Don’t keep God’s children from coming near to him

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Two years ago during the annual Bivocational/Small Church Association conference, members of the association voted unanimously to support the refugee children who are arriving at our borders. The support includes prayer and financial contributions equaling 10 percent of the undesignated funds the association receives monthly from churches and individuals.

richard ray130Richard RayThis financial support is channeled to the Valley Baptist Missions/Education Center’s Bibles for Boys program in Harlingen and to the Sacred Heart Relief Center in McAllen. I would like to share with you a report on how those funds are affecting God’s children.

The Valley Baptist Missions/Education Center’s Bibles for Boys program gave away more than 2,200 Bibles and saw a harvest of more than 1,700 young men’s souls given to Christ for salvation, and many others received the seeds of salvation through the word of God. It is a joy to know those who are seeking refuge find the word of God waiting to offer hope and security in the Lord. I am thankful for men like Jamie Campbell, director of operations and missions, for extending the hand of God to those children in need.

The Sacred Heart Relief Center has ministered to thousands of young mothers and their children as they come across the borders seeking refuge. Many receive their first shower, clean clothes and a warm meal at the center. Baby formula is provided, along with a care package that includes clothes, toiletries, diapers and so much more. To see these young mothers and their children receive such love and support will bring a person to tears. In this place, both their physical and spiritual needs are met with the hand of God. I am thankful for people like Vanessa Quintanilla, director of missions projects for the Valley. She is the passion of Christ to those who enter this place.

texas baptist voices right120Matthew 19:13-15 reminds us how we are to treat God’s children: “Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them. Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.”

We must not hinder God’s children from coming to him, whether it is through our prejudice, through our fear or through the unknown. We must not rebuke these children, but be willing to extend our hands to meet their physical needs, offer our prayers to meet their spiritual needs, and present God’s word to them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.

Sadly, we live in a world that would rather rebuke than encourage, that would rather look away than look out. Therefore, I am thankful for the Valley Baptist Missions/Education Center and the Sacred Heart Relief Center for their willingness to encourage these children to come unto Christ. This pleases our Lord.

We are here to serve you as you serve the Lord. Remember, the Lord has called you to serve, but he has not called you to serve alone. Visit our website for more information on how the Bivocational/Small Church Association can minister to and serve you. For more information, contact me at brother_ray@juno.com.

Richard Ray is executive director of the Bivocational/Small Church Association and director of missions for Tri-Rivers Baptist Area.


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