Survey Trip Preview

Dear Friends and Family,

We have had some opportunities to share with most of you how the Lord has led us to the decision to join with ABWE (Association of Baptists for World Evangelism) to work in eastern Europe to do theological education. Our long-term plan is to partner with the University of Divine Grace in Chisinau, Moldova to teach and disciple students who are training for ministry in eastern Europe and central Asia. We believe that the Lord has given us this direction, although until now, we have not yet had a chance to visit this part of the world.

We now have a survey trip planned for November 9-18, 2017, during which time a variety of things will happen. We will spend the first several days of our trip with teammates Steve and Cheryl Winget getting familiar with the city of Chisinau and the surrounding area. We hope to analyze housing options, learn how to get around town, visit stores and medical clinics, and become acquainted with schools and churches. The last couple of days of our trip will be spent in Vienna, Austria with our regional director, Kelly Fath, and his family.

You can pray for this trip in many ways. Pray that the Lord will continue to confirm in our lives the calling that we believe he has given to us. Pray that we will learn what we ought to about this part of the world and the work that needs to be done there. Pray that our children—who will not be making the trip with us—will be well taken care of while we are away. And pray for us as we will certainly miss them during the trip.

Finally, pray that the Lord will supply the necessary funding so that the goals of this trip can be accomplished without hindrance. Factoring in airplane tickets, ground transportation, meals, and lodging, we need about $4,000.00 for this trip. We trust that God will grant what is needed through the generosity of his people.

If you are willing and able to be one of those generous partners, please know that you will have our genuine thanks. We do not take lightly the responsibilities that this trip entails, nor the efforts of those who help to make it a reality. You may send donations to the address below.

Thank you for your care for us, for your concern for the gospel, and for your continued encouragement toward us and our children. Thank you most of all for your faithful service to the Lord, whose word we proclaim, whose glory we seek, and whose return we eagerly await. May he exalt his name in all nations.

David and Brandi Prairie

Send donations to:

Grace Baptist Church
c/o David and Brandi Prairie
7815 Shallowford Rd.
Chattanooga, TN 37421

(Make checks payable to Grace Baptist Church, while indicating “Prairie Survey Trip”)

And Then the End Will Come

By David Prairie

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” –Jesus of Nazareth (Matthew 24:14)

It is appropriate to look at the depravity and injustice in the world today and wonder how soon our God will bring it all to an end. Asaph himself asked (in Psalm 74:10), “How long, O God, is the foe to scoff? Is the enemy to revile your name forever?” Another Psalmist (94:3) wondered to the Lord, “How long shall the wicked exult?” John’s apocalyptic vision included a chorus of martyred saints crying (in Rev 6:10), “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” Interestingly, part of the answer they received was that more had to join them. That is, more saints will be martyred before the final judgment will come (see Rev 6:11).

According to Jesus, the end of the world will not come about until the gospel has been proclaimed among all nations (Matt 24:14). As many have accurately emphasized, the term here for “nations” likely refers to what we know as “people groups.” In other words, the gospel will be known not simply in all the geo-political countries but also in every ethno-linguistic culture. The good news for disciples of Jesus is that as we carry this news to every nation, Christ himself promises to be with us (see Matt 28:18-20).

He will be with us as we proclaim his message to those who have not heard it. He will be with us even as we are led to our death by those who oppose our message.

It’s easy to think, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus” when tragedy surrounds us. It’s much more difficult to do what the Bible says will bring about the end. Peter (2 Pet 3:11-12) writes that since the return of Christ is immanent, “What sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming day of God?” Do you want to hurry the coming of Jesus? Then live holy and godly lives that proclaim the gospel of the kingdom to peoples who have not heard it. It may lead to your death, but it will lead to life for many who would not otherwise have it.

Pray for our family as we present our ministry to our home church (Grace Baptist) this Sunday to kick off a week-long missions conference. Pray that God will use this event to establish many prayer and financial partnerships for us as we seek to move to Eastern Europe. Pray also for our upcoming survey trip to Chisinau and Vienna (November 9-18).

They Shall Share Alike: Rethinking the Roles and Rewards of Missionaries

By David Prairie

Missions is the primary occupation of every follower of Jesus. If there is a downside to calling some “missionaries” it is that it causes some Christians to think that missions is not for them. Yet Jesus’ final words make it clear that every believer is to be a disciple-maker among all nations (Matt 28:18-20).

Another downside is that the title “missionary” is often spoken with a sort-of reverence, as though missionaries are super-Christians. But when we think of missions as the sovereign work of God as he saves people through regular means of disciple-making, we are helped to see that all of us are missionaries. God is gracious in that he does not give more value to “prominent” ministry roles, as is typically our tendency.

Consider an Old Testament example of the significance of each role in the advancement of God’s name among all peoples. David had been anointed as king in Israel, but he had not yet ascended to the throne. In fact, the reigning King Saul had determined to oppose David, which put David on the run. Yet even his status as a fugitive did not stop David from leading his men against the enemies of God that he might display to them what kind of God Yahweh is.

Upon returning home from one encounter, David and his men realized that their town had been raided and their families had been captured by the Amalekites (1 Sam 30:1-5). For a moment, David’s own life was threatened by his own men, but he “strengthened himself in the LORD his God” (v. 6). After inquiring of Yahweh (v. 8), David took his best 600 men with him to overtake the Amalekite captors (v. 9). Four hundred of the men went and fought with David while the other 200 stayed behind (v. 10). David and his men were victorious (vv. 16-17), all that had been lost was recovered (vv. 18-19), and the people proclaimed, “This is David’s spoil” (v. 20).

But when it came time to divide David’s spoil, some thought that the men who fought deserved all the rewards and the men who stayed behind deserved none (vv. 21-22). In other words, only those on the front lines deserve the benefits of the victories of battle. David, however, recognizes the significance of all the men, not just those who swung swords. He corrects their thinking by telling them, “You shall not do so, my brothers, with what the LORD has given us. He has preserved us and given into our hand the band that came against us” (v. 23). David’s spoil is not really David’s. It’s Yahweh’s. And David wanted to make sure that everyone knew that. He continues, “For as his share is who goes down into the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage. They shall share alike” (v. 24).

What does David’s point have to do with missionaries? Some Christians are on the front lines of advancing the gospel in nations where Christ is not yet known. Other Christians “stay by the baggage” to guard the rear, keeping those on the front lines strategically stocked and refreshed. Yet all take part in the “fruit” of the gospel that abounds to the accounts of both the giver and the goer (Phil 4:17).

Praise God for an even greater and wiser king than David, who, like the master of a house, generously rewards those who work in his vineyard (Matt 20:1-16). Some work long and hard (v. 12), and some contribute less (vv. 6-9), yet all who are hired to work receive what the master graciously provides. Our task is not to compare (vv. 10-11), but to labor gladly for the one who has called us (vv. 13-16).

This school year we are hoping to be able to share the ministry of ABWE with many individuals and churches. If you or your church is interested in hearing from us, please contact us at We are still in need of financial partners, so please pray about how the Lord might use you to “stay by the baggage” for us. If you are willing and able to begin a financial partnership with us, please visit and enter “Prairie” in the search bar.

We will be involved in the missions conference here at Grace Baptist Church in October, so please pray for our ministry to the church during that time, as well as for the church’s ministry to us. We are also developing plans for a survey trip to Chisenau in November, so please pray for the Lord to direct those endeavors. Thank you.

What Happens When Churches Send And Support Missionaries?

By David Prairie

(Note: This is a loose transcript of a message I preached to our Spanish-speaking members at Grace Baptist Church on June 18, 2017).

I have been a youth pastor since 2011. My primary tasks in that role are to teach and disciple students, so they can do the same for others. God is leading our family to teach and disciple students in Eastern Europe. We have joined a mission organization (ABWE) and we are raising financial support. We hope to move to Eastern Europe sometime in the next 1-2 years. Our work will not change, but our location will. We are glad that our God is in control of all people and places on the planet.

As missionaries, we need regular financial support from churches and individuals. My goal for today is to show you that this need for partnership is from the Bible. I would not ask you to do something that is not from Scripture. God’s plan for the spread of the gospel to the entire world involves all of his people. Some will go and some will send, but all must obey.

Philippians is a letter written by Paul, a missionary, to a church in a Roman colony. Paul had visited Philippi as a missionary, made disciples there, and started a church. You can read about his first visit to Philippi in Acts 16. The church there then sent him and supported him so he could minister in other places. He is writing this letter to them to update his ministry and to thank them for their support. Paul was in a Roman prison at the time that he wrote this letter.

Today we want to ask, “What happens when churches send and support missionaries?” To answer that question, we’re going to look at the end of this letter, 4:10-23. This section gives six answers to that question. I hope that seeing these answers will help us to obey God’s plan to make him known. And I hope that if you do not yet know God, you will see all that he has done for you.

  1. The missionary rejoices because of the care of the church.

“I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity” (Philippians 4:10).

Paul rejoiced that the Philippian church had cared for him. Does this mean that Paul only was glad because they gave to him? No! Paul was joyful about much more than just their generosity.

  • He prayed for them with joy (1:4).
  • He rejoiced that Christ is preached even if his reputation suffered (1:18).
  • He worked alongside them for their joy in the faith (1:25).
  • His joy would be fulfilled by their unity (2:2).
  • He rejoiced because he could sacrificially serve them (2:17-18).
  • He sent Epaphroditus, another church leader, to them for their joy (2:28).
  • He commanded them to “Rejoice in the Lord” (3:1; 4:4).
  • He rejoiced in Christ, not in the flesh (3:3).
  • He said that the church is his joy (4:1).

So their support and care of him added to his joy, but it wasn’t his only joy.

  1. The missionary and the church learn contentment in Christ.

“Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content. I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me” (4:11-13).

If you read from Acts and Paul’s other letters, you know what he’s talking about. There were times when Paul had much, and there were times when he had little. But how much he had did not determine his joy. He remained content in Christ. He understood that sometimes the church could not send their support. When that happened, he learned to be content and to find strength in Christ. When the church did send support, it meant that they would also not have much. In that case, they also would learn how to be content with Christ alone. Paul knew that even if no one supported him, Christ was sufficient.

  1. The church shares in the distress of the missionary.

“Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress. Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only. For even in Thessalonica you sent once and again for my necessities” (4:14-16).

Partnering with missionaries is sometimes joyful and sometimes distressing. When no other churches were supporting Paul, he would have been distressed. Missionaries can be content and distressed at the same time. But their distress can be relieved when it is shared with churches. The Philippian church shared with Paul in his distress when no one else would. Not just once, but they repeatedly gave so that his needs would be met.

  1. The fruit of the missionary abounds to the account of the church.

“Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account” (4:17).

Jesus had commanded his apostles to bear fruit (John 15:16). This is one way of telling them to make disciples, just as he had done for them. Missionaries are to be sent so that disciples can be made in all people groups. When missionaries make disciples, that fruit is credited to the sending churches. Paul wasn’t just seeking fruit for himself but for the churches who supported him. If you want to obey Jesus’ command to bear fruit, send and support missionaries.

  1. God supplies the needs of the church and the missionary for his eternal glory.

“I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God. And my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Now to our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen” (4:18-20).

Paul was confident that God would meet his needs with or without this church. He wanted them to be certain that God would meet their needs even if they gave. Even in prison, Paul could say, “I am full” because of the gifts from the church. When God meets the needs of his people, it is for his glory and not ours.

  1. The saving grace of God extends to every saint in all the families of the earth.

“Greet every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren who are with me greet you. All the saints greet you, especially those who are of Caesar’s household. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (4:21-23).

As Paul concludes his letter, he sends greetings from other believers with him. There are even saints in Caesar’s household. Imagine that! The gospel of Jesus had reached the highest ranking family in Rome. God had used the missionary and the church to accomplish this. He is fulfilling the promise that he made to Abraham back in Genesis 12. All the families of the earth will be blessed through the Savior who would come. The Savior did come, and now he is enlisting all of his people to bless the nations.

God exists, and he is the reason you and I have breath in our lungs. Yet we have sinned by rebelling against him, and we are worthy of his judgment. But God loves us and pursued us by sending his Son, Jesus to live and die for our sins. God raised him from the dead, and all who follow Jesus have eternal life in him. Our response now is to turn away from our sins and trust completely in Christ. Those who know Christ must make him known. We can either go to the nations, or we can send others to go, but we must not disobey. We can be confident that God will accomplish his purposes and provide for his people.


To help our family get to Eastern Europe, please prayerfully consider visiting and search by our last name (“Prairie”) or our account number (0170413).

Our Story

This is our first attempt to provide regular updates regarding the journey on which God is leading us as we enter into full-time missions. We have begun our pre-field ministry with ABWE, and are working (albeit slowly) through some assignments as well as the support-raising aspect. There are several things keeping us busy, so we ask for you to pray with us about each of these aspects.

Our work continues with the Youth Ministry at Grace Baptist Church. We will be participating in a variety of local service and outreach projects during the summer. Additionally, we will take two short-term mission trips, one to Washington, DC in June and one to Anchorage, AK in July. Pray that our students will be fruitful as we work alongside church planters and local pastors in both of these cities.

We are hoping to have a variety of meetings with individuals and churches over the next several months in order to share our ministry with people so that they can partner with us in prayer and financial support. Pray that we will make the best use of our time, and for God to connect us with the right people. We are very grateful to be sent from Grace Baptist, and for the missions emphasis that is here.

For those willing and able to begin a financial partnership with us, please visit We currently have 1% of our necessary monthly support as well as 1% of our outfit and passage funded. We are thankful for many who have verbally committed support, and are praying that those will turn into gifts very soon. At the same time, we know that the Lord will provide what is needed in his timing.

Pray also as we attempt to plan a survey trip for sometime this fall. Pray for all of the arrangements (dates, appointments, schedules, flights, etc.) to be brought together expediently. Pray that the Lord will use such a trip to confirm the direction that he has given us, and that we will seek him above all else.

May God bless you and your service to him. No matter your role, we count you as co-laborers for the gospel. Thank you for your prayers.