Baptist response to Ecuador quake

Ecuadorian Baptists preparing emergency relief for earthquake victims (Photo courtesy of Israel Baptist Church)Baptists in Ecuador and other countries are offering emergency relief to those affected by the 7.8 earthquake that struck the country on April 16.

Almost 600 have been killed, more than 8,300 were injured and more than 150 remain missing, .

Israel Baptist Church in the city of Guayaquil said “We're getting bottled water, canned food, dry food, powdered milk, tents, basic hygiene products, portable batteries, lamps and kitchen utensils” to earthquake victims.

The congregation’s pastor is Parrish Jacome, Baptist World Alliance (BWA) regional secretary for South America and executive director of the Union of Baptists in Latin America. Jacome declared the earthquake as “one of the most terrible events to have happened in Ecuador.”


A Rescue 24 team comprising Hungarian and North Carolina Baptists in the United States arrived in the country on April 18. They are working with Ecuadorian Baptists to assist with search and rescue and to provide medical assistance, sanitation and temporary shelter to those in need.

Rescue 24 indicated that the earthquake damaged communications, transport and sewage systems, making it difficult to conduct rescue operations.

The Baptist Rescue 24 team in Ecuador

"The Baptist Convention in Ecuador and all the churches have organized to send support and coordinate help coming from abroad,” Jacome said. “We are sending teams to the most affected areas for relief."

Jacome said "the response team is still finding people alive under the wreckage. He told Christian Today that Ecuadorians are “facing a complicated and difficult situation.”

The BWA, which is still receiving donations, sent an initial sum of US$15,000 in emergency assistance.

Donations may be made online at www.bwanet.org/give or sent to:

Baptist World Aid
c/o Baptist World Alliance
405 North Washington Street
Falls Church, VA 22046 USA

Baptist World Alliance®

© April 22, 2016

Dunn resigns BWA position to pursue pastoral opportunity

Emmett Dunn, director of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) Youth Department and congress director, has resigned his position to pursue opportunities in the pastorate.

His resignation takes effect July 31 and comes after 22 years of service to the BWA, where he began working on August 1, 1994.

“I attach great value to this organization and will always cherish the years I served,” Dunn said in his letter of resignation.

Dunn will take up full time pastoral responsibilities of the West Hyattsville Baptist Church in Maryland, a congregation he has been serving over the past two years. “It is my conviction, after much prayer, that God is leading me to serve this local congregation and I won’t be yielding to God’s call if I left the congregation at this point and time,” Dunn elaborated.

The Liberian native has pledged his continued support to the BWA. “Because of my commitment to the BWA and belief in the value it brings to the global family, I am making myself available to serve in whatever capacity that may become available.”

“Twenty two years of service to a single organization is an outstanding accomplishment,” said BWA General Secretary Neville Callam. “During this period, Emmett has participated in numerous national and regional events involving Baptist youth around the world. He also offered leadership in Baptist Youth World Conferences in Houston, Hong Kong, Leipzig and Singapore.”

Callam pointed to Dunn’s signal contribution in other meetings and conferences of the BWA, the international umbrella organization for Baptist Christians. “Emmett served as logistics director for the BWA Annual Gathering for nine consecutive years and for the Baptist World Congresses in Birmingham, Honolulu and Durban.”

The general secretary declared that “BWA owes a huge debt of gratitude to him. Emmett’s return to the pastorate is based on the conviction that this is what the Holy Spirit is leading him to do and we expect him to be as effective in his leadership of a local church as he was in service with BWA.”

Baptist World Alliance®
© April 21, 2016

Baptist World magazine wins award

For the second year in a row, Baptist World, the quarterly magazine of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA), received an award from the Religion Communicators Council (RCC).

The periodical received the RCC Shoestring Award on March 31 during the DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Awards Ceremony in New York City in the United States. The Shoestring Award “is given to one winner across all categories on the basis of the highest quality/best product, for the lowest cost.”

In 2015, the October/December 2014 issue of the magazine won an award of excellence from the RCC for its attractiveness, use of images and color and content.

The DeRose-Hinkhouse Awards recognize the achievements of RCC members who demonstrate excellence as religion communicators.

Presentations were made in several broad categories: periodicals, including newspapers, magazines and newsletters; public relations materials such as brochures, posters, booklets and annual reports; public relations/advertising campaigns; news and feature writing; graphic design, art and photography; audio and video, broadcast, non-broadcast and cable; digital communications; and social media.

Other Baptists received recognition at the award ceremony, an event held during the RCC annual convention, which was held from March 30 to April 3.

Brian Kaylor, vice chair of the BWA Communications Committee, won three Certificate of Merit awards: one for the partnership with Guatemalan Baptists in the February 2015 issue of the Churchnet digital magazine, and two for articles in Word & Way on the death penalty and on Union Mound Baptist Church.

Kaylor is generational engagement team leader for Churchnet and a contributing editor for Ethics Daily.

Word & Way, a newspaper published by Baptists in the state of Missouri in the United States, is edited by Bill Webb, a BWA Communications Committee member.

The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) picked up Awards of Excellence for its Brand Rollout public relations campaign and the Offering for Global Missions fundraising campaign, and Certificates of Merit for Military Challenge Coin in the Special Print Material subcategory and its Logo and Visual Identity System.

Among those recognized for their CBF work were Jeff Huett, Aaron Weaver, Candice Young, Carrie McGuffin and Travis Peterson.

The Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, based in Washington, DC, in the US, received Certificates of Merit for the James Dunn Obituary by Cherilyn Crowe and for Don Byrd’s Blog from the Capital.

An Award of Excellence was received by Philip Poole and Janica York Carter for their work on the Baptist-affiliated Samford University 2014-2015 Annual Report.

Eron Henry, BWA associate director of Communications and editor of Baptist World magazine, was elected to the RCC Board of Directors for the period 2016-2019.

Baptist World Alliance®
© April 8, 2016

Baptists send emergency aid to Ecuador

Collapsed house in Guayaquil, 2016 Ecuador earthquake - Photo courtesy of Andes/César Muñoz

The Baptist World Alliance (BWA) is sending an initial sum of US$15,000 for emergency relief to Ecuador after a massive 7.8 earthquake hit the South American country late on April 16.

More than 400 were killed and more than 2,500 injured. A state of emergency was declared throughout the country.

“We would be very thankful if the BWA could help us with any kind of economic support to help us meet the great needs,” wrote Parrish Jacome, BWA regional secretary for South America and executive director of the Union of Baptists in Latin America. Jacome lives in Guayaquil, the largest and the most populous city in Ecuador.

 


“We have reports of destroyed church buildings and families of the churches that have lost their homes and some of their relatives,” Jacome said.

“The ravages are heartbreaking in 15 to 20 cities and coastal towns,” said Milton Bustos, president of the Baptist Convention of Ecuador. “We are coordinating the work through the Baptist Convention of Ecuador and its 15 regional associations and are gathering aid for the five regional Baptist associations that were affected,” he explained.

BWA General Secretary Neville Callam assured the Ecuadorians of the support of the global Baptist family. “You can be assured of our prayers for all those affected by this difficult situation. We also want to assure you of our desire to express solidarity with you as you seek to respond to the needs that exist,” Callam told Bustos.

“May God grant patience to all those who have to deal with the consequences of the earthquake and strength to those who lead the recovery process. May the inexhaustible grace and mercy of God be made clear to all of you,” Callam said.

“As a Baptist family we express our commitment to help and solidarity in these difficult times. Together we can show God's love to people who are suffering,” declared Jorge Quinteros of Chile, a vice president of the BWA. “May God strengthen the Baptist people of this country and provide them the courage to encourage and comfort the afflicted.”

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

Baptist World Alliance®
© April 19, 2016

Baptists among those killed in suicide bombing in Pakistan

 

At least seven Baptists died in a bombingGulshan-e-Iqbal Park in Lahore. The bomb was detonated by the park's main gate that killed more than 70 people on Easter Sunday, March 27, in the city of Lahore in Pakistan.

According to a Baptist World Alliance (BWA) source in Lahore, 74 persons, 54 of them Christians, were among those killed by a Taliban suicide bomber at a park where Christians were celebrating after attending Easter Sunday services in their respective congregations.

A total of 39 children had died, two of whom were Baptists.

The BWA source indicated that one Baptist member, a female, is still missing and unaccounted for.

“In Pakistan, it is getting very difficult for Christians to live and to breathe,” the source told the BWA.

He accused the government of not doing enough to protect Christians, a minority in the South Asian country, despite having known the threats they face. “Pakistan should have provided security to all minorities, but the Government has failed,” he said.

Pakistan, a majority-Muslim country with a population of almost 200 million, has just over two million Christians.

Baptist World Alliance®
© March 30, 2016