Update from Pastor Carr
It’s been a little while since we last wrote to you. Please don’t mistake our lack of correspondence (the last letter was in September) for a sense of complacency or taking our support team for granted. That is not the case at all. Things have just been crazy here, as y’all know, with this whole Covid-19 issue. Our plan is to get back to regular letters every month starting in January!! So, please accept this letter as a “Quarterly Report” on your investment in the Kingdom of God out here in our Mountains. We are so grateful for your partnership and friendship and I believe you will be blessed by the “dividends” your investments are producing!! So, in that vein, let me highlight each of the last three months!!
October was a very eventful month for us here at BOC. We had one major outreach event where we had a “Movie Drive-Thru” distribution for our community in place of our regular trunk-or-treat / “Pierce the Darkness” ministry. Everybody was given a bag with everything they needed to have a family movie night at home. We also registered everybody as they drove thru and delivered door prizes. The cool thing is that this ministry was produced by our Young Adults Ministry and was compliments of a Strengthening Churches grant from the Baptist Convention of MD / DE, for which we are very grateful.
We were also blessed by six wonderful men who came from Thelma Baptist Church in Wetumpka, AL who actually framed, insulated, mudded, sanded, and carpeted FOUR of our classrooms in an effort to help us better insulate these rooms so we can retire our coal furnace this winter!! We are so grateful for our friends from Thelma!! Because of our wonderful partners throughout the state of Alabama, I (Steffan) took the opportunity to visit some of our friends there in October. What a blessing to have such wonderful friends!!
On a note filled with very mixed emotions. We said farewell to one of our elders, Pastor Jack, as he accepted a call to pastor a sister church in our Association. We miss him greatly but are so excited for him and looking forward to seeing the fruit that will come from his faithful labor for our Lord!!
November was a month of preparation in many ways, as well as spiritual introspection and growth within our church at BOC. We had an incredibly blessed night of prayer and then another anointed night of worship and testimony!! What a blessing to hear what God is doing in His Church!! In addition to our regular clothing ministry, we spent much of the month preparing for our various Christmas ministries that were coming in December.
On a personal note, thanks to two very precious friends from Alabama, we were blessed to use a home in Orange Beach, AL for a family vacation over Thanksgiving. It was a much needed time of rest, relaxation, and renewal - something we could not have done on our own, so we are grateful to our friends!! While in Orange Beach, JoJo and I participated and completed a HALF MARATHON race together!! No, we did not win anything, but we did FINISH!!
December has been a month filled with outreach ministry. Thanks to our friends from Elmore Baptist Association (Wetumpka, AL) and Millbrook Baptist Church (Millbrook, AL), we were able to distribute 340+ Christmas backpacks to our community, most of which on ONE Saturday. The Gospel was shared with each and every person on a one-to-one basis!! Then, thank you to our friends from Central Park Baptist Church (Decatur, AL), we were able to distribute $3,000 worth of toys at our gift shop ministry for those in extra need this year, including numerous families in our own church!! What an incredible week of ministry these two events gave us!!!
Because of these wonderful friends, and because of the sacrificial labor of love on the part of our families at BOC, we were able to help approximately 125 families and 400+ children this year!! Already from these events, we have experienced four families that have come to our church and have numerous other follow-up contacts to make!! Praise the Lord!!!
One other highlight to note this month is that thanks to the leadership of one of our ladies in the church (Ms. Ashley - a direct product of Brother Ron Rush and our friends from New Providence BC in Quarryville, PA), we were able to start a children’s ministry on Wednesday nights. Because of that ministry we are actually having 70% of our Sunday attendance join us on Wednesday nights this month!! That’s a REAL blessing as we continue to minister to a multitude of families with young children!!
So, as you can see, we’ve been busy and we know that we would not be able to do this without YOU, our partners - those who give to the work here so generously and faithfully!! We do NOT take that for granted, trust me!! Below are some prayer requests, if you wouldn’t mind taking to the Lord on our behalf!! We are not looking for any funds or donations - just a bunch of prayer partners!!
1 - Please pray for our cycle-breaking apartment ministry as a sister church from Ohio is considering coming in January to help do some work. There is still much to do, but this is the first team in a long time coming for this particular ministry!!
2 - Please pray for our clothing ministry as it continues to expand. I would love to one day start a thrift shop to provide affordable items to our impoverished community along with providing a few jobs. The challenge is location!! Our vision would be to use profits from this ministry to fund increased ministry in the rescue of women from human trafficking.
3 - Please pray for us as we follow-up on the different families from our recent Christmas ministry who have shown interest in our church.
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 this winter!!
5 - Please pray for us as we prepare to put on a new roof over our auditorium/gymnasium starting in the Spring. Please pray for the provision of resources (we have enough at least for the trusses) and labor, as well as our existing roof to make it through one more winter!!
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.
I think that’s about it for now. We do wish each of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! Please do not hesitate to let us know how we can be praying for you!! That would be a HUGE honor for us to join you in prayer. Y’all are such blessings to us and make what we do possible!! May God richly bless you, your family, your church, and your ministry in the coming year. God bless y’all!!
Your Partners in the Harvest
Steffan and Leslie Carr