By Shannon Baker, BCM/D National Correspondent
HOUSTON—Members from LaVale Baptist Church can relate to the Apostle Paul.
This past June, the Maryland church chose one of 19 churches to serve alongside during Crossover Houston, an evangelistic emphasis that precedes the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention.
“We didn’t know which [church] the Lord wanted us to help so we prayed,” LaVale’s pastor Jim Jeffries said. At the time, he was teaching through the book of Acts and had just taught on Acts 16, where the Apostle Paul heard the call to go to Macedonia.
Jeffries said he could tell the church was praying. That Tuesday, he knelt with the list of churches and prayed over each one. As he got down to near the bottom of the list, he prayed God would show him their “Macedonia.”
And there it was: Macedonia Baptist Church.
God again confirmed the call through a message given by E.J. Scott, pastor of the Temple of New Life, where the team ministered during Crossover New Orleans last year.
Scott preached from Acts 16 at LaVale’s recent revival services.
Confident in their direction, Jeffries and a team of seven people, including his 16-year-old son, Logan, went to Macedonia, a small Baptist church outside of Houston.
They co-led a block party in a nearby apartment complex. While preparing packets to share, the LaVale volunteers worshipped together. Later, they held a dinner to connect with the church members.
“The Lord used us to encourage the church,” Jeffries said.
At the block party, the two churches gave away six bicycles, donated by a local military person, as well as 70 Bibles.
“It was so good to be obedient to the Lord and be able to witness and show God’s love,” shared team member Ed Detrick.
David Creek, now retired, loved the smiles on the faces of the people at the restaurants they frequented.
At a Denny’s, the team prayed for God to heal their server’s arm. God healed her, he said, noting the woman praised God at her work and encouraged her co-workers to receive prayer as well.
At another restaurant, the team prayed for a woman who on the way to work asked God to send someone to pray for her. She had just given her baby away for adoption.
“It feels like the world has been lifted off my shoulders, and I know God answered my prayers,” she told the team. “This wasn’t even supposed to be my table!”
And in fact, the team wasn’t supposed to go to that restaurant but did so because they couldn’t find their originally selected restaurant.
“It was cool how we were put into situations that the Lord wanted us in,” shared Logan Jeffries.
“Just to touch peoples’ lives with God’s love—that’s what mission work is all about,” Detrick said.