First Baptist Church of Rahway, 177 Elm Ave., Rahway, New Jersey 07065 is a multi-cultural congregation that has a Blended English Service on Sunday Mornings, a Latino Service at 12:00, and a Service in Telugu at 3:30PM. For more information, call (732) 388-8626. Or click here to send an email. If you wish to help the Mission and Ministry of First Baptist financially click the Donate Button.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Sale That Stole Thanksgiving

My feelings go beyond mere nostalgia for Thanksgivings past. Our nationally observed holidays erode, gradually but certainly, with every wave of unending commerce. It's a regrettable and embarrassing move that suggests what we value most is not in fact family, religion, history, or even the cherished notion that God has blessed America. Instead, for us there is no day so sacred that it would keep us from standing in long lines under the glow of fluorescent lights to get a flat-screen TV…while others must stock the shelves and man the registers.


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Syria's Refugee Crisis Worst since Rwanda Genocide, Christians Respond with Help and Hope

On a desert hillside, 225 miles from their bombed-out homes in Syria, a half-dozen refugee fathers and sons have a modest winterization project going on.
Using lumber scrounged from pallets, plus a few rugs and canvas scraps, they tack together a vestibule for an 18-by-32-foot tent that 16 family members will share. The vestibule will help keep freezing winds out of the main living area, which is warmed by one small propane heater. Everyone will sleep on thick foam mattresses with a thin rug between those and the rocky ground.
"Winter is close," says Anas Mustafa Halif, 30, through an interpreter. "We have no clothing, no shelter, no fuel for heating, or even firewood. We can manage such hardships. We move around. But the children? It's very difficult for the children."
About 50 tents comprise this makeshift camp. Most of the Syrians here fled from the outskirts of Hama, a northern city that's been hit hard by Syria's two-and-a-half-year civil war. In fact, 45 are relatives or friends from the same neighborhood. They've landed on the east edge of Amman, opting for this grim arrangement over official refugee camps: Za'atari, to the north, is overrun with more than 130,000 people.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Relief Team Seeks Remote Filipino Villages in Need

Social media and news programs around the world have reported on relief teams entering Filipino communities devastated by Typhoon Haiyan. But hundreds of other villages in extremely isolated areas have yet to see any relief. 

Many of these villages are tucked away in northern Cebu's rolling hills. They can be found down winding, bumping roads barely wide enough for vehicles to traverse. They are the villages that Southern Baptist relief teams hope to find.

While millions of dollars in relief aid is flowing into some hard-hit areas, many smaller communities must fend for themselves.

People in remote areas far from the main roads often are neglected for one to two weeks in the aftermath of a major disaster, said Larry Shine, a member of the four-man Baptist Global Response team sent to Cebu Island. The team's goal is to go into areas not highlighted in the media and partner with local pastors to bring relief to neglected communities.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Southern Baptist Volunteers Respond Quickly to Midwest Storm System Damage

An approaching tornado interrupted worship at First Baptist Church in Washington, Ill., Nov. 17, leading Pastor Josh Monda to shepherd his congregation to shelter in the basement and ensure all were out of harm's way."

We stepped outside, and you could see the updraft pulling into the storm," said Monda. "We saw the tornado form and began moving through the neighborhood where we knew several of our members live."

A church member was hospitalized with injuries from the storm. Four homes of members were destroyed and other residences were damaged as the tornado passed approximately one-quarter mile from the church, Monda said. The church building received no damage.

"We went out and started to help people. We pulled a couple of people from the wreckage of their homes and prayed with them. Some of our members tried to make it home but could not. It was a tough situation. We pray we will be able to help people, but more than that, also share the Gospel," Monda said.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

The End of Life

My eye is drawn to the numbers that flash on and off on the monitor. Over time I have been able to figure out what the numbers mean. On this machine the top one is the heart rate and this man’s rate seems a bit high to me. I think that means his heart is trying to over compensate for other problems. The next one down is the blood oxygen level. His is looking good. After that is blood pressure. Both numbers seem high but I don’t understand the implications of that. The number on the bottom of the monitor is the one I have been paying a lot of attention to. It is my friend’s breathing rate. He is hooked up to a ventilator that is making sure he gets enough oxygen into his blood stream and circulating around his body. Even if his blood pressure was next to nothing, the ventilator would move enough blood around his system to keep him alive. Today his breathing rate is in the 20’s. I’ve learned that the minimum set on the machine is 12 breaths a minute. Since the number is higher than 12, he is breathing on his own. When they take him off of the ventilator his lungs will continue to draw breath. This is good and bad.

Where there is life there is hope. I have always believed that. However a large part of my friend’s body does not work because cancer has destroyed much of it. His systems are breaking down. If God doesn’t have a miracle prepared for him, it would be better for his family if he stopped breathing quickly. The end of life is really sad, and especially hard on the families who wait by the bedside of a loved one. I have waited with family members for many days. It can be very hard. Sometimes the wait for that last breath can be excruciating.  

My friend passed away in the evening after the doctors removed the ventilator.

Please pray for his family and everyone who is facing The End of Life.

Peace, Pastor Bill

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Endless Path of Misery in the Philippines

After abandoning her van and walking for eight hours "over electrical posts and passing by dead people along the way," Mary Ann Zamora finally arrived in Tacloban, one of the Philippine cities worst hit by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda), one of the world's strongest storms on record.
"The way we took last night looks like an endless path of misery. There are survivors approaching me, all are in tears, to ask for favors to send SMS for their worried relatives," emailed Zamora, an emergency communications worker for World Vision, to CT from Tacloban, the highly urbanized capital of the province of Leyte (approximately 360 miles southeast of Manila).
Christian relief agencies, especially ones in Asia, were mobilizing teams to provide shelter, food, and medical care. Philippine officials say they expect the death toll to be as high as 10,000 in Tacloban alone. Air transports are bringing in blankets, plastic sheeting for shelters.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Flooded by a Storm, Then by Grace

My husband and I stood at the front door and paused. We knew that we'd reached a watershed moment—literally. With one turn of the key, nothing in our lives would stay the same. And although there was nothing we could do but step inside, we stopped, as if doing so would keep our nightmare from becoming a reality.
The storm surge of Hurricane Sandy dumped more than 4 feet of water into the first floor of our home. Our living room, dining room, kitchen, and bathroom had absorbed a mix of ocean water, diesel fuel, raw sewage, and whatever else the Atlantic Ocean had to offer on October 29, 2012. We knew that the water had receded, but we had no idea what our lives looked like on the other side of that door.