One of the organizations supported by our church’s Lula Whilden World Missions Offering is the Alliance of Baptists (AOB). Founded in 1987, AOB describes itself as a justice movement and community of faith composed of individual members and congregations who are “knit together by love for one another and God.”
Our FBG congregation has interacted with AOB in a number of ways over the years. A few weeks from now, several church members will participate in a racial justice pilgrimage to Alabama. In Montgomery, in an AOB workshop titled “Excavating Our Roots,” they will explore the overlap between Baptist history and our nation’s history of slavery, segregation and racism.
We also interact with the Alliance through its missions emphasis, which takes place through partnerships with and financial grants to congregations and organizations around the world. One of these AOB partner organizations is the Fraternity of Cuban Baptist Churches (FIBAC). Through FIBAC, our church became partners with a Baptist church in Guanajay, Cuba, in 2006—the Iglesia Bautista del Camino (Baptist Church of the Way), pastored by Javier Pérez. We have been fortunate to have exchanged a dozen visits with our sister church over the years, the most recent being in 2019. Unfortunately, the pandemic and the current travel regulations of our two countries have prevented visits since then. The enforced separation heightens our concern for our sister church, and we feel this concern even more knowing that Hurricane Ian has had a devastating impact there, leading to widespread loss of power and water as well as great physical damage.
How can we support our sister church when physical presence is impossible? We can stay in touch via email and social media, we can look for ways to physically deliver financial resources through an AOB representative (our church staff is exploring this now), and, of course, we can offer our prayers for Javier, for all the members of the Baptist Church of the Way, and for the work they do and the needs they meet in Guanajay, even in these difficult times. Please pray for them, especially this week, and please consider making a gift to the Lula Whilden offering for the work it supports over time through the Alliance of Baptists.
—Susan D’Amato, Missions & Affiliations Committee