September 2010

Richer than you think?

September 20 2010 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer

An article from Baptist Global Response begins like this: “They volunteered to die.” Why would elderly men and women in a West African village volunteer to die? Because there wasn’t enough food and they chose to give their food to their children and grandchildren.

This scenario is real and it happens all over the world, probably more often than we realize. Hunger and malnutrition are the number one health risks worldwide. Every day about 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes.

David Platt talks about hunger and poverty in his book Radical. I recommend it and I encourage you to read it. But I should warn you: your toes will be stepped on and sometimes it will be difficult to turn to the next page. It is a very convicting read, but one that will change your perspective on quite a few things.

Pastor Platt writes that more than one billion people in the world live, and also die, in poverty.

These are people trying to live on less than one dollar per day.

Another two billion people live on less than two dollars per day. What that amounts to, Platt writes, is “nearly half the world struggling to find food, water, and shelter with the same amount of money I spend on french fries for lunch.”

I don’t know about you, but for me, that is hard to read. If we are honest, we must admit that we sometimes use money frivolously when people around the world are dying because they cannot get enough food.

Platt also says that if you have running water, shelter over your head, clothes to wear, food to eat, transportation (even if it’s public transportation), you are in the top 15 percent of the world’s wealthiest people. We may not want to acknowledge it, but in this comparison, we are rich people.

October 10 is World Hunger Sunday. Across the nation, Southern Baptists will give to the Southern Baptist World Hunger Offering. This offering helps provide food and clean water for thousands of people.

You may be reluctant to give because the problem is so overwhelming and you cannot change it. If that is how you are thinking, I would say to you that you are correct. You cannot change the hunger problem for the entire world. Yet, you can do something. You can give something that will make a difference to someone. I hope the church you attend will develop a plan to share information about the reality of world hunger and ask people to give in October. What can you sacrifice in order to give to this offering?

What can you go without in order to give more? If the Lord has blessed and you are rich, please give generously.

For more information about the World Hunger Offering, visit www.worldhungerfund.com.

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink…”Matthew 25:35  
9/20/2010 8:50:00 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer | with 2 comments



NCMO: Will you give?

September 7 2010 by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer

Each year in September we encourage churches to promote and support the North Carolina Missions Offering (NCMO). When you give, you are giving to more than just an offering. Your generosity makes it possible for the gospel to be shared through unique ministry opportunities across this state.

You may not be aware just how many ministries NCMO supports. Within 72 hours of the devastating earthquake in Haiti earlier this year North Carolina Baptists were already in the country and on the ground caring for the victims. This kind of immediate response requires training, coordination and funds for supplies. N.C. Baptist Men (NCBM) continues to excel in this type of response. Disaster relief ministry is made possible by your gifts to the North Carolina Missions Offering.

Another vital ministry: church planting. In 2009, about half of the new churches started were ethnic churches. Our state is home to more than 230 language/culture groups.

Through church planting, we are able to reach out and minister to people from all over the world.

For example, last year a Burmese church was started in New Bern. This city is a receiving area for a large number of Burmese people who come to the U.S. from a refugee camp in Thailand.

This year the North American Mission Board named Ralph Garay, one of our Convention’s church planting consultants and a native of the Philippines, Asian Church Planter of the Year. In 2009, Ralph helped start 25 Asian churches in North Carolina.

NCMO also supports church planting around the world. When you give, you help fund new church planters in South Africa. Many of these planters serve in rural areas where there are no other churches.

Local Baptist associations play a vital role in Kingdom work in our state. A portion of NCMO funds is sent back to the associations for local missions efforts. An article that ran on the Convention web site not long ago talks about the many different ways associations use these funds to make an impact in their community (Aug. 28 print issue of the Biblical Recorder as well as online).

Associations are, because of NCMO, able to host Vacation Bible Schools, train pastors, support food and clothing ministries, send people on mission trips, sponsor youth outreach, purchase Bibles and tracts, do home repairs for families in need, and sponsor new churches. Most of these ministries help us fulfill the Great Commission and the Acts 1:8 mandate beginning here in North Carolina.

These are just a few examples of how your giving truly makes a difference. If you would like to find out more about the North Carolina Missions Offering you can visit www.ncmissionsoffering.org.

Just as the IMB and the NAMB of the SBC are dependent upon special mission offerings in addition to what they receive from the Cooperative Program budget, the NCMO offering is extremely vital to the support of NCBM and church planting. Will you join us as we seek to penetrate the lostness of this state and beyond? Will you give this year?  
9/7/2010 7:56:00 AM by Milton A. Hollifield Jr., BSC Executive Director-Treasurer | with 0 comments