October 30

“Only God could do that.” That was the message we heard at the Eastern European Dinner (EEM) hosted here at South Fork this past Tuesday night. Thanks so much to all our South Fork folks who helped in so many ways with this excellent dinner. And thanks especially to Jo Morris and her work crew for another stellar job.

The EEM story is a great one, one in which we have a strong part and commitment. In addition to contributing financially to this incredible ministry, for the last four years some of our own members have gone to Ukraine to be a part of Team Imagine and work with children and staff at the Summer Youth Camps there. Thousands of children in Russia and Ukraine are getting Bibles in their public schools, and thousands more are being taught ethical, responsible, godly living by Summer Youth Camp teams such as our Team Imagine, using stories from the Scriptures.

Lynn and Barbara Camp with EEM spoke emotionally of their experiences in the former Soviet Union, behind “the Iron Curtain.” They spoke of living in Vienna while smuggling Bibles into communist areas, and of their joy when those barriers came down. As you think of where this work was 50 years ago when it began—smuggling Bibles in and working with Christians from underground churches—to where it is today—providing Bibles and teaching Bible lessons at the request of the government—truly, “only God can do that.”

This Sunday we will focus on Stephen, the first Christian martyr. He was killed because he believed in Jesus and proclaimed the gospel. Would you hold on to your faith, even if you were being threatened with death? Would you live for Jesus today, and every day? Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23). Would you give up your desires, your preferences, your time, your money, yourself, for others? Perhaps you would die for Christ. But will you live for Him?

In a couple weeks I will go to jail. Okay, not literally, but as part of the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s “Lock-Up” fundraiser I will be “incarcerated” on Nov. 15th. In addition to providing assistance for those in our area that are affected by this traumatic disease, this allows our church some visibility in the community as we seek to serve and help others. If you would like to contribute to my “bail” fund please let me know. The bail is set at $3200. I imagine it would be much more if you want them to actually lock me up for 30 days, though that is not part of the program…

Bill Allen

Dr. Bill Allen preached at South Fork from 2005 to 2015. He received a Bachelors degree in Bible from Oklahoma Christian in 1978, a Masters in Bible from Abilene Christian (ACU) in 1988, and a Doctor of Ministry from ACU in 1992. He now preaches at the West Erwin Church of Christ in Tyler, Texas.

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