On this Easter Sunday, we wanted to share a story of God bringing someone from spiritual death to life. Stories like these remind us that God will include us in His everyday resurrections if we would only look for opportunities, love and serve people, and share what we know about the Good News.
Renee Chandler has a heart for some of our society’s most forgotten members – the elderly and the infirmed. One day, she was helping her mother deliver some Mary Kay cosmetics to a customer, Mrs. Effie Catlett, over in Sherwood, Arkansas. As her mom was handling the makeup transaction, Renee saw Effie’s 87-year-old husband Otho in the next room. Renee tries to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and prays that she will see people as more than flesh and blood, but as spiritual and in need of the Savior; Renee says, “God impressed on my heart ever so urgently that the man in the next room did not know Jesus.” As the visit ended, she left the Catlett home certain that she must go back. She felt strongly that God wanted her to share the Gospel with Otho – the Good News that forgiveness and eternal life with God are available through faith in the life, death, and resurrection of His Son.
When she returned home, Renee called Mrs. Catlett and asked to come back over to talk about Christ with her husband. Mrs. Catlett said that it was not a good time, and repeated this answer over the next few days. Effie was also not a Christ follower, and Renee had to accept her “no” while continuing to pray for the Catletts.
However, one month later, everything changed – Effie called to say that she had trusted Christ the night before during a conversation with her daughter!
And “feeling the reality of the joy and freedom this brought to her heart, she had a huge concern for her husband Otho’s soul!” But up to that point, he had been completely unwilling to listen to any family members who wanted to talk about God. “So Effie asked if I might be in town and could I please come talk to Otho about Christ!” Renee says, “Surprisingly, I had just arrived in town.”
She had never met Otho, so she was uncertain how to approach him. It was also difficult to communicate because, due to severe illness, he had become too weak to talk. “Asking God how to go about this, He impressed me to kneel down beside Otho and speak very softly and slowly to him as he reclined in his chair.” She asked him if she could pray for the major surgery that was coming the next day. Otho indicated that this would be OK. Renee also shared the Gospel story and that if he trusted in the Person and Work of Christ, he would be saved immediately, become a child of God, and spend eternity with Him. Since Otho could not speak, she prayed a prayer for Otho to join if he desired to turn from sin and trust Christ. Renee says, “I left it between GOD and Otho, and we said our good-byes. Later that evening, however, Otho expressed to his wife with genuine excitement, ’I did it!’ Otho had become whole in CHRIST! The very next day, he was admitted to the hospital for risky surgery, but now his soul was no longer at risk! He finally had peace in his soul.” Otho made it through the surgery, but he died last Saturday.
May this story remind us of two realities – it’s never too late for God to rescue one of His children, and if we are paying attention and obedient, He will allow us to be a part of His mission.
UPCOMING EVENTS (for more info, pick up a Next Steps card at the Welcome Center):
1. Centrikid Camp: June 11-15 at Timber Creek in Pulaski, MS (lhmem.ch/centrikidcamp2017)
2. Student Life Camp: June 15-19 in Orange Beach, AL (lhmem.ch/studentlife2017)
YEAR-END GIVING STATEMENTS
2016 contribution statements are available in CCB. To login, go to lhchurch.ccbchurch.com and use your email address as your username. Once you are logged in, click on your name to go to your profile, then click on the Financial tab and click Giving Statement. Select quick date range: Last Year and click Run Report. If you need any help, email of email@example.com or call 901-313-0007.
Would you consider going, praying and sending in 2017? Going could mean a short-term trip that leads to a long-term connection with Gospel work somewhere in the world. All summer trips can take more people for a couple of more weeks. Also, now is the time to pray and make plans for our two Fall trips (Germany and DC). Get info and ll out an interest form at the Mission Workshop or at lhchurch.com/engage. Contact Greg Jackson with any questions (firstname.lastname@example.org).
CentriKid Camp will be Sunday, June 11 – Thursday, June 15 for all kids who have completed 3rd-5th grade. Space is limited. Mark your calendars to ensure your student can attend. Register at lhmem.ch/centrikidcamp2017.
HELP LH:VE IN 2017
LH:VE is asking for help with childcare and meals on various Sundays throughout next year. Sign up as an individual, family, small group, or mission community at lhchurch.com. Click “Help VE” on the homepage.
DISCOVER LIVING HOPE
Have you been attending Living Hope and want to know more about who we are, what we believe, how to join a Small Group, serve, or become a member? Join us April 23 during the 9am and 10:45am hours for Discover Living Hope. This is a time for you to sit down with LH pastors and elders and ask any questions you may have. If you choose to pursue membership at Living Hope, this is a required step in that process.