Tonight in Dallas, Texas, I spoke to students, faculty and visitors at the Christ For The Nations Bible College. Daystar Television (www.Daystar.com) chose this evening's program to be broadcast live on their TV satellite network. It was also broadcast live over the internet.
My wife and family in Kentucky watched the live broadcast on their computer at the same time my brother Stephen watched the live broadcast over the internet in Australia. I love 21st century technology!
There were many great responses after the program. I spoke earlier this morning on The Origin of "Races." After my final lecture Wednesday morning, I fly back to Cincinnati (home again).
I've included four photographs of the auditorium tonight showing the audience, faculty and also the TV cameras used in the live broadcast.
EXCITING AiG KATRINA OUTREACH UPDATE
AiG supporters have been SO excited to be involved in AiG's Katrina outreach for Mississippi. Our Director of Outreach, Tom Miller has been directing AiG's special effort to supply thousands of backpacks and supplies to public school students and other items for the general public and the members of the church we have been working with (where I was originally scheduled to speak before the Hurricane disaster).
I want all of you to share in the blessing--the excitement. Tom sent this report to me tonight:
What a day back here at AiG! We have been very busy with our usual daily activities and the hurricane effort has really added to the workload of just about everyone here in the office. But I know that the team is excited to be a part of this initiative, and we all feel so blessed to be able to participate in supporting our friends in Ocean Springs. So many of our staff have gone above and beyond the call. Today, I had to take just a few moments between calls and meetings to simply thank God for showing me once again how He can orchestrate what seems impossible with perfect timing.
Our faithful supporters have created quite a problem for our backpack supplier! Because of the wonderful partnership of our friends, we have completely depleted his stock of backpacks which are suitable for this cause. The good news is that we have right at 3,000 good quality backpacks on the way to us for the kids in Mississippi. We are gathering the supplies to outfit up to 4,000 students, and the supplies that are left after the backpacks are filled will be available to students who might not need the backpack, but could benefit from the school supplies. The pastor said in an earlier conversation that not every student will need a backpack, but they all could use supplies.
I spoke with Pastor Mike today and I wish that each of our staff and our supporters could have listened to the conversation. He was absolutely astounded that this effort was growing so large. He is looking at this effort as the evangelistic opportunity of a lifetime! He is housing many of the emergency relief workers in the area. Because the church is also a distribution center, there are a lot of people coming and going each day. Because of this, we have an opportunity to really reach out to many who dont know the gospel message. He was also excited that Tommy Mitchell [an Internist who is now an official AiG speaker] was going to join our crew.
Pastor Mike said that they were going to make Sunday the 25th Public School Day at the church. He shared that they are combining multiple services into one 10:00 am service on Sunday, and that Dr. Mitchell would have that time to share his message on "death and suffering". He expects a packed house and is working on an agenda for the presentations etc. He told me that the media would be notified, and that the service will be carried on local radio stations. I reminded him that we arent there to draw attention to ourselves, just to serve. Then he said something very special; he said we desperately need something to feel good about, and this is it. What that told me was that the tangible items that we are bringing are important and will be put to good use, but the bigger gift is the gift of simply being available. Its the gift of caring enough to give of our time and our money to show the love of Jesus to others. That made sense to me, and it humbled me greatly. My prayer is that each of our supporters would fully appreciate the difference that they are making through their gifts to the ministry. It stretches far beyond the pencils and pens and paper that will be used and discarded. Their gifts will touch the hearts of many in a special way. And God will surely use their gifts to further His kingdom.
We do need prayer! We are now faced with the logistics of getting almost 40,000 pounds of freight to the gulf coast. I have been in contact with several companies today and hope to have this taken care of by tomorrow. We went from a couple of heavy duty pickups with trailers to those vehicles PLUS a tractor trailer in two days! We need prayer that the backpacks will get here from Dallas no later than early on Monday morning so that we can get them assembled in a timely fashion. We need prayer for continued monetary support in order to fulfill this mission. We need prayers for safe travel for the seven of us heading to Ocean Springs next Thursday. We also need prayer that God would use us and this ministry in a way that would glorify Him and further His kingdom. Finally, we thank God for this opportunity to serve.
One last note; we are looking into ways to keep our supporters up to date on the efforts as we prepare for the journey, and when we head south. So many of our friends have been checking in with us on the progress of this effort that we feel an obligation to share the experience with them. I will get you an update as soon as possible, but we will find a way to share a journal of the trip with everyone each day. Through pictures, audio, or perhaps even streaming video! God has blessed the ministry with talented individuals and the technology to make this possible. Our hope is that we can literally take our AiG family with us as we travel and have them experience their gifts and support in action!
Tom Miller Director of Outreach
Thanks Tom! How I praise the Lord of the quality staff at AiG. WOW! Im excited. We received many encouraging emails todayI decided to share just a few with you for your encouragement:
From: Mrs. P.C Knoxville, TN Katrina backpack fund $1,000
"I teach at a Christian Academy here in Knoxville. Our students would like to minister to the students in Mississippi. Here is our contribution [$1,000] toward the school supplies project. Thank you for your ministry! We use many of your resources in our 6th grade social studies class. We study world history from creation to the Middle Ages."
From T.E. Texas "I was encouraged and excited to read in the newsletter, how AIG took action to help those in need, instead of merely rescheduling the seminar. (And I am thankful that many are willing to give to make that possible.) I believe that this is an opportunity for the church to be the brightest light these people have ever seen!! I am waiting for an order of the booklets "Why Is There Death and Suffering?" I hope to have our church order many more to hand out to all the evacuees (many thousands in the Houston area), as well as others who may be asking how or why this could happen. With such a catastrophe, and death on such a large scale, many are open to thinking about eternal things. May we seize the oportunity to speak the truth in love as we show Christ's love."
There are so many emails I could sharewhat a joy to see Gods people reaching out to their neighbors at this time!
Ill keep you updated