Thursday, January 29, 2015

Tedious Work and Tears of Thankfulness and Joy

Every year in December and January I start pulling all the records together for Boggs Family Ministries from the previous year. December was so busy that everything was pushed into January and I have been finishing the project this week. Our financial year ends in December and I need the information to present to the board during our annual board meeting. That meeting is by conference call Saturday so I was down to the wire.

As I am compiling figures, preparing donation acknowledgment letters, writing letters to churches we have been to during the year and preparing my report I often become sidetracked by names and notes I have written down during the year. Memories flood in and I stop to thank God, whisper a prayer or weep at the providence of God and the goodness of His people.

Every church we have preached in through the year is listed. As I total up the offerings I relive moments from revivals all over the country. I think about the great services we have had, the folks that were saved, healed and delivered. I think about the spiritual refreshing our family has received right in the midst of ministering to others. I think about the fellowship that we enjoyed, the friendships that were formed or renewed and the super great meals that were provided for us.

I am overwhelmed by the kindness of churches and Pastors that invite us to sing and preach. What an awesome privilege and opportunity to minister among such great people.

Yesterday sorting through the records from 2014 I thought about the piles of snow in Missouri, the bitter cold in Oklahoma and Kansas, the beautiful spring in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia and all the great revivals we enjoyed in each of those places.

I thought about Allentown Campmeeting,  Pentecostal Fire Youth Conference, the blessed time we spent with family in eastern Kentucky at Carter Caves State Park and our unforgetable trip to New York, Boston, Massachusetts and tent revival in Vermont.

I thought about Odie going blind in one eye, the fear, the torment and the confusion that went with it. I recalled the people of God rallying around us in prayer when we felt vulnerable and exposed. I remembered the grace of God, His healing touch and the wonder working power that brought her sight back and restored that eye to 20/30 vision.

I thought about getting to preach some revivals near home including our home church and how much we needed and enjoyed all of that in addition to the Indoor Fellowship Meeting at our home church at Dryden Rd.

I recalled the nearly two months we spent in Arizona, California and Texas. The move of God we experienced at the dedication service of Amazing Grace Tabernacle in Atwater, California will stand as a highlight of our lives for quite a while. It seems that every revival on that trip was special to us.

I thought about another tremendous season of tent revivals. I remembered all of the hard work and hot services but those memories pale in comparison to the recollection of churches being encouraged and folks that had never been to church getting saved under the Blue and White Gospel Tent.

Thinking of tent revivals naturally led me to thinking about City Reach 2016 and the individuals and churches that have caught the vision of City Reach and are praying for it, planning for it and even providing for it financially and other ways.

I noticed the names of churches that have been faithful to have us and help us for many, many years. God has blessed us with wonderful friendships and relationships in churches all over this country.

I noticed the names of individuals that have prayed for our family and our ministry for many years and have helped us financially at critical times. God bless you for your concern, tender compassion and encouragement you have provided.

I noticed the name of a widow that sent an offering to help build a church in Nigeria and I stop to thank God and ask Him to bless her for her sacrificial giving.

I stopped and spent a while weeping and thanking God in response to one particular offering we received in 2014. I will share with you part of the text from the handwritten note that accompanied it.

Bro. Davy, Sis. Kelly and Sis. Odie,
As you have been ministering to our church and children for many years, you have been there on Sunday morning as our kiddos march proudly around the church gathering their "Pennies for Missions" in their little buckets. They do this diligently each Sunday.... It has taken them about 7 months to gather this sum and since they love your singing and ministry so much our Pastor felt that God had laid your ministry on his heart. We hope this small offering will help you spread the Gospel to some lost souls. 

Wow! Can you tap your neighbor on the shoulder and say buckets of tears three times? There is no way we can live up to that. We do nothing to deserve that. God help us. That wipes me out even now thinking about it.

It is just another example of God and His people going way beyond the call of duty to love us while we minister the Gospel and doing everything in their power to help us spread the Gospel to as many as possible in these last days.

We put the Mission Marchers offering into City Reach 2016. Their Pennies for Missions will help set the tent up in a metropolitan area some where in the USA. When a lost and wayward son or daughter gets saved in City Reach next year and allows God to turn their life around, God will know exactly where the credit goes and it will not be me.

Well, you can see why it takes me so long to get all of this done. It is tedious work and it is often interrupted by tears of thankfulness and joy. Every where I look over this past year I am reminded of God's goodness, His amazing grace and guidance and the gentle kindness of His people.

That fills me with a calm assurance that He will direct each and every step of this year and the years to come. I am sure that even though I am unsure of the path and my steps are unsteady, God is in control!

God bless you and thanks for reading.


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