Life is a blessing—a precious and costly gift from God.
According to the dictionary—specifically dictionary.com—states that a blessing is a “… special favor, mercy, or benefit.” A second definition confirms that a blessing is a “… favor or gift bestowed by God.” Based on those definitions and the recent news out of Haiti, it is easy to determine that life is a precious blessing, especially right now, in Haiti.
Life is a blessing—a precious and costly gift from God, in Haiti.
But last week, more than 200,000 people lost their lives in an earthquake there. At the time of the writing of this article, the reports were still coming in. The final count may be significantly more than the 200,000 number that has already been circulated. It has also been reported that more than 300,000 Haitians have been left homeless and the number of injured is inestimable.
The devastation in Haiti is overwhelming. The pictures are hard to look at. From houses that are no longer are homes to buildings that have been reduced to rubble; from a woman covered up to her neck in rocks and debris and barely alive to a child half dressed crying for his parents who are gone; from bodies lined up in the streets to mass graves—the pictures are horrifying.
The people of Haiti need our prayers and our support. Missouri Baptists must respond with courage, compassion and commitment. The recovery will take a long time. It will require hard work, patience and a lot of money. There are opportunities for you to respond to the crisis through the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC). Please, go to the MBC website (www.mobaptist.org). On the front page of the website you will find an icon that says Haiti Disaster Relief. Below the picture, you will find at least four quick links to places where you can give and/or volunteer to go to participate in the recovery efforts in Haiti. One of the links will take you to the North American Mission Board (NAMB) website where you can contribute through the NAMB Disaster Relief effort in Haiti. You can actually use your credit card to contribute on the NAMB website. A second link will take you the Baptist Global Response website hosted by the International Mission Board (IMB). Currently we also have a link to the relief/ministry efforts of two Missouri Baptist churches. You can participate with the First Baptist Church of Clinton in their support of missionaries Dennis and Jennifer Maupin and as they drill water wells in Haiti. You can also partner with the Red Bridge Baptist Church in Kansas City in their operation of Haiti Home of Hope, an orphanage in Pignon, Haiti.
We want to feature all Missouri Baptist churches that are currently working and serving in Haiti. If your church is involved in Haitian ministry, please contact MBC Director of Communications and Development, Vince Blubaugh, with information about your ministry. We will consistently maintain the NAMB and IMB links, while rotating Missouri-specific Haiti ministries. Please, go to the MBC website. Pick a link, and get involved in Haiti Disaster Relief. You are also invited to give through your local Missouri Baptist church. Designated monies received at the MBC offices will be forwarded to Haiti through the NAMB Disaster Relief initiative.
Life is a blessing—a precious and costly gift from God, but not only in Haiti.
Missouri Baptists are also involved in disaster relief in El Salvador. We must respond with courage and compassion to the disaster in Haiti. But we cannot, in the process, forget our commitment to El Salvador. I won’t spend time in this article repeating the needs in El Salvador and the goals of Mi Casa es su Casa. In our last Pathway column, we wrote about the Missouri Baptist commitment to rebuild the homes of Salvadoran Baptists who lost those homes in Hurricane Ida. In this article, I simply want to remind you that life is a blessing—a precious and costly gift from God, in Haiti, in El Salvador, and in America.
The fact that 200,000 people lost their lives in the Haitian earthquake is an unimaginable, horrible tragedy. The hundreds who lost their lives in El Salvador were just as precious to our Lord. Those numbers are staggering. But there is another catastrophe—an even more horrific tragedy is ongoing right here in the United States of America. In the last 37 years, since 1973, more than 48 million babies have been killed in America through abortion. That number is the equivalent of the tragedy in Haiti multiplied more than 200 times. The children killed through abortion were just as precious to our Lord as was every individual in Haiti and in El Salvador. The media was filled with heart-wrenching stories about Hurricane Ida in El Salvador and the earthquake in Haiti. But, where is the outcry for almost 50 million American children who have been killed through abortion?
Life is a blessing—it is a precious and costly gift from God.
Just as Missouri Baptists have several avenues for courageous and compassionate response to the tragedies in Haiti and in El Salvador, we also have many ways to respond to the tragedy of abortion. My home church, along with many local Missouri Baptist churches support homes for unwed mothers, adoption counseling and services for women considering abortion. There are many ways to be involved and numerous pro-life organizations worthy of our support. I encourage every Missouri Baptist church and every individual Missouri Baptist to discover for yourself how you can be involved in saving hundreds of thousands of lives right here in Missouri.
Every life is a blessing—it is a precious and costly gift from God.
I am praying that all Missouri Baptists will work hard to restore livelihoods and to save lives in Haiti, in El Salvador, even in Missouri because all life really is a blessing—a precious and costly gift from God.