MOORE — Sam Porter is known as the director of disaster relief for Oklahoma Southern Baptists, but he also serves as leader of other partnership and volunteer mission efforts.
Porter said Oklahoma Baptists have always been mission-minded, with many willing to go on volunteer missions to aid disaster victims in places such as the East Coast and many other parts of the nation and the world.
Nevertheless, Porter told delegates Tuesday at the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma's annual meeting, that he is having difficulty persuading Baptist churches to participate in mission trips in Mexico. Porter said people who would typically be willing to partner with Mexican church leaders are fearful of traveling to the country after seeing and hearing widespread media reports about drug-related violence in Mexico.
Porter said only six Oklahoma churches partnered with Mexican Baptist churches in the past year. He said Mexican church leaders have started more than 60 churches since January 2011 and are looking for church partners in the United States to help them reach more people in their country for Christ.
“They're going to do it without us, but I promise you there's a lot of churches that want to partner with us,” he said. “We need more churches who will say ‘If God calls me, I will go.'”
Porter said the violence in Mexico that is causing so much concern is between various drug cartels. He said there are few times that tourists or people on mission trips are affected by this brutality.
“As far as I know, everyone that we've sent to Mexico has come back,” Porter told delegates gathered at First Baptist Church of Moore, 301 NW 27.