This week your Biblical Recorder includes coverage of Hurricane Matthew’s damage in North Carolina. A full week-and-a-half after the storm struck, many areas are still in the assessment stage. Record flood waters are finally receding in areas around Elizabethtown, Kinston and Clinton. Rescues are still happening daily. The destruction is incredible. The immediate needs are food and water. Long term needs include clean-outs and reconstruction.
As expected, N.C. Baptists are responding with food, water and other items the victims need to begin the process of recovery. Volunteers are also stepping forward daily. Some are church members who just want to help. Many are men and women who prepared for this disaster months or years ago when they participated in training offered by North Carolina Baptist Men (NCBM).
All of us participated in the preparation when we gave a gift to the North Carolina Mission Offering. It’s never too late to add your gift to the resources of others so NCBM can pay for the food, equipment and other materials that are essential to this ongoing ministry.
Last Sunday night I delivered the sermon for the Anson Baptist Association’s annual meeting at Brown Creek Baptist Church in Wadesboro. Buz Parks, who has served as Anson’s director of missions for 15 years, set a retirement date for the end of this year. In Sunday’s session the churches of the association voted to call one of their own pastors, Jerome Cash. We rejoice that God has provided an excellent leader for the association. Associational work is very challenging, so pray for Jerome and all of the directors of missions across the state.
Adding a more personal word, Buz Parks and I have been close friends since we met as college freshmen. We made it through college and seminary together. Then we preached youth led revival meetings across the southeast together. God led both of us into church ministry as pastors, but soon Buz and his wife, Wanda, obeyed God’s call to serve with the International Mission Board in South America. As the years move forward, one of the great lessons we learn is the high value of friendships in the body of Christ. I honor the Parks family, I treasure our friendship and I pray for them as they walk into a new stage of ministry.
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