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World Hunger Fund video debuts to call Christians to action

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–From storm-ravaged villages in Honduras, to the decaying ghettos of New York City, to the war-torn Balkans, missionaries and volunteers are ministering to hungry souls through the Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund.

To raise awareness of the World Hunger Fund’s support of ministry evangelism worldwide, the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, in cooperation with the International Mission Board, North American Mission Board, LifeWay Christian Resources and the Woman’s Missionary Union, has produced a new video that takes viewers on visits to several ministries funded by the Southern Baptist year-round anti-hunger emphasis.

The video — titled “When Will We Cry?” — challenges viewers to find their place of service in a Christ-centered ministry to those in need as well as stressing the importance of regular giving to the Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund. The video explains the distinctive characteristics of the World Hunger Fund, such as the fact that 100 percent of all donations are used for hunger needs and that all ministries are carried out in Jesus’ name in a demonstration of his love to a lost and hurting world.

Steve Nelson, director of hunger concerns for the SBC, has high hopes the production will raise awareness of the fact that God calls his people to be involved in ministry evangelism.

“Southern Baptist hunger ministries often go unnoticed,” said Nelson, a staff member at the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and executive producer of the video. “Many people are probably not aware that in the year 2000 over 26 million people in other countries and over 2 million in the United States were touched with God’s hand of caring through Southern Baptist hunger and relief ministries.

“Without the World Hunger Fund, these ministries could not minister to the bodies and souls of millions of people in Jesus’ name,” Nelson said.

The fruit of these ministries: Thousands of people accepting Christ as their Savior and hundreds of new churches being planted. “God is using this ministry in a powerful way,” Nelson continued. “It is time for the Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund to take a place of prominence in Southern Baptist life.”

Copies of “When Will We Cry?” can be obtained from the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission for a suggested gift of $7 plus shipping. Contact the ERLC at 1-800-475-9127, by fax at (615) 242-0065 or via e-mail to [email protected]

The 29-minute video features statements from Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, Wanda Lee, executive director of the Woman’s Missionary Union, Jerry Rankin, president of the International Mission Board, and Robert E. Reccord, president of the North American Mission Board. The video also contains missionary interviews and soul-stirring stories of transformed lives that resulted from a touch of God’s love through hunger relief.

The production also features an original song by Lewis Thomas, minister of youth at the First Baptist Church of Pulaski, Tenn. Lewis told Baptist Press that his involvement with the video stemmed from his newfound awareness that much could be accomplished with just pennies a day given to the Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund. Nelson explained that just 12 cents will provide a meal for a homeless child in northern Uganda and a gift of $1.05 will provide a 15-pound food packet to a hungry family in Washington, D.C.

Nelson said the video is designed for use during Wednesday night or Sunday night services or with a Sunday school class or a mission group meeting as part of a larger church effort to increase awareness of the World Hunger Fund.

Nelson regularly advocates the spiritual discipline of gleaning as the best way to provide ongoing support for the Southern Baptist World Hunger Fund. “Hunger is a year-round problem. And God’s call for his people to be involved is part of a Christian lifestyle. That is why Leviticus 19:9-10 speaks of regularly making a portion of our abundance available for those in need. The concept of gleaning is being embraced by thousands of Christians as they discover the joy of regular giving out of their abundance,” Nelson stated.

LifeWay Christian Bookstores have helped promote this effort by placing change canisters by each cash register. Many churches have placed canisters in their foyers and other prominent places and even in some area businesses. “People are happy to help when they know that 100 percent of their gifts are used for hunger,” Nelson said.
A low res (BP) photo posted in the BP Photo Library at www.bpnews.net. High res photo to be posted 1/4/01. Photo title: ENJOYING A MEAL.

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