Proverbs 19:7

“He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done.”

There are several children in Bayou La Batre who will have gifts for Christmas this year. Thanks to the generosity of folks who have worked in the Bayou community many smiles and the laughter of happy kids will be heard on Christmas morning.

There are others who will have little. There isn’t enough money to provide for all of the needy kids yet. For only $100 you can sponsor a child’s Christmas. What better way to spread some joy this year? Perhaps two or three families can go together and give $100. Or, perhaps a Sunday school class will do it. Most of these children live in single parent homes or with poor grandparents. Their lives are very meager.

If you want to give, send a check to 104 Skate Lane, Monroe, LA 71203 made payable to Bayou Recovery Project and I will see that another child will have a Merry Christmas this year.

Thanks for your consideration.

His peace,
Royce Ogle

“…..the gates of hell shall not prevail….” against the church

On last Sunday the Hemley Rd. church in Bayou La Batre passed a mile stone that many did not expect. At 2:00 p.m. they had a celebration and dedication of their permanent home. Against great odds and in the face of opposition from within and without, the little flock has persevered in prayer and service and they now have a facility with great potential, much of the rehab work has been done, and they are debt free.

People traveled from as far away as Los Angeles, California to come share the great victory and celebrate what God has done. On Sunday morning I taught the adult Bible class and challenged them to remember that the race of faith is a marathon, not a sprint. One of the greatest qualities of one who would please the Lord is patient endurance. Learning to walk in step with the Holy Spirit, and when necessary, to simply wait upon God are much needed disciplines.

Bro’ John McCord, pulpit minister of the ElCampo, Texas church of Christ preached, reminding us of the past and casting a vision for the future. He characterized the members of the Hemley Rd. church as “Sold out, over committed, junkies for Jesus” whose mission is to confront their community with the claims of Jesus while serving their physical needs. Two of ElCampo’s elders were there as well.

After the great service there was a spread to die for, (or because of). Big fat bay shrimp prepared in different ways, and almost everything one could want for a great feast. The fellowship was amazing!

In the afternoon World Radio Director Bro’ Ken Bolden opened the time of dedication, celebration, and thanksgiving. One after another, elders, preachers, and those who have generously given to the work in Bayou La Batre spoke words of encouragement and challenge and several of the men prayed simple, humble prayers, asking God to keep His hand on the work and to continue to supply every need. Next to the last speaker was a leader at Hemley Rd. Bro’ Billy Spaulding gave a very moving and inspired talk answering the question “Have I ever seen Jesus?” As he told of the many times he had seen Christ in others who had come to Bayou La Batre to serve those who had lost so much he was so overcome with emotion he had to pause before he could continue. Billy Spauling is one of those “Salt and Light” men for whom I, and everyone who knows him, hold the deepest respect and trust him completely to always do the right thing.

I closed the meeting giving honor to Daphnie German without whom the work would have died long ago, and to my wife Carol whom I often lovingly call “The Little General”. Just as in Paul’s ministry, faith filled women with pit bull perseverance, and unconditional love in their hearts, are just as valuable to ministry as any man can hope to be.

There are perhaps 2 or 3 pews of teens who are there every time the doors are open. What great potential!There have been 3 baptisms in the last few weeks! What a great bunch of Christians who see no limit to what God can do. Praise God for the folks at Hemley Rd. church of Christ in Bayou La Batre, Alabama.

If you know a preacher who is Christ centered and grace oriented and can support himself for several months please contact me. The church desperately needs a preacher full time to come along and help them.

Grace to you,
Royce Ogle

God, the Gulf Coast, and you…

roycetina.jpg Last Wednesday my wife Carol and I drove to Bayou La Batre, Alabama to join others in working for the kingdom. Several folks from the Cox Blvd church in Sheffield, Alabama, 2 couples from Sumerset church in Ohio, and others handed out flyers, knocked on doors and shared the gospel with about 60 people. Of those, 19 responded in faith to Christ and were baptised. Then yesterday, two more were baptised. Russ Blackwell from Cox Blvd and Don Hudson from Tenn. were the leaders in the evangelistic effort. We met many wonderful people and loved the fellowship.

We visited New Orleans on Thursday and there visited with two brothers who are doing great works of service, laying the ground work for a harvest in East New Orleans. God has done amazing things all along the Gulf Coast but more is yet to be done.

Wed through Saturday nights we had services withe the BLB congregation. My dear friend John McCord, minister from El Campo church spoke on Wed, the minister from Cox Blvd spoke on Thursday, the minister from nearby Creekwood church spoke on Friday, and I spoke on Saturday. It was a blessed event and much good was accomplished.

The infant church in Bayou La Batre has been faithfully serving in the face of many obstacles and they continue to work night and day serving through the Bayou Recovery Project and the church. Many of those who became Christians last week were people who had been loved by this little group for many months, one plants, one waters, but God gives the increase.

In the next several hours the congregation will have a building under contract and they need help making the many repairs and at least $80k to pay for it. I have confidence God will provide. They will be assisted this summer by the Hilltop Relief and Rescue group who will set up a work camp in mid June. Many other groups have committed to come and help as well. Our congregation, Whites Ferry Road, West Monroe, La, has had a strong presence since the outset and plan to continue. We have repaired, cooked, cleaned up, preached, prayed, taught, and gladly loved this wonderful group of believers in Jesus.

I was delighted to be asked to baptise one of the converts. The picture is the site every day on the main street where passing motorists witnessed people being baptised. What a thrilling thing!

Congregations and individuals all across the country are helping in this needy area. Why don’t you consider helping too? If you have questions, call the church office and ask for Carol with WFR Relief or contact me through the blog and we will provide any information  you request. There are many needs all across the hard hit areas of the coast but this one has stolen our hearts and I felt I must share the need and the harvest with you.

Grace to you,