More Than A "Thank You"

More Than A “Thank You”

To The Wildercroft Congregation:

I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt thanks to you all for your faith in God, your hope in our coming Christ, and your love for God’s word, will, and way.  I really appreciate the time we have spent together fellowshipping one another and worshiping God these past 7 months.  The more I interact with each of you both collectively and personally, the more I am convinced my family and I made the right choice to join you in your quest for truth and right.

These past 7 months have begat both joy and pain in our lives.  When I think of joy, I think of our finding one another.  I still recall March 1, 2009 in my mind; how I felt, what I observed, what I heard from you.  There was a mist of mirth in the air, suggesting this is the place where we belonged.  As a preacher of the Gospel, I really hope you can understand me and feel the intentness in my voice when I say, “It just feels so good loving somebody, when somebody loves you back.”  When I think of joy, I think of this body of believers instantly growing numerically with the Holloways, Desiree Powell, and Leslie Flores placing membership with us.  There are options and choices all around us, but God lead them here.  Therefore, we have reason to be thankful.  When I think of joy, I think of the 3 souls who have put on Christ in baptism; Shauna Franklin, Adrian Dillon, and Tyrone Williams.  I am overwhelmed by the effort of the saints here to be the vessels of honor God has called us to be in bringing these souls to our compassionate Christ.  When I think of pain, I am reminded of 3 hard fighting soldiers who have gone on before us; Jack Friend, Patsy Amos, and Kenneth Dillon.  They will be truly missed, but we look forward to seeing them again real soon.  When I think of pain, I think of Steven Chung who is incarcerated and desperately needs the prayers of the righteous.  However, not Steven alone, but Sheldon Smith needs our continued prayers while in Afghanistan, as well as the saints in our number with continuous health problems.

With the additions and subtractions we have experienced over the past 7 months, it may appear nothing progressive is happening or we are not moving fast enough, if at all.  However, I want to simply remind us we are still learning one another, nothing happens over night, and God is still on His throne.  I am confident, if we can remember these things, then no weapon formed against us will prosper (Isaiah 54:17).

Much good has taken place over the past 7 months and we need to take the time to recognize the strides made by this congregation.  1) We have a good set of elders and they are still in place.  2) We have a new evangelist and he is committed to giving us the message we need at the time we need to hear it.  3) We have added to the deaconship to assure the needs of this congregation are met beyond measure.  4) The attendance has been consistently higher and so has the collection.  5) People have visited this congregation from the community multiple times.  6) Bible Moments has become a reliable resource for edification.  7) Bulletin Articles have become a reliable resource for education.  8) Our Website has become a reliable resource for evangelism and congregational information.  9) We have a Basic Christianity class in which the fundamental facts of the faith (First Principles, Bible Authority, Evangelism, & Discipleship) are being taught and emphasized to not only new Christians, but veteran saints as well.  An atmosphere has been created where all Bible questions are given Bible answers.  10) We are committed to fulfilling Hebrews 10:39 to the utmost. 

Although these things have been accomplished, we still have a long way to go and together with God as our Helper, we can get there!  We still have shut in members who need a visit.  We still have aged members who could use a phone call every now and then.  We still have visitors who could use a phone call, just to let them know we are thinking about them.  These same visitors are in need of having a personal Bible study.  We still have widows who would appreciate a call and/or a visit.  We still have some in our number, who could use a friend and encouragement because their standard of faithfulness is not the same as God’s standard of faithfulness.  We still have Christians who get sick from time to time, who will feel better with a call and/or card knowing they were missed.  Although I am doing all of these things and many others, we can be much more effective if many of us were committed to be contributors than recipients only of these divine favors and blessings.  Are we up for this challenge?  God stands ready to reward the willing.

I close by once again thanking this great congregation for the invitations to your homes, the calls of encouragement, the confidence many of you have placed in me to assist you in your times of need, the forthrightness some have expressed regarding my response to certain situations, the attentiveness given to every message delivered from the pulpit, and the outreach of love displayed to my wife and children whenever they fall ill.  THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!

In Him We Have Brighter Days Ahead,

Antoine N. Holloway