My new friend, brother and minister for the Gallatin Church of Christ Noel Quinn lost his father on Thanksgiving Day. Shortly before his death a friend of Noel’s sent him the following video. This is real stuff that will touch your heart.
Archive for November, 2007
While not new, still an old standard and always good for a laugh
There is a new direction for my life that I will be speaking about a little later, but for today listen to these thoughts about giving.
The benefit dinner last evening for Arewa Aid was a tremendous success. Two hundred and twenty-five were present to learn about the arid area of northeastern Nigeria where the Blakes live, and 47,000.00 was given for their cause. John Mark Hicks, our master of ceremonies for the evening, introduced us to the need for drinking water in this area, and encouraged us to remember that Jesus said a cup of cold water given in His name would not lose it reward.
Through out the evening we learned how Brad and Jennifer are seeking to be Jesus to the Muslims in this area. One of most pressing needs is for a new well to serve not only the drip irrigation farm they have begun, but the water needs of the community as well. Often the water that is trucked in is not used as intended for the farm, but meeting the needs of people who come seeking clean drinking water. The Blakes are not willing to turn a deaf ear to the need of those who come seeking water. Brad also shared a video about, and their burden for, the “Beggar Boys” who roam the streets of Maidugur and many cities of the north begging for food to keep them alive only to beg again the next day. Their only possession is a small bowl from which they bathe and eat. Arewa Aid wants to reach out in a tangible way to these boys by teaching farming practices that can be used by them in their home towns and thus keep them from migrating to these larger cities with dreams that crumble and lead to begging on the street.
Dave Goolsby, from “Healing Hands International”, spoke of his work with the Blakes and how they are a missionary family that has become Jesus to the Muslims of Maiduguri. As Jesus left his home and emptied Himself to become one of us, the Blakes have also emptied themselves to become Nigerians to the Nigerians. They dress in local attire, speak the local language, and three children have been born to them and are being raised there.
One of the highlights of the evening was a phone call interview conducted by Dr. Phil Slate with Jennifer Blake who is still in Nigeria. We learned of the upcoming food preservation workshop to be held in February and the local interest that is building for this special time. All of these humanitarian works are an expression of love for the Muslim people of this desert area. This is not what the locals had expected from this American couple that moved into their midst, and as a result hearts are being opened and questions are being asked. Like the healing and caring touch of Jesus, these programs show how much they care, and thus become the basis for discussing the Good News of Jesus.
Plans are already underway for the 2008 Arewa Aid dinner. Here are some pictures from this wonderful evening.
DAVID GOOLSBY FROM “HEALING HANDS”
BRAD BLAKE PREPARES US FOR THE VIDEO ON THE BEGGAR BOYS
DR. PHIL SLATE INTERVIEWS JENNIFER IN NIGERIA
5TH. AND 6TH. GRADE CHORUS FROM FRIENDSHIP CHRISTIAN ACADEMY SING WITH BRAD
THREE MEMBERS OF THE SINGING GROUP “DURANT” PLUS TWO ENCOURAGED AND CHALLENGED US IN SONG
A FEW OF THE 200 PLUS ENJOYING A MEAL CATERED BY RYAN’S RESTAURANT
The Arewa Aid Benefit Dinner is tonight. Weeks of planning are now about to unfold in an evening of learning, sharing and praise. Dr. John Mark Hicks, board member, will be the MC for the evening.
Musical interludes will be provided by the acapella singing group “Durant”, and the fifth and sixth grade chorus from Friendship Christian School. A silent auction will also be in progress during the dinner hour. At last count we were near the 200 mark for confirmed guests coming to the dinner. If you are not among those planning to attend I want to ask that you join us in prayer for the success of the evening.
This past Wednesday evening was our Fall Family Night. The Picture above is one of our grand daughters Sydney. There were loads of visitors from the community, a drama about the dry bones in Ezekiel, food, and of course “Trunk or Treat”.
Here are two pictures of Madison’s own Tom Haddon, our Involvment Minister. Just one look and I bet you would be ready to be involved…right?
Thanks to Todd Hibbs for these great photos. If you would like to see more check out this link to Todd’s Flicker Photo Show.
Have a super weekend!
Street Preaching In Ghana, West Africa 1970
The marching orders of the Lord, or the “Great Commission” as we termed it, was given much more of a priority when I was growing up. I can remember when missionaries came to town they were given opportunities to speak and tell of their work. As a young boy I looked up to these servants of the Lord, and their challenges took hold of my heart at an early age. This coupled with the encouragement of the minister in my home congregation led me to the decision to become a minister. After preaching locally in Tennessee for a couple years I felt that I had to preach in a mission field. So at the ripe old age of 24 Barb and I began our first full time work in Glen Rock, Pennsylvania, a northeast mission field.
Among the numerous reasons for the church’s lack of growth today I would list the lack of encouragement and exposure to the importance of preaching, and the urgency of the “Great Commission”. Seldom today do you have the opportunity to hear a missionary speak of their work. Young men today are encourage to make many career choices, but seldom are they encourage to devote their lives to preaching the Gospel of Christ.
I realize that part of the reason for this is the way preachers have been treated through the years. The horror stories are many. Another reason is that our tribe has no central control or headquarters, that provide a retirement program for their ministers. At the same time most ministers are not paid enough to provide their own. There is not much financial security in ministry with our tribe.
I guess all this says that there has to be a greater motivation to preach than financial security, and recognition in this life. And maybe that is the way it should be. As I look back on the lives that have been transformed by the message of Jesus that was preached and the lives that are now being touched by those who were transformed; that is wealth you can’t see in a bank account or spend at the Mall, but it is so very valuable.
One day in glory we will see the true value of the investments we have made during our life time. Only those that transcend time will really matter then. So if you are a minister of the Gospel…preach on brother! And while you are at it, allow a missionary to speak, take a young man aside and let him know that you believe in him and his abilities. Tell a young lady, as I did a number of years ago, you are going to grow up and become a missionary. LaJuana along with her husband Eddison have raised four beautiful children and have served as missionaries in Belo Horizonte, Brazil for over 20 years. She often reminds me of what I told her.
I have always loved Isa. 6:1-8. Isaiah describes the throne room of God. His first reaction was to exclaimed, “I am doomed”. His sin so prevalent in contrast to the presence of God would surely cause Him to be destroyed. But the Angel comes and touches his lips with a hot coal and pronounces that his sins are forgiven. Then comes the question from the throne, “Whom shall I send”. Isaiah now cleansed and filled with gratitude says, “Here am I, send me.” May our gratitude send us into our mission field as well.
November 2, 2007 Let me encouage you to read the following article at the Christian Chronicle