BWA responds to multiple disasters

People move through flooded streets in Havana after the passage of Hurricane Irma, in Cuba, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017. Photo Credit: AP Photo/Ramon EspinosaThe Baptist World Alliance is responding to a series of weather related disasters on multiple fronts.

The most recent, Hurricane Irma, devastated parts of the Caribbean and several southeastern states of the United States, especially Florida.

The BWA is in contact with Baptists in the Caribbean and is preparing to send initial sums as soon as verifiable information on need is received.

Reports are that the island of Barbuda, which shares statehood with Antigua, suffered 90 percent damage to buildings and properties. At least 10 people are known to have died in Cuba amidst extensive damage. The island of Hispaniola, which includes the nations of Haiti and the Dominican Republic, suffered significant damage. The Bahamas experienced widespread devastation. 

The Virgin Islands, Anguilla, St. Maarten, Puerto Rico and the Turks and Caicos islands were also badly affected.

At least 24 people in the Caribbean are known to have died due to the hurricane.

Much of Florida in the US was under water and long term damage is estimated to be in the tens of billions of dollars. The US states of Georgia and South Carolina and others experienced flooding and powerful winds.

The BWA previously sent relief funds to aid those affected by Hurricane Harvey, which formed on August 17 and dissipated on September 2, leaving widespread destruction and death in its wake in the states of Texas and Louisiana in the US.Damage is left after Hurricane Irma hit Barbuda, Sept. 7, 2017. Photo courtesy of www.voanews.com

BWA assistance was sent to Sierra Leone in West Africa, where about 500 died due to landslides and severe flooding in mid-August; and to Nepal, which had severe flooding. 

The BWA is responding to the numerous needs through its member organizations in the various countries.

Donations may be made at www.bwanet.org/online-giving or sent to:
Baptist World Aid
c/o Baptist World Alliance
405 North Washington Street
Falls Church, VA 22046
USA

Baptist World Alliance®
©September 12, 2017

 

2018 human rights award nomination now open

The Baptist World Alliance has begun the process of accepting nominations for the 2018 Denton and Janice Lotz Human Rights Award. Nominations will close on November 30, 2017.

Any Baptist individual, church or organization can submit a nomination, and any Baptist is eligible to receive the award.

The award is intended to recognize and give visibility to men and women who have done outstanding work in defending and promoting human rights as defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Persons may not make nominations on their own behalf.

The awardee will be announced at the March 2018 BWA Executive Committee meeting and the award presented during the Annual Gathering in July 2018 in Zurich, Switzerland.

The nominations form may be downloaded here on the BWA website.

BWA offers support and sympathy to victims of Hurricane Harvey

Texas Baptist Men preparing a Hurricane Harvey relief stationThe Baptist World Alliance sent an initial sum of US$15,000 to Baptists in Texas in the United States to assist those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Harvey, which landed as a category 4 hurricane on the coast of Texas on August 25, has caused widespread destruction in the Greater Houston/Southeast Texas region.

By August 29, 14 persons were known to have died. More than 300,000 people were left without electricity and billions of dollars in property damage was sustained.

BWA General Secretary Neville Callam told David Hardage, executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, that “the Baptist family worldwide is viewing with alarm recent developments in the state of Texas resulting from the passage of Hurricane Harvey.”

Callam said "the scenes of devastation are heart-rending and we are deeply concerned about the suffering people are facing." He assured Baptists in the state "of our prayers for all who suffer."

Donations may be made at www.bwanet.org/online-giving or sent to:
Baptist World Aid
c/o Baptist World Alliance
405 North Washington Street
Falls Church, VA 22046
USA

 Baptist World Alliance®
©August 29, 2017

At least 500 Baptists affected by heavy flooding in Nepal

Beginning on August 10, the South Asian country of Nepal has been affected by devastating floods, compounding earlier flood rains in the month of June.

Twenty-nine of the 75 districts in the Himalayan country were inundated by torrential rain. About 150 people have been killed and 90,000 homes destroyed in what the United Nations called the worst flooding in Nepal in a decade.

Approximately 500 Baptists were among those affected.

At least five of the 16 churches known to have been damaged or destroyed were Baptist churches. “Many churches could not organize regular worship,” the Nepal Baptist Church Council (NBCC) told the Baptist World Alliance.

 

“The Nepal Baptist Church family is praying and contacting our people and organizations,” NBBC stated. “We are also collecting food, clothes and funds among our churches and individuals. Please be with us in prayer.”

Indications are that the heavy flood rains in Nepal are part of a broader monsoon system that has affected parts of India and Bangladesh, where more than 1,200 people in the three countries have died. Thousands of villages were cut off and people were deprived of food and clean water for days.

The BWA sent an initial sum of US$10,000 to Nepal for flood relief.

Donations may be made at www.bwanet.org/online-giving or sent to:
Baptist World Aid
c/o Baptist World Alliance
405 North Washington Street
Falls Church, VA 22046
USA

 

Baptist elected head of world’s largest united church

Andre Bokundoa-bo-Likabe, general secretary of the Baptist Community of the Congo River and a former vice president of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA), has been elected president of the Church of Christ in the Congo (CCC).

CCC, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), is the largest united church and the second largest Protestant denomination in the world and is often simply referred to as the Protestant Church. It includes “communities” of churches that are Baptist, Disciples of Christ, Presbyterian, Methodist, Mennonite, Lutheran, Evangelical, Moravian, etc., in a country that is larger geographically than all of Western Europe.

The CCC provides a central administration and a spiritual forum for the dozens of Protestant denominations that it includes. It functions under a national “synod” and an executive committee.

Bokundoa’s election took place during the 17th National Synod of the CCC on August 19. He succeeds Pierre Marini Bodho who was head of the CCC for 19 years.

Bokundoa, elected president of the All Africa Baptist Fellowship in 1999, is a specialist in Semitic languages. He studied Hebrew and Ugaritic at the French Biblical and Archaeological School of Jerusalem and Old Testament languages at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom.

He pastored various congregations prior to becoming general secretary of the Baptist Community of the Congo River in 1998, one of several Baptist “communities” in the DRC. He taught at the Baptist Seminary in Kinshasa, the DRC capital; and in the faculty of theology of the Protestant Union of Congo, a multidenominational school.

A BWA vice president from 2005-2010,  Bokundoa is a former member of the BWA  General Council, the Executive Committee, the Budget and Finance Committee, the Membership Committee, the Commission on Christian Ethics and the Academic and Theological Education Workgroup.

BWA General Secretary Neville Callam commended Bokundoa on “the high office to which you have been elected,”   expressing confidence that his service “will conduce to the strengthening of the bond of peace in the Christian community in your country.”

The CCC president holds the rank of bishop and serves six-year terms, subject to re-election.

Baptist World Alliance®
©August 29, 2017