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Church Update 6/9/20
June 9, 2020, 1:20 PM

*This is a weekly update mailed to individuals who do not have the internet or social media. The content is essential to all members of the church, however. This is a method to keep up-to-date on the activities at FBC Buffalo and is a means to hear directly from Pastor Dave. Be sure to take the time to read it.*

6/9/20

 

Dear church,

 

It has been great to have had the privilege of meeting with you now for a month. What a blessing it has been to gather each week and to sing praises to the Lord, to read his word, and hear it preached. We have had exceptionally well-attended services. I am very grateful for that. It has been neat to see our church come together during this time. I've heard numerous stories about individuals from our church reaching out to other members of our church. Please never hesitate to share with me how church members have blessed you during the pandemic and beyond. 

 

I also have been excited to announce that Sunday school is starting once again this week. I am writing this message on Tuesday. I am excited that we will be meeting on Wednesday night for our midweek prayer service for the first time in over two months. That is a blessing.

 

It is also exciting to learn about the progress in the planning of our summer mission trip. We will be going to Peace Valley just outside of Fort Leonard Wood in Saint Roberts, Missouri. For those of you unfamiliar with this location, it is a pastor and missionary retreat center. It houses four cabins, a cave, numerous walking trails, and it is beside the river. Multiple church groups take advantage of this beautiful facility. It has been in operation since 2014. To the best of my knowledge, we are the first group to spend a week trying to better the facility.

 

I am personally very excited that the church has the opportunity to do some work at Peace Valley. My family has been blessed by this ministry numerous times, and I'm glad that we can do something to bless this ministry as a church. In a time like this, many churches have pulled back from mission trips and even their support of the cooperative program and other Southern Baptist mission organizations. Still, I am pleased to report that we have continued to support the Cooperative Program with the same gifts we have always have. There are many churches that cannon make this claim. There are missionaries at home and abroad who count on our faithful and generous giving. When things have become difficult, we can be thankful that our support of the Great Commission has not been hindered.

 

Please be praying for our mission trip. Further, if you would like to make a special gift to the mission trip, please do not hesitate to designate those funds and do so. I know that this is the first year that we have been unable to do a fundraiser for our mission trip. While we are doing everything we can to keep the cost down, any support from the church financially or through prayer is much appreciated. Of course, we will come back and give an entire Sunday to report on how the mission trip went. Our mission team will be smaller this year due to the shortened period of planning and location restrictions. If you have not been on a mission trip before, you know that we are always excited to have big mission trip teams. This will be the first time since I have been pastor that our mission trip team has not grown from the previous year. I am not discouraged about this; however, I am excited that we're getting to go. 

 

Church, I am petitioning you very earnestly to pray over our mission trip team. Pray that God will allow us to grow together in unity and in love for him and one another period pray that we will be safe on the mission trip. Pray that we will have the resources that we need. Pray that we will be a blessing to Peace Valley Ministries.

 

I do want to give you a brief update on my health situation. My foot has healed completely. This is an excellent thing.  I am still on an antibiotic for the next week and a half. This is just to make sure that all of the infection was removed from the bone in my toe. Next week I will be meeting with my orthopedic surgeon, and we will discuss what surgery will look like for me, and when my surgery date will be. If you have kept up over the last few years, I have had a reoccurring issue with pressure ulcers on my big toe. This surgery should help prevent this from reoccurring anymore. I covet your prayers greatly. I am not sure what the recovery aspect of my operation will be like. Please be praying that I will heal quickly from my surgery and recover promptly. Please also pray for my family as they deal with me as I recover. 

 

I have been extremely encouraged by our church over the last month. What a blessing it has been to see so many of you. As I noted last week, our services on Sunday mornings have been exceptionally well attended. This is a fantastic blessing. I know that some of you are still hesitant to come back to Sunday morning worship services. Please do not be discouraged about that. I think that it is essential that you use discernment in your decisions about returning to regular worship. There are still many unknowns. What we do not know often does create a bit of anxiety. That is nothing to be ashamed of. Just know that we miss you and that I am praying for you daily.

 

I also want to offer an opportunity to each of you who might still be doing the best you can to stay away from others and end your home. I am happy to come by your home with a lawn chair and visit with you outside at a safe distance. I have really missed seeing everyone. Phone calls, emails, and letters are all great, but nothing replaces seeing each other face to face. Please just call me if you would like me to come by and visit with you outside at your home at a safe distance.

 

I would also like to take a moment to speak to our current cultural climate. If you're like me, then you have been disturbed by the racial tension in our country. I know each of us agrees that the murder of George Floyd was evil. If you were like me and had the opportunity to see the video, you were greatly disturbed about it. As Christians, we know there will always be unrighteous and unjust acts occurring in our society. This does not mean that we have any right to remain silent about injustice. Micah 6:8 notes, "He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" Many other verses call us to seek justice.

 

We will never entirely know that justice will be wholly served while we are on this earth, but we know that God is a just judge, and those who do unjust acts will be rightly punished for that. Be praying for those who are victims of inequality. But with that said, we must recognize that scripture teaches us what true justice is. Scripture also says that we are to "be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger" (James 1:19). Be very careful not to make hasty judgments against others. I could not encourage you more to be peacemakers. Christ calls us to do that.

 

I cannot pretend that I know all of the answers to how we should deal with the current situations in our day. I can assure you that we are to call others to justice, and we are to pray for fellow Christians and for those who don't know the Lord to come to Salvation.

 

I plan to continue to send out letters like this for the next few weeks. I will also continue to send out copies of our audio CDs of sermons for the next few weeks. Some who have been returning to worship will not receive a letter or a CD. I plan on continuing to write a weekly update for the church. This letter is not just for those who are homebound. This letter is for everyone in the church to know what is going on at all times; I can certainly improve my ability to communicate things to others. Please never hesitate to reach out to me if you need anything. I'm always willing to meet with people and to pray with people. Be praying for our Sunday school teachers, in particular, this week as they began teaching their classes.

 

Soli Deo Gloria,

 

Pastor Dave

 

 

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