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Personal Faith Stories
By Bishop Don diXon Williams
In the Gospel according to Matthew 1: 23, we read these profound words: “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and she shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is ‘God with us.’”
By Rev. Dorisanne Cooper
True confession: It was the first time I actually wished someone on the plane would ask me what I did for a living.
Most of the time, the answer “pastor” invites raised eyebrows and the occasional “Really.” Throw “Baptist” in and you can multiply that a few times more. But this particular weekend I was returning home from a trip to Washington, DC, that included learning from and training with Bread for the World staff in order to meet with members of Congress.
By John Buchanan
They’re on the road to Jerusalem. Three times Jesus tried to warn them that there will be suffering and persecution and quite possibly death when they arrive in Jerusalem. His friends are amazed and afraid, as well they should be. And it’s precisely at this moment that James and John, two of his dearest and closest friends, come to him. Rather than standing with him in his hour of trial, trying somehow to support him as he walks toward his own hour of truth which he knows will be his hour of death, James and John use the moment to ask for a favor.
By Bishop Mark S. Hanson
On the 35th anniversary of Bread for the World, we rejoice that so much progress has been made in the global response against hunger. While the recent economic crisis has been a great setback, we rejoice that – in the last 25 years – 500 million fewer people are going hungry in our world. Millions more children are going to school in Africa and elsewhere. In more recent years, life-saving medicines are turning back the ravages of AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis.
By Derick D. Dailey
The Epistle of James declares, “Faith without works is dead.” While this sentiment has guided my life for a very long time, it has taken on a different meaning since my experience at Bread for the World last summer. We cannot simply lean on our faith to effect change in the world. In addition to knowing that God is in control, it is essential to accept the fact that, many times, human actions deter the ultimate will of God. We the church must act on our faith to establish “God’s will here on Earth.”
By Jennifer Wilmore
These words rattled around in my head as I sat under the warm sun in Nicaragua and reflected on all the people sick with poverty that I had met over the last few weeks. Countless faces emerged from my memory—the young Roma girl in Romania who couldn’t go to school, the baby boy wasting away from malnutrition in Ethiopia, the mother in the slums of Uganda who asked us to pray that she could make rent and keep a roof of rusty tin over her children’s heads. And there I was in Nicaragua, preparing to witness the daily struggle to get by as a subsistence farmer.
By Father Clarence Williams, C.P.P.S
One role of religious leaders is to declare who is a threat to the community’s well-being and likewise who is no longer a threat. In the story of the Exodus, we are reminded of the role Moses plays when serpents begin biting the sojourners in the desert (Numbers 21:6-9). God directs Moses to shape a bronze serpent and lift it up on a staff over the heads of the congregation. When Moses assembles the people, all who look upon the bronze serpent are healed. A religious leader’s role in ensuring the community’s health is a most important one.
By Lilliam Reyna, CEPAD
In 1972 Dr. Gustavo Parajón called all denominational leaders to join together and help out with the earthquake that destroyed Managua. This man of God and leader of the Nicaraguan people was able to break down denominational barriers and unite Baptists, Nazarenes, Apostolics, brothers and sisters from the Catholic Church, the Church of God—calling them to a work of service from a Biblical perspective. With this vision, it was possible to bring together many denominational leaders and begin work that has born fruits now for 36 years in Nicaragua.
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