Missionaries and Church Leaders in Africa Feel Encouraged by Visit From International Mission Board President Paul Chitwood

IMB President Paul Chitwood looks out over a village near one of the world’s largest refugee camps close to the South Sudan border. Photo by Chris Carter/IMB

ARUA, Uganda (BP) — Missionary Jeremy Taliaferro remembers “mad-dash googling” on the internet to find out who is Paul Chitwood.

The International Mission Board’s presidential search committee announced their candidate last November. And Taliaferro admitted at first he was a little underwhelmed since the Chitwoods had not served as IMB missionaries.

“Paul Chitwood? I have no idea who this is,” the Southern Baptist missionary, who serves in Arua, Uganda, with his wife Susan and four children, recalled during the Chitwoods’ visit last week. “[I’m] trying to find a Facebook page and all that. And to be honest … our initial thought was we really wanted somebody from the field.”

But that was before Chitwood, his wife Michelle and 12-year-old daughter Cai traveled to Uganda to see the work of IMB missionaries like Taliaferro.

Taliaferro leads a team of missionaries that minister in one of the world’s largest refugee camps, located near the South Sudan border. The two men spent hours riding together one day along bumpy terrain and chatting as Taliaferro drove and Chitwood rode shotgun. During the drive, they discovered that in addition to their shared passion for missions and helping equip missionaries to better serve the Kingdom, they both love being adoptive parents and enjoy hunting and fishing.

“I was inspired and encouraged by that conversation that we had,” Taliaferro said. “I’m going to tell everybody, ‘you’re one of us.'”

The Chitwoods’ journey to Arua was just one leg of a weeklong trip that included stops in the capital city of Kampala to meet with missionaries focused on urban ministry and in Jinja to visit the Uganda Baptist Seminary.

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Source: Baptist Press