‘How have you helped him who is without power?’
October 4, 2005
Not often do you get to enjoy the birth of a physical grandson and a spiritual grandson within a week’s time.
On Sept. 24, Jared Shane Spannagel was born physically into this world. He is the son of our oldest son, Shane and Marisa Spannagel, who live in Alberta, Canada. My wife, Weida, and I are thankful that he was born into a family that loves their children and will communicate to him the wonderful news of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Gramma already has his picture all over the house and if you ask her she will share a picture of Jared with you. So you see, we are thankful for his arrival.
On Sept. 27, another grandson came to my attention. This one is related to our partnership ministry through the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC). In May 2003, it was my responsibility to meet with the Baptist Union of Romania, to officially sign the partnership agreement with them. My partner for the trip was David Tolliver, MBC Cooperative Program specialist. At that time he was the pastor of Pisgah Baptist Church, Excelsior Springs. While we were there, David learned about the needs of a church in Romania. When he returned home, he led his church to partner with that church. On one of his trips, David discovered another church in a different city that needed a partner. When he returned home, he invited Kirk Baker, pastor of Lawson Baptist Church, to begin a partnership with the church in need discovered by David. Kirk led his church to enter a partnership with this congregation in Romania. Recently Kirk led his association to join his church to help with this partnership.
As I listened to the report of their recent mission trip to Romania and heard how the Gospel seed had been planted, my heart leaped with joy at the birth of a “spiritual” grandson that had been born. Until pastor Kirk’s report was given, we did not know that this was happening. This is the principle of “multiplication” at work in our state. Without our advice or instruction, Pastor Kirk laid out the plans of partnership exactly the way that a good partnership should function. My prayer is that we will see many more “spiritual grandsons” become a reality as we continue to serve our Lord together.
In recent days, the partnership that we have with God has been deeply impressed on my heart. Without Him we are hopelessly lost and desperately powerless. As a believer everything about us depends upon our relationship with Him. We are the recipients of his marvelous love. He came at the right time with just what we needed. Now He is giving us the opportunity to join Him in His work.
In Job 26:2, Job asked the question that we must answer today “How have you helped him who is without power? How have you saved the arm that has no strength?”
Our television and computer screens have been filled with pictures of people who are without power to help themselves because of the recent hurricanes, Katrina and Rita. Immediately, we ask how we can best get the job accomplished and how can we be the most effective?
David Hankins, executive director, Louisiana Baptist Convention, has expressed one of the greatest needs that the people have. They need their pastors to pray with them and to encourage them through this difficult time. Unfortunately, the pastors of the churches find themselves without power to meet their own needs and the needs of their families. During any crisis, leadership makes the difference. This presents us with another level of partnership that is so desperately needed. We need to help stabilize the pastor and his family, so that he can help his congregation and community. The pastor knows his community and his people better than anyone else. This may be the best way that we can help the churches regain some stability, by helping their pastor leader.
If your church adopts a church in need, please make sure that the pastor has the power to lead them through this crisis. All of us can get involved with this need. Since the people need their pastor to pray for them, we need to pray for these pastors. Take a moment and pray for them right now: “Father, we come before you to lift up your servants that they might be steadfast, unmovable and always abounding in the work of the Lord. In Jesus name,
Please hear what one Louisiana leader said, “Tell the folks who want to help to keep their hearts warm a long time.” This is going to be an extended crisis that will require an extended, continuous response. Our North American Mission Board is hard at work alongside the state conventions to establish partnerships between churches. Several churches in Missouri have already been connected and there are more church-to-church partnerships to come. If your church cannot establish a partnership, but you want to participate to help the pastors and churches, you can send your gifts to MBC Disaster Relief Fund. We are in direct contact with the executive directors, who can help us locate these men and churches. We always look forward to the testimonies of what God does in supernaturally meeting needs through His people.
We find ourselves living out the question of Job, “How have you helped him who is without power?” I am thankful that Jesus gave us His plan of action in Acts 1:8 and that we have the opportunity to partner with Him all over this world.