Uncategorized

The Floods Came

Only around 10% of miners remain and as if that wasn’t enough to cause a destitute community, they also experienced several horrific floods. Yes, I’m serious!

The last flood was in May of 2002.

The photos above are from http://www.mcdowellwv.com/mcdowell-county-floods/.

And what’s bad is the impact of this flood can still be seen all around.

Most of the buildings were destroyed beyond repair.

Homes were disfigured,flattened and carried down the river. The Dry Fork River is full of debris. We saw appliances, couches, bridges, car parts, windows, doors, sections of roofs, bathtubs and much more.

They lost their homes and businesses but even worse lives were lost.

These two websites capture the devastation McDowell County faced.

Pictures of the flood that swept through WV.

Article about the missing people, loss of life, and damage done here.

This was a big deal to everybody living here. The destruction it caused to the community physically as well as emotionally should be a big deal to us! It’s hard to go through events like this unfazed. Restoration must come and it will require help from outside resources.

We are working hard to connect and help.

Can you imagine what it is like to live without joy? I can because I did before Jesus found me. Our joy is found in Jesus.

Remember if you’ve found your joy in Jesus, share it!

Encouragement, God’s plan, Mcdowell County WV, Uncategorized, West Virginia Mission

Coal Mines in McDowell County WV

The more I learn about McDowell County, the more compassion I feel for these families. I do realize other places face opposition but God has placed us here and my heart aches to bring them help, healing, and hope. I find myself daydreaming about rebuilding what was lost, an entire community of people living in unity, and striving to please God. But is this possible? They do come to hear the word. But James says to be doers of the word and not hearers only. Prayer will be our weapon to achieve this.

The information I’ve learned so far has helped me understand and connect more deeply with their pain, questions, and confusion.

In the 1950’s West Virginia had 125,00 miners. By 1970, machines moved in to replace these miners. I assume, they believed from a business point that this was more efficient but soon the number of operating mines spiraled downward. By the 1990s only 20,000 miners remained and today’s shocking number is 12,000.

(Above two images are from VirginiaTech.com)

Despite this history, McDowell County is still ticking along. I know many feel it will never be restored but I believe it is very possible with God. It will never be like it was but that doesn’t mean it can not be better.

When Daniel was cast into the lion’s den, the king said, ” May your God, whom you continually serve, deliver you!”

That was one of many things Daniel faced and God did deliver him.

This plant is right up the road from me. They load coal into train cars. It’s hard to get good pictures with the foliage. At night, it lights up like a Christmas tree.

God is going to do amazing things here so let’s watch him work!

Encouragement, God’s plan, Uncategorized

I Don’t Want to be a Ministers Wife

So your husband is called by God to preach the Word. From stories I’ve heard, wives have several different reactions. Maybe you’re going through or have been through one of these three reactions.

1. No way. You didn’t sign up for this and it can’t be. I don’t want to be a ministers wife. Nope, not happening.

If this is you, don’t worry. Just pray and keep listening because God will confirm it for you too. He knows who your husband is married too and if you have children. He will guide and comfort all of you just don’t let your will take precedence over Gods will.

2. You know God did indeed call him to preach but you’ve decided to go with your plans. You don’t how to be a pastors wife and you don’t have time to learn. You have mapped out your life and it doesn’t go against the Bible so you figure you will stay with what you know.

Maybe this is you. Again keep praying and listening because I promise Gods plan is better than your plans. You will be unsettled and anxious until you accept His will.

3. You are extra excited. It will be an adventure and you are looking forward to whatever God has in store. You’re not worried and can’t wait for the next step.

Let’s be honest. This last reaction doesn’t happen as often as the others. Ministry is a serious matter. I was excited and knew the call was real but at the same time, I didn’t know what that meant for me and my family. I think I experienced a little from all three of these reactions. Let me share how we begin this journey.

I woke up in the middle of the night several times with my husband (Larry) missing from the bed. I usually found him walking around outside by himself talking to God.

He explained that he had been having dreams that woke him up at 2 am every morning and he couldn’t go back to sleep. He thought he was going crazy, literally. He dreamt he was in overalls preaching in a small church. He didn’t understand at first but this went on for around 2 weeks.

Then one night it all became clear and confirmed. We were sitting in our vehicle after church waiting for our oldest son to get done with choir practice. Our home pastor came walking by and Larry stopped him to explain his dream and asked him to pray for understanding from God. Our home pastor asked if Larry could come to his house and of course, he agreed.

What happened next will never cease to amaze me about God, who He is and how He works in our lives.

He pulled up bible study notes on his computer and ask Larry to read a statement he had typed while studying.

The statement read:

God has impressed upon my heart that Larry Stapleton and his family will pastor a church planted from this church.

He let us know that God had impressed this upon his heart the week before but he felt he shouldn’t mention it unless Larry came to him. We knew in our hearts that this was confirmation from God.

Like I said, I was excited but that meant a lot for our entire family. We sold as much as possible including our land. We moved to a place we had never seen so Larry could attend college. We left behind all our friends, a 6 figure job, church family, and what we knew as our life.

Those sound like bad things but looking back I realize those where good things. It reminds me not to hold on to the things of this world. I couldn’t imagine a life different than the one I’m living right now. We still get choked up when we think about it.

What if we had run from the call?

I think about that question sometimes and wonder how many others are running from it due to fear, the unknown.

Let me offer you some encouragement.

God has provided for us every step of the way. He is always on time. A bill was due, the pantry was very low, books for college were needed, the kids outgrew their clothes and like a miracle, God took care of it. I won’t lie, I worried sometimes and still do. But God always showed up. He has never failed to provide the things He knows we need. There have been ups and downs that were needed to grow but please remember He knows the plans He has for you. (Jer. 29:11)

I would love to hear your story or answer your questions. If you have a similar story please share it with us. Did you have a different reaction than what we discussed today? Share that with us too! You can comment under the post or contact me through the contact me page. I can’t wait to hear about how God is working.