Friday, December 18

Scripture Passage: Isaiah 61:1-11 “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.” (Isaiah 61:1)

Jesus quoted these verses as He described His own ministry in Matthew 11:5 and Luke 7:22. At this Advent season, we are challenged to consider our calling from the Sovereign Lord. Could we each do this work alone? I want to work with a team! Our headquarters would need to be a lighthouse, a broadcast tower, a comfort station, a walk-in clinic, a freedom zone.

This is the challenge members of Berea Baptist Church on Fayetteville Road accepted years ago. They saw the needs of the new community forming near the intersection of Highway 54, Hope Valley Road, and the still-dirt road called Garrett. Through years of praying, planning, raising money, donating and buying land, prayerfully preparing leadership, and rejoicing in God’s blessings, they organized Hope Valley Baptist Church.

Our founding families worshiped, discipled, equipped, and reached out in ministry. The nearest needs called for a vigorous Vacation Bible School, support of the Durham Rescue Mission, and cooperative projects through the Yates Baptist Association such as the food pantry. Offerings for needs in our state such as the Baptist Children’s Homes extended the light. The world was sent the Good News through offerings as well.

Our church’s heritage has grown with increased outreach. Our young people have served others as far away as New York State. Our adults have gone out to Hawaii, Africa, and Asia. Locally, we serve the homeless through IHN. We have helped refugees and baked cookies for the Women’s Prison in Raleigh. We teach the Bible, not only in Sunday school, but in Awana as well. We reach out to the community with our playground, Easter Egg Hunt, Fall Festival, English as a second language training, the Toy Store, and special events such as Operation In-as-Much, and projects at McDougal Terrace and the Union Mission in Roanoke Rapids.

As you prepare your heart for renewal this season, ask yourself, “Have I found the ministries which need MY talents, MY time?”

Prayer: Sovereign Lord, I praise You for Your might and majesty. I thank You for Your love and guidance. Reveal to me Your plans for my joy and fulfillment through using my talents and time to serve others in Your Name. Amen.

Jacquie Allen – 2015