There has been work that needed to be done at the church for some time with no obvious means of financing or going about it. But as the fruit of prayer and patience two Men of God have stepped forward and through the gifts and knowledge imparted upon them blessings have opened up beyond my greatest expectations. One has asked not to be lifted up in name, but I quite honestly struggle to abide by their request due to a great feeling of gratitude.
Even with our petite congregation of 16 (All of whom have had one or more challenges, all followed by a victory most importantly, praise the Lord, over these last couple of years) I fully expected that the Lord would provide for our every need. I was taught by my father and my fathers in ministry (Bishop W. Darin Moore, Pastor Staccato Powell, and Pastor Lorinzer Johnson) that when you put it in the Lord’s hands He will take care of His house. Skills and experience were possessed by those sent that opened up avenues of resources we had no idea existed. These were combined with existing church resources so that, without having to take out one loan, sell one dinner, miss one single bill payment, have one raffle, have one building fund, call in one gracious, open offer of assistance from very kind Pastors across Zion (We may need outside help at some point down the road, but I knew for this season we would be given everything we would need.), etc… over the last couple of weeks we have been able to:
- Have sorely needed repairs/restorations done on the restrooms. including a complete demo/rebuild of the sub-floor, new flooring, a new sink in one room, while also converting them both in to a much more convenient arrangement that also makes both handicapped accessible.
- Have the HVAC repaired and paid in full with an upgrade to an automated thermostat saving on gas for the church and Pastor’s gas (no more driving to Durham every Saturday night to turn on the heat/air).
- Have the interior water damage sealed and repaired.
- Have the materials purchased for replacing/repairing the roof with roof work to begin once the Lord brings about some warmer days.
- The entire crawl space, previously packed from front to back with many sundry artifacts no longer of use, under the church has been cleared out completely.
I stopped by earlier this week to see how far things had come to see that almost all work, even that which was beyond my expectations, had already been done. Credit first and foremost to the Lord, but I also lift up these men of God who had the skill and drive to carry out to full fruition the vision the Lord had placed on me when I arrived and more swiftly and in a more complete capacity than I could have imagined… Again, for one I will try to honor their request for anonymity, but I cannot promise that I will be able to hold my peace much longer (their name may or may not rhyme with Car-lease Car-pen). The other is none other than a brother I met while serving as Associate Minister, Executive Pastor, and part time choir member at Grace A.M.E. Zion Church, friend, fellow Bass/Baritone, Minister Virgil Ward of Wardco Construction.
There is great power in prayer with a proper perspective and patience. Patience to wait on God’s timing. This past Sunday my week began with the honor of being asked to preach a brief word at a 100 Men In Black Chorus church service on the campus of Yale University (So technically I have preached at Yale? Yeah, let’s leave that claim off my resume.) prior to our MLK Jr. Concert that evening on campus. This all while knowing that at Long’s Sunday School was on and service was led my better half Minister Narcisa Woods and the word preached by Minister Maria Darling. With what I have now seen at Long’s this has been a special week indeed. My topic at Yale Sunday was, “Hold on. It is not over yet.” True indeed. Even more so now..
When I was appointed to Long’s in June of 2009 and since from some I have received well intending warnings and cautionary tales, even consolation from some for some perceived slight, that I did not see or recognize, because when I look at this house I do not see the past challenges, but the many blessings that have been and those that are to come. While I may not be compensated monetarily for my efforts at Long’s, my spirit has been blessed mightily. I can think of no better compensation.
When viewing life’s challenges always make sure to glimpse them through the lens of God’s covering, grace and mercy.
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.