God’s chastising called Judy Morris to missions
    October 20 2010 by Mike Creswell

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    When she retired after teaching fifth grade for 32 years, Judy Morris did not immediately start doing mission trips, though in earlier years she had vowed to do so after retirement.
 

    Long active in First Baptist Church, Siler City, missions involvement was not on her calendar. She recalls vividly the moment her commitment changed.  
 

    It was soon after Hurricane Katrina destroyed much of Louisiana and Mississippi in 2005. At 6 a.m. one Sunday she was working the crossword puzzle in the newspaper when suddenly somebody said, “You’re making excuses!”

    “I looked around and there was no one,” she said. The voice continued, “You’re making excuses. When you were working, you said you would love to do things like help with Katrina, but you couldn’t because you said you were working; you’d love to do so after you were retired.

    “Now you’re saying it’s hot down there, but you just got back from Las Vegas and it was 107 degrees out there. “You say you have a bad back, but you’re getting ready to go to New York on a tour. You have the time now. What’s your excuse?”

    “He very firmly told me, ‘If I tell you to do something, I will empower you to do it.  Don’t worry about these little things. That will work out,’“ she said.

    “It was a life-changing experience,” she said.

    She soon got trained by N.C. Baptist Men in mass feeding and made two trips to serve in Gulfport, Miss., along with some 40,000 other North Carolina Baptist volunteers who responded over two years.

    “It was an eye-opening experience to see the equipment, the organization and all the Baptists with the yellow shirts on,” she said.
Morris wept as she recalled how they would be walking through a store, wearing their yellow Baptist Men Disaster Relief T-shirts.

    “People would come up to us with tears in their eyes, thanking us for being there,” she said.

    She wept again as she recalled how they stood with members of First Baptist Church and sang, “Because He Lives.”

    “When we stood to sing, those people had lived through what we were singing about. They were singing with such joy. It was awesome. It was just awesome,” she recalls.

    She recalled being impressed by the Bible study led by Chuck Register, then the pastor of First Baptist Church, Gulfport. Register is now executive leader for the Church Planting and Missions Development Group at the Baptist State Convention. “We are so fortunate to have him with us,” she said.

    This summer Morris led a 10-member team to Connecticut to help a Baptist church there reach out to their community. Four years after she quit making excuses, Judy Morris is still sold out to missions.  

    “People don’t know until they’re touched by it,” she said.

    N.C. Baptist Men are able to train, organize and coordinate for disaster relief and carry out 13 other ministries involving men, women and children because they are supported through the North Carolina Missions Offering.

    (EDITOR’S NOTE — Creswell directs stewardship efforts at the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.)
    10/20/2010 10:14:00 AM by Mike Creswell

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