Friday, September 02, 2005

From Our Denomination

Dear Open Bible Family,

The unthinkable has happened: Americans are drowning, starving, and dying on the streets right in front of our eyes.

Television news coverage is bringing the devastation of Katrina and resultant hopelessness of people right into our homes. Every station keeps talking about "the blank stare" on the faces of fleeing Americans. Echoing in my spirit is the repeated cry of people saying, "Just tell us where to go! Isn't there someone to point the way?"

As in the wake of 911, news commentators are again talking about prayer, and interviewing regularly Christian ministers like Franklin Graham, TD Jakes, and others. One report I saw, filmed in a Baton Rouge shelter with 5,000 individuals, said the most frequently requested item asked for by people, other than food, was the Bible.

It goes without saying, Open Bible should be praying...asking God for mercy, grace and protection of the displaced and desperate homeless throngs. And, we should pray the Holy Spirit will use this moment for a massive harvest. But, of course, we must...and we more.

I am typing this from my home office on a Friday morning, September 2nd. I will return to the National Office on Tuesday, September 7th. At that time I will make personal contact with three friends of mine who represent organizations God has strategically placed at the center of relief and rescue:

(1) National Commander Todd Bassett of the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army already has a presence on site in the worst areas of need; (2) Doug Stringer, citywide leader of the Houston, Texas, Somebody Cares network; and 3) Ted Haggard, president of NAE...NAE is the organizational covering of World Relief.

I am confident all three of these reputable ministries are already active and engaged with Katrina refugees, and will be able to give us direct, first-hand counsel on how Open Bible can help the most. I will communicate with you via email soon thereafter how our family has decided to respond to the Katrina catastrophe.

Beyond that, please know I am praying for you and your church, asking God to give you wisdom and insight how you might get involved in other ways. There are immediate, short-term, emergency needs...but many of the lasting solutions for these displaced poor will be resolved over the long term. I know of at least one OB church that may offer to help homeless victims of Katrina relocate to their city.

May God lead us all...and please, be generous. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Remember - this is now a season when all Americans are more sensitized to eternal things. Priorities have changed. Materialism is less a god today in our society than it was yesterday. This is a harvest season.

"Knowing the time," Jeff


Blogger Maryellen said...

nearly time for another post by Pastor Art, and considering time, To everything there is a time and a I think I should be posting something here too. never heard anything back from my latest inquiry concerning "The Mission". but I had another "vision" during prayer about the ministry that we could be doing (should be doing) there. Maryellen - Pastor's Wife

5:44 AM  

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