April 2010

Paying on my debt

April 19 2010 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer

My parents are now in their 80’s. I love my mom and dad, and enjoy brief visits with them whenever my business travels in western North Carolina allow me to be close enough to stop for awhile.

Dad’s health still allows him to visit patients in hospitals and rest homes and he continues to enjoy preaching in different churches, but Mom does not get around as well as she once did.

Still, when I stop for a visit, she likes to get up from her seat and hug her boy good-bye.

When I look back as I drive away I see her standing on the porch waving good-bye. This may sound like a simple gesture, but it is a special blessing that I will not always have to enjoy — one you will not always have.

I shared this story last week with those in attendance at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the North Carolina Baptist Aging Ministry (NCBAM) facility in Thomasville. The building is on the Baptist Children’s Homes campus in Thomasville.

That day was indeed a special occasion. Many members of the Baptist Children’s Homes staff joined us for the dedication of the NCBAM building. The Baptist State Convention’s Executive Committee was also present, as the NCBAM staff hosted the group for its regularly scheduled meeting.

NCBAM is a ministry that began two years ago as a partnership between Baptist Children’s Homes and the Baptist State Convention. Dr. Michael Blackwell, Baptist Children’s Homes president, updated our Executive Committee on the progress of NCBAM and all that this ministry is doing to serve senior adults. As Dr. Blackwell said to the Executive Committee, NCBAM has made a big difference in just a short amount of time.

Just like my parents, many senior adults are wanting to stay in their homes longer instead of moving to residential care, and NCBAM helps resource and equip families, churches and associations as they minister to these senior adults. The NCBAM call center (1-877-506-2226) is available to all North Carolina Baptists — just give NCBAM a call and they will help put you in touch with resources to meet your ministry needs.

The wonderful NCBAM staff is ready to walk alongside you as you seek to care for and minister to aging parents and church members.

The most important aspect of NCBAM is ministering to the spiritual needs of aging adults, and NCBAM can help you do that as well.

I shared with those at the dedication that the ministry of NCBAM is just one way we can help return the debt of love to those who cared so much for us. I will never be able to say thank you enough to my parents and those adults who poured themselves into my life. But I will always be grateful and will take every precious opportunity I have left to tell them so.

“Owe no man anything, but to love one another, for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.” Romans 13:8  
4/19/2010 9:25:00 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer | with 1 comments

For Your Work in Haiti: Thank You

April 5 2010 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer

When tragedy strikes, such as the earthquake in Haiti, our hearts are gripped by the photos we see on television and the videos of people searching under the rubble for family members. The cry for help rings out and we respond, eager to do something, anything, to help.

Yet, time passes and the media coverage lessens.

The live reports are fewer and the newspapers have moved on to the next natural disaster. Aren’t most of us tempted to react the same way? Enthusiastic in the beginning about giving people in need our attention, but then little by little, without really meaning to, moving on and forgetting all about it?

I am so grateful that North Carolina Baptists have not forgotten about the Haitian people. At the time I am submitting this column, N.C. Baptist Men has sent at least 12 volunteer teams, representing 150 volunteers, to Haiti.

These medical teams worked around the clock seeing patients and saving lives. North Carolina Baptists sent 12,532 “Buckets of Hope” to Haiti. Each bucket will feed a family in Haiti for one week. Our goal was to send 10,000 buckets — thank you North Carolina Baptists for giving so generously. You will provide food for at least 526,344 meals in Haiti.

Richard Brunson, executive director of N.C. Baptist Men, said from the outset and continues to say that North Carolina Baptists will be in Haiti for a long time. Scott and Janet Daughtry arrived in Haiti Feb. 2 to serve as our long-term coordinators in Haiti. The first phase of our aid in Haiti has been primarily medical. As we continue our work more teams will help with construction projects.

I want to say thank you to North Carolina Baptists for your dedication to serving others. You have sacrificed time with your families to go serve in Haiti. You have sacrificed financially to make this work possible. You have been diligent in praying for those going to serve, as well as those who are being served.

The Florida Baptist Convention is heavily involved in relief and evangelism efforts in Haiti. They have been ministering for 15 years as the Southern Baptist presence in Haiti.

Recently I received expressions of appreciation from Dr. John Sullivan and Dr. Cecil Seagle of the Florida Baptist Convention for all that North Carolina Baptists are doing to help. Their convention is reporting that more than 58,000 people have accepted Christ since the earthquake hit.

As you continue to give financially while others go, please pray that many more people in Haiti will hear the gospel and accept Jesus as their Savior. Also, be praying for the Christians in Haiti that God would use this time to strengthen their faith and that their faithfulness to Him will be a positive testimony to the gospel.  

“…inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matt. 25:40
4/5/2010 7:33:00 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer | with 0 comments