• BillsBlog

Louisiana Floods: “Worse than Katrina”

LOUISIANA – In the wake of historic flooding, the devastation in Louisiana is nothing less than catastrophic. As each hour passes and the water recedes revealing the damage—we see the scope of the disaster is getting even bigger. The local pastors we are talking to all say the same thing:...
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Connecting “East” and “West”

Rudyard Kipling once said, “East is east, and west is west, and never the twain shall meet.” For an ever-increasing number of low-income families, access to modern medical care is about as distant as Kipling’s east and west. New vaccines and medical breakthroughs happen regularly, but massive numbers of people...
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Zika: Defying the “Impossible”

I am on a plane high over the North Atlantic as I write this, on my way home from the International Zika Summit held in Paris. It was a full house with attendees from all over the world. Speakers were renowned research scientists, professors and medical experts. Most presentations were...
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Mosquitoes: A Deadly Insect

The deadliest animal in the world is not a Great White shark or a poisonous snake, but an insect so small that 10,000 of them weigh less than one ounce: the mosquito. Bill Gates recently compiled statistics that rank the causes of death worldwide and found that 50,000 people a...
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Bug Busters II Launches to Fight Zika

When Hurricane Katrina tore into New Orleans in 2005 and the levees burst, the city flooded. Over 1,000 residents, most of them elderly, were desperate to escape rising waters and climbed into darkened attics where they were trapped and drowned. Later, when levees were repaired and the city pumped out,...
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No Fish to Eat in Haiti

Haiti is a place with lots of sunshine, water and hungry people, but as I discovered when I first visited in 2009—a place with almost no fish to eat. The ponds, lakes and reservoirs have been fished out by generations of poor people desperate for food. As a kid I...
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Christ in Distressing Disguise

I was on a plane the other day and the person sitting next to me asked what I did. I explained that I lead a Christian humanitarian organization. He then asked: “What is the difference between a Christian humanitarian effort and one conducted by a secular organization?” I started by...
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After Hurricane Patricia: An Answer to Prayer

Hurricane Patricia, the strongest Pacific storm in recorded history, fortunately came ashore in a sparsely populated area of the west coast of Mexico. The media reported that “Mexico dodged a bullet,” but the residents of small fishing villages like La Manzanilla did not dodge anything. Our Mexico City office monitored...
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THE BOOK: Catching fish like me

Thanksgiving Day has very special significance for me. On Thanksgiving Day in 1984, I went in search of a new book to read and found the only place open was the local drug store. They had paperbacks displayed on a rotating book rack. I was turning the rack and scanning...
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Bringing hope to pastors in Cuba

CUBA – We are always looking for better ways to help impoverished people become more self-reliant and break generational cycles of poverty. One of the most effective strategies that we’ve found is promoting “microenterprise” and helping jumpstart tiny businesses. A few months ago, I was in Cuba and met with...
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Teaching a Nation to Fish

HAITI – I’ve been into raising fish all my life. As a kid I caught fish in Michigan lakes and hurried home to transplant them into the spring-fed ponds in my grandfather’s gravel pit. Years later, I raised feed minnows, crawfish, rainbow trout and other game fish there. When I...
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Helping oppressed and persecuted Christians

Bill visits a region in Africa where Christians fled under heavy fire that created craters like the one seen here. In ancient times, Christians were often martyred as “punishment” for believing in Christ. Today, believers in an ever-increasing number of places are being oppressed, persecuted and even killed—just because they...
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Transforming faith into effective action

Bill visits a project in Guatemala that trains impoverished women how to grow nutritious vegetables to eat and sell to help provide for their children. This month we celebrate a special day set aside to honor all mothers. It reminds me of one of my favorite Bible passages about motherhood...
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Working hard to change the odds

Each week, millions of viewers watch a myriad of “reality” TV shows. Imagine a new series called “The Least of These,” where the contestants are children born into poverty, with the finalists being those who have survived the most horrible conditions. If such a show ever aired, the winner would...
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Fighting the war on suffering

When watching the evening news we often hear the term “boots on the ground,” usually in reference to courageous American troops sent to fight the war on terrorism. Today, I would like to talk about a different kind of war … the war on suffering. Our teams are fighting this...
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Thankful for the opportunity to give

“Over the river and through the woods to grandmother’s house we’ll go” brings back warm memories of childhood Thanksgivings; turkey with all the fixings, pumpkin pie and whipped cream and family, all gathered around a table. For me, Thanksgiving Day meant giving thanks for all that God had given me,...
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Fighting Ebola: Chlorine the greatest need

LIBERIA – David Darg, OBI’s vice president of international operations, was recently in Ebola-plagued Liberia delivering crates of medicine and supplies requested by the Lutheran Church, which operates two hospitals there. The hospitals, open since the 1920s, have already lost many patients, as well as four nurses and five ministers.

Stopping Ebola in West Africa

LIBERIA – The image below is a photo of a banner hanging from a fence on a busy street in Monrovia, the capital of Ebola-ravaged Liberia. With utmost respect and compassion for the people of Liberia, I submit this photo as an example of the struggle for public health awareness...
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Building lives of abundance

No one would dispute the fact that feeding the hungry is a righteous thing to do. It is, however, difficult for any charitable organization to feed large numbers of people long term, because all too quickly, full stomachs become empty.

Health care for rural communities

We have all made legitimate complaints about the high cost of health care and medicine, but can you image living in a place where there is no health care or medicine? Living in America, with hospitals open 24/7 and 911 emergency service available to anyone with a phone, it’s hard...
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