In a letter posted on the Baptist World Alliance website, BWA General Secretary Denton Lotz offered words of condolences and encouragement to Asian Baptist residing in tsunami-affected regions. In the letter, Lotz promised on behalf of the BWA long-term relief and reconstruction efforts to aid tsunami survivors in areas devastated by the tsunami on behalf.
“Your brothers and sisters around are suffering and in pain with you,” wrote Denton Lotz. “Millions of people are continuing to pray for you…. in thousands of worship service services worldwide.”
Lotz added, that the Baptist World Aid had plans to continuing collecting donations to further aid efforts for survivors. He mentioned that BW Aid was also cooperating with other denominations such as the Baptist conventions/unions, secular relief organizations, and local government officials to help those in need. Nonetheless, Lotz added, long term planning is needed to bring completion to already ongoing relief efforts in tsunami-effected regions.
As for reasons behind this tragedy, Lotz explained that no one could properly say why the natural disaster occurred. Instead, Lotz urged, Christians everywhere should reflect on the goodness of God in light of the tragic event.
“As Christians we believe that God is good, all the time, but we know that this good earth also suffers pain and loss of life, tragedy and evil,” Lotz wrote. “The Cross of Christ reminds us that God suffers and endures the pain and consequences of evil, and takes this evil upon Himself in the cross and turns it into redemption and resurrection.”
“We cannot answer the philosophical questions of evil, pain and suffering,” Lotz wrote, “but we can point to Jesus Christ and see that in taking upon Himself the form of a human, God has accepted our suffering and pain and suffers with us.”
Lotz also shared that survivors of the tsunami could seek comfort in Christ. “This is the great Christian message of comfort,” Lotz says. “In Jesus Christ God is suffering with the homeless, the hungry, the orphans with those who have lost wives and husbands, daughters and sons, sisters and brothers.”
In conclusion, Lotz urged Baptists worldwide to continuing praying and working for the benefit of tsunami survivors. “The hope we have in Jesus Christ,” Lotz says, “is certainly the greatest gift we can give anyone.