Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Where Do We Put Our Trust?

Yesterday, I was privileged to be on a conference call with several hundred people from across the US. Baptist Global Response (BGR), as a faith-based international relief and development organization, was invited to interact with some political analysts as they talked about potential impacts on foreign aid programs due to the recent US government shutdown. The good news is that in the short run, food will still get to refugees in Syria, help with go to famine areas in North Africa and immunization programs will still go on for children overseas. The bad news is that if the stalemate continues for a month or more, many of these US government programs that benefit the world's poorest will start to shut down and more and more burden of caring for the hungry and poor will fall on the shoulders of non-government organizations such as BGR.

I won't debate here the pros or cons of cutting international aid versus programs at home. Anyway, at full force, our international development programs constitute no more than 1% of the annual US budget. What I will comment on is that if things continue and the cuts come to US government assistance for the world's most vulnerable, it will present interesting days for organizations like the one I work for.

However, I am not worried. With great problems comes great opportunities. I do have anticipated grief for the 1.0 Billion chronically hungry people around the world. And I do wonder what will happen to the 40 million refugees/internally displaces persons if aid is cut. But I am not worried about what we will do to respond to the potential logarithmic increase in global needs if the US government drops its programs.

Why is that? I go to the scriptures that says...

"Some take pride in chariots, and others in horses, but we trust in the Name of Yahweh our God..." (Psalm 20:7)

You can call it fatalistic thinking. You can call me a "Polyanna". I like to think of it in the simple light that God is in control...yesterday, today and forever. And, in the midst of impending unsurmountable problems, He is still and forever will be on His throne.

So, in the midst of overwhelming odds against us, in the midst of a government shutdown, and in the midst of barriers so high that we can't even imagine seeing over them...

"...We trust in the Name of the Lord our God."

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