Illinois Baptists to flood victims with the Good News…

It’s bad enough that the Mississippi River is up to five times the width it usually is and flood water may take as long as a month to recede in some places but now I read that the faithful are using this disaster as a diving board to splash the gospel around.

Can’t say I’m that surprised, of course. From the Baptist Press:

“We won’t have an opportunity like this to minister to our friends and neighbors for another 500 years,” Joe Buchanan, pastor of First Baptist Church in Metropolis, said May 8. “We must be prepared spiritually and physically to minister to hurting people in Jesus’ name.”

Buchanan said the upcoming week’s deacons meeting would have one agenda item: “Find someone who needs help, and help them.”

They’re hoping to have shelters and showers available in Cairo soon.. because the ministers want to be clean and well rested before they preach to the tired, huddled, waterlogged masses.

“We hope to have shower facilities and bunk bed accommodations ready at First Cairo by the first of June for mission groups to use as their hub as they minister in our association,” Ferrell told the Illinois Baptist. “We have many, many people who will be cleaning up for a long time, and we need mission teams to come help us this summer.”

Ideally it’d be a hub for volunteers of all stripes who want to head down there and provide assistance to people who’ve lost all they own, and be space to house at least some in need of it. Of course, their primary ambition with centers like this is probably to try and make more Baptists. That people might feel like they got their present-day life needs met in the process, well, that’s simply a bonus.

It’s not all bad, mind you. They’ve been providing food and assisting with sandbagging and helping people pack their stuff. I don’t want it to sound like I think they’re only out to show off what good, proper Baptists will do in trying times, but I expect for some of them, that might be the only reason they were willing to get their feet wet. May as well make sure you’re doing good in the last days before Judgment Day…

Sarcastic much? Yeah, maybe a little.

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