One of the world’s largest providers of Christian products and services announced Tuesday that it plans to contribute $50,000 to the $1.4 million already donated to the International Mission Board for disaster relief efforts in South Asia. In addition to the corporate gift, 125 employees of LifeWay Christian Resources sent individual gifts to the IMB’s relief fund.
"Our LifeWay family is concerned and compassionate," said James T. Draper Jr., president of the South Baptist Convention (SBC) company. "We feel it is a great privilege to share in this relief effort through giving to a fellow SBC entity. We have great confidence in the relief efforts of the IMB and know that 100 percent of our gifts will go to minister, both spiritually and physically, to Asia’s poor."
Draper also said that at a time when national news reports have questioned the ability of governments to properly and effectively handle the massive monetary donations, he was confident that the IMB was equipped to minister to hundreds of thousands of survivors and help rebuild their lives.
Gordon Fort, vice president of overseas operations, International Mission Board, said, “We are deeply grateful to Dr. Jimmy Draper and the staff of LifeWay for the excellent relationship that we share and the support that we receive from them in accomplishing Kingdom work.”
"Our heart-felt thanks goes to them for the recent financial gift that will be used to minister to the survivors of the tsunami disaster," Fort added.
Because gifts through SBC’s Cooperative Program and Lottie Moon Christmas Offering pay for basic support and administrative expenses for IMB missionaries around the world, board personnel can use all gifts designated for relief efforts on actual relief ministries. No relief funds will be used for administrative or promotional purposes.
Although LifeWay and the IMB are both Southern Baptist Convention entities, LifeWay does not receive funds from the Cooperative Program; therefore the gift to the IMB is completely self-funded.
Currently, IMB personnel are focusing on delivering food, water, medical supplies and other essentials to survivors in heavily damaged coastal villages in southern Thailand and Malaysia. Assessment teams also are headed for other areas devastated by the tsunami.
For updates on IMB tsunami disaster relief efforts or to send a donation online, visit www.imb.org. Also, donations designated "Asia Earthquake Disaster Relief" can be sent to the International Mission Board, P.O. Box 6767, Richmond, VA 23230.