Prep our ‘Hearts & Hands’ to aid 1st Chalmette
When was the last time you thought about, or heard about the reconstruction work in the St. Bernard Parish of New Orleans? Well, that’s too long. Do you remember that the Missouri Baptist Convention has a partnership with the St. Bernard Parish and specifically with the First Baptist Church of Chalmette.
For those of you who have forgotten about that partnership—I’ll take the blame. Lately, I have not kept that issue in front of you. You have my apologies. Frankly, it has been approximately nine months since I encouraged you to help in the work at First Baptist Church in Chalmette. Last February, many of you responded to the call and travelled to the New Orleans area and helped in the rebuilding of that church. Much work has been done. Thank you for your energetic response. But now I’m back to remind all Missouri Baptists that we have a job to finish in Chalmette, La.
Actually it was Pastor Eric Martin, senior pastor to the First Baptist Church in Gower, who reminded me of the work in Chalmette. Brother Eric participated with us, last month, at the Rise & Pray meeting at the First Baptist Church in Cameron. At that meeting Eric thanked me for putting out the call last February. He told me about the work he had already been involved in at Chalmette. And he told me about an upcoming mission trip to the New Orleans area. Eric Martin and the St. Joseph Baptist Association are committed to completing the task at the Chalmette First Baptist Church and they could use your help. Hearts & Hands to New Orleans is the banner and the theme under which several Missouri Baptists will travel to Chalmette and finish the work on First Baptist Church.
But, why don’t I just let Pastor Eric speak…in his own words:
Going the Extra Mile Together
Our hearts went out to families and churches that were victims of the Katrina disaster. Our hands worked hard as time and God’s opportunities allowed in helping repair homes, churches, and lives following that crisis. We may look back and see our part as a drop in the bucket. Or, we may look at the ongoing need and devastation that still holds many in depressing bondage, and feel that our part is done and we have given all we can to that particular disaster. But know that your work has not gone unnoticed and the kingdom has reaped a bountiful harvest because of your investments.
Once more the door is opened and God invites us to see victory out of that disaster. Missouri Baptists committed to rebuilding First Baptist Church of Chalmette, and the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight. Hearts & Hands to New Orleans is a mission work to finish First Baptist Church of Chalmette to the point of starting services in their new building. But the Kingdom work is not limited to construction, since a call has gone out to evangelize the whole parish and seek out the lost.
The St. Joseph Baptist Association is spearheading the Hearts & Hands to New Orleans mission event to be held June 14 – 20, 2009. A vision has been laid out of a statewide mission event for the glory of God. Drawn together under one banner to see the victory of a church returning to its own worship center and give praise to God out of the devastation. What a testimony to the area as we also work on their homes and help in their lives! We will invite the community to the church’s Vacation Bible School that will follow our week and we will share the hope of Jesus Christ with those who have lost hope. A chance, once again, to step into the gap in force, as the army of God has called its Missouri Division into service. The cost is $300 per person and that will take care of the transportation, meals and lodging. We also welcome support to meet needs of First Baptist Church of Chalmette and their many ministries, as God lays it on our hearts.
For questions on getting involved, contact Eric Martin, P. O. Box 12, Gower, Mo. 64454 or call 816-294-0599. Thank you all for your “well doing” in Christ’s Name.
Thanks Pastor Eric for your enthusiasm and for your encouragement to the rest of us. And thank you for doing the “legwork” on this trip. I know Missouri Baptists will get involved and help you in this endeavor.
Please don’t miss the significance of the second sentence in Pastor Eric’s second paragraph. “Missouri Baptists committed to rebuilding First Baptist Church of Chalmette and the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight.” It’s true. As Missouri Baptists, we made a commitment to finish that work. And I know that Show-Me Baptists are people of their word who will do what we said we will do. It is also true that the end is in sight. With your help, this work will be completed and can be completed this summer.
Notice that Hearts & Hands to New Orleans is scheduled for next June. There is plenty of time to check and arrange schedules. There is still time to motivate your youth group, or your senior adult group, or your whole church to go to New Orleans and finish the good work that God has begun. In the words of Pastor Eric, let’s “go the extra mile together” all the way to New Orleans and finish what we started.