Posted on Mon, Jun 12, 2006
Goal: $2,000.00 Received: $500
“When did we see you thirsty?”
It happens every day. Usually we handle it so quickly and routinely that it hardly registers in our consciousness. “It,” is thirst. Such an ordinary part of life that we — at least those of us reading a letter like this — rarely stop to think about it.
We’ve become a hydration nation. Our doctors tell us to drink eight glasses of water a day. Our televisions urge us to consume a vast array of liquids, from beer to coffee to soft drinks to… water. Quenching our thirst is such a routine part of our lives that we rarely stop to think about the amazing amount of work that has gone into making water come out of the faucet when we turn the tap.
And then Katrina hit the Gulf coast. Suddenly we saw how precarious life becomes when the systems we take for granted break down. We saw the paradox of people desperately thirsty while surrounded by water. Salty seawater. Contaminated waste water.
American Baptists saw those thirsty people. We joined with millions of others to respond with amazing generosity. In just a few short weeks, American Baptists gave an unprecedented $3.5 million to help the Gulf coast hurricane victims. Part of what made that generosity so amazing was that it came when many of us were still giving to help the survivors of the Asian tsunami. American Baptists also saw those thirsty people, and responded with over $2.5 million of assistance to those whose lives had been washed away by that powerful wave.
Can we see people whose suffering is not just critical… but chronic? Can they emerge into our awareness, without an emergency? Will we let the Spirit of God give us eyes to see and hearts to respond to those whose suffering is not on the evening news?
When you give to the One Great Hour of Sharing offering, your gifts testify that you see people in need, even when they are not on TV. First, your gifts help to address the needs of those who cannot count on the same kinds of systems that make our lives what they are (safe drinking water, secure shelter, economic opportunity, effective healthcare). Second, your gifts enable emergency response agencies prepare to act quickly when the next wave, flood, famine or earthquake hits.
Ask the Lord to let you see thirsty people — in the
Yours in Christ,
Ken MillerPastor, First Baptist
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