Five years or so ago I received an e-mail forwarded to me by a friend. It was written by Ms. Jackie Everett, Secretary to the Director of Admissions, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, Jackson County, Mississippi. The e-mail came to me under the heading “A Testimony Worth Sharing.” I believe it is worth sharing and I hope it means as much to you as it does to me. I have read a great deal lately about the help our state has received. This letter is based on help received by coastal people as a result of Katrina.
“My values have changed drastically, post-Katrina. I did have such a nice home, beautiful furniture, gorgeous yard. Now those things do not matter in the least. All I want is my family to be together again in some sort of little trailer in our front yard. That would make me so very happy. I am sure a few years down the road I will once again want a nice home, but for now “nice” things seem to have little to no meaning to me. When I do get back up on my feet, I am going to do all that I can to help other people.
“I want to share a testimony with you. When we came home after the storm and found we had lost everything, I thought…this is what it feels like to stand before the Lord. You have no earthly possessions, only what you have ever done for the Lord. Then, when we started pulling out everything and throwing it all out to the street, I started to feel depressed. Not about the furniture, but the loss of personal things. I do not even have one picture of my deceased mother, my antique book collection, great-grandmother’s china, things like that. It hurts to see all of your life sitting out by the roadside. We had such large oaks and magnolias, everyone of them went down. David’s chainsaw had salt water in it and would not start. People were passing every day asking for one to two thousand dollars to cut the trees for us.
“One day a caravan of young guys pulled up. They were between the ages of 18-23 and had taken a semester out of school to come to Mississippi to cut people’s trees for free. All they wanted was to pray for us and give us a Bible. All of our Bibles had been destroyed. Everything was so wet, we tried to dry a lot of it out in the sun, but the pages would all tear or stick together. This group gave me the most beautiful leather bound Bible you ever wanted to see. Each one of them signed their name to it and hugged us and promised to pray for us each day. When they handed us that Bible, I felt as though Jesus was standing right there comforting me. I do not let that Bible out of my sight now. I read it every night, different people are marking different scriptures they want me to read. Those young men and that Bible restored my faith and renewed my spirits.
“They were from a group called Samaritan’s Purse. It was started by the son of Billy Graham. They do not take money for the help they give. Truly, they were angels who came to my rescue. Just thought you would like to know about them!”
There are several lessons to learn from this testimony. The first is to be thankful for what God allows us to have. It could quickly be less. The second lesson is to be ready to come to the aid of those in need. And third, do not be so quick to say “young people are going to the dogs.” As long as we have young people like these guys, I will quickly take issue with anyone.
I hope you have gotten a blessing from reading this. I did.
Billy McCord is a retired public school administrator of DeSoto County Schools. He represents District 3 on the school board as well as serving as President of the Board. McCord is Pastor of Shady Grove United Methodist Church in Calhoun County. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.