On May 9, 2011 Dee's ministry at Berea First Baptist Church came to an end and our family began the "Unexpected Adventure" of building a bridge to a new future. Through this blog, we invite you to share this journey with us.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

And Thanksgiving Broke Out

Wednesday Prayer Service was underway.  The prayer time had just concluded.  I took a deep breath and prepared to speak the first words of my Bible study when someone spoke up first.  The retired pastor of the church, seated in the congregation, asked for a moment to speak.  He talked about the four weeks that the church and I have been working together.  He talked about the attendance, the new faces, and the new sense of hope he feels.  He said, "I am very proud to invite people to my church."  I was very touched by what he said, but I drew another deep breath to begin the Bible study.  Before I could start, a lady in the crowd spoke up.  She, too, wanted to thank me for helping her church.  When she finished, another began, then another, then another.  For the next ten minutes, people spoke up to say "thank you."  The last man who shared said, "In other words, we love you."  I fought back tears.  I glanced at my watch and saw that choir rehearsal would begin in five minutes, a sacred hour in a Baptist church.  I folded up my notes and tried to tell those good people what having a place to serve, even part-time, means to me.  With that, the service ended. 

As I drove home, I replayed that unusual service in my head and asked myself why it had touched me so deeply.  Then it dawned on me.  This little church had just done more to say "thank you" for one month of ministry than the church I had left did to give thanks for twelve years of ministry.  The contrast and the lesson it taught were crystal clear.  I had seen how much a simple gift of gratitude adds to life and how much its absence steals away.  I will never forget that Wednesday night that I came to prayer meeting and thanksgiving broke out.  I want to be one of those who steps up, speaks out, and gives thanks.  . 

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