How nice it is to be able to type that title without the slightest tinge of irony. The May 9 New York Times has a wonderful profile of the relief work of the Southern Baptist Convention. As the story notes, the SBC is the third largest private disaster relief orgainzation in the United States, counting 95,000 trained volunteers, one of the most well-organized cohorts of chain saw crews in the world, and mobile command centers that can swing into action with only a few hours’ notice.
As a former resident of New Orleans, I can attest to the incredible intervention that the yellow-jacketed horde brought to the post-Katrina chaos. My aunt who still lives there told me that many residents of South Louisiana openly have asked, “If it hadn’t been for the Baptists, where would we have been, especially in the first months following the hurricane?”
The Times story goes on to note the work of the Mennonites, the Lutherans, the Presbyterians, and other denominational groups and while it fails to note the religious history of the Red Cross and the outright denominational status of the Salvation Army (the #1 and 2 organizations), one cannot help but be proud to read about selfless, tangible things that are done in the name of Christ and His mercy.
I wish we could read more stories like this in such a prominent setting; of course, perhaps that should be a challenge to us all to DO more that is worthy of such media coverage. As Bill Lane once said, “Excellence should be our protest.”