Like you, when I read of the descriptions of the kind of disaster hurricane Harvey hammered the shores of Texas in the gulf over the weekend (and still beating down), I am moved with compassion for all. It is good to think and plan about how to respond to times like this in advance. This way I’ve done my best to give direction to my heart before my heart leads me astray.
For me, the place of engagement is the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief ministry. This is a place I can send money, this is a place I have volunteered, this is a place that has a high level of accountability for the funds and integrity given to those in need. I’ve responded to needs in Idaho, Utah, and Colorado over the years with time by volunteering in a feeding unit that responds to needs for food for relief workers and or displaced people. I’ve sent money and directed my church to send money for needs in Louisiana, Mississippi, California, Texas, Indonesia directly and all places indirectly through general gifts to local, state, and national partnership with kinsmen in the faith.
If you are looking for a safe accountable place to give to meet immediate needs, I recommend only the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Ministry. Contact me for information on how you can do this if you want.
Any gifts given to Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Ministry go directly to the ministry. None of this money stops at any level along the way like many other relief efforts do.
It is past time for an update on the ministry of Eastside Baptist Church in Port-au-Prince, Haiti at our girls home. A lot of things have been happening. Let me give a brief update with short testimony and a few pictures.
The faithful at Eastside Baptist Church continue steadfastly praying for all the needs to be met. We don’t put out pleas for help from others (we don’t oppose those who do). We take all of our request to God and trust Him to provide as He moves His people. We never turn down an opportunity to share about the work with those who ask and we don’t shy away from informing organization offering support upon requests nor from sharing with our church family how God answers our plea.
Here are some recent ways God answers those prayers:
First of all: Meet Jean Alexander Veillard, born Tuesday morning to Alex and Johanne Veillard. Alex is the director of New Horizon Home in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
There is not a week that goes by that God does not prompt someone to give to the ongoing ministry work of New Horizon International. Faithful giving of people every week at Eastside Baptist Church. Faithful giving of strangers we’ve never met. Faithful giving of churches from around the country. Faithful giving of children collecting pocket change. Faithful giving of widows on fixed income. Faithful giving of businessmen, labor workers, work-from-home moms, etc. The mail man has little idea of the kind of blessings from God he delivers regularly. May the Lord bless His people at the following churches… Second Baptist Church, Amarillo, TX. The Church at Quail Creek, Amarillo, TX. Bear River Valley Baptist Church, Tremonton, UT. Eastside Baptist Church, Twin Falls, ID. Berean Baptist Church, Wendell, ID. Magic Valley Baptist Association. Treasure Valley Baptist Association. The River, Twin Falls, ID.
In a few weeks a group of 8 college students from Boise State University will travel with me to do some bed construction (funds for the beds are provided by The Church at Quail Creek in Amarillo, TX), general care to the home, ministry in a local hospital, English school, and local Baptist Church. Work on our own water well has been going on since my last visit back in January. Until now we did not have our own water source. By the grace of God, we are nearing completion of our water well at New Horizon Home. Alex, our director at the home, is very careful with all money and understands that we can only buy and pay the workers with what God gives us. New Horizon Home continues to receive high inspection marks and Alex is told by officials that New Horizon Home is unlike most homes in the city; clean, efficient, happy. We count this a blessing from God.
We have received word that we now have about 10 acres of agriculture land to begin using. I don’t know how we received it, who gave it to us, or anything about it. On my upcoming trip I will discover all these details and bring report back to the Lord’s people at Eastside. Wow.
About one year ago I was asked to preach in Tremonton, UT at Bear River Valley Baptist Church on a Sunday morning. By the kindness of Eastside Baptist Church, Renee and I left early one hot July Sunday morning and drove to Tremonton to gather with the Lord’s people. We shared at the Lord’s Table together, sang and opened the word of God together. Through conversation with Nancy Nicholas after the service and later at lunch with Jim and Annette Williams I was able to share some of our gospel work God has called Eastside Baptist to in Haiti, they asked if they could begin collecting school supplies for our school.
Yesterday, I received a phone call from Jim, an elder at Bear River Valley Baptist Church, asking if they could bring me the supplies they have for our upcoming trip. Of course I said “sure, thank you.”
Here is a picture of Jim, his wife Annette, and a deacon Jerry today (June 25, 2015). Jim called me at about 11:30am this morning asking if we could meet them at the airport for lunch. I picked Renee up for lunch and to get the supplies. May the Lord bless His kind people at Bear River Valley Baptist Church.
Dear pastor Kyle Clayton and the Lord’s church at Quail Creek, Amarillo, TX,
This past week I had the opportunity to travel to Port-au-Prince, Haiti with one of you, Frank DeRight. I’ve known Frank all of my life but not until this past week have I ever traveled overseas on a ministry/mission trip with him.
I want to just take a short moment to tell you that I found Frank to be as helpful in the good Gospel work as I expected he would be. I believe you would be and are proud of his eagerness to be on-mission.
He came prepared and willing to do all that was needed and expected. His courage to travel to Port-au-Prince alone and wait for the rest of the ministry team to arrive from Idaho was of the kind of courage you would expect of a Joshua or a Gideon.
You sent him with sufficient supplies for our girls’ home (New Horizon Home). You sent the kind of man needed for the day. You sent one prepared with the gospel banner on his shoulder and not hidden in his back pocket.
He was kind to our children, generous with kindness and willing to do anything needed. He offered good advice on the assessment of our new home. But most of all he understands the gospel and has the capacity to speak of this hope he has in Christ to all he came across; young, old, male, female, English-speaking or Haitian-Creole (with the aid of a translator.) You sent us a giant of a man in the faith.
Thank you for not sending a humanitarian or one seeking selfish vainglory. You sent a brother prepared in all ways.
I’ve attached a few pictures I thought you might enjoy. Many of you helped by sending Frank with needed supplies and resources May the Lord bless your kindness.
We thank God for all of you, for the glory of God alone.
As you gather today for the funeral service of Rev. Clyde Robert Thompson, I would like to say how honored I was to visit with him and his dear wife, Shirley, in Amarillo not too many months ago. I have been friends with his son, Paul, for several years, and have come to dearly love that family. Rev. Thompson having served with our Home Mission Board as a church planter since 1971 finally retired in 2006 and moved back to his home town of Amarillo, Texas. Over the 35 years of ministry, he served our Savior and Lord pastoring churches in Colorado and then as Director of Missions in Northwest Wyoming.
Rev. Thompson is a hero. He is a man about whom it will be said, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” He is the very best of who we are as Southern Baptists. There are people who will never serve on a major committee or be recognized at a national convention; however, people such as myself are aware of who actually gets the work done and serves selflessly and sacrificially for our Lord. Rev. Thompson is a man like that!
May God bless all of you as you celebrate the life of this dear servant.
Frank S. Page, Ph.D. President and Chief Executive Officer
SBC Executive Committee