Friday, August 22, 2014

What I Saw Today...

(Note: These next few blogs are some that I wrote while on my Middle East trip this past week. I will be posting them this week)

Today was unlike any other day that I have had in a while. I travelled close to the border area of a war torn country, Syria. I went to a village that had more than tripled in size due to the influx of refugees. Makeshift tents were everywhere. Every crook and cranny was filled with people trying to find shelter. Animal stalls, garages and storage sheds had been converted to barely liveable units.

And I saw scenes…

I saw a young girl with her arm amputated and shrapnel wound all across her torso. She was still in shock and holding her arm up for any body who cared to see.

I saw a baby with shrapnel wounds constantly crying as a local doctor tried to treat her. She was writhing in her mother’s arms.

I saw a worn out man who had just fled his country two days earlier. He crossed over the border with his wife and five children. He is injured himself – bullet wound in his leg and lower back. He doesn’t know how they will survive.

I saw and old man who told us that he has not seen his two sons in over a year. He fears he will never see them again.

I saw babies constantly crying, literally screaming, and they cannot be comforted. They are traumatized and can’t recover from their fear.

I saw a little boy with scars on his face due to shrapnel. The scars stretched as he smiled.

I saw families being exploited in their grief. Many were paying $300 per month for the privilege of renting a filthy cattle stall for their family to live in. As bad as it was, they said it was better than living in make shift tents.

And you know what else I saw? I saw compassion. It was compassion in the hands and feet of our local workers as they were moving among all these needs, giving a word of comfort, offering help such as food and hygiene supplies and more than anything, taking time to listen to the stories of those hurting and then offering words of comfort and hope.

I saw hurt...I saw healing...I saw hope...

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A Funny Story...With a Moral?

I was standing in line at a local department store waiting to pay for some things I picked up for my mother's birthday present. I noticed a family (father, mother and two teen-aged sons) in front of me. They were speaking German and obviously weren't from Mt. Juliet, TN.

The department store had several cash registers open and you have to line up and wait for them to call you when one comes open. In not too many minutes, I heard one of the cashiers far down the aisle call out, "Register nine".

The German family looked perplexed and began talking in whispers among themselves. The cashier said a bit louder, "Register nine!" Their internal family discussion became a bit more intense.

Finally the father looked back at me and asked, "Register nine?" to which I replied, "Register nine".

This threw them into an even deeper family discussion. The cashier at the far end was starting to get a bit antsy. And then it hit me and I said to the father...

"Register number nine" to which he replied, with a smile, "Yah! Register number nine!" and proceeded to the cashier who had been waiting.

As you might have guessed, he had heard, "Register, nein!" or "No register." And I had confirmed it for him that there was no register.

I suppose the moral of the story is that real communication can be a tricky thing.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

But What Will I Tell My Children...?

Several years ago, I was traveling in the southern Philippines, headed to a community where we were going to help with agricultural projects. Along the way, we passed through a village where a prolonged drought and an armed conflict had forced several families to take refuge in a local school.

We stopped to see if there was anything we could do to help. We were overwhelmed by what we saw, but did not have with us what was needed to help. When we told the people at the school, one of the older women said, “But what will I tell my children? We have no food.”

There are almost 1 billion people in the world today that are wondering the same thing. The majority of these are women with children. Where will they get their next meal? What with they tell their children when they come home with no food?

Isaiah says, “…and if you offer yourself to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted one, then your light will shine in the darkness,…” (Isaiah 58:10)

James says, “If a brother or sister is without clothes and lacks daily food and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,’ but you don’t give them what the body needs, what good is it?” (James 2:15, 16)

And Jesus says, “I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat…I assure you: Whatever you did for the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.” (Matthew 25:35,40)

So, what will you and I do about that hungry person who asks what to tell their children? More importantly, what will we tell our children about what we have done for the hungry of the world?

Sunday, October 12, is our Southern Baptist World Hunger Day. You can start now praying for the hungry of the world. You can also start saving – a few pennies here and there – to give an offering on behalf of those in need.

You can even do something right now by visiting our Global Hunger Relief website and making a contribution at:

What will we tell the children?...