This is Earline Lawson from Jack’s Creek, Kentucky. She is widowed, lives alone deep in a holler in the hills of Appalachia, she sleeps with a six-gun under her pillow, and keeps a machete behind her chair. She is also as sweet as can be. Last summer I had the honor and blessing to lead a Mission group in replacing the leaking roof on Mrs. Lawson’s home. Of course, she had never met any of us and had no idea if we knew what we were doing. But she put her trust and faith in us, welcomed us onto and into her home, and ate lunch, chatted, and prayed with us each day. I believe I speak for each of us when I say that we left with much more than we gave.
The Red Bird Mission in Beverly Kentucky stands as a beacon of Hope to folks like Mrs. Lawson, and this July, Dot & I, as well as a small group of others, will be returning as we have for many years. The homes and Mission projects we and our fellow Missionaries undertake are unknown at this time, but the need is immense.
As always, Dot & I pay for our own expenses; food, lodging, travel, and a share of the repair materials and supplies. The materials for replacing a roof, or repairing a floor, or painting an apartment are costly. The Mission itself covers some of this cost, and homeowners contribute what they can, but additional funds are needed. Homes in the area tend to be desperately in need of numerous repairs, and there are invariably additional repairs and unanticipated material costs involved with each project.
If you are willing and able to provide financial support to the 2019 Red Bird Mission trip, it would be deeply appreciated. (No amount is too small or too large.) More importantly, we humbly request your prayerful support for the Mission, the Missionaries and the people we seek to Serve.
Last March we began a shoe collection at Cokesbury UMC to benefit Soles4Souls. Although there was no goal set for the collection, I thought 50 pairs would be pretty good. With the enthusiastic participation of all, it quickly became a strong possibility that the collection would reach 500 pairs. At that time, I promised that if we were able to reach 500 pairs, I would write and submit an article to the “Relay”, the monthly publication of the Greater NJ Conference of the United Methodist Church. As shoes continued to pour in, an actual goal of 5,000 pairs was set. As of today, we have delivered over 4500 pairs of shoes, and several hundred more are awaiting delivery in the Wesbury chapel; we are on the brink of reaching the 5000 pair goal. Although we hope to somehow reach 10,000 before July 1st, 2019 there is a more immediate goal to be pursued…..that is to collect each and every pair of shoes we possibly can. It is tempting to think that one more or one less pair of shoes doesn’t matter in the big picture, but that would be false thinking. Each and every pair of shoes is vitally important and potentially life-changing. In fact, the Soles4Souls project itself began with a single shoe. After watching news coverage of the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 and seeing an image of a single shoe wash ashore, Wayne Elsey assembled a group of philanthropists and shoe company executives who were moved to do something, and Soles4Souls was born. Today, the shoes we collect support the micro-enterprise programs that Soles4Souls has developed in numerous impoverished nations around the world. Well, it took me a while, but I did write and submit that article in October. The story appeared in the January 2019 edition of the Relay. As you’ll see below, that story was picked up by the national E-news letter of the United Methodist Church! How cool is that?!? (There is a link to the Relay article at the bottom of this post . Please share this good news with anyone you think might be interested.
In Service to Him (Whose shoes I am not worthy to untie. paul ><>