Posts Tagged ‘Baptist General Convention of Texas’
By John Hall
On this page, a lot has been said about the riders and why they are involved in Bike Out Hunger. The truth is, it takes a lot more people than a group of riders to pull something like this off.
Many thanks to Bobby Broyles and First Baptist Church in Ballinger; Kalie Lowrie and Katy Blackshear at Howard Payne University; Keith and Sharon Felton and First Baptist Church in Hamilton; Steve Dominy and his wonderful family at First Baptist Church in Gatesville; Mallory Homeyer of the Texas Hunger Initiative and the good folks at the World Hunger Farm; Carol Woodward and Shawn Shannon at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor; and The Fellowship of San Antonio. Your hospitality, spirit and generosity were overwhelming during these six days.
Carolyn Strickland and Joyce Gilbreath, you worked tirelessly behind the scenes coordinating places where we could rest for a bit and share about the hunger needs of Texas and around the globe. It has been a pleasure allowing you to use us to continue communicating ways people can help the hungry.
Kaitlin Chapman, Joshua Minatrea, Dennis Parrish, Brian Hurst and Rex Campbell, because of you, we were able to stay on the road and share our hearts through media efforts about needing to help the hungry. Thanks to you, Christ’s call to minister to the least of these has been magnified. Additionally, you were there for each rider with an encouraging word, a helping hand and a cool drink. You were essential.
Lastly, to each of you who prayed for us and supported us before, during and after the trip, thank you. Your support will provide food for hungry people in Texas and around the world. Your prayers were felt and made a drastic difference in our ability to ride. I have no doubt that because of your prayers, we stayed healthy and strong, riding beyond our abilities.
As I type this last post, I want to ask you to pray as our Lord taught us to pray. This time as you pray, think about the words as if they were being said by a person who does not know where their next meal will come from.
Matthew 6:9-13 (NIV)
“This, then is how you should pray:
’Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.’”
By John Hall
As I think about Bike Out Hunger, it seems this is more than a ride from Ballinger to San Antonio.
It’s an opportunity.
For many people, hunger around the globe and even in our state is something too large for them to wrap their minds around. Everyone thinks the entire planet should have enough food to eat. Hearts grieve for children near and far who go without basic sustenance. But people seem to be at a loss of what to do.
Bike Out Hunger has given people an outlet to do something. We’ve seen it time and time again. As riders have asked people to give to the offering in honor of the ride, individuals have jumped at the chance without hesitation. During the ride, a lady in a convenience store gave one rider a few dollars to feed hungry people. A cyclist riding down the street stopped by me and gave me $20 to help the hungry.
People care about hungry people and want to help. Bike Out Hunger has helped some of those people express that compassion in a practical way.
Praise God for their actions and prayers.
By John Hall
The last few days have only reinforced in my mind how beautiful this state is. The rolling hills. The wide expanses of green fields. And of course, the wildflowers. They dot our state in deep blues, oranges and yellows to create a mosaic as unique and wonderful as the state itself.
Yet as beautiful as this state is, it has one significant stain. Texas leads the nation in childhood insecurity. Roughly one in every five Texas children do not know where their next meal will come from. For many other children, the free lunch they receive at school is the only healthy meal they eat on a regular basis and are on their own to scavenge for food on weekends and during summers.
The problem is so large, I can’t even truly wrap my mind around the statistics.
But I can mourn over stories.
San Antonio children digging through church dumpsters in an effort to find food.
An East Texas child who stole another student’s lunch and ran down the hall. When teachers found him, he had all the lunch in his mouth. It was the first meal he’d had in several days.
Children in the Rio Grande Valley who come to a church early every Saturday because they know they can find a meal there. Without it, they won’t have one that day.
Empathy is good. Action is better. How can you help feed a hungry child? How can your church reach out to children? Giving to the Texas Baptist Offering for World Hunger will help you feed hungry children around the world. If you call 888-244-9400, Texas Baptists staff people can you and your congregation start or expand a feeding ministry.
Together, we can make this state more beautiful.
Crystal Donahue, a senior mass communication major at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, spent 16 days with a team three other Go Now student missionaries during Christmas break sharing Christ with students in East Asia. Here’s a glimps into one encounter she had.
Ernesto wasn’t Asian, nor did I meet him overseas. He was just the guy sitting in Row 3 Seat B headed to Texas for work on the same plane as me.
“How was your New Year’s celebration?” he asked as I shoved my backpack under the seat in front of me.
“Good.” I smiled reminiscing on my time overseas. “I spent it in Hong Kong with some good friends.”
He looked at me surprised.
“What about you?” I asked. “How was yours?”
Ernesto had spent the holidays with his family in California before heading to base in Texas for military duty. He has been in the Army for more than 10 years and was used to treasuring the small amount of time he had with loved ones. He shared a few short stories before centering the conversation on me.
Ernesto was an inquisitive man. I tried to ask him questions about himself, but he was too interested in my journeys.
I explained to him my interest in other cultures, and he was fascinated by it. He then saw the pen on my bag that I had received from the BGCT Annual Meeting that read “End Hunger 2015.” He asked why I was an advocate of world hunger alleviation so I got to share with them some facts about food instability in Texas and the need for hunger ministries. His eyes got big as he became so curious.
“Why do you want to do so much good?” he asked.
The answer to his question was easy. Out of the overflow of love that Christ has for me, I desire to share with others. But when he questioned me, I don’t know what happened. I built a wall of protection around my faith.
“I have really good parents,” I said. “They set a good example for me, and I want to be like them and serve the community.”
Yes, this was true. But it wasn’t the full truth. For some reason I was hesitant to say that Jesus was the reason for my intentions. I was afraid if I gave him a religious answer that I would lose his interest.
Our conversation turned around, and we began chatting about music and movies until both of us nodded off.
But I wrestled with sleep. I had missed my opportunity to share Christ with this man. On mission trips, it’s implied your conversations will end up about the Lord. In fact, you do all you can to hope that whatever subject you talk about will end with the Gospel.
It’s sad how quickly my mind switched to, “I’m back in America, he probably already knows.” It didn’t take but 12 hours for me to lose my missions-minded attitude after I had seen the Lord do amazing things in East Asia.
Luckily I had some time to pray before the end of the flight.
“Twenty minutes until we land,” the pilot came over the speaker.
I looked at Ernesto. He was staring out the window. He seemed so broken, so hopeless.
“Thank you,” I told him, and he took off his headphones. “Thank you for your service to this country. Thank you for protecting my freedom so that I am able to have the opportunity to travel the world and serve people.”
While in Asia, I realized how blessed our nation is to have freedom of religion, and this was the perfect opportunity to tell someone who defends my freedom that I am thankful for his service, because he makes my service possible.
Thank the Lord I had the opportunity to share Christ with him and encourage him to go to church and find help. He was broken by circumstance and needed help.
He then told me that he was afraid of church because he hadn’t always made the best choices in life.
The plane landed, and we went our separate ways. It broke my heart to think that this man, like many, feared the church. It bothered me that it took me hours into the flight to tell him Jesus was my passion. We talked about in debriefing the necessity of being on guard and girding up our loins. It didn’t take long for Him to test me in this area.
When off the “mission field,” it’s easy to get off “mission.” Thank goodness He isn’t done teaching when we think we’re through learning.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart. Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!” Psalm 139:23-24
AMARILLO – At a recent fair, Texas Baptists handed out cold water as well as living water.
Volunteers working with the Cup of Cold Water Ministry of the Amarillo Area Baptist Association served up roughly 7,300 cups of water and 325 Texas Hope 2010 multimedia gospel compact discs as well as other evangelistic materials during the Tri-State Fair in late September.
The CDs are one of the primary tools of Texas Hope 2010, an initiative of Texas Baptists to share the gospel with every Texan by Easter 2010. The CDs contain audio and video testimonies, gospel presentations and links to download the New Testament in more than 300 languages. Texas Baptists are seeking to place Scripture in each of Texas’ 8.8 million homes.
Terri Powell, director of the ministry, said the CDs were distributed by members of First Baptist Church in Vega and seemed to be well received. People appeared to be reading the CD covers and looked interested in finding out more about the CD.
“A lot of those went home with people who came to the fair and don’t go to church anywhere,” she said. “I thought it was a great opportunity.”
The distribution of water opens up avenues for people to share their faith, Powell said. It easily allows Christians to interact with people who have yet to accept Christ as Lord.
“Most of the work we do is sowing the seed and watering,” she said. “We do have people who come by every year and say ‘Thank you for being here.’”
Hardin-Simmons University took a significant step toward blanketing its campus with the gospel Oct. 13.
The HSU Baptist Student Ministries distributed roughly 500 Texas Hope 2010 multimedia compact discs, an initial step in putting a gospel CD in the hands of each of its roughly 2,300 students.
The CDs are part of Texas Hope 2010, an initiative designed to challenge Texas Baptists to share the gospel with every person in the state by Easter 2010. The CDs are being produced as a resource for churches by the Baptist General Convention of Texas. In addition to testimonies of hope found in the life-changing message of Jesus Christ, the CDs also include a link to download the New Testament in more than 300 languages.
Students received the CDs during a special chapel service October 13 as part of HSU’s celebration of 400 years of Baptist history. George Mason, senior pastor of Wilshire Baptist Church in Dallas, offered a sermon entitled “The Baptist Witness: Making All Things New.” The service was part of the two-day “Baptists@400: Celebrating the Past…Imagining the Future” event.
“Tuesday’s chapel service was the perfect time to distribute these resources to students,” said James Stone, HSU’s director of church relations. “What better way to celebrate our Baptist identity than to help share the gospel message.” Read more …