Why Are Southern Baptists Well Prepared When Disaster Strikes?

Most every news agency is reporting this week that Christians are leading Hurricane recovery efforts related to both Harvey and Irma. In fact, some have estimated that 80% of the financial resources as well as the human resources have come from Christian ministries. Our Southern Baptist Disaster Relief agencies have been mentioned in several of these reports.

As Christians, we should not be surprised at this news. We would need to be embarrassed if these reports were not true.

Several factors contribute to Christians taking the lead in this compassion-based ministry. First, we are simply following our founder, Jesus. In preaching to the Gentiles, Peter gave this succinct statement about Jesus. “He went about doing good.” (Acts 10:38) Matthew, who traveled with Jesus, offered another summary. “When He saw the crowds, He felt compassion for them, because they were weary and worn out, like sheep without a shepherd.” (Matthew 9:36)

Now, as a Southern Baptist, I can state why we are effective in this arena. In addition to the Biblical mandate, we believe in unforced, voluntary cooperation among our churches. It works! Through our Cooperative Program of giving and Special Mission offerings, we were financially prepared to start before the Hurricanes occurred. This cooperative spirit has served us well for decades. I pray that we not lose sight of that.

We have a couple of mission opportunities this month. In your giving this month, please consider a special offering to the Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering. This offering stays in Louisiana to aid the start of churches in Louisiana as well as various ministries of the Louisiana Baptist Convention including Disaster Relief. The theme of this year’s offering is “Why Wait.” The hurricanes remind us that we cannot wait.

We will also be participating in the annual collection of food for the Louisiana Baptist Children’s Home. Again, this is an ongoing cooperative effort of all Louisiana Southern Baptists. Boxes are available to drop your food items.

None of us can do everything, but all of us can do something. Please pray and do something good!

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