Monday, November 11, 2013

Typhoon Relief, World Hunger, and Other Reasons I'm a Baptist

This week, I'm at the annual state meeting of my denomination, The Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware.  Last night, I watched from my Delaware hotel room as the first responders began their work in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, which has left more than 10,000 dead, and more than 100,000 displaced from their homes in the Philippines.

As these two events--a denominational meeting and an international disaster--intersect, I'm reminded of just a few of the many reasons why I'm a Southern Baptist.

It's been less than 100 hours since Haiyan bore down on the east side of the archipelago, and our partners at Baptist Global Response are already at work bringing relief to those so drastically affected by this storm. They will feed the hungry, rebuild homes, schools, and hospitals, provide medical care, and share the message of Jesus.  And all of this is made possible by the gifts of individuals and churches to our relief work.

There are some great relief organizations out there, and I don't intend by this post to berate them, or enter into a competition with them.  But I am often genuinely puzzled at why so many of our churches--when looking for a way to provide relief and feed the hungry--don't avail themselves of the most effective delivery system in the history of Protestant Christianity.

In particular, churches and groups within churches are often searching for a way to touch real human needs, but in their search often gravitate toward whichever organization developed the fanciest mailer--regardless of how much of their donation has to be used to actually print those mailers.  When you give to BGR, or to the Baptist World Hunger Fund, 100% of every penny is actually used to bring relief.  The Cooperative Program covers all the costs associated with overhead and as such, giving to BGR or World Hunger means no administration, no staffing, and no "off the top" skimming from a fundraising organization.  You give a dollar, and the whole dollar makes it to someone who really needs it.

Second, when you give for world relief through these channels, you are supporting a brand that has garnered national and international respect.  BGR is at work in places around the world where our own diplomats sometimes have difficulty working.  And next time you are on the Gulf Coast, or in Long Island New York, ask those residents if they would rather have FEMA, or SBC Disaster Relief help them out in the event of another Hurricane.  They won't have to think long!

So, if you've been watching the news the past few days, want to help, but are struggling with where to send the money, let me help you with that decision.

Click here to donate to Baptist Global Response.

Click here to donate to the SBC World Hunger Fund.


Anonymous said...

So if the organization happened to be run poorly, then you wouldnt be a Southern Baptist?

. said...

Actually, I don't believe I said anything to even indicate that this was the case. I stated that these are among the myriad of reasons I'm SBC. There are many other reasons I'm SBC, but I wanted to highlight these two at this critical time when so many people need our help.

. said...

So I guess I'm saying this. If it were run poorly, I'd still be SBC, but I would advocate that people give their $$ to a relief organization who was a more efficient steward of the dollars. Thankfully, I've never had to say that about any disaster relief arm of the SBC.