On September 7, I had the privilege of attending the Western Area Conference (WAC) at Broyhill Home in Clyde. This is always a great event filled with fellowship, encouragement and, of course, great barbecue. Our staff and children prepared for days in anticipation of their guests’ arrival.
Friends from churches all across western North Carolina made their way to affirm their love for Baptist Children’s Homes’ (BCH) children. The afternoon was filled with hugs.
The first person I saw was BCH’s Western Area Development Director Lewis Smith. He helped unload handouts and offering materials from my car. As we were unloading the car,I noticed the bus from Bear Creek Baptist Church arrive. It was driven by one of my long-time (15 years) friends, Bruce Cannon. Prior to pastoring at Bear Creek, Bruce served as the director of missions in Bladen Baptist Association.
Bruce and his church members gathered to tour a Broyhill Home cottage. One of the members was in a wheelchair and unable to do the tour with the group. One lady volunteered to stay with her, but I told them to go ahead and I would stay with the one they called Maw Lib.
I pulled up a chair, not aware of the huge blessing I was about to receive. The face of this beautiful “angel” looked up at me with a twinkle in her eyes that I will never forget.
“I love my Lord,” she said. “When the presence of God goes all over me, I just get so excited that I have to lift my hands and praise Him.”
She shared about the passing of her husband and one of her children. She didn’t linger on her sadness, but moved on to tell me how she and her husband had served the Lord –– they helped start numerous churches in Ohio and NC. When they moved back, they became involved with Broyhill Home. She smiled with such joy as she talked about working alongside her husband to paint cottages and install new flooring and cabinets.
She expressed how happy she was to be at WAC. “I really look forward to this visit every year.”
As the sun began to lower in the sky, I positioned our chairs so that she could fill the warmth of the sun. She took my hand in hers and told me that this would be her last time at WAC.
I clumsily responded that I was sure she would be back next year. And with that same twinkle in her eyes and joy on her face, she shared she would be “going home” soon – she was in Hospice care.
There was an excitement in her voice and a radiance that shone around her as she told me how she was ready. She raised her hands praising her Lord while I witnessed what she had said earlier: “When the presence of God goes all over me, I just get so excited...”
We held hands as she told me how much she loves Broyhill Home and the children.
I’m so thankful for this time we spent together. I witnessed how Maw Lib is a beacon of light in a dark world.
Thank you to the many like Maw Lib that pray, volunteer and give of their support so a child has an opportunity. We cannot provide this ministry without you! Thank you for your obedience to God’s calling on your heart to care “for the least of these.”
As I travel across the state visiting with you, our BCH friends, I am touched to my very core by your love and concern. Our world is full of lostness. Each day children walk through our doors, frightened and alone –– lost.
Luke 19:10 reads, “For the Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost.”
Thank you Maw Lib, and thank each of you who give so doors and hearts are open to the message “Jesus Saves.” Our Thanksgiving Offering theme this year is SAVED. Please take time to watch this year’s video and be a voice of support for our children in your church. For information on how you and your church can make a difference, call me at 336-689-4442.
Note: Maw Lib made her journey home with Christ on Oct. 30. Members of Bear Creek Baptist Church said she enjoyed reading the story.