Joined: 12 Aug 2006
Location: Buckhannon, WV
|Posted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:51 am Post subject: West Virginia Mission Report July 2011
|Bro. Jeff Lawrence
Missionary To Buckhannon, West Virginia
Little Sewell Baptist Church
HC 83 Box 512
Rainelle, WV 25962
32 Vicksburg Rd
Buckhannon, WV 26201
Dear Christian Friends, May & June 2011
We pray this letter finds you all doing well and enjoying the blessings of the Lord. The work here in West Virginia continues to go along well and have relatively good attendance. We have ups and downs just as any other congregation, but all in all I am pleased with the progress we are making here in the hills. It is our prayer that we will be able to organize this work some time before Summer is over or at the latest in the Fall. We are praying for our home church as they seek a Pastor and we expect that after the call of a Pastor at Little Sewell we will be seeking to be organized. Once a final decision is made on the time frame we will put out an invitation announcing the organizational date. In the mean time join with us in prayer that we may get the needed funds to replace the roof on our building and that our home church we be able to call a pastor soon.
A few Brethren have wandered if organizing this work would be beneficial to my family at this time. The concern they have is that once we organize some churches my drop our support thinking we are completely self sufficient. I cannot hold back this mission work on account of personal finances. It is my hope that all our supporting churches will continue to help us as we strive to continue establishing this church in the community. But my conscience will not allow me to keep this work a mission work solely on the basis that some churches might stop my support. With that said I want to mention to you a couple other things the money you send to us allows us to do. In addition to allowing me to work pretty much full time on the mission field here in WV, we have also been able to help out two other small churches who are having a hard time finding a pastor. Bender Run Baptist Church in the area of Chapel, WV lost their Pastor due to death back around the end of last year. This church is a old church who has been standing for the faith for many years, however, like many of our churches they have lost members over the years. At present they are down to 5 members. As you can imagine a church this small cannot support a man as pastor and give him a living wage. Therefore they were in danger of closing their doors. They contacted me back at Thanksgiving of last year and asked if I would be willing to come over and help them out once or twice a month. Since around February I have been doing just that. Bender Run is a 132 mile round trip for me and I usually take the whole family so as to be an encouragement to them. The support we receive helps to keep the door open to this small church.
In February of this year the Maranatha Missionary Baptist Church of New Baltimore, OH, unexpectedly lost their pastor due to resignation. Once again this is a small church of around 9 members. They sent out a letter to many of our sister churches asking for help. I have been close to this church for many years and so I contacted them and said I would help out from time to time. They have had a hard time getting consistent commitments to fill the pulpit. On many Sundays they were simply playing a tape of past preaching and going home. I said I would come on every Sunday night that they have no one to preach for them, so that they can get at least one preaching service a week. This is a 3 hour and 45 minute trip for me one way; a 468 mile round trip which I do most Sunday nights. Once again, I am able to do this because of the support of our sister churches.
I read on the Internet that approximately 3200 churches close their doors every year in the USA. I cannot stand by and watch more of our churches have to close the door because they canít get anyone to preach for them. Right now, three of the Lordís churches are able to continue to hold services and keep the door open because of the support of this ministry. So I want to thank those of you who support us in prayers and finances and ask that you pray for us that the Lord will continue to give us the ability to help as many of the Lordís churches as we can.
Only By Grace,
Bro. Jeff, Patti, Savannah, Sydney, Garrett, Ethan, Connor and Chloe