Find something you can do, & do it
The whole world has been reeling under the shock of the tsunami in the Indian Ocean. In Japanese, the word “tsunami” means “harbor wave.” If only it had been as harmless as that sounds. Waves lashed all the islands and coastlines of 12 countries of the northern Indian Ocean, and more than 150,000 people are believed dead.
Relief efforts are under way from around the globe. One of the first groups to arrive was the Hungarian Baptist response team. Missionaries began to contact mission boards, churches and friends seeking help. Texas Baptist Men was contacted by Baptist missionaries in Sri Lanka from Boerne, and TBM promised to come. Gifts to support TBM relief work are pouring in. Four water purification teams have gone to Sri Lanka and Thailand. Four feeding teams will join them in the next few days. This will be an ongoing need, and volunteers are standing by to relieve these teams in the weeks ahead.
BGCT Executive Board
Our institutions are responding. Baylor Health Care System has a relationship with a hospital in Sri Lanka and will send a doctor with Texas Baptist Men to assist in medical assessment. Baptist Child & Family Services has been asked by the Sri Lankan government to provide training and medical help for children in need and those orphaned by the disaster. Buckner Baptist Benevolences has made clothing and shoes available.
Your church can help by praying. Relief volunteers will live in difficult, dangerous surroundings. But most of all, pray for families who have lost loved ones, health of survivors and that out of this people will find reason to believe God loves them. Pray that as people work together to solve problems and lift one another, they may find a sense of God's grace causing people to care for one another in extraordinary ways. Pray that the good news of God's love in Christ Jesus can be seen, heard and felt in meaningful and saving ways.
Your church can help by giving. A special offering Sunday could provide an opportunity to give. One hundred percent of whatever comes through the BGCT will be used for disaster relief and will help the people of Southeast Asia recover from the tsunami. Your Cooperative Program and Mary Hill Davis offerings support the infrastructure of our disaster relief work so that special relief offerings can be focused entirely on direct aid and ministry.
Your church can help by encouraging and supporting volunteers. Contact TBM for information about training and priorities.
You can help by staying informed. Find updates on the BGCT website, www.bgct.org, and the Standard website, www.baptiststandard.com. There will be links to ways to help.
We live in such a beautiful world. No other planet yet discovered shines in space with the sapphire blues of the oceans and the emerald greens of the forests. Those who have circled the planet have called the earth “a beautiful gem.” But it is also dangerous and unpredictable. Jesus did not say God keeps sparrows from falling, but he did say he knows when they fall. Tragic things do happen, unexplainable to our spirits, but in the midst of every grievous moment, those who have eyes to see will see God at work in a redemptive way, and they will join him in that work of mercy and care.
Your inability to do all that is needed is no excuse to do nothing. Find something you can do, and do it. And while your heart goes out to the people on the other side of the world, don't neglect those who live nearby.
You, and they, are loved.