God equips next generation for ministry

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Theresa Dacio shares photos from her journeyman time with parents, Thu and Henry Phan. Dacio is a third-generation missionary who challenges her generation of 20-somethings to take up the missionary task. IMB PhotoTheresa Dacio swore she’d never be a missionary. She even announced the fact to her parents, International Mission Board missionaries Henry and Thu Phan, at the age of 10. She just wanted to live in the United States, be comfortable and stay in one place.

Theresa Dacio followed God’s calling to spend two years as a journeyman with the IMB and share Jesus’ love in Asia, just like her parents and grandparents. IMB Photo

Her parents smiled and nodded. They understood. Henry first immigrated from Vietnam to the U.S. with his parents as a child during the Vietnam War. Thu immigrated in the late 80s with her family as a young adult. At one time, they also thought they’d stay in the U.S. instead of spending most of their adult lives in five different countries ministering. 

When God nudged Dacio’s heart to the mission field, she didn’t tell her parents until tickets were purchased for her assignment in Asia. She kept waiting for God to slam the door shut, so why tell anyone? However, the graduate student couldn’t shake the feeling that it was time to step out of her comfort zone and allow God to fully use her. So, she went. Now, she hopes others will do the same. 

“We are not called to comfort,” she said, challenging her generation of 20-somethings to get involved. “You are meant to go. God will equip you and give you the tools you’ll need like language, relationships and confidence to share His message.” 

Join Dacio during this Asian American Pacific Islander month to learn more about her ministry experience and challenge for others to take up the cross and share Jesus’ redeeming love. She emphasized this task is for everyone, not just those who grew up in the ministry. 

See Dacio and her parents’ story, along with many others, on the IMB’s Asian Church Missions page. It includes videos celebrating Asians, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have answered God’s call to the nations. The videos also celebrate the diversity of Asian fellowships within the Southern Baptist Convention. The page features children’s materials, including short stories and a word search, to help kids connect with Asian contributions to global missions. 

For more information on IMB’s efforts to mobilize Asians and Asian fellowships, contact info@imb.org. 

Sue Sprenkle writes for the IMB.

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