This is one of the most exciting days we always have — incredible – fantastic – awesome – what more can I say? We had a short meeting in Sam’s Parking Lot in Monroe, LA – then off to Talullah, LA – a ‘long’ 59 miles 🙂 Then on to Jackson, MS. We were so blessed to see so many exciting things.
- Helicopters –
- A “Trail of Honor” where all the wars from the beginning of the USA were all represented
- A small moving ‘Vietnam Wall”
- A ‘riverboat’ with all the weapons — wow when they shot them off – it was deafening.
- The program had politicians, war heroes and so many more.
Jackson holds a special spot in my heart for another reason. The first year on RFTW I had gotten to this point. The service at CHC had a low crowd – I was worried about them back home and was wondering ‘Am I doing the right thing?’ When I arrived at the Harley shop a friend, Mike Carlisle was there waiting for all of us. His Dad, a Vietnam Veteran was there, just released from the hospital. He had tried to commit suicide due to the agonizing pain from Agent Orange (poison dropped on our men in Nam). A pimple looking thing would come up and then turn into a deep sore – bring extreme pain. He tried to kill himself due to the pain being so bad. Well, Billy Wood from California had purchased some necklaces for us to give away. I gave Mike one to give to his Dad – his Dad asked for me to put it on him. Bingo – a relationship was born. He dedicated his life to God – sobered up – renewed his relationship with his son. Bill asked me to wear 2 of his metals but told me I was to attend his funeral and give them to Mike, his son. Bill did pass this year and Craig Lawlis and I flew to Mississippi for the service. In the service I cut the metal off my vest and presented to him. Well, today, Mike is riding this year in honor of his dad. We had a very moving prayer at the Harley shop before we left. God is so good.
Pastor Kevin McBride was dealing with same type issues, us leaving our churches and people depending on us. Today as he was riding the Lord spoke to him about John the Baptist in prison and asking for Jesus. Jesus replied, ‘just tell him, the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them’. Then Jesus said, ‘and blessed is he who is not offended because of me?’ This was Jesus family, cousin – this was Jesus forerunner — yet Jesus was so ‘busy’ doing ministry he did not have time to go see him. WOW – Carolyn and I was talking this morning. Mission:M25 is living the Word of God – we are doers or as one of our team mates stated, ‘we are the boots on the ground for the church’. We are on a mission – we are being used – men telling me stories of how they prayed with this one, they listened to that one. It is awesome being with men and a women of passionate commitment to live this thing out in the mix of all people, many unchurched. We are honored – we are blessed and we thank you for sending us to the world.
My Father’s Vineyard, Pensacola, FL had 26 (one of them – his daughter) people drive up today to be here in Meridian to just help serve a meal to all of us. They drove 4.5 hours one way. What a commitment of this group of people – many will drive back home tonight after devotion, because some have to work tomorrow.
Shepherd, Gary Burd