March 2016 Mind of the Missionary

Please continue serving and praying for the folk who went through the Groundhog Day storm. We will hold a “Thank You, God” Rally at Aliceville FBC on Monday, March 21 at 7 pm. Plan to attend.

The storm and its aftermath has been the focus of the association this past month. Lots of wonderful testimonies of God’s protection. Lots of serving of those in need. Lots of sacrificial efforts. Lots of expressions of Christian love. God is, and will continue, to bring good out of the storm.

While our ministries in the main prison are on hold for now, new opportunities have been presented to us at the camp. While our ministries to the staff at the training center were halted, the Aliceville FBC cookie ministry has blessed the staff in other ways. Pray for the staff as they work at getting the prison back to normal operation.

The Disaster Relief team of our association was out at dawn in Carrollton on Wednesday. That day they removed a tree and tarped the roof of Salem MB Church. The congregation is so very grateful. Thursday they were joined by teams from our neighboring associations, totaling 76 workers. They completed 26 jobs. By Saturday nearly 200 volunteers were working in Sapps. On the second Saturday the ALSBOM Chaplains, 20 or so, walked through the damaged area sharing the Gospel and praying with the survivors. I am so grateful to Gary Rogers, our DR leader and to the churches for providing a tractor for our team to use in moving the logs to the road. I saw how much it helped. In the TV coverage our team was very visible.

We are thankful to our EMA director, Kenny Gibson, for getting in place the storm shelters which surely saved several lives when the storm passed through. The Red Cross and Salvation Army did great work. The county road department, including Bro. Mike Bonner, did a wonderful job of removing trash from the roadsides. And day after day Pauline Hall and Lois Bruce manned the reception center at the fire station. While Clayton Grammer and James Hall, who had the vision of a Disaster Relief Team for the association, did not benefit from it, I could not fail to note that the storm passed by their homes and that their neighbors were blessed by their vision.

Clothing and food have been brought to and distributed from the community center in Sapps. But there is much more to do going forward. Homes will need to be rebuilt. Spiritual healing and physical healing will need to occur. I hope that we will have an “in association” mission team effort this summer which could include a block party, community revival, vacation Bible schools, and hosting construction teams. I hope that this can be presented at the March 21 meeting at Aliceville FBC. We’ll have more on this as things develop.

The PBA has received monetary gifts from individuals and churches to help those who had losses in the storm. We will accept additional ones. Distribution of the funds will be handled by decisions of the Associational Council, which is comprised of the officers of the association. We will also coordinate with Kenny Gibson in our work. Presently, we are not accepting clothing and food for the storm victims. Contact the Sapps Community Center regarding such items. This will be a long process. While many household goods will be needed, most of these will not be required for several months.