Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Every once in a while we are going to shine a spotlight on an organziation that is working to make the world a better place.  This week we are going to highlight World Vision.  Check out who they are, and what they are doing to shine the light of Jesus into the world.

Who We Are - World Vision

Thank you for your interest in the charitable work of World Vision!
Who we are
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice.
Who we serve
We serve close to 100 million people in nearly 100 countries around the world. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.
Why we serve
Motivated by our faith in Jesus Christ, we serve alongside the poor and oppressed as a demonstration of God’s unconditional love for all people.
Reflecting Christ in each community
Wherever we work, our prayer is that our efforts will be used by God to heal and strengthen people’s relationships with Him and with one another. We do this by demonstrating God’s unconditional love for all people through our service to the poor — which includes providing for daily needs, working to build peace and promote justice, and partnering with churches and individuals to encourage spiritual transformation.
Reaching around the globe
World Vision is a global organization with offices in approximately 100 countries. These interdependent national offices are bound together by a Covenant of Partnership, a biblically based agreement that enables us to work together in a unified and complementary way as we walk alongside those we serve.

Employing the best in every region
We are blessed with staff who are experts in a broad range of technical specialties, ranging from hydrology to microenterprise development to public health. And we are inspired by the ways in which they use their God-given abilities in conjunction with existing community resources.

Of the more than 40,000 staff employed by World Vision, 97 percent work in their home countries or regions. Familiar with the culture and language, they bring to World Vision a deeply personal understanding of how best to assist local children and families.

Meeting diverse needs
The millions of people we serve include earthquake and hurricane survivors, abandoned and exploited children, survivors of famine and civil war, refugees, and children and families in communities devastated by AIDS in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Our extensive global infrastructure enables us to respond where the need is greatest, anywhere in the world.
Trusted worldwide
The excellence of World Vision’s work has earned the trust of more than 3 million donors, supporters, and volunteers; more than half a million child sponsors; thousands of churches; hundreds of corporations; and government agencies in the United States and around the world.

We are thankful to God that through these collaborative efforts, we are able to be a part of breaking the cycle of poverty for those in need in our world.


Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Storm You Never Want To See

Baptists responding to historic tornado outbreak

By Staff
Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) volunteers in Alabama are assisting emergency response personnel in an effort to find survivors as the death toll from Wednesday’s devastating tornados continues to rise. By mid-Thursday those dead in Alabama had climbed to 162 and a total of 251 were counted dead across a six Southern states. Officials called it the deadliest outbreak of tornadoes in nearly 40 years.

“Right now, our volunteers have been asked to assist in search and rescue efforts,” said Mel Johnson, director of disaster relief for the Alabama Baptist Convention. “That’s a first for us.”

Johnson was one of about a dozen Baptist state convention disaster relief leaders who participated in a Thursday morning conference call coordinated by the North American Mission Board. State representatives shared about damage in their states while others offered resources and volunteers when needed.

“Entire communities disappeared,” Johnson said. “Many hospitals, police departments, local fire departments all sustained damage. At one campsite campers were picked up and swept into a lake.

“We have teams that started responding yesterday,” Johnson said. “They have had to cut their way into these areas.”

Johnson said after search and rescue, their top priority is establishing several feeding sites near large population centers so they can begin serving hot meals to victims.

SBDR leaders in Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia also reported damage from Wednesday’s outbreak. As many as a million people are without power in Alabama alone, making meal distribution a high priority.

“This is the storm you never want to see,” said Mickey Caison, NAMB’s Disaster Relief coordinator. “Our top priority is to help people just get through the next few days and weeks. After that, Southern Baptists will be called upon to help with the longer-term effort to remove debris and help victims rebuild.”

The tornados came as Southern Baptists volunteers were also in the midst of responding to floods in Kentucky, Missouri and Arkansas as well as earlier deadly tornadoes in North Carolina.

NAMB president Kevin Ezell called on Southern Baptists to pray “but I would also like to ask every Southern Baptist and every church to donate to our disaster relief efforts.” Ezell said people can give at to a specially designated fund for tornado and flood victims that will ensure that 100 percent of donations go directly to help disaster victims.

“God has blessed Southern Baptists with more trained disaster relief volunteers and more disaster relief units than any other ministry or organization,” Ezell said. “Now is a time to respond generously with our resources and our services to meet physical and spiritual needs.”

To donate to Southern Baptist Disaster Relief efforts visit and click “donate now.” You can also view and download a video message from Kevin Ezell about how Southern Baptists are responding to tornado and flood victims.

Friday, May 6, 2011

'MacGyver guys' needed for 'extreme makeover'

May 03, 2011

 COLUMBIA, Tenn. --- Rick Sykes needs a few dozen “MacGyver guys" for a life-changing “extreme makeover” adventure that will make an eternal difference for hundreds of thousands of people.
The project Sykes has in his sights is rehabbing Sanyati Baptist Hospital in Zimbabwe, a 60-year-old icon of Southern Baptist overseas work that has fallen into serious disrepair as that country’s economy has collapsed.
When Sykes first visited Sanyati in 2009, he was distressed at what he saw: a completely broken water system, leaking roofs, rotting fascia, termite damage, electrical malfunctions -- and a set of auto headlights hanging from the ceiling of an operating room.
The hospital’s electrical supply was so unreliable that staff had installed auto headlights and a battery in an operating room to be sure doctors weren’t plunged into the dark in the middle of surgery.
The situation was intolerable for Sykes, a retired maintenance project leader for General Motors and member of Pleasant Heights Baptist Church in Columbia, Tenn.
Sykes was at Sanyati to help with the hospital's water problem -- the compounds wells and pumps weren't working, but he quickly saw a host of other maintenance issues.
"In the two weeks I spent there, the electricity was on maybe 30 percent of the time," Sykes said. "When you go in the operating room and they have two car headlights mounted in the ceiling and battery over in the corner, you know there's a problem."
A couple of days into Sykes' two-week stay at Sanyati, a lightning storm knocked out power in half the compound.
My son is an electrician and we are fixers, so we started digging around and found the problem. Since you couldn't cut the power off, he rewired it hot and got the lights on for the whole rest of the compound," Sykes said. "After that, we had people from all over coming and saying to us, "This is broken. Can you look at this?
"When Dr. Byler showed us through the hospital, it just started breaking our hearts -- all these people there and the dilapidated condition of the hospital," Sykes said. "The hospital is so remote, and it's the only real medical care these people can get in a very large radius.
"That was when the wheels started turning. We did some brainstorming and talked with Mark Hatfield and Dr. Byler," Sykes said. "Somewhere in the midst of all that, this concept was birthed of an extreme makeover for Sanyati Baptist Hospital."
Sanyati Baptist Hospital, under the leadership of Dr. Mark Byler, treats an average of 35,000 outpatients and 1,800 inpatients a year, said Mark Hatfield, who with his wife, Susan, directs work in Sub-Sahara Africa for Baptist Global Response. The staff performs about 1,000 surgeries and delivers more than 2,000 babies each year.
"The five-year plan for the 'extreme makeover' project intends to restore the hospital facilities to a state where they can be locally maintained," Hatfield said. "God has used Sanyati Baptist Hospital to meet both physical and spiritual needs for 60 years. Its ministry extends far beyond the 100,000 or so residents who look to the hospital for medical care. Sanyati is a symbol for the whole country of Christ's loving compassion for the sick and hurting and I don't think God is finished with Sanyati Baptist Hospital yet.
In 1981, the government assumed control of the facility, but economic issues have prevented it being properly maintained.
“Even if the hospital is owned by the government now, the sign out front says ‘Baptist,’” Sykes said. “What kind of impression is that creating?”
A dozen teams a year will be needed over the course of the project, Sykes said.
"There's something here for everybody to do. It's way bigger than one church," Sykes said. "The biggest challenge and prayer concern is that we really need a project coordinator on site. I'm heartbroken we don't have someone there.
The Sanyati extreme makeover would be an ideal place for a wide range of individuals and organizations to plug in and do something great that none could alone, Hatfield added.
"I believe this project is a perfect place for Sunday school classes, churches, associations or state convention groups like Baptist Builders and the disaster relief network to become involved in something much bigger than they could take on alone,” Hatfield said. “But together with other churches and groups, they can be part of something very significant in Kingdom ministry.
“It will take a united effort by groups who don't even know each other -- and may never see each other face to face -- in order to complete the five-year project,” Hatfield said. “We are trusting God to provide the volunteer teams and the financial resources needed to complete this project. We have stepped out in faith that God will call out those who he desires to work on this project, both those who will come and those who will give.”
The Sanyati project offers men like the MacGyver TV character -- who could rig up practically anything with whatever he found at hand -- a great opportunity to get involved in a major overseas project, Sykes said.
“All over the world, we’ve got ‘MacGyver’ guys sitting in pews, who want to make a difference but don’t know what they can do,” Sykes said. “They’re saying, ‘Some day, somewhere, I want get involved,’ but red lights down the road keep them from volunteering.
“Guys, we need your skill and want you to charge up this mountain with us,” Sykes said. “This is your ‘somewhere,’ right now. You can’t wait until all the traffic lights are green before you leave the house.”
For more information about the Sanyati Extreme Makeover project, please visit Individuals or groups interested in participating may e-mail Peter Sierson at
The Sanyati Baptist Hospital extreme makeover is on Facebook.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Mission Field: Northwest College Campuses; Ryan Moore, Harvest's College Ministry Leader

"I think I'd like to learn more about this," she said after I had explained why Jesus died on the cross for us.  She had approached our Soularium Project booth that Tuesday before Easter, and when I asked her to choose 2 or 3 pictures that describe God to her - she was blank.  "I don't know about God.  In my country we do not believe."  I asked her if she had heard the meaning behind Easter, and she said "no, but I want to."  I shared with her the great news that Jesus died in our place at the cross and then rose from the grave.  She was interested and at the same time confused.  That is when she asked if she could come to anything that weekend to learn more about this.  I gave her a Gospel of Mark booklet and then invited her to our Secret Church simulcast.  I explained to her that on Good Friday we were gathering to listen to a teacher teach through these very things (and he was going to teach for 6 hours.)  Here is the crazy part: she came!  He went fast, and the teaching was deep, but she heard again the gospel!  Since then we have kept in contact with her and will continue to follow up with her as God reveals himself to this young lady from a closed communist country.  Thank you for your continued prayer and support!  Your prayers are opening doors for the gospel to continue to be proclaimed at the U of O!
Your Friends,
Ryan and Lori Moore

To find out more about how you can involve yourself in Harvest's College Ministry or Northwest Collegiate Ministry, check out the church website at, or