Episode 350

Oklahoma doctors continue fire and tornado relief efforts; SBTC holds conference for Arabic Baptist pastors; Enhancing Your VBS.

May 8, 2023

Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief (DR) continues to do work on multiple fronts. According to Jason Yarbrough, state director for DR, relief work continues after wildfires and a series of tornadoes and severe storms in Oklahoma; Many Texans have a general understanding they live in one of the most diverse states in the nation. What they may be less aware of is how many Arabic-speaking Southern Baptist churches exist in the Lone Star State; Vacation Bible School is an enriching time when various volunteers from all parts of the church join together to plan and lead a special event with one theme in mind—sharing the gospel with children.

Transcript

Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief (DR) continues to do work on multiple fronts. According to Jason Yarbrough, state director for DR, relief work continues after wildfires and a series of tornadoes and severe storms in Oklahoma.

According to a report on May 3, there have been eight professions of faith in Christ during the recent response efforts. Yarbrough shared the story of one property owner who was initially hesitant to have DR volunteers help him or tell him about God.

“This homeowner was a self-proclaimed atheist,” Yarbrough said. “He allowed DR volunteers to help him with his needs and a chaplain shared the Gospel. In just a matter of days, this man went from an atheist to a follower of Jesus.”

Oklahoma Baptist DR has served in the Edmond and Guthrie areas after the wildfires on March 31, having completed 30 jobs.

Many Texans have a general understanding they live in one of the most diverse states in the nation. What they may be less aware of is how many Arabic-speaking Southern Baptist churches exist in the Lone Star State.

And perhaps an even smaller number understand the difficulties Southern Baptist Arabic pastors and their families face: disconnect from their native communities, adjusting to a new culture, the struggles inherent to a minority immigrant population – not to mention the burden of shepherding their churches and finding opportunities to share the Gospel with the half-million Muslims who call Texas home.

That’s why the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention helped form the Arab Pastors Network. They recently held their third conference.

It was a time to help build community among Arab pastors who often struggle to connect, to provide training and resources to equip and encourage them to focus on their calling as they face countless challenges, and, simply, to give them time to rest. One pastor and wife at this year’s conference, Al Safadi said, had not had a vacation in 15 years.

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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.

 

Vacation Bible School is an enriching time when various volunteers from all parts of the church join together to plan and lead a special event with one theme in mind—sharing the gospel with children. 

Though fewer parents are taking their families to church on Sundays, many will bring their children to VBS. The week of concentrated Bible study, worship, missions, fellowship, and salvation opportunities continues to be the most “immediate practical way of increasing the Bible study time for our children,” Landry Holmes wrote in his 2018 book, It’s Worth It.

 

In a piece on Baptist Press, Karen Kennemur offers tips for churches as they prepare for VBS.

               

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              Pro-life advocates and others are awaiting a Texas judge’s ruling on whether an abortion pill approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000 should be prescribed to women. The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission has called on nine federal agencies to revoke a proposed rule it says would unduly burden the rights of faith-based organizations that take part in government programs. And, a Lifeway Bible study on Baptist Press speaks to the final moments before Jesus’ arrest and subsequent crucifixion. Jesus seeks to encourage his disciples as he knows heavy sorrow is just around the corner.

              Pro-life advocates and others are awaiting a Texas judge’s ruling on whether an abortion pill approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000 should be prescribed to women. The Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission has called on nine federal agencies to revoke a proposed rule it says would unduly burden the rights of faith-based organizations that take part in government programs. And, a Lifeway Bible study on Baptist Press speaks to the final moments before Jesus’ arrest and subsequent crucifixion. Jesus seeks to encourage his disciples as he knows heavy sorrow is just around the corner.

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