The Passing of the Baton

Dear Friends:

Often, the race is not won by the fastest but by those who can run with precision, as well. Countless relay races in the world of track and field were lost, not because the runners lacked championship speed, but because they could not execute properly the passing of the baton. Your team can be comprised of world-record-setting runners, but if they mangle the baton pass, their athletic prowess is neutralized. Passing the baton properly matters. Your team may not win the relay race if they execute the pass properly but they will certainly lose if they drop the baton.

I experienced a first in my life. A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure and honor of holding my first grandchild just an hour after she was born. My heart overflowed with joy and thanksgiving to the Lord for His gift of life to our family. I have been promoted to “Grandpa” and I love it!

As I reflect back on that moment, I thank the Lord for the spiritual legacy of my family. My grandparents were rock solid in their walk with the Lord, served as AG missionaries in Africa, and faithfully led their children in word and actions to follow God wholeheartedly. 

While my grandparents continued in their spiritual life journey, they passed the figurative baton to my father and his family. My parents continue the legacy as Christ-followers and world-changers. While their life journey continues, they passed the baton to me.

My life goal has been to serve the Lord wholeheartedly to anyone and to anywhere, as He directs and enables. I am honored to have served the Lord as an AGWM missionary for thirty-two years and counting. I did my best to model life as a believer and instill the love for God in my children. I guess you will need to talk with them to see how it went! While I continue to seek to serve the Lord with all that I am, I too passed the baton to my sons.

Now, my boys are living their lives. My middle son and his wife welcomed their daughter into the world. I can see the love of God and the joy of the Lord swell up in their hearts. They will pass the baton to their children.

And life goes on.

A common thread in the generations of our family is that, like you and your family, we expanded our view of our family by sharing the love of Christ to others so that they become part of the family of God. By doing so, we pass the baton on to them so that they can begin a spiritual heritage, a legacy, in their lives and families. This is what Christians do! We love God and we love others (Matthew 22:37-39).

As people write to Network211, we desire to connect them with the One who will meet their needs, transform their lives, and bring them purpose and promise. Here are some comments that the Network211 team answered with the hope of Jesus Christ.

  • One from Malaysia. “ I felt lost form Jesus. I wan close with God. I can’t pray feel like lost. Please help me.”
  • One from Nigeria. “I have never needed to hear from God than a time like now. I am confused, angry, and tired. I need God’s advice I want him to tell me what to do next. Help!”
  • One from India. “Pray for suicidal thoughts coming for my debt and I want to do suicide to. Just daily torture.”
  • One from Singapore. “I have lost all confidence and purpose. My spouse and child are in China while I am in Singapore. I am so exhausted trying and everything seem so hard to accomplish. Things/circumstances are against me. Is so unexpected.”

Just as Jesus met the needs of my family and redirected the course of our lives, we want to introduce others to Him so that they will be transformed by Love.

It is with your partnership that together we are passing the spiritual baton on to those who are in dire need of the Savior. Your faithful prayer and financial support is making an eternal difference. As you share Christ with an individual and the Lord changes that one’s life, the trajectory of that individual’s family is impacted. The gift of Life keeps on giving.

As we run, we keep our eyes focused on Jesus. We run with intentionality. We strive diligently to pass the baton to our immediate family and to others who will join us in the family of God.

Thank you for giving! Thank you for praying! You are making a difference!

May the Lord bless you and give you a Happy Thanksgiving!


Dr. Mark Flattery
Network211 President