Baptist World Alliance

TopBWA Connect
April 2010
In This Issue
From the General Secretary
What BWA Member Bodies are Doing
Church Spotlight
Thank you
News from the BWA
Baptist World Aid
Monthly Prayer Guide
Upcoming Events
BWA Calendar
From the General Secretary 
What a welcome surprise!

By Neville Callam  
Is anything more wonderful than a pleasant surprise? An unexpected visitor whom you longed to see. A lovely email from a special friend from whom you haven't heard for a very long time. An act of kindness you never anticipated. It fills you with joy. It brings a smile to your face. It warms your heart.
But there are some surprises that do not produce a positive effect. These are surprises that one would rather not have. They leave you disappointed and, if you do not make the appropriate response to them, your confidence in humanity could be severely impaired.
Because life is a marvelous adventure, a journey marked by steep mountains and deep valleys, one should expect all sorts of surprises. Hardly, however, can anything prepare a person for the trauma often associated with feeling let down, felling brutally betrayed by someone you trusted. For a moment, you feel you can never trust again. You wonder whether anyone can be believed. You ask yourself whether you should ever again expect anyone to be honest, loyal, faithful, and true.
People do have experiences that make surprise a sometimes welcome and sometimes unwelcome guest. It is not so with people of faith who, in their dealings with God, come to know one who is altogether trustworthy. After being Christ-followers for a few years, we can joyfully sing, "Great is your faithfulness," knowing that we are not only giving voice to a verse of scripture, but also expression to a fact of life. The God we serve does not take a vacation from being utterly reliable. God never makes a promise that goes unfulfilled. God's word can always be trusted. In a sense, we may claim that, with God, there are no surprises. God always remains true!
Yet, there are times when God surprises us. We shouldn't be surprised, but we are.
Do you not recall a situation when you looked back on a passage of your life and you realized how, without your ever realizing it, God was there guiding your steps, aiding you in the quest to live with integrity, leading you to make the kind of choices fit for children on the Christian pilgrimage? After our retrospective look, we joyfully state what has come home to us with crystal clarity. We conclude, "So, that's what God was up to!" We smile; we breathe a sigh of relief, and we offer a word of thanks!
After an experience like this, we read from the book of Psalms familiar passages that take on a brand new meaning. When, for example, we read Psalm 116:1, "I love the Lord ..." our heart overflows with joy because we have come to know the wonder of the God who is ever faithful. God protects God's own! God vanquishes foes bent on your destruction. God brings to nothing the orchestrated plan of the enemy. When God surprises us, what a welcome surprise!
So, with Psalm 117:2, we can say, "Great is God's love toward us and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever."

What BWA Member Bodies are Doing
Baptist General Association of Virginia, USA

The Baptist General Association of Virginia (BGAV) is a member organization of the Baptist World Alliance.  Located in Richmond, Virginia, USA, it was formed more than 100 years ago to foster cooperation among Baptist churches in the state of Virginia.   

Through its minister training arm, the Virginia Baptist Mission Board (VBMB), the BGAV provides support and resources for seminaries, schools, and pastors in training, including  for bivocational pastors. It also assists churches with pastor and congregational wellness issues. 

The BWA member body has created significant partnerships with the Christian Evangelical Baptist Union of Italy and the Caribbean Baptist Fellowship, and has provided substantial help to tsunami victims in India. The convention also partnered with the Belize Baptist Association to create six teams that worked on housing and a camp facility, involving 65 participants and 22 students. 

The BGAV boasts almost half a million members spread among 1,412 churches. 

John T. Lewis serves as president.  BGAV and VBMB executive  director John Upton is president-elect of the BWA for 2010-2015.

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Church Spotlight
South Main Baptist Church
Pasadena, Texas, USA
South Main Baptist Church in Pasadena, Texas, in the United States, has committed itself to mission "that is both local and global in nature." It offers various ministries in the Pasadena and Houston areas of Texas, and around the world, including through its contributions as a BWA Global Impact Church.

Founded in 1954, the congregation's community involvement includes a City Reach Houston youth event in association with extreme sport athletes and other Baptists from Texas. The church's Upward Sports Program, planned by the Family Life Ministry, includes basketball and cheerleading events.

The church's Learning Center runs a day care for young children that includes Bible story lessons and other activities. Its traditional and contemporary worship services are designed to reach both the younger and older demographics.

South Main provides a ministry known as "The Gathering Place," opened to the community that is staffed by volunteer caregivers who offer a day of care for those with early stage Alzheimer's or dementia. It also provides respite and relief care and support for full-time caregivers who meet the needs of these individuals.

The church also offers special ministry outreach to singles, seniors, and for persons experiencing divorce, including to children of divorced parents.

Thank you
To the following churches for Haiti relief:

$5,000-$9,999        Trinity Baptist Church, Bronx, NY, USA
                             South Main Baptist Church, Pasadena, TX, USA

$2,000-4,999         Crossway Baptist Church, Victoria, Australia
                            First Baptist Church, Fitzgerald, GA, USA
                            First Baptist Church, Frankfort, KY, USA
                            First Baptist Church, Pensacola, FL, USA
                            Fredericksburg Area Baptist Association,
                            Fredericksburg, VA, USA
                            Third Baptist Church, St. Louis, MO, USA
                            Weatherly Heights Baptist Church, Huntsville, AL,
                            Westwood Baptist Church, Springfield, VA, USA

$500-$1,999          First Baptist Church, Jasper, GA, USA
                            Evangelical Baptist Church, Union, NJ, USA
                            Grace Baptist Church, Richmond, VA, USA
                            Greenbrier Baptist Church, Arlington, VA, USA
                            Heritage Baptist Church, Annapolis, MD, USA
                            Japan Baptist Women's Union
                            Memorial Baptist Church, Arlington, VA, USA
                            Providence Baptist Church, Nassau, Bahamas
                            Slavic Evangelical Baptist Church, Peabody, MA, USA
                            Tremont Temple Baptist Church, Boston, MA, USA
                            Williamsburg Baptist Church, Williamsburg, VA, USA
                            Yolla Baptist Church, Yolla, Tasmania, Australia
Other gifts for Haitian relief:

$77,030                Kowloon International Baptist Church, Hong Kong
$24,000                Mountain Brook Baptist Church, Birmingham, AL, USA
$9,982                  Far East  Broadcasting Company, South Korea

The following church gave for Chile Earthquake relief

$5,000-$9,999       Central Baptist Church, Bearden, TN, USA

To Kenneth R. Stevens, for gift in memory of his wife, Imogene.

: The list of donors may not reflect the total number of gifts received each month.
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News from the BWA
For these stories and more, visit the BWA website at
Baptist World Aid
BWAid grants for the month of March
Grants recorded in United States dollars unless otherwise noted 
Sierra Leone
Poverty Reduction in Rural Communities - 7,500.00
Swamp Rice Production - 9.808.00
Hope for War Orphans & Needy Children - 2,734.00

Income Generating Project - !8,000.00
Youth Self Employment Seminars Yr 2 - 7,553.00

Clean Water Supply Project - 14,950.00

Emergency Drought Relief - 9,100.00

Karonga Earthquake Relief - 5,070.00

Soup Kitchen - 12,100.00

Grain Storehouse - 18,900.00

Rice Buffer Project - 23,000.00


Odessa Seminary - $180.00

Latin America

Chile Earthquake Relief - $25,000.00

El Salvador
Domestic Gardens Project  Yr 2 - 4,609.00

North America

Micah Challenge, USA  2010 Donation - $500.00

Monthly Prayer Guide
Each week, the staff of the Baptist World Alliance prays for conventions and unions throughout the world.
We invite all other Baptist conventions and unions, and individual Baptists everywhere, to join us in these prayers.
For the month of April we will remember the following:

April 4-10
Malaysia Baptist Convention
Singapore Baptist Convention
The Christians and people of Brunei

April 11-17
Convention of Indonesian Baptist Churches
Fellowship of Baptist Churches of Irian Jaya (Indonesia)
Union of Indonesian Baptist Churches

April 18-24
Japan Baptist Conference
Japan Baptist Convention
Japan Baptist Union
Okinawa Baptist Convention (Japan)
Korea Baptist Convention (South Korea)
Chinese Baptist Convention (Taiwan)

April 25-May 1
The Christians and people of Djibouti and Somalia
Upcoming Events
Union of Baptists in Latin America Consultation, San Jose, Costa Rica, April 14-16

Baptist Men's World Day of Prayer, April 24

BWA Day, May 1 and 2

BWA Living Water Conference, Maputo, Mozambique, May 20-23

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BWA Calendar
BWA Women's Leadership Conference: July 24-27, 2010, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

20th Baptist World Congress: July 28-August 1, 2010, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

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South Main Baptist Church of Pasadena, Texas, in the United States, was listed as being in Pasadena, California, in the March issue of BWA Connect. We regret the error.
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