By Brian Blackwell, Message staff writer
JOYCE, La. (LBM) – Hurricane Laura damaged the fellowship hall of Union Baptist Church in Joyce, Aug. 27, leaving the congregation of 30 active members to seek God’s help in rebuilding the facility. Five weeks after the storm blew a tree on top of the facility, their prayers were answered.
Throughout November, as the result of organizing efforts by leaders of the North Central Baptist Association, the congregations of First Baptist Church in Calvin, First Baptist Church in Jonesboro, New Jerusalem Baptist Church in Winnfield and Sweetwater Baptist Church in Quitman sent volunteers to remodel the kitchen and replace the roof.
Members of Atlanta Baptist Church, Bethlehem Baptist Church in Winnfield, Quitman Baptist Church, South Winnfield Baptist Church and Welcome Home Baptist Church in Dodson also provided meals each day for the volunteers.
Pastor Mike Green told the Baptist Message he was encouraged that so many churches stepped up and modeled the body of Christ in action for those in need.
“My hat goes off to everyone who gave up their time and resources to come out and help us out,” Green said. “They were a great Godsend when we needed a helping hand.”
Craig James, associational missions strategist for North Central Baptist Association, expressed his gratitude for the cooperative effort by the churches.
“They have been very active as missionaries for the Lord in our own association,” James said. “When we think about missions, most of the time we think of international missions or national missions. With Union Baptist Church, we see an opportunity for mission work at home. It is amazing to see the Lord at work through His Church. Ronnie Huckaby and Monty Huckaby have been a blessing from the Lord as they lead the project at Union. We pray the Lord bless Union Baptist Church in the days to come with spiritual and numerical growth.”
Monty Huckaby, a member of Sweetwater Baptist Church, said he was honored to be a part of a team bringing help to a sister church.
“Some came with tool belts and others brought food fit for a king,” Huckaby said. “We started each day the right way, with prayer led by Brother Mike Green who asked God’s direction and protection as we worked. It truly is an honor that God allows us the opportunity to serve as just an extension of His hands. There remains much work to do and plenty of opportunities for those who wish to serve.”
Moving forward, Green said additional work to be completed includes replacing the ceiling, light fixtures and bathrooms. He is confident God will continue to send more laborers to rebuild a church that will be a mighty lighthouse in the future to the community of Joyce.
“When Christians come together and begin to work as one, we receive a mighty blessing,” Green said. “The Lord is going to send more people our way. If anyone wants to come, we would be more than happy to put them to work.”
For information about how you can help rebuild Union Baptist Church, contact Mike Green, 318.413.7075.