At the recent D.C. Baptist Convention, I witnessed what happens when individuals and churches allow God to use them for his greater glory. With all the craziness I have read or heard lately about what some churches and church leaders are doing, it is inspiring to see God’s hand at work among churches in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region and throughout the world.

Several churches have been busy feeding the hungry, providing clothes for those in need, going to jails and prisons to encourage the incarcerated, educating members about domestic violence and teen pregnancy, building schools, restoring broken people throughout the world and, of course, spreading the Good News. One church is taking a creative approach to reaching some 300 people each week with inspirational text messages.

In other instances, East Washington Heights in southeast Washington, D.C., used its food pantry to provide 10,000 meals to families in its community last year.

Israel Baptist Church in northeast D.C. has a thriving ministry to senior citizens that includes free legal counseling. The church also will break ground next year on its life learning center and senior housing complex.

And Clifton Park Baptist Church in Silver Spring, Md., delivered three cases of medical supplies to its ministry partners in the Gambia.

These are just a few examples of the good work being done. Thankfully there are and have been many more models of Christian compassion out there, which we don’t hear about often enough.

Those attending the D.C. Baptist Convention’s annual meeting also had an opportunity to learn about the horrors of human trafficking in Africa (as well as here in D.C.). They also heard what they can do to help alleviate the ongoing pain and need in Haiti.

Several people signed a commitment form on the spot to help Eglise Baptiste du Calvaire of Adelphi, Md., with its “Hope for Haiti in Action” project.

It was interesting that two speakers, Rev. Glynis LaBarre, a church transformation strategist, and ethicist Robert Parham pointed us to the same Scripture verses. When LaBarre led us all in reading aloud together from Luke 4:18-19 on Monday evening, I could feel the power of the words and came to realize more deeply their meaning. The next day Parham described the verses as our “moral compass.”

Many churches in my area, across the country and throughout the world are bringing life-saving action to the Old Testament words that Jesus read from ancient scrolls some 2,000 years ago.

What program or mission in your church are you involved in to help people? Meditate on these verses this week and let them speak to you.

“The Spirit of the LORD is upon Me,
Because He has anointed Me
To preach the gospel to the poor;
He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted,
To proclaim liberty to the captives
And recovery of sight to the blind,
To set at liberty those who are oppressed;
To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD.” (Luke 4:18-19)

Yvonne Shinhoster Lamb is president of the District of Columbia Baptist Convention. She blogs at Soul Rhythms, where this column first appeared.

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