A global worship experience with the BWA
In 1919, the BWA met and approved a global offering in response to the aftermath of the 1918 Spanish Flu. The response was generous, resulting in the first Baptist World Aid gift in 1920. Today as we recognize the 100th Anniversary in the life of Baptist World Aid, a global pandemic is again sweeping the nations and up to 500 million people will be forced to take a step back into poverty in the days and months ahead. It is up to us in this centennial season to respond to the incredible needs facing Baptists and many others around the world with bold, unified, and global action.
You and many Baptists around the world are placing their trust in the Lord and stepping forward in vibrant faith. Southern Sudanese held a day of fasting for Baptists around the world. Latvian Baptists used a BWA Emergency Grant to purchase TV airtime and broadcast an Easter service for the first time while also renting a phone hotline so that people can connect for prayer. The Bangladesh Baptist Church Fellowship built 200 hand-washing stations outside their churches in a context where up to 25 families share a single faucet.
These are just a few of the many testimonies of ministry impact. As of today, the BWA has approved over 80 emergency grants benefitting more than 110,000 people in 50 countries.
This is just one component to the BWA Standing Together Global Response Planwhich was launched last month to provide sustained holistic response to this crisis. As a next step, I am announcing a series of new initiatives around Pentecost weekend.
We are asking all Baptist churches to join:
- Together in Worship – Online worship experience on Friday, May 29, and Saturday, May 30, that will include a time of praise and prayer from around the world
- Together in Focus – Asking all Baptist churches to take an action on Pentecost that focuses on the global family such as a prayer, sermon illustration, or other initiative
- Together in Giving – Asking all Baptist churches to designate a portion of the offering they receive on Pentecost to the BWA Standing Together Global Response Plan so that the most vulnerable around the world can receive help and support. This collaboration with the BWA and the six Regional Secretaries is a joint fundraising effort with a unified goal.
Since the launch of the Standing Together Global Response Plan in March, the BWA:
- Hosted a 24-hour global prayer rally with over 600 people from 44 countries praying
- Sent more than 80 emergency grants to Baptist conventions and unions in more than 50 countries impacting over 110,000 people
- Launched a partnership with 21Wilberforce to immediately enhance religious freedom and human rights monitoring and response in all 125 countries and territories
- Built a microsite featuring a wide range of initiatives to help us pray, give, learn, and serve together: BWANet.org/covid19response
But now I need your help in calling for a worldwide Pentecost commitment.
Just imagine if Baptists from around the world came together in worship, in prayer, and in generosity to reach the nations under the power of the Holy Spirit. For more information, resources, and to sign up for your Pentecost commitment: BaptistWorld.org/pentecost.
Thank you for your faithful leadership. I am proud of our Baptist family. I am proud of you and the many incredible sacrifices you and many Baptists are making to serve those in need.
In hopeful ministry with you,
Rev. Elijah M. Brown, PhD, General Secretary & CEO of Baptist World Alliance
Download the Standing Together at Pentecost Resource Kit
Download our one-sheet Standing Together Global Response Plan overview.