Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Baptist Temple recognized as Compassionate San Antonians

Billy Palmer, Karen Newman, Robert Newman, Jonathan Clark, Melissa Baxter, Councilwoman Rebecca Villagran, Pastor Jorge Zayasbazan, Mayor Ron Nirenberg, Clinton Blumberg, Cathy Blumberg, Louise Stutteville, Ann Helmke

San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg presented Baptist Temple Church of San Antonio the Compassionate San Antonian Award on March 20. The award recognizes individuals who serve our community through acts of kindness and compassion, making a difference in the lives of others. Baptist Temple was nominated along with several District 3 churches by the City of San Antonio's Faith Based Initiative Liaison, Ann Helmke. 

Baptist Temple was recognized for the innovative ways it has used its large inner-city city campus to serve the spiritual and physical needs of the community. These services include a PK4 through 8th grade charter school, an infant through 5 years early learning center, a thrift store and food pantry, a prison ministry, a performing arts ministry, crafts classes, support groups, counseling and more. On Sundays, six independent churches conduct worship from 9 AM to 3 PM. These include a congregation that worships in Spanish and one in American Sign Language. To complete our cradle to grave services, our campus offers funeral services that are dignified and affordable.

All of these services are made possible by collaborating with others who share our desire to make our community and world a better place. One such collaboration brought a solar array to the roofs of the Baptist Temple Campus. A venture capital firm sells the solar energy collected to CPS Energy. For the use of our roof space, Baptist Temple receives a credit on our utility bill. While the credit is good thing, we are most excited about being a part of the effort to become less dependent on imported fossil fuels; an effort that is both earth-friendly and may keep us out of future wars. 

Recently, Baptist Temple has launched two cutting-edge efforts designed to bring lasting change to our community. The first involves breaking the bonds of generational poverty. We believe our best chance of bring lasting change is to reach children between the ages of 9-14. This is when their world view is forming. 

Baptist Temple seeks to help these children to stay in school and move on to college, trade school or the military. A world of success awaits them. All of our high schools have the resources to make our students succeed if they take advantage of the opportunities provided.

A second endeavor is an inclusive playground that will enable special needs children and children with typical abilities play together. This will foster mutual understanding, friendships, and a real sense of community. Baptist Temple is always looking for ways to be a positive impact on the community.

Partners multiply our impact while dividing our overhead costs.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

God is faithful to His Word and promises

Guest blog by Raquel Delagarza

We lived in the Victoria Courts from the time I was in first grade until shortly after I graduated from high school. I was blessed with a mother who lived her faith and gave glory and thanks to God in front of us, so we knew who our God and Provider was. She always reminded us that God would never leave us or forsake us.

Sometimes it may seem that God is far away or not listening when we are experiencing hard times. But He has never seemed more real to me than when I lean on Him for strength, comfort, mercy and grace.

I have had several health scares in my lifetime; through each the Lord has been with me.

When I was nine years old, my appendix ruptured. Through the night, I was draped in towels rinsed in ice water, and then ice was placed on top of the towels to get my fever down for the surgery. Throughout the night, my mom sat by my bed and together we recited the Lord's Prayer and the 23rd Psalm.

My most recent health scare was breast cancer in 2016. God gave me peace to trust Him so I was able to get through two months of tests before the diagnosis and treatment were firm. He spoke to me through His Word and Christian songs.

While going through the various tests, I clung to Psalm 112:7, "They do not fear bad news; they confidently trust the Lord to care for them."

Once I received the cancer diagnosis, Isaiah 43:2 gave me strength, "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you"

And Philippians 4:6-7 reminded me to take my petitions to the Lord and leave them with him, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

The chorus of one of the Christian songs I kept singing was,

In the eye of the storm, you remain in control.
In the middle of the war, you guard my soul.
You alone are my anchor, when my sails are torn.
Your love surrounds me in the eye of the storm."

My prayer is that my moments of weakness or fear would not cause someone to doubt and wonder, "where is the God she said she believes in?"

God is faithful to His Word and promises because He is God.