This year Baptist World Aid Australia is celebrating our 60th Anniversary. Together with churches across the country there is such a rich, shared history to celebrate, and so I’d love to share with you about some exciting ways that you can be involved in this.
Starting as a grassroots movement of Baptists in 1959, our International Program first began in response to the suffering of WWII refugees. John Hickey, CEO reflects “Almost 60 years ago a small band of passionate, faithful volunteers met in a garage in the Northern Beaches of Sydney, that was the start of Baptist World Aid. Now 60 years later, thanks to the engagement of the Australian Baptist Movement, around 1,000 churches across Australia, we serve across 25 countries and seen positive impact in over a million lives”.
Rather than looking at history however, we are looking toward the future and how we can continue to see poverty ended across the world. As part of this process, we are asking: what does it really mean to “Be the love that ends poverty?”.
Be the love that ends poverty
God’s call to be love in this world requires a whole of life response – it requires action and participation. He called us not only to declare the good news of His Kingdom available to us through Christ, but also to demonstrate this Kingdom in how we live our whole lives. As we experience God’s love and grace in sending His Son for us, we should be compelled to show love to those around us: to love our neighbours.
Yet it can be challenging to act out this gospel mandate to love our neighbour in any sort of abiding way, can’t it? We might make a donation here and there, or we might volunteer a few hours a year to serve in a soup kitchen, but how do we infuse our entire lives with acts of generosity and love, just as God has asked us to?
Our lives are made up of thousands of choices. Baptist World Aid believes, that it’s through these choices, both individually and collectively, that we can end poverty. It’s through these actions that we become part of building His Kingdom.
So what if we cultivated and strengthened habits of generosity, selflessness, and love that equip us to make kingdom-building choices in each moment of each day? That’s exactly what Baptist World Aid are aiming to do for our 60th Anniversary year!
Launching the end poverty app
We are putting the tool into your hands to be able to cultivate these habits. In January we launched our “End Poverty” mobile app with a story hub and an electronic version of the Ethical Fashion Guide. For many of us, reaching for our phone is already a habit in our day-to-day lives, so why not use this device as a tool to strengthen the way you show God’s love each day?
To facilitate this, in March 2019, we will launch the 60/40 challenge on the app, a discipleship program that takes us through 60 actions to end poverty over 40 days! Our prayer is that this program will begin to instil daily habits of love and generosity in believers everywhere. Each day there will be one or two habit building actions of reflection, prayer, fundraising and advocacy seeking to build into our lives daily actions of love and selflessness. Will you consider coming on this generosity journey with us?
John Hickey asks, “Will you and your church family join this 40-day discipleship journey and discover how your lives – your decisions – can change our broken world for the better?”
“A big thank you to all our church and individual supporters for helping us end poverty for 60 years. I hope you can join us in 2019 to continue doing what Jesus calls us to do, to be love and end poverty, together”. John Hickey, CEO
Brent Van Mourik is the Queensland State Representative for Baptist World Aid Australia and is a registered pastor with the Baptist Union of Queensland. He completed a Bachelor of Theology with honours in New Testament through Malyon College in Brisbane, where he now lives with his wife, Jane, and his young son, Joshua. In his down time, he enjoys making and drinking good coffee, and developing his theology of disappointment, whilst putting into practice Ephesians chapter 4 verse 26 (“In your anger do not sin”) on the golf course.