Meet the new National Church Engagement Manager at Baptist World Aid Australia.
When Marbeun Diaz was growing up in the Philippines, he spent his first 10 years living in a red-light district. Surrounded by poverty and heartache, the young boy began to question, ‘Where are you, God, in this dark situation?’
Now Marbuen (or ‘Marbz’ as he prefers) leads Church Engagement at Baptist World Aid Australia. After 18 years pastoring a church, he joined Baptist World Aid and in December 2020 was promoted to his new position as National Manager, overseeing a staff of five across the country.
Today, with a deeply held conviction that ‘God is always there; present even in dark places’, Marbz’ passion in service and leadership is to inspire others to see God at work where they might not otherwise.
We sat down with Marbz’ to talk about the invitation he feels God is issuing to Australian Christians to partner with vulnerable, marginalised people.
BWA: Tell us a bit about your role and why you love being a part of Baptist World Aid.
MARBZ: I love being a part of what God is doing here – both overseas and here in Australia. As a pastor, I felt called to make disciples and that is still my calling.
For me, the gospel is an invitation to step into empathy, and ask, ‘how will God’s grace respond to the situation faced by those on the margins?’ It is not enough just to be accepted into God’s grace; he wants us to grow in that grace.
BWA: But sometimes issues around global poverty can feel overwhelming. How do you stay hopeful?
MARBZ: Seeing the witness of my brothers and sisters overseas brings about a fire in my soul. They lead me in my understanding of what resilience is and what faith looks like. In situations of crisis upon crisis, or war upon war, the witness of these faithful servants will outlast any conflict. Their witness is like the cedars of Lebanon in the Psalms.
Our supporters here in Australia also inspire hope. They don’t know our brothers and sisters in these places, and yet they respond in solidarity and love their neighbours with generosity. Seeing the work God is doing in His people here in Australia gives me hope.
BWA: What are some ways we can practically participate in addressing global challenges today?
MARBZ: First, pray. Then pursue awareness. We offer lots of resources through our website, and several options for those looking to support our global partners. Prayer creates a desire to understand these situations better, and that understanding deepens our care and leads us back to prayer. We don’t come to God hopeless, we come with faith. When we pray, we pray believing God can and will act. When we pray, we begin to understand our place in seeing God’s kingdom come here on earth.