WACO—It was a packed house for the Hunger Luncheon at the 2014 BGCT Annual Meeting as special guest Jamaica-native Dr. Neville Callam of the Baptist World Alliance (BWA) expressed his appreciation for Texas Baptists' efforts against hunger.
Hunger kills more people every year than aids, malaria and tuberculosis combined, said Callam, general secretary and chief executive officer of the BWA.
He commended the donors in the room and Texas Baptists as a whole for "being committed to the service to humanity. Not because you have to but because you recognize you need to."
"(You) have the capacity to see beyond immediate horizons of your own path," he told the audience. "(You) plant your eyes on the wide expanse of earth, to see people over there who are struggling and to say, 'We need to help because we are children of God.'"
Embracing others is an example of solidarity in the Gospel, he said. And over the past 18 years, he expressed that Texas Baptists have contributed over $2 million, funding hundreds of projects and feeding thousands of people simply because they love Jesus and love the lost.
"No other Baptist group in the world comes anywhere close to what you have done through the partnership in which you share with us," he said. "I ask you to see the difference you are making in the world…to see the difference that God is making through you."
Following Callam's speech, Ferrell Foster, coordinator of the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering, and Joyce Gilbreath Kokel, specialist, presented awards to representatives of churches that have contributed the most toward the Hunger Offering.
First Baptist Church in Midland was awarded the 2014 Mother's Day Hunger Offering top giving church. Prairie View Chapel in Amarillo was awarded the 2013 top per capita giving church. First Baptist Church in Kenndy was awarded the 2013 top giving church. And First Baptist Church in Midland was awarded again as the top giving church from 1996 to the present.
The Hunger Luncheon, held Nov. 18 at the Waco Convention Center, was sponsored by Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship Texas and Waco Regional Baptist Association.
"We are so thankful for the support Texas Baptist churches have given to the Texas Baptist Hunger Offering. Due to their generosity, we have given more than $2.5 million to support ministries through the Baptist World Alliance since 1996," said Gus Reyes, director of the Christian Life Commission.