May 15, 2020
Global Diaconate COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Fund
Bethlehem Baptist Church exists to “spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ,” and our Global Diaconate helps spread this passion by “seeking to proclaim and demonstrate the gospel through significant ministries of mercy to the poor and suffering around the globe in the name of Jesus.”
Bethlehem has been generous in providing about $100,000 annually, funded incrementally each month from tithes & offerings in support of the “poorest of the poor” through our ministries around the world. Historically, these funds have gone to about 20 Bethlehem global projects each year. Specific project proposals are evaluated for possible funding by Bethlehem’s Global Diaconate, which has members representing each of our three campuses.
Our first priority is proposals from our global partners. Our second priority is trusted partners or organizations. Our third priority is established relationships (e.g., members of Bethlehem with trusted links to an overseas ministry). Given global realities this year, the Global Diaconate funding has been largely disbursed, and what we have been able to give is a mere token of the actual need expressed by our global partners.
Since the beginning of 2020, our world has seen a dramatic increase in threats against the global Church—through expanding targeted Islamic terrorist attacks in Africa, the Near East, and regional warfare—and now most recently through the COVID-19 pandemic that has brought most of the world to economic shutdowns, suffering, starvation, and death. Our global partners have been ministering in the midst of these realities. This past month alone, our Global Diaconate has received more than 14 requests for urgent support for medical supplies and food, and we expect these requests to increase.
The Global Diaconate is asking our Bethlehem church community to consider giving to a special—and we hope temporary—COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Fund.
Our intent is to continue to serve the poorest of the poor and, with a crisis like this, that description is now applicable to a much larger group than it would be under normal circumstances. Many of our global partners work directly with or very closely to these needy people. Our desire is to help those in great need who have minimal chance of receiving help from other sources. The funds will be used to meet acute needs related to the pandemic such as food, clean water, hygiene items, medical supplies, or to provide for lost income that is needed to pay for shelter or other critical needs—all in the name of Christ!
We know that many in our congregation have the gift of giving, as well as a heart for God-honoring disaster relief and crisis response. We want to provide a trustworthy method to channel your giving through our global partners and other trusted partners.
Would you please consider a gift above and beyond your regular giving to bless the poorest of the poor? And please pray that God would use your efforts to further his kingdom!
To give, use one of these options …
- Make an online donation in Bethlehem’s giving portal that is designated for the “Pandemic Relief Fund” (Fund – All Church; Sub Fund – Pandemic Relief Fund).
- On the Bethlehem App, make your donation under Giving > Giving Designation > All Church: Pandemic Relief Fund.
- Give by text message by texting “Pandemic X” (where X is the desired donation amount in dollars) to 612-223-7432.
- Give by check by noting “Pandemic Relief Fund” in the memo line and sending your check to Bethlehem Baptist Church, 720 13th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55415.
Thank you for partnering with us.
Pastor Brad Nelson for the Global Diaconate Team
Steve Prater, Deacon and Chairman of the Global Diaconate
Richard Swanson, North Campus Member (PhD. Economic Anthropology)