ARLINGTON—Of all the wonders Jesus performed during his public ministry, all four Gospel writers chose to record one miracle—his feeding of the multitudes—for good reason, said Elijah Brown, general secretary of the Baptist World Alliance.
“Only a king could feed 5,000,” Brown told Texas Baptist Hunger Offering Family Luncheon. “We are children of the king, and the children of the king should feed the people of the world.”
Brown stressed the powerful nature of hunger, noting it provides a point of connection, because all people identify with the natural urge to satisfy their own hunger. However, he added, it also divides people, because scarcity leads to war and conflict.
“We neglect hunger at great price,” he said, pointing out lack of food particularly affects children’s physical and mental development. “Children are the first victims of chronic hunger.”
Jesus provided a model for his followers—both in the first century and today—by using the resources his disciples offered to meet needs and by welcoming people in need to a shared meal, Brown said.
“We have 815 million hungry neighbors in our world,” he said.
Looking at BWA member bodies, 21 million Baptists live in food-deficit countries, he added.
Brown offered thanks for gifts to the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering, noting it has funded 20 BWA projects in the last three years to feed the hungry, provide clean water and promote economic development among people with great needs.
“The people of the king work to feed the people of the world,” he said. In the process, he added, they provide a powerful Christian witness.
Gus Reyes, director of the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission, recognized the top 10 churches in terms of giving to the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering—Birdville Baptist Church in Haltom City, First Baptist Church in Midland, First Baptist Church in Saginaw, Pioneer Drive Baptist Church in Abilene, First Baptist Church in Nacogdoches, Southland Baptist Church in San Angelo, First Baptist Church in Abilene, First Baptist Church in Brenham, Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in San Antonio and Trinity Baptist Church in Kerrville.