BWA Welcome Event

October 24, 2007

The Word&Way has a couple of pieces about the recent visit to Missouri by new Baptist World Alliance leader Neville Callam (for background, see my previous post here). Here is the article about the event: BWA leader Neville Callam pays visit to Show-Me State. Here is Bill Webb's column about it: The view of 'world Christians'. Here are a few highlights from Webb's piece:

Big-picture people help those of us who are more localized in our thinking, praying and visioning. Callam reminded listeners of a pastor on the other side of the world who was sentenced to two years of hard labor for gathering a group of believers and preaching. He told of a girl who knew the soldier approaching her would soon attack and rape her. Real persecution is easily shut out from my thoughts until I hear of incidents like these that are life-as-usual in some places.

... We all live in our little part of the world, and we all render service to God that most personally is expressed within arm's reach. But every believer can be a world Christian. That is certainly true for Baptists, who take pride in being on the front lines of what we used to call the modern missionary movement.

... A wonderful facet of the Baptist World Alliance is that it provides a framework for Baptists who are different to stay in touch and to be responsive to each other's needs. We need to know about people who are starving on the African continent. We need to know when and where pastors and others are being sent to work camps for simple exercises of faith. We need to know about the girls in the Sudan who face the terror of rape. They need to know that those who make up a portion of the family of God care about them.

We in the West are recipients of the goodwill of Baptist brothers and sisters from around the world. When a hurricane named Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, Christians of the world showed their compassion. In overseas travels, I have been reminded that people in isolated and difficult places seem to be very aware of the spiritual needs in America. They pray for American Christians, that we will make a difference where we are. And they ask the same prayer in return.

It is a wonderful thing to be linked with God's extended worldwide family.