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Bob Reccord: Believers face choice between worry or trust

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–Asking what — not why — will bring rest to Christians in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, said Robert E. Reccord, president of the Southern Baptist North American Mission Board.

Christians should be asking two questions, “Lord, in the midst of this, what is it you’re trying to change in me? What is it you’re trying to teach me?” Reccord told NAMB staff members during a Sept. 24 chapel service at the agency’s Alpharetta, Ga., offices.

Reccord said believers’ faith can be strengthened in these uncertain times by claiming the promises from God’s Word in Psalm 37 of finding rest and the desires of one’s heart by trusting in the Lord.

“Could we have biological warfare?” Reccord asked rhetorically. “Absolutely. Could terrorists strike again? Without question. But you and I can either worry about that or trust in the one who controls it all.

“As you trust in God, be sure that you delight in him, that you’re spending time with him, and that you are finding your fulfillment,” Reccord counseled.

Reccord, along with several other NAMB leaders, visited the ruins Sept. 20 -21 where New York’s World Trade Center once stood. He recounted a story of how two New Yorkers got lost attempting to help transport NAMB’s head of disaster relief ministry around the city, because there were no World Trade Center towers to use as their reference point.

“Our reference point never leaves,” Reccord said. “Regardless of what may come or what may happen, the reference point of Jesus Christ stays firm and steadfast, so you don’t have to be lost when the bottom falls out.”

Mickey Caison, national coordinator for Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, was in New York City coordinating relief efforts within 24 hours of the terrorist attacks. Caison said God repeatedly turned the frustrations of setting up disaster relief units on site into opportunities for relief workers to share the gospel with New Yorkers.

For example, members of a Southern Baptist Disaster Relief unit from Kentucky helped eight people profess faith in Christ while waiting for supplies to arrive at their unit located near the Brooklyn Bridge.

“Ground zero may be six square blocks in downtown Manhattan, but the effect of this is going to reach for miles and miles,” Caison said. “The meals, the chainsaws, the shovels, all of these are doors for us to share the gospel.”

Randy Singer, NAMB’s executive vice president, recounted how he was able to help lead a woman to accept Christ as her Savior while she wept at a makeshift memorial. After praying with the 19-year-old woman who was pregnant and had AIDS, Singer was encouraged by a pastor from Omaha, Neb., who had been standing nearby praying throughout the encounter.

“There is an unbelievable brokenness in New York,” Singer said.

John Yarbrough, NAMB vice president for evangelization, said, “I’ve never been where conversation goes from hello to God so quick as it is in New York.”

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  • Lee Weeks