Sunday, February 4, 2018

Baptist Global Response

Our International Mission Board (IMB) discovered many years ago that Southern Baptists give generously to help relieve the suffering of needy people.  Whether it’s a typhoon that destroys a village (a short-term acute need) or an impoverished city in a 3rd world country (a long-term chronic need) Southern Baptists want to help. 

Baptist Global Response (BGR) was created by Southern Baptists about a dozen years ago to connect people with needs to people who care.  As a partner organization of the IMB, BGR relies upon the IMB’s 4000+ missionaries throughout the world to assist in managing BGR funds and projects.  Thus, nearly all BGR donations go directly to the people who need it.

Another advantage of BGR is how we help.  Most benevolent organizations collect money, food, clothes, and supplies, then give it directly to the people in need.  While this is generous, give-aways are monstrously expensive and usually creates dependency from the recipients toward the givers.  People are often hindered from learning how to solve their own problems.

Through BGR, we seek to bring together the people of a community and work through a process that helps them identify and solve their own problems.  While outside resources may be tapped, the emphasis is uncovering the human and natural resources within a community that are often overlooked when outside resources are more easily available. 

When a community successfully solves their own problem (planting trees, improve their farms, develop livelihood projects, organize labor teams, begin values education, dig wells, etc.), they can follow the same process and solve future problems.  Rather than becoming dependent on outside help, communities are strengthened by learning to work together, becoming smarter, gaining self-reliance, and growing in self-confidence.

As a Christian organization, BGR doesn’t limit itself to physical needs.  We understand that Biblical moral values are needed to grow a strong community and take away the vices (drugs, gambling, immorality, etc.) that destroy lives.  Jesus warned us that there’s no benefit if we “gain the whole world but lose our own soul.” 

When a community sees us helping them with their physical needs, they become far more receptive to hearing about their spiritual needs.  Our main goal is to help people discover the ultimate ‘resources’ they have through a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.  We aim to see churches planted in every village that can serve as training centers to build stronger communities and mature leaders.

I’ll write more in a future blog about how I am partnering with BGR in our area.

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