Last Friday Carol and I drove to Bayou La , Alabama to spend the weekend with the believers there and the volunteers who were there to help. It was a blessed weekend of new beginnings.
First, the little congregation met for the first time for services in their soon to be “own” building. Members of the El Campo Church of Christ from El Campo, Texas came to spend a week working in the relief effort and part of that work was to hang dry wall, tape and bed, and expand the kitchen in the fellowship hall. They did marvelous work and we gladly met together in the fellowship hall to worship and enjoy fellowship. The El Campo gang are wonderful people who love Jesus and others with all their hearts. I know that my friend John McCord, the preacher there, is very proud and thankful for such wonderful folks.
People from Hill Top Rescue and Relief and Servants Unite were also in attendence as well. One of our co-ministers at Whites Ferry Road Church in West Monroe, Bro’ Alan Robertson, preached a great message of encouragement. He and his wife Lisa enjoyed meeting the people Carol and I have loved for so long.
At the invitation, a young girl responded, requesting to be baptised. It was my joy to baptise her in the Gulf after the service. Then on Monday, after we were back in Monroe, we received the glad news that two of the girl’s cousins were baptised as well. I had shared the good news with these three young ladies on Saturday and I am delighted to have these children in the faith.
The name of the Bayou La Batre church will soon be changed to Hemley Road Church of Christ. The most obvious reason is the new location and building which is on Hemley Road in Bayou La Batre. Then, there is the chance for a new beginning, leaving the past in the past with all its problems, and looking to the future.
The revovery work of Bayou Recovery Project and of the infant congregation is making great strides. Friends, mostly believers, though some are not, have given and worked very hard to make things better for the people of the Bayou area. What a wonderful opportunity to share Christ when “not-yet-believers” come to help work on houses along side Christians.
Perhaps another $50,000 is urgently needed to complete the purchase of the building and to do the minimum repair work to make it functional. If your congregation has not been involved in missions recently, or if you want to increase your missions effort, there is no more worthwhile place you can put the Lord’s money.
Satan has fought on every front from without and within but Christ is daily giving victory after victory for which we are humbled and thankful. There are some whose only motive appears to be to preserve tradition without regard for others who get damaged in their wake. God will sort them out. We keep sowing the good seed of the good news about Jesus, actively loving the people right where they are in the physical and spiritual debris of live, and God continues to bless beyond our expectations and dreams.
In the small corner of the kingdom of God where we live and work, Carol and I want to make much of Christ and his love for sinners. We have no agenda other than His agenda, to seek and save that which was lost and to bind up the broken hearted along the way with hugs, smiles, encouragement, and hope for today and forever.
When you go to your secret place to talk to God, please mention us to Him and the work we love so much. When the sun sets on our last day on earth my earnest hope is that we have made a difference for time, and for eternity.
Grace to you,