Thursday, January 28, 2010

Message from Randall Everett, Texas Baptist


These past weeks have been heart wrenching as we have watched the events of the unprecedented tragedy in Haiti unfold. Families have been torn apart. People are desperately searching for missing loved ones. These victims need the most basic things that we take for granted; food, water, medical assistance, shelter.
Latest estimates put the death toll at 200,000; approximately 70,000 have already been buried in mass graves. More than one million Haitians were left homeless. It is estimated that over one million children have lost at least one parent. Between 60 and 80 percent of the buildings in Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital, which bore the brunt of the earthquake, were either destroyed or rendered unusable.
Port-au-Prince continues to be plagued by food and water shortages. Fuel, also in short supply, has quadrupled in price. "There are extremely long lines at the few petrol stations" that are opened, said Bela Szilagyi, director of Hungarian Baptist Aid and a leader of the BWAid Rescue24 team.
In a disaster of this magnitude much will be needed. You may be asking how you and your church can be part of the effort to help. Our Disaster Response Haiti Earthquake page on our website will assist churches and individuals to connect with these needs. Click on the Give, Go, Pray and Connect boxes to see how you can assist.
· Give: This will help you make donations that are crucially needed. On Monday, January 25, we sent a medical team from Temple Baptist in McAllen and medical supplies from Baylor Health Care as the first of our relief teams. Mike Roberts, a member at Park Cities Baptist Church donated the use of his company jet. Recordings of the New Testament in Haitian Creole were included in the shipment. The BGCT has also supplied $80,000 to Texas Baptist Men to send 5,000 water filters and buckets which are ready to be shipped. Texas Baptists working through our Baptist hospitals, child care institutions, universities and Texas Baptist Men will continue to discover ways to stay involved.
· Go: At the "Go" box you can indicate your interest in volunteering. Our Church2ChurchPartnerships office will be in touch as opportunities arise. Currently we are in the response phase that requires military and professional teams. When we enter the recovery phase many others will be needed. Volunteers will be required long after the media has left.
· Pray: This box will include specific prayer requests from Haiti. I believe this is the most important part of our commitment. Pray for God to give strength, hope and courage to the victims and the workers.
· Connect: This will provide information for in-kind donations that are urgently needed.
Dr. Gil Lain, pastor of the Paramount Baptist Church in Amarillo, told me that their church decided to donate their entire offering from the Sunday after the earthquake which totaled over $60,000. Whether our gift is $10 or $10,000, our prayers, time and money are needed for our hurting brothers and sisters.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

More Than Gold Update - Vancouver 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010… 25 days until the Opening Ceremonies!

More Than Gold FYI ……

Ministry Assignments for mission teams and local volunteers are still changing. Over the weekend we learned that VANOC and Translink both completely reworked the schedules for our hospitality sites. How fun is that! So, we were almost done and ready to send your assignments out to you and now ……you’ll just have to wait a bit longer. Please pray for opportunities to talk with folks and that they will be curious about why we are giving away hot drinks for free. Some volunteers will be serving as greeters and assistants at performing arts concerts – pray that people will be drawn to attend and will think about spiritual things as a result.

For mission team volunteers, “What do we get in our registration packets?” has been an oft-repeated question. As a part of your registration fee mission team members will receive: 1 backpack, 1 toque (hat), 1 lanyard/Id tag, 1 prayer guide, 1 copy of Soul Cravings, 5 Book of Hope , 4 New Testaments, 15 Gospels of Mark, 10 MTG pins, 20 pocket guides, and maybe a couple of other surprises! All of these items can be viewed on the website,

“Are there still uniform packages/jackets available?” is another question we’ve been getting frequently. The answer is both yes and no. They are sold out but we are also getting a few last minute cancelations. If you have extras your team is no longer wanting please let us know ASAP and More Than Gold will resell them for you if possible. If you’ve decided at the last minute you would like a jacket/uniform package let us know and we’ll pass along the request. We do know that because we have had fewer mission volunteers sign on than expected we have lots of extra backpacks for sale.

Over the weekend we packed an additional 1208 Care Kits and 641 Welcome Kits to be distributed during the Games. Over 600 Care Kits are already in the hands of local agencies for distribution coinciding with the opening of the Games. All the rest are already committed as well. And we’ve still got more Welcome Kits to put together! Thank you so much to all our partners across the US and Canada who have contributed items and cash toward this project.

More next week!

Kevin Sigsby and Janet Campbell
More Than Gold Outreach Coordinators
131 E. Kings Road, North Vancouver, BC V7N 1H4
604-904-8908 or