Baton Rouge Update 3

It is 11:16 p.m. as I start to write tonight so you know we are getting a full day’s worth of work in!

We are wrapping up and winding down our second full day here in Baton Rouge and what a blessing it has been. To start the weather has been really nice and although are sleeping arrangements are no five star accommodations they are very comfortable. This morning we woke up to breakfast here at base and headed out for church at Calvary Christian Fellowship. God really spoke through Pastor Paul as he taught on what it means to rest. I know this probably seems like a pretty surface level topic but when you really dig into the topic there is substantial significance in how God can use rest in our lives if we are willing to surrender to His will. One of the key verses that spoke to me was Proverbs 23:4

“Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease!”

He pulled several very important verses out but this one really stood out to me. God planted a seed many years ago after a conversation I had with my mom about the importance of rest and He continued to water it with several lectures/conversations in the years to follow. This message really just spoke to me and summarized everything that has been on my heart around this topic. Over the last year I have faced some of the hardest obstacles of my life, to date, and to be honest with you I’m pretty exhausted but at the same time encouraged by the Lord through His constant provision over my family and I. (Psalms 84:11, Matthew 6:31-32, & Philippians 4:19) While He provides He also teaches me and rest is one of those things I am learning constantly how it important it is to take care of our body by getting much need rest by taking a day off so we can glorify him with hard work the other six days a week. (Exodus 20:8-10)

​With all that being said today was not one of those days we got to rest because there was work that needed to be done. (But we are making sure to rest while here) After church we grabbed lunch to minister to one of the local officers and than we headed to a home of different officer who’s home was affected by the flooding. Fortunately he and his family only sustained minimal damage but with everything that has been going on here in Baton Rouge these officers spend more time taking care of the community than they do themselves at time because of their heart for the people they work for. Our job today was to demo out twenty-four inches of drywall throughout their entire home so could have the contractor take care of the rest. Like most of the families affected by this flood they did not have flood insurance so this will be a big hit to their family to get their home functioning again. Even though we came to bless them I felt blessed to serve such a hard working man who has clearly done a good job raising a family who love each other even though he is a busy man. This family is just one of many examples of how hospitable and friendly the people of Baton Rouge are, there is just something different about the kindness of the people here and how clearly spread throughout the community that kindness is. From the fast food line to the person passing in the street it’s not uncommon to get a genuine greeting, which can lead to the start of a great conversation.

​Even with all the happiness you can tell these people are hurting and are trying to work through this difficult time while needing rest and time to take care of themselves. This rest can only be found through the redeeming blood of Christ. Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke iseasy and My burden is light.” (This verse is made possible through these verse and many more: Romans 1:20-21, 3:23, Romans 6:23, 10:9-10 & 13, Romans 11:36) I just pray that we can be His hands and feet during this very dark time for the people of Baton Rouge and that they may be blessed by our work and encouraged through Him who sent us.

In Christ,

Stephen

1. Pray for the police officers here in Baton Rouge. They have worked for months now with very little time off. So many are exhausted and hurting emotionally.

2. Pray the police officers family whose house we worked on. They so wanted and needed to talk. It was a blessing for the team to be able to pray for them before we left.

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