March 8, 2000

Baptists try to help Mozambicans and 9-year-old boys

___As you probably did, I saw the distressing pictures of wet and frightened people hanging onto tree limbs as water raced by in angry torrents. It was Mozambique, and I thought, "That's probably too far away for our Texas Baptist Men to get there in time to help."
Executive Director
BGCT Executive Board
___But later in the day, Jim Furgerson, executive director of TBM, told me, "Our men are on the way to Mozambique!"
___They worked to find water purifiers to take with them but decided it would be better to build the systems when they got to South Africa. Carrying money provided by the mission giving of Texas Baptist churches, they joined Baptist Men from North Carolina to work with First Baptist Church of Maputo, Mozambique, in efforts to rescue, clean up, and distribute food and water in Christ's name.
___You can help through earnest prayer for their safety. This is a dangerous time to be on that island. You can send contributions to: BGCT, South African Disaster Response, 333 N. Washington, Dallas 75246.
___Let me encourage all the men who read this to contact Jim Furgerson, furgerson@bgct.org. See how the ministries of Texas Baptist Men could be a channel for you and the men in your church to be involved in hands-on ministries in your community, across Texas and around the world.


___He was a single skier looking to ride the lift with my friend and me. We welcomed him to join us as we patiently stood in the ski line.
___He was bright, articulate and only 9 years old. He talked with more confidence than you would expect in a child riding with two men who have grandchildren his age.
___On the way to the top, I asked the boy about his family and, then, if he went to Sunday School. "No," he replied. "My mother thinks it's too much of a hassle."
___My heart went out to the young lad, his younger brother and two older sisters. I suggested, "Getting ready for school every day is a hassle too. Perhaps you could get yourself ready and go to Sunday School by yourself. I know the people there would be glad for you to come."
___After a long pause, he said, "I went once or twice, but it didn't interest me."
___"Now that you're getting older, perhaps you will like it more," I said, encouraging him to go back and see.
___I prayed silently, "Thank you, Lord, for a mother who didn't think it was too much of a hassle." I prayed that the next time this boy goes to Sunday School somebody will take a special interest in him and the Bible lesson will be applied to his life in a way that will draw him in.
___As a pastor, I tried every Sunday to remember this might be the only chance I had to throw a rope to someone drowning in despair, guilt or boredom. I have been praying for the pastors of Texas each week. This little fellow's story reminds me to pray for all the Sunday School teachers in our churches too-- those who teach children, and those who teach mothers how to manage the hassle.
___Please, dear Baptist friend, as you get ready for your responsibilities at church this week--usher, Sunday School leader, choir member or minister--please get ready with the face of a 9-year-old boy in mind. Make sure if he's there he will know you care and God does most of all.
___We are loved!

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