns met, married and their careers were rising when Lloyd sensed the Lord’s leading into ministry. In 1998, the Chinns moved to Dallas and Lloyd attended Dallas Theological Seminary with a plan to return to their home church in Houston to engage in faith based community economic development.

In 1999, Lloyd was invited to Ghana on his first short term mission trip – he knew his call was missions then. The next year Lloyd took Jan and their children to Ghana, they returned twice and Jan committed to her calling then. Their passion was leadership development. Lloyd graduated from DTS in 2002 with his ThM – Educational Leadership. The Chinns were appointed by WorldVenture in 2002. They served in Ghana from 2004 to 2014 doing Pastoral and Church Leader Development, Women’s Empowerment, and Community Development. In Ghana the Lord used them and built a Leadership Development Center, a Short Term Missions house (where they lived); and a Poultry Farm. In 2014 their mission agency, WorldVenture, appointed them as the International Ministries Leaders for Africa.

  • A major joy for the Chinns has been that African American churches supported them to ensure they were on their way
  • Lloyd and Jan are the 2nd African American couple appointed by WorldVenture
  • Lloyd and Jan are the 1st African American couple to serve as International Ministries Leaders for Africa.

Lloyd’s firm message to the African American church is:

“Pray! Pay! or Pack!”

Are you sensing your call to become a missionary? Check it out!! https://www.worldventure.com/ways-to-go/

Walking in Faith NOT Fear!

Saturday, December 1st!! I know that is tomorrow, but I will have completed the 6 weeks that the hospital appoints me.  But today – November 30th, there’s been a blessing!!

Good news:

  • Last weekend I had a fellowship the Saturday after Thanksgiving that was very encouraging to me. It was a time with our Ghanaian friends/family from all over Houston; that just lifted me up!
  • I cooked gumbo.  Lloyd said it was great.
  • I tasted a Whataburger Jr. LOL! I liked it more than Sonic but do no understand why people would eat it regularly
  • And the best news is … The difficulties are not bothering me!!! Vertigo, tiredness, vocabulary, recognition of people … they are still there but I feel ABSOLUTELY blessed!  

Lloyd has been pretty clear that we were going overseas in our job soon.  I didn’t really believe it, but the doctor’s office called me  to let me know it was necessary to ensure that I’m ready to return full time to my job.  The doctors office also let me know that they have been communicating this to Lloyd which means, I’m on a plane!! We are going to France (NO! not Paris) to visit three missionaries who are learning French in preparation for their work in Africa. 

I was a little scared at first, but I was reminded by my Spiritual Director, Minister Denise Foxx, to remember that I have not had a seizure in six weeks AND I haven’t had even an airplane seizure since the Lord placed me under the care of this neurological team.  I believe in The Amazing Almighty God! I trust Him! Yes, I do! He has guided me and He will keep me.  Y’all … pray for me!

When I return from the trip, I will be meeting with the surgeon as soon as I get off the plane … literally! He wants me to land and drive straight to the Houston Medical Center.  I love the relationship I have with them, and God’s impact on them through lil’ old me! 5 days after meeting with the surgeon I have an appointment with the neurologist.    It is not over yet!

I know that The One who is healing me is worthy of all praise.  In fact, I know that The Almighty God has healed me of the seizures and sent me through surgery because I can let others understand the work of Our Father in medical care. I’ve had six weeks without ONE seizure! The Holy Comforter has kept me in my right mind. The Great I AM reminded me day by day that I am a child of the King who is!!  

My Father, my Lord, the fullness of my joy is in Your presence! You receive my praise each and every single day!  You have loved me, My Father. You have called me to be a saint and have, through Jesus Christ, given me grace and peace. I’m rejoicing today because I know, with no doubt, that you will keep me firm until the end. I know that Your hand keeping me will help me to be blameless when Jesus Christ is looking at me! My Father, you are so faithful. I am grateful beyond my own understanding that You have called me into fellowship with Your Son, My Savior, Jesus Christ.  Traveling across the ocean is a place that You will keep me. Using me to serve people who have been called by you into missions, I know you will use me strongly for the sake of Your Kingdom.   (Proverbs 3: 23 – 24; Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1: 8-9)