Archive for the ‘Baptist General Convention of Texas’ Category
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.
By John Hall on day two of Bike Out Hunger
This morning, we had to ride 40 miles by 11:30 a.m. for a wonderful lunch gathering at First Baptist Church in Hamilton. That may not seem early, but it’s one of the shorter time periods we have to ride such a distance.
Many of the riders hustled along the course, running in a pace line and sharing the role as the lead. They rolled up to First Baptist Church right near the 11:30 cut off.
Me? I was roughly 12 miles outside town. My legs felt great. I was working hard. I simply couldn’t keep the pace that was needed to do what needed to happen. This morning, the van had to pick me up so I could make lunch. I needed help if I was going to make it there.
While the situation clearly isn’t the same, it made me think of the plight of the many Texans who are considered “working poor.” They have jobs. Sometimes they have more than one job. They work as many hours as they can. They’re doing the best they know how. Yet, some days they still can’t put food on the table.
Today, I had a group of people I could turn to help me out. They’re Christians, people who earnestly care about me, want to see me succeed and are trying to help me do just that. When I fell short, they were there to help me get the help I needed.
For many people looking for food, that’s exactly what churches are. They are their first source of help. They are a place where people can go to receive encouragement and aid. There, they can hear the good news and taste it as they bite into the food the congregations distribute.
Is your church a place where people can turn to for help when they need it?
By John Hall
An old adage says youth is wasted on the young.
After biking roughly two hours today with a group of Howard Payne students, I couldn’t disagree more. They are young and energetic. They care about others and want to help in any way they can. When an opportunity is presented to do so, they jump at it like they did today.
BSM Director Katy Blackshear shared with the students an opportunity to raise awareness of the hunger needs in Texas, and they eagerly took her up on the chance to remind others of the plight of hurting Texans. At noon, eight students joined us to ride during Bike Out Hunger. They talked about wanting to serve others, following Christ’s example of reaching out to the least of these and offering hope for now and eternity. They literally were a rolling reminder to the Brownwood community that people around them do not know where they will find their next meal.
I think the world needs more of that – more people who are willing to follow Christ no matter what that looks like, whether it be on a bike, in a Bible study, starting a church, serving as a missionary or inviting a neighbor to church. To me, that’s not a waste at all but something we should cherish and aspire to.