Pastor Carr Update
Hope in the Mountains
Well, Covid-19 has finally hit Bruce Outreach Center in January 2021!! It is making its rounds, but praise God, as of the writing of this letter, there have been no hospitalizations or deaths!! Also, Leslie and I are praising God that as far as we know (unless we were asymptomatic), our family has not yet been impacted by it. Please pray for us as we navigate through these choppy waters, and as always, we will be praying for you and your family and church through these challenging times!!
Even though Covid has come, we have not been inactive and have seen blessings from God. We are especially blessed to have a couple of new families actively attending BOC thanks to the wonderful backpack ministry of Elmore Baptist Association (Wetumpka / Elmore County, AL) and our Christmas Shop ministry thanks to Central Park Baptist Church (Decatur, AL). We are so grateful for our friends and partners from our second home state of Alabama!!
We’ve also been blessed by a surprise burden that has been placed on the heart of a friend from a sister church in Ohio. Mr. Glenn came all by himself (1-man mission team) this month because he has a real desire to get our Cycle-Breaking Apartment Ministry up and running!! He spent an entire week mudding, sanding, painting, and cleaning!! He’s coming back again in February, but this time is bringing his wife and his camper!! Would you please pray about this ministry?? It’s been something in our hearts since we first launched back in 2012!! He is bringing the manpower, but we need help with the funding. Thanks to a generous gift from Faith Baptist Church (Glen Burnie, MD) last year, we do have some resources to keep him busy. But to complete the entire project, including HVAC, we are looking at about $6,500 per apartment. Praise God we have enough to do almost TWO of the three!! We know our God will provide and we are grateful to God’s people for praying!!
We also praise God that our clothing ministry continues to expand. I am praying that one day, the Lord will make available the right location at the right price to possibly start a Thrift Shop - to provide affordable items to our community, provide jobs for our church members, and create some revenue to expand our ministry in the rescue of women from human trafficking. We want to do all we can as a ministry to remain self-sufficient - that way we can start a new ministry and fund it ourselves - which is a wonderful success when working out here in Appalachia!! In addition to the clothing ministry, our food ministry may also be restarted, especially as schools slowly get back to capacity in the weeks ahead. God is so good and we know He is moving!!
We are also almost done with our winterizing / coal retirement project this winter. We are still in need of four more heating/cooling units for our Sunday School rooms. Please pray for the Lord’s provision, as their cost is about $700 per unit. That would just about “seal the deal” for our ministry rooms. Our biggest challenge is the financial balancing act - we can purchase the units now, but will that leave enough for the roof that is to be put on later this Spring?? Pray for us to have wisdom and faith - we know our God is called Jehovah Jireh for a reason!! :-)
I know that Covid has been hard on everybody and every church. I have not had the opportunity to be able to spend time with churches and to develop new relationships with others as I would like. In the coming weeks, if your church is able and so led, I would love the opportunity to come and share about the work here in our Mountains. Thank you to our wonderful and faithful partners who continue to give so sacrificially. We are SO grateful for each of you!! Please pray for the Lord to open the door for additional partners as this month was the hardest hit month we have had through this entire Covid season. We are not whining - just so grateful for those who give and asking God’s people to pray!!
Below is a picture of the table set up from our latest clothing distribution - it included 30+ bags of food that was donated and assembled by our own church family - one bag for each family from the community that came for clothing that day. I am so grateful for a wonderful church family, who despite this area’s poverty continue to give out of their own need to meet the needs of others.
Below are some prayer requests that we would love for y’all to remember at home, in your Sunday School class or small group, church service, etc. I have always believed that prayer really does change things - and it is at the very heart of what we do here at BOC and why we have been able to do it for so long!!
1 - Please pray for our cycle-breaking apartment ministry - for God’s timing and blessing in regards to both the labor and finances.
2 - Please pray for wisdom and provision in the long term for our vision of a community Thrift Shop.
3 - Please pray for the healing of our folks with Covid and the protection of everyone else!!
4 - Please pray for the Lord’s provisions as we try to complete this winterizing of our key ministry rooms so we can retire the coal furnace by the end of this winter!!
5 - Please pray for our existing roof over the auditorium and gymnasium to hold up for one more winter - so far, the leaks are minimal and manageable - praise the Lord!!
6 - Please pray for our men who are training for leadership here at BOC. We are blessed to have THREE men studying to become deacons and TWO men studying for the ministry, all of which are direct results of our FIGHT NIGHT ministry for men!!
7 - Please pray for Leslie and me as we continue to work at raising our financial support while serving here in the Mountains!!! If anyone would want more information on how to participate or know of a church that would like to receive a video about our ministry, please let us know.
8 - Ultimately, through God’s answers to these requests, please pray that the Lost in our community will come to know the Lord through the life-giving and life-changing Gospel of Jesus Christ. Pray that we can continue to “build bridges, pave roads, and hang signs” pointing people to Jesus; and that those who do know Him will grow in their faith and become mature, viable, and effective disciples of Jesus Christ!!
As always, Leslie and I are keenly aware that the work we do is not possible without the people of God like yourselves supporting us so faithfully through prayer, encouragement, logistics, mission trips, partnerships, and financial giving. How can we say THANK YOU?? Well, while here in this lifetime, we hope it will be good enough to say THANK YOU!! BUT, our prayer is that your reward in Heaven for your love and partnership will be EXCEEDINGLY GREAT!! THANK YOU, everybody!! We love and appreciate y’all!!
Your Partners in the Harvest,