Episode 061

Devastating Storms, Religious Liberty, & Gospel for Ukraine

Mar 28, 2022

An EF-3 tornado caused damage in Jacksboro, Texas, where a disaster relief crew set up to provide help to the community. The US Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Texas death row inmates request to have his pastor lay hands on him and pray for him aloud when he receives a lethal injection. And one of the creative ways the IMB is sharing the Gospel and offering hope to Ukrainian refugees is through social media.

Transcript

Storms leave path of devastation in several states

Southern Baptist Disaster Relief workers continue their work in Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana and Alabama following severe storms that ripped through those states over several days last week.

An EF-3 tornado caused damage in Jacksboro, Texas where a disaster relief crew set up to provide help to the community.

In Kingston, Oklahoma, a tornado destroyed several building belonging to Texoma Southern Baptist Church, including the church’s worship center and parsonage.

Pastor Keith Rogers said the power of the storm’s winds told him the damage was going to be great, but he was still grateful for God’s care despite the devastation.

Supreme Court protects religious liberty of death row inmate

The US Supreme Court ruled in favor of a Texas death row inmates request to have his pastor lay hands on him and pray for him aloud when he receives a lethal injection.

John Ramirez was convicted of a 2004 murder in the Lone Star state. The court ruled 8-1 that Ramirez could have his pastor, Dana Moore from Second Baptist Church in Corpus Christi, with him when his sentence of death was carried out.

“This is a significant affirmation of religious liberty,” said Brent Leatherwood, acting president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC). “The Supreme Court affirmed that religious freedom does not end at the execution chamber door.

“Even those among us who are convicted of the most heinous of crimes are to be cared for and ministered to by religious officials at their request and upon the church’s agreement,” Wolfe said. “A pastor’s presence and spiritual ministry at the moment of death [are] among the most solemn of ministerial occasions.”

Pastor Moore told Baptist Press, “It is a blessing that if John does receive a date and if he is executed, that at least I’ll be able to hold his hand [or otherwise touch him] and pray” with him.

Good News for Today is sponsored by The Voice of the Martyrs

Good News for Today is made possible through our friends at The Voice of the Martyrs, a nonprofit organization that serves persecuted Christians around the world. Founded in 1967 by Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, VOM is dedicated to inspiring believers to deepen their commitment to Christ and to fulfill His Great Commission — no matter the cost. Find out more and sign up for their free monthly magazine at vom.org/goodnews.

One of the creative ways the IMB is sharing the Gospel and offering hope to Ukrainian refugees is through social media. Less than one week into the war, the IMB launched a digital engagement evangelism strategy which reaches Ukrainians using Facebook advertisements and a website we’ve just launched. From the site, Ukrainians can hear the Gospel in their language; message a believer if they want to know more; read the Bible; and access evangelism resources to assist anyone in sharing the Gospel with the Ukrainian people.

The early results of this effort have been staggering as more than 5.6 million people have seen one of the two ads running on Facebook, resulting in 33,550 clicks to private message and 274,660 clicks to the website link. Currently, 22 Ukrainians are helping respond to these Gospel-centric messages.

Find more stories at BaptistPress.com.

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