Southern Baptists get a lot of bad press, particularly among those who delight in pointing out mistakes made by Christians and other religious groups. Sometimes, even for those of us who focus on the good Southern Baptists are doing, its easy to forget how comprehensive our global impact really is. Send Relief is the disaster response and human needs meeting organization for Southern Baptists. Through them, we extend compassionate ministry all around the world.
More than 50,000 people were killed when the recent earthquake rocked Turkey and Syria. Millions more have been impacted – displaced from homes, denied access to workplaces, struggling with limited medical care, and left to weather a cold winter in the streets with little food, shelter, or heat. When all this happened, we were traveling in the Middle East with a group from Gateway. And, it was only a few months ago, I taught a doctoral seminar for a week in Turkey. So, the images of destruction were particularly and personally impactful this time.
That’s why it was so encouraging to see Southern Baptists responding, immediately and generously, to meet needs during this crisis. Within hours after the earthquake, Send Relief engaged with ground personal in the region to start the flow of relief aid. Dr. Bryant Wright, President of Send Relief, was onsite within days to ensure Southern Baptists were interfacing with other private and governmental relief efforts at the highest level. Last Sunday, preaching in a Chinese Church in California, the pastor challenged his members to give $10,000 to help with disaster relief in Turkey and Syria.
These are reasons it’s good to be a Southern Baptist. We are intentional about missions – including being prepared to respond anywhere in the world when disaster strikes. We are engaged on the ground as our leaders set the example of connecting personally with hands-on care. We are a network of generous churches who give and give and give and then give some more to meet global needs. Send Relief is more than a catchy organizational title; it’s a succinct statement of a core part of our mission.
If you would like to give to help with this effort in Turkey and Syria (or the next inevitable disaster when it strikes), you can do so at www.sendrelief.org.
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