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October 2008 Issue

Southern Baptists have long engaged in cooperative ministry efforts to meet worldwide needs. And today the Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund continues to powerfully reflect the legacy of cooperation that has come to characterize the Southern Baptist Convention. Since 1981, three SBC entities — the International Mission Board (IMB), the North American Mission Board (NAMB), and the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC)--have partnered to raise awareness of world hunger so that food can be served and a Gospel witness given to millions of hungry people around the globe, while LifeWay Christian Resources, the SBC Executive Committee, and the Woman's Missionary Union readily assist them in these efforts.
Disaster Relief Teams Ministering at Home

Florida Baptist disaster relief volunteers assisted a Daytona Beach family on August 23 after Tropical Storm Fay dumped rain in the area. The volunteers responded to a call for help from a blind woman in Daytona Beach living with her children in a home already in poor condition before the storm.

Dennis Belz, director of missions for the Halifax Baptist Association, said Volusia County Emergency officials assisted him in locating the home. Water had pooled onto the living room floor, Belz said. Brown water stains were visible from nearly every corner of the ceiling. Pink insulation had fallen through the weakest points of the ceiling and was hanging suspended in the air. The waterlogged flooring was already mildewed and molded.

The woman living there had told Belz one of her children also was blind. Tha...

Disaster Relief Teams Ministering at Home

As Hurricane Gustav came ashore early Monday morning, September 1, and started making its way across Louisiana, Southern Baptist disaster relief volunteers were already busy preparing meals for evacuees and standing by to move into storm ravaged areas.

In Louisiana, volunteers were preparing meals near an evacuation center in Shreveport. Baptists were also preparing meals at five evacuation sites in Texas, and units were active at evacuee sites in Louisville, Kentucky, Kingsport, Tennessee, and Fort Smith, Arkansas.

"We prepared two thousand meals for lunch today and another two thousand dinners," said Coy Webb, disaster relief associate for the Kentucky Baptist Association. "They told us to expect some additional evacuees as the week continues."

Evacuees were sheltered...

Disaster Relief Teams Ministering at Home

About 1,500 Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers were setting up units in Texas and were expected to be operational to serve victims within forty-eight hours after Hurricane Ike had passed through the region. The primary focus of initial efforts was food preparation, with thirty-nine kitchen units on site in the state.

The American Red Cross asked Southern Baptists to be ready to prepare up to 375,000 hot meals a day, while the Salvation Army requested 125,000 meals a day, bringing the total to 500,000.

In addition to feeding units, more than forty other types of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief units began arriving in the devastated areas. These include shower, laundry, communications, and chainsaw units.

"Right now, with so many people without power, the priority is preparing hot ...

Disaster Relief Teams Ministering Abroad

Families displaced by fighting in the Black Sea country of Georgia expressed profound gratitude for a feeding ministry Southern Baptist relief workers conducted in Gori, a member of the relief team told Baptist Press.

A seven-member team of disaster relief specialists from Texas Baptist Men cooked hot meals for about two thousand people who had taken refuge in eighteen kindergarten buildings in Gori, the team member reported. An estimated one hundred thousand people were displaced by the fighting, according to news services.

"We are really starting to ramp up the relief operation," the team member said. "Many of these people have not had a hot meal in more than three weeks."

As people received the meals, which were provided through the Southern Baptist World Hunger Fu...

We believe that God is King, and that He governs the flow of events around us.
First Baptist Puxico

They've turned a corner from complacency to compassion, pastor Phil Bray says.

Their excitement for what God is doing in southeastern Missouri and around the world stems from a new emphasis on discipleship at First Baptist in Puxico coupled with the church's longstanding commitment to missions through the Cooperative Program (CP) .

"Giving to the Cooperative Program teaches our people that we don't live in a box here," said Bray, who became First Baptist's pastor in 2006.

"The Bible tells us that we have a responsibility to be disciples and to make disciples of all nations. We can't all physically go, but we can all give. I don't think giving money excuses you from going, but I do think giving helps our co...

Ninety Years of Service to Those Who Serve the Lord

As the predawn light creeps around the buildings in Dallas' central business district, a few early-bird joggers wind through the sidewalks and trails, getting ready to start the day.

It's 6 a.m., and many Texans stare in disbelief or distress at alarm clocks that summon them to a morning of commutes, careers, and chores. While some have barely awoken, a steady stream of cars pulls into the underground parking garage at GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention.

While some GuideStone staffers are the early birds, some are the night owls: GuideStone's building still is buzzing with activity well after the sun sets.

More than four hundred people work within GuideStone. All have a common purpose and goal in their work lives: to serve those who serve the Lord.

On each person's desk at GuideStone sits a small reminder of GuideStone's motto, "to serve the Lord with the integrity of our hearts and the skillfulne...

Taking The Love Dare

The movie Fireproof from Sherwood Pictures and Provident Films was released September 26. Already, the movie is uniting marriage advocates from across the U.S. An action-packed love story, Fireproof has audiences laughing, crying, and inching toward the edge of their seats as they are drawn into the world of a firefighter, his wife, and a marriage worth rescuing. A central component of the movie is a daily study called The Love Dare. The Love Dare sustains the movie's message. The most frequently asked question at Fireproof screenings is, "Where can I get The Love Dare book?"

Written by Alex and Stephen Kendrick, The Love Dare was released in paperback b...

On the Issues

Evangelical leaders say presumptive Republican nominee John McCain made significant strides toward attracting the votes of social conservatives August 16 during a presidential forum in which he and Democrat Barack Obama differed sharply on abortion, "gay rights," and the judiciary.

The two men appeared on stage separately for one hour each at Saddleback Church in California and were asked nearly identical questions by the congregation's pastor, Rick Warren. The event was dubbed "the Saddleback Civil Forum on the Presidency."

Although some pro-family leaders had expressed concern the forum wouldn't cover hot-button social issues, those fears quickly disappeared minutes into the event when Warren, noting that there have been approximately forty million abortions since Roe v. Wade, asked Obama, "At what point does a baby get human rights?"

"I think that whether you're looking at it from a theological perspective...

When is the right time to become equipped to share the Gospel? The time is now, as you will see in the testimony of Michael Adams, a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Dothan, Alabama, where Van Gauthe is pastor.

Our church, Calvary Baptist Church, was ushering in a new evangelism tool, and it was to begin with a revival, the likes of which we had never seen before. We had four solid nights of praise music and powerful messages. It was the last night of the revival, and the preacher was presenting a message on unconfessed sin and how it separated us from God — even small sin. I wasn't an axe murderer or anything like that, but I knew I had sin in my heart.

Recently, my son had a confrontation with our next-door neighbor, and I was harboring very strong feelings against him. I felt compelled to go to the altar and confess my sin to the Lord. As I began my prayer of confession, I began to weep, crying out to the Lord that I didn't want anything to separ...

I'm writing this article as summer comes to a close. It has been a hot season in Texas. It has been so hot that the dogs are chasing the cats, but they are both walking. We are now in the middle of hurricane season. I have had a lot of experience with hurricanes — in fact, I lost a condo to a hurricane. Actually, it was twenty other owners and me. It was a nightmare to rebuild. It was like a Baptist committee of twenty trying to build a building — except the financial part was easy. We were underinsured so the deficit was just divided by the number of owners in the condo association. Why don't you try that at your church? Just tell the members that you are going to divide the building program amount by the number of members. That will be what they owe. Try that and I will recommend you to my Pastor Protection Program.

Not only have I lost a condo to a hurricane, I have hunkered down and stayed in that condo through a hurricane. That was the year before the hurrica...

Union University — Back on Track
by Tim Ellsworth

Union University students moved into fourteen new student housing buildings when they returned to the campus for the fall semester, less than seven months after a tornado destroyed much of the university's existing student housing.

Incoming freshmen and transfer students moved onto campus September 4, with upperclassmen returning September 6. Classes for the fall semester began on September 8.

"Our ten-year plan for replacing our student housing has become a six-month plan," Union University President David S. Dockery said. "Construction has proceeded ahead of schedule, and we are grateful to God for providing for us in this wa...