The Bricks for Ricks Foundation recently contributed $2500 to the Care for One Hundred Campaign along with $1500 from the First Baptist Church of Jefferson to Dr. Olu Menjay on his recent visit to Gainesville First Baptist Church.
Dr. Menjay is the Principal of Ricks Institute in Virginia, Liberia. He is the President of Liberian Baptist Missionary and Educational Convention, and Vice President and Chair of the Human Rights Advocacy Commission of the Baptist World Alliance.
The Care for One Hundred Campaign is a joint venture between Dr. Menjay and Dr. Richard Wilson, President of the Liberia Baptist Theological Seminary, set up to help alleviate hunger that is occurring because of the Ebola pandemic in Liberia and surrounding nations. The name of the campaign comes from the 100 people that currently live on the Liberian Baptist Seminary campus.
A mere thirty-seven cents a day can feed a Liberian a meal of rice. $4000 represents nearly 11,000 meals. Thatâ€™s enough to feed 100 people for 108 days. For some, this may be the only food source for the day. For others, it may be an important supplement. I have seen people in Liberia walk miles just to get a cup of rice in times when conditions were much better. Â Now, in worse conditions, a cup of rice can be life sustaining.
Members of Louisville Baptist Church in Louisville, Alabama, the church of my teenage years, contributed nearly $1500 to Bricks for Ricks for this ministry. My father spoke to the interim pastor about the Bricks for Ricks ministry and discovered that at one point in his life he and his wife were headed to Liberia as missionaries through the Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board but their appointment was counseled as civil war erupted in the country. Â When Bob Pemberton and his wife Evelyn were told their appointment was cancelled, they were given one day whether to decide to accept an alternative appointment to Mexico City, Mexico. Â After attending language school to learn Spanish, they Â spent over a decade as missionaries in that city.
The members of the small church in South Alabama where he is now the interim pastor have a big heart for missions, once being cited by the Alabama Baptist Convention as giving the most money per member to missions. It is fitting that they currently have a former missionary as their interim pastor, a man open to the kind of benevolent work that the Bricks for Ricks Foundation is doing for the poor in Liberia.
When the civil war came everyone that could leave did. Southern Baptists left. In fact, they never returned. Many of the pastors and Christian leaders who once felt felt so supported felt abandoned because the leaders never returned.
When Ebola came, everyone that could leave left. Who can blame them? It was for their own safety. However, from the perspective of our Christian friends in Liberia, itâ€™s easy to feel abandoned, as if no one cares. We must care. We have a responsibility to care.
The members of First Baptist Church of Jefferson have also reached into their pockets to help. For the last two years, Liberia has been a focus of our church.
As a part of the Care for One Hundred Campaign, Dr. Wilson has agreed to include children at the Comfort Toe Orphanage. Faliku Dukuly, who works as a member of the rice disbursement team, has done an assessment of the orphanage. This is the same orphanage that my son John and I visited two years ago and carried homemade dolls that were made by our Womenâ€™s Missionary Union.
Because of the work of Faliku, gifts given to Bricks for Ricks, and the efforts of Care for One Hundred program, these children are going to be fed.
The media has now moved on to other front-page news items. Ebola no longer dominates the daily news. However, the cover of “Time Magazine” has dedicated its cover and Persons of the Year to the Ebola Care Givers. You too can be among the care givers by contributing to hunger relief of those who have been affected by this disease.
You can send your money to the Bricks for Ricks Foundation. On your check memo: Hunger Relief. Send the check c/o Dr. Michael Helms, 221 Melvin Drive, Jefferson, GA., 30549. You can also give online through the Care for One Hundred website: http://www.careforonehundred.org. Click on â€œFeed Someone Nowâ€ and follow the instructions.
Jesus’ brother wrote: Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, â€œGood-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat wellâ€â€”but then you donâ€™t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? (James 2:16-16).
Even if you arenâ€™t motivated to participate in this mission, find someone near you and be a James 2 Christian this Christmas season.