Haiti Relief – Urgent

All of us have seen the alarming images on the TV news and are aware of the magnitude of the earthquake in Haiti. Many are asking “How can I help?” or “Where can our church contribute?”

I strongly recommend WFR Relief Ministries for your Haiti giving. A reasonable question is “Why?” I am happy to tell you why.

WFR Relief has been responding to natural disasters globally since 1981. For almost 30 years if an event has been significant enough to make national news we have responded the best way possible using funds donated by churches of Christ and individuals. God has allowed us to be a conduit for literally tens of millions of dollars over these years to get help and hope to the hurting in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.

On thing that sets us apart from other relief groups is our relationships around the world. In Haiti for example, because of our long-standing relationships with men who are speakers through our World Radio ministry, we know local church leaders well. In addition to these contacts, Don Yelton, WFR Relief Director, personally knows missionaries and local ministers in every corner of the earth. Don has become known as “Mr. Relief” because of his extensive experience and expertise in relief work. We know where  funds are going and that every dollar will be administered by local church leaders to help their members and the member’s neighbors as funds make it possible.

This time tomorrow we will have two men on the ground in Port-au-Prince. WFR Relief and World Radio Team Leader Ben Adkins and one of our own who has become a missions guru of sorts, David Heath, will be there accessing urgent needs and encouraging our brothers and sisters that help is on the way.

Because WFR Relief is a local church ministry and is housed in our church building in West Monroe, LA our overhead in only a tiny fraction of most other charities. And, in addition, for most of our 30 year history Relief has had no more than one or two employees. This has enabled us to get more money to the needy than any other relief ministry I am aware of. We have also cultivated partnerships over time so that dollars can be multiplied when we need medical supplies and other goods. It is not uncommon for $1.00 to do the work of $3.00 because of these relationships.

It is our goal to as quickly as possible provide funds for urgent emergency needs for believers in Haiti and to engender hope as we do. Then long-term our hope is that we can assist with rebuilding housing and lives. We know that our obedience to God’s commands to care for the needy is a pathway for getting the good news of Christ Jesus our Lord to the masses. Relief is a wonderful ministry but it is not the end. It is rather the beginning of preparing for a harvest of souls for Christ to God’s eternal glory.

I trust you will consider WFR Relief for your Haiti giving. Please pray for Ben and David as they travel and for the ministry team back at home.



Helping the Hurting…

This letter from Don Yelton, Director of WFR Relief lays out an urgent need for funds to help those in far away places who desperately need our help.

Dear Friends: Cyclone Ketsana has killed nearly 700 people and left tens of thousands homeless or living tempo-rarily on their rooftops in the Philippine Islands, where there are some 600 churches of Christ.
At almost the same time a huge Tsunami caused by a massive earthquake hit America Samoa, where there are two churches of Christ. So far, 200 deaths have been reported but none among church members. Help is urgently needed in both countries.

We have been in contact with local gospel preachers who have radio programs sponsored by our sister ministry, World Radio. In the city of Manila alone there are at least 20 congregations where many Christians and their neighbors are suffering. Two long time missionaries in the PhiIippines, Bob Buchannan and Ken Wilkey, are using their own working funds to get emergency aid to some of the most devastated Christians in their communities. Funds are urgently needed to provide food, water, and medical supplies, as well as temporary shelter when possible. Christians there are praying that God will rescue them. It is our hope to be part of the answer to their prayers.

At this writing, two major earthquakes have just struck Indonesia, and hundreds are dead. We are contacting missionaries to determine the needs and will put any information we find on our web site. We will work with them to help as God enables us to do so.

The recent flooding in Georgia has caused much damage and we have received requests for help from churches there. As much as we would like to help, our emergency reserve funds have been expended.

There is also a serious ongoing drought in Kenya, East Africa where funds to purchase food for hungry Christians are critically needed.

Our last letter to you to appeal for funds was over a year ago. We have, however, continued to receive many requests for help. We have been able to answer a few of these. But now our funds have been depleted, along with our emergency reserve fund. Right now we are faced with several urgent needs at the same time, and we are asking for your help.

 Your contribution may be designated for a specific need/area, or to the general fund of “2009 Storms and Disasters.” To send a contribution TODAY, and for current disaster reports, please go to our web site at http://wfrchurch.org/relief.

Checks may be sent to: White’s Ferry Rd. Church of Christ Relief Ministry 3201 N. 7th St., West Monroe, LA 71291, (ph. 318.396.6000)

 For over 30 years we have been blessed and amazed by your generous response to help your broth-ers and sisters around the world when their lives have been forever changed by a disaster. Please pray for them and for this ministry as we, with your help, provide them with the most basic needs of food, water, shelter and medical care. By doing this, we are able to give them the most precious gifts of all – the assurance that they are loved by God through His people and that there is indeed HOPE for the future. May God bless you. 

Don Don Yelton, Director WFR Relief Ministry                                                               
Email: donyelton@wfrchurch.org

“If you spend yourself on behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light rises in the darkness and your night shines like the noonday.”
(Isaiah 58:10)

This letter is being mailed to about 10,000 churches of Christ and to many individual contributors. Please pray and consider supporting this worthy act of love.

for Jesus,





Wishing you a fine ’09

Except for the noise of sporadic fireworks in the neighborhood back yards 2008, (my 63rd), quietly slipped into history. My wife and I ordered pizza, watched America’s Funniest Home Videos, some Fox News and the dawn of a New Year was upon us.

Even in the midst of a failing economic climate ’08 was a very good year for the Ogle’s. We were blessed in so many ways I can’t list even most of them. Our greatest blessings are the wonderful people we have met and know. Carol has recruited even more gals for her chapter of Sweet Adeline’s and through her work with WFR Relief has made many wonderful friends and acquaintances. Our Grief Share ministry has allowed us not only to meet some dear folks but to be a part of their healing as well. And, I began two weekly meetings with groups of believing men who have been an enormous blessing and a joy to my life. God has been very, very kind to us indeed.

At almost 63 1/2 we are both is very good health with a few annoyances due mostly to very high mileage. We are both full of optimism and greet 2009 with enthusiasm. We have nothing to fear and much to look forward to. Our grand children are growing up very quickly and we cherish our time with them. And, we like their mamma’s and daddy’s too. 🙂

We are excited about ministry opportunities, travel, a garden, bluebonnets blooming, singing competitions, fishing, NASCAR, and a host of other things in no particular order. Life is good and sharing some of it with you, my readers, is a joy. My sincere hope is that something I post here will guide someone to Christ, encourage someone to follow Him more closely, to love Him more deeply, and to love those He loves in more tangible ways.

So I am happy to welcome a new year but my hope is in the One who lives outside the time/space continuum and knew my future before I had my beginning. In good times or in bad He is with me. No man can ask for more.

Wishing you all the best,

Christmas eve thoughts

Today, Christmas eve 2008, has been a wonderful day. I arose at 5:30 a.m. and drove across town for a weekly Bible study. Several men and I meet at 6:30 a.m. every Wednesday to fellowship, pray, and be challenged from the Word of God. Every week I am blessed by being with those good men whose lives encourage me to be all I can be for God.

I came back home and had a very long nap in my king size Lazy Boy recliner. (How appropriate is the name “Lazy Boy” for my chair?) In the afternoon Carol and I did some last minute Christmas shopping and then went across the river to a Christmas eve service at First Baptist West Monroe. It was a candle light service and we worshiped in song and taking the Lord’s Supper together. It was a warm, inspiring worship experience.

The pastor, John Avant, told us briefly about his visit with Dr. Billy Graham yesterday the 23rd. He traveled to Billy Graham’s home in NorthCarolina, (just a few miles from my family home) with the president of Chic Fillet. He spoke with passion and joy about singing carols for the beloved evangelist who is confined to his bed. Dr. Graham is 90 years old and still an encouragement to all who come into his path. He will soon be gone and there will not be another who will preach the gospel of Christ to so many millions as he.

Last night, my daughter Kelly and her family joined us for food, fun, and exchanging gifts. The boys were excited about bedroom shoes, bath robes, and lazer tag. They played ping pong on their new table, a gift from their grandparents. They are such a joy. Kelly is a gifted, beautiful, funny wife, mom, teacher and mentor to her students. Our son in law Jorgen (pronounced “yawn”) owns and operates an Ace hardware store, a Maggy Moo’s Ice Cream store in the mall, and is also very active in a marketing company. Nine year old twins, Corbin and Kevin, and their older brother Jorgen III who is 12, keep mom, dad, and us grandparents very busy indeed.

We just watched a Christmas special on Fox News channel from Saddleback church and Rick Warren and then the Fox and friends crew had a nice Christmas program too. In today’s politically correct world, what a refreshing thing for the number one news network to actually read scripture and talk about Christ coming to save sinners from their sins! I applaud them for doing so.

Tomorrow we will drive to Keller, Texas to my son’s house where we will celebrate Christmas with him, his wife and daughters. My son Jason recruits doctors for temporary assignments and his wife Trina is a speech pathologist for the Keller school system. They have three daughters, Kelsie 16, Adysen8, and Allie who is 7. Each is unique and precious and we love them very, very much and look forward to spending time with them.

Both of our kids and their spouses are devout followers of the Christ and are active in their churches and leading their children to be people of God. I have much to be thankful for this Christmas season.

This year has been wonderful. Carol and I have had lots of opportunities for ministry through her work with WFRRelief and our Grief Share ministry. Carol, my beautiful and amazing wife, has spoken to women’s groups, leads a Heart to Home group, teaches the Bible, does the public praying for her chorus group and sings with the chorus and her quartet Sweet Harmony. On one Saturday recently they sang at 6 different places. What a delight to have such a talented and gracious wife.

I have had the wonderful blessing of joining God in His redemptive work. God has honored His word and I was blessed to have a part in reaping the harvest. For this and every opportunity to lead others to Him, or to help them more fully trust Him, I am humbled and grateful. It is far, far more than I deserve.

Christ is indeed the gift that keeps on giving. If I have another day, another week, month, or many more years to live on this earth I pray that I will continue, as weak and frail as I am, to follow Him where ever He leads.

I expect 2009 to be a great year. It, like all the years of my almost 63, will be full of problems, difficulties, hardships, and disappointments, but through it all, whether alive or dead, I will be a victor in Jesus.

I am humbled by what God can do with an average country boy with lots of warts and bumps spiritually, but who though oft times stumbling, and sometimes falling, continues to follow, and has for over 45 years.

In the last few days I have had visitors to Grace Digest from several countries around the world and from many states. I am amazed. Soon Carol and I will begin our 5th year of facilitating Grief Share groups for those who have lost loved ones. And, there are many who need to be loved, encouraged, prayed for, and many, many folks must hear about this Christ child who has provided eternal life for everyone who will trust Him.

May God bless you. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

His peace,