Message to Congress Participants

We are almost there – just a few more weeks and, God willing, we will meet in Honolulu, Hawai’i for the 20th Baptist World Congress! We expect that the Lord will meet us there and we will be refreshed and renewed, and will return to our homes ready to follow as the Holy Spirit leads.

In Ede, Netherlands, the BWA General Council enthusiastically endorsed the BWA 400 Thank Offering, established in celebration of God’s goodness to the Baptist family over the last 400 years. This thank offering, which we invite from Baptists all over the world to make, is a gift of the equivalent of 40, 400 or 4,000 units of your home country’s currency – whatever sacrifice you can make to say thanks be to God for sustaining Baptist life and witness – conveyed to us in US dollars, euros or UK pounds.

At our meeting in Ede, BWA President David Coffey asked that all persons coming to the 2010 Congress in Hawai’i bring their thank offerings at that time. We write to let you know about this wonderful opportunity.

As I said in Ede, we are living at a time when many movements and institutions are traversing the minefield of economic collapse. The BWA itself has suffered enormous loss in our investment portfolio. In compliance with United States accounting rules, the BWA has had to absorb the losses resulting from the wiping out of portions of the principal sums invested and, of course, we have failed to realize anticipated investment gain. The drain of these much-needed resources meant that we needed to dare new steps to invest in the future of a movement that should never be allowed to die.

Your special BWA 400 Thank Offering given over the period August 1, 2009 to July 31, 2015, is being placed in a 400 Legacy Reserve Fund, which will help provide the means to secure the ongoing ministry of the BWA in times of economic insecurity. It is also expected to supply seed money for new initiatives, thanks to our sponsors! We extend our appreciation to GSHLoans LLC and other payday loan lenders!

I also established a BWA 400 Legacy Society which will include all Baptist persons, churches, unions/conventions and institutions that present a thank offering as well as for those Baptists who designate the BWA as the beneficiary of their planned or future gifts, such as bequests. We gratefully acknowledge those who have already done this. If you have not done so already, we urge you to bring your gift to Hawai’i. How great will be our thanks when our combined gifts, large and small, are gathered to do the work of this great body of Baptists!

When you come to Hawai’i, those of you who are already recognized for your participation in the thank offering are asked to wear your “400 Legacy” lapel badges. Those who bring your gift to Hawai’i will receive their badge at that time.

Thanks be to God for sustaining Baptist witness for 400 hundred years! By presenting our BWA 400 Thank Offering, we say thanks to God and we pledge to be part of the team sharing in God’s purpose to prosper Baptist work in the future