2006 Monthly Letter
Partner in Ministering New Life,
Biloxi, MS, to Oak Hurst, CA, to a Place of Peace in Jesus
in Oak Hurst, California, I felt led to preach a sermon on
The Place of GRACE. The emphasis was on God's
Righteousness At Christ's Expense.
Ephesians 2:8-9 was the text accompanied by several stories
that poignantly painted word pictures revealing how amazing
God and His Grace are! Communion by intinction followed it.
Presbyterian "opportunity to respond to God's preached
Word" was given at the close of the sermon. With heads bowed
and eyes closed, I asked for anyone who wanted to receive
Jesus, God's gift of Grace, to pray with me. Those who did
were then asked to indicate that they had prayed by raising
their hands, lifting their heads, and opening their eyes.
the congregation lined the aisles for communion, I left the
platform, approached each of the ten, obtained their names
and asked for permission to call them in the afternoon about
is one of the results of what our gracious Lord did. Shelly,
a woman from Biloxi, had lost everything in hurricane Katrina.
Her daughter was in prison. She and her three grandchildren
had escaped with nothing but their clothes. They had no place
to go but to the community shelters.
The congregation in Oak Hurst contacted FIRM, the Fresno International
Relief Mission and asked for a family it could specifically
help. FIRM knew of Shelly and her family and that coincidentially
she had an estranged husband who just happened to live
in Oak Hurst! Hmmm!
congregation enabled Shelly and her grandchildren to come
to Oak Hurst. Her estranged husband agreed to let them come
and live with him. (He and Shelly had never divorced but they
had not lived together for years!)
congregation brought to them food, clothing, and toys. Financial
support and friendly visits from various members also followed.
Shelly and the children began coming to the worship services
and Sunday school.
Shelly described her praying experience in these words:
understood exactly what you were saying about grace. That
there is nothing we can do to earn favor with God. I have
nothing! Katrina stole everything from me. My home; all my
personal possessions; my keepsakes! EVERYTHING!
been distraught. Depressed. In shock. Not knowing what to
do. Today, when I prayed to receive Jesus Christ as my Savior,
I experienced a calmness come over me that I can not
describe. As Katrina totally wiped away all that I had, Christ
wiped away all my fears, worries, anxieties, and sins. I felt
His calmness calming all my personal storms. I just can't
I picked up my grandchildren after Sunday school, they asked,
'Grandma, what happened to you!' They saw the
difference in me. Jesus did that. All I could say was, 'Jesus
calmed all of Grandma's storms. Jesus, calmed my storms! He
is my Savior AND my Lord.'"
God could have orchestrated such a happening! We have the
privilege of seeing His hand at work even in the midst of
such tragic loss and sorrow! Thank you for allowing me to
represent you and your desire to up build peoples' lives,
many who are going through stormy times