Saturday, October 8, 2011

A tribute to the Praying men at 1st Baptist North Mobile

Its Sunday morning, every Sunday morning.  It is still dark and quite outside.  No traffic…it is Sunday morning quite.  The community sleeps in.  But there is group of men who get up before most on Sunday they meet in a dimly lit but very familiar place.  Some come in short and t shirts, overcoats and flannels   I have even seen some still in their pj’s…..  at this meeting clothes are not important.  The armor is though. 
What is important is the heart of these men and their desire to meet with God.  These faithful mighty men meet every week.  No excuses.  Rain or shine,  hot or cold.  There are a few faces that come and go, but there are ones that are always there.  Think about it, they have had the same hard week as everyone else.  Faced difficult challenges at work.  Dealt with the same bugger heads we have….but they still make the sacrifice of time….i think that is called love for others
These men have answered the call to pray.    They pray for their pastor, who they love and protect.  They will not betray his confidence.  They pray for each and every ministry.  They pray for me routinely, whether by name or not because - they pray for families in trouble, folks who are in financial difficulties, the lost, the sick, the hungry,  the lonesome, the discouraged, the wayward, outcast, prisoners,.   I know, I have been all of these and these warriors are not judges, they are fighters.  Fierce and brave.  Tough but tenderhearted.  Accountable but gracious. 

Three years ago, this month, I came because we were desperate.  My bride reminded me these men know how to pray and would pray for us.   I was downhearted and broken.  All my efforts had brought me and my family to a place of what the world would call utter failure.  On the next Tuesday, I had appointment with a bankruptcy lawyer.  That morning, I just bled my life out and asked these men to pray for me and my family…. I was out of answers.   You want to know what they did?  Well, first let me tell what they didn’t do…..not one wagged their heads.  Not one asked me “how could I get in such a place”…not one told me I had to pull myself up by my boot straps…not one went out and gossiped.   And not one was too busy to listen.
Here’s what they did….they gathered around me.  They laid hands on and prayed.  They prayed from hearts of experience, compassion and empathy.  They spoke words of encouragement.  They loved on me.  One man gave his last dollar.  By the afternoon I had an invitation to go a free school with only a hope of job.  By weeks’ end, I was embarking on a new career.  Since then,   this new career has taken me all over the country.   Met all walks of people.   Occasional, I am given the freedom to share the Gospel or give a word of encouragement – just like was given to me.  I can pray in all the homes I visit.
 Although not out of the woods totally on the financial end,  we can see the light at end of the tunnel.
This is not to glorify men but our Savior and how he uses humble, willing men, even a band of misfits.  My Pastor told me once – that’s just the kind of a man God could use.
I thank  the Lord for the bravest men I have ever met.  Not afraid to humble themselves on their knees interceding for others…   looking a whole lot like our Savior. Pray for them because I promise they have prayed for you this week…..these are the men of 1st Baptist North Mobile and I love them.  These men will leave and go get their families and return along with everyone else.  No one the wiser of their early morning adventures.  They will quietly go about teaching or flagging cars, or helping others find a seat or taking the hand of an elder saint and helping them.  Always the servant.    I cannot thank the Lord enough for keeping His promise – to predestine us to become like Him..   If you ever wonder what that looks like – take a look at these men on Sunday morning.  

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New Paint and activities around the orphanage.  Getting ready for school to start on Jan,31,2011.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Newsletter – January 2011

Happy New Year!  We are certainly thankful for you!  The impact your gifts have made on the children at Ms. Agnes’ orphanage cannot be overstated.  Fair Havens Ministries counts you among our blessings  as we move into this new year.  We will be sending out newsletters throughout the year with updates and prayer requests.  Please share this with friends and let us know if you know someone who would like to be added to our distribution list.  ***We would love to be good stewards of our money and resources and send this email to you electronically.  If you are receiving a paper copy and would be willing to receive this via email, please email Jennifer Blackmon at: with Fair Havens Newsletter in the subject line.  Thank you!  ***
Jennifer Blackmon visited Ms. Agnes and the children this past July and was able, through the generous help of many of you, to take all of the children a new outfit, including underwear and shoes.  They all received toothbrushes, toothpaste and small toys as well.  Partnering with Kelly Green Evangelistic Association and Call to Africa, we were able to gift Ms. Agnes  with 100 lb bags of flour, rice, and beans, plus washing powder, soap, etc.  All of the children needing medical attention were able to see our American doctors while we were there, and Ms. Agnes was left with all the remaining medicines to use for the children.  The children are all doing well in school, and four of them will be in secondary school when the term starts again in January. They had made many necklaces to send back to the States, and are anxious to make more. 
Ms. Agnes wrote recently that all four of the students headed to secondary school passed their “final exams” at the end of last year!  She threw them a feast and really celebrated this accomplishment in their lives. 
There is a vegetable garden and cornfield that Ms. Agnes has acquired and is farming.  She is teaching the children how to work the land, and has been pleased with her harvest so far.  Her biggest challenge with this garden is that it is far enough from the orphanage that she has to acquire transportation to get herself and the children there, but she is very grateful for the food and the opportunity to grow it! 
The most exciting news from Ms. Agnes’ is that a school will be opening out of Agnes’ Children’s Care!  After several years of dreaming about this and many prayers, and spurred on by a generous donation, Ms. Agnes has received permission from the government to open a school for P1-3 students.  (1st-3rd grades) This school will serve not only the children at Agnes’ Children’s Center, but children from the surrounding neighborhood as well.  These children will pay a fee to attend school, so their fees will help offset the cost of running the school.  The curriculum will include Christian education, so this school will be an outreach to the neighborhood.  God has moved this along quickly, and first semester of the school will open January 31!  The facility is getting a fresh coat of paint this week in anticipation of the “first day!”  Please join us in praying for this huge endeavor. 
Kelly Green and Kelly Green Evangelist Association are preparing a trip to Kenya/Uganda in June-July.  If you are interested in helping support this mission, please contact them through their website at
Anytime you are doing some shopping for gifts,  please consider giving a gift that blesses TWO people… the recipient of your gift, plus a precious orphan (or 40!) in Uganda!  To order beads, visit  To make a donation, please contact Fair Havens Ministries at
Prayer requests
God’s constant protection and provision for Ms. Agnes and the children.
Provision for the school fees for the children for the next year, including the increase in cost of secondary education for Joshua, Christine, David, and Bryan. 
For the school that is opening – that God would be in every part of the process, and that the students would not only grow in head knowledge, but in heart knowledge as well.
For God to help us spread the story of these children and touch the lives of others here in the US, bringing more people to this cause.
For God to do more than we could ever ask or imagine for these precious children.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Idols and Altars

Today, we built an altar. A place to meet God. As I reflected, I realized that over the last 58+ years I have built many altars along the way. Unfortunately, most was really idols , not altars. Most came in the form of cars and houses, boats, bank accounts and vacations, food, my ability to make a living and sometimes even people. Today we built an altar; a place to worship, a place to meet God. It is a place to remember Him, His provisions, His promises and protection.
The alter is built, not with man’s tools but from craggy ol’ iron rock pulled from the ground. Formed, fashioned and sized by God Himself. These rocks were stacked, guided by His hand. It’s not a pretty or a comfortable place…. just didn’t want it to be a place of landscaped distractions. The rocks are not massive….didn’t want to be distracted by magnitude. It is a simple place. A quite place.
We’re not setting up days or times to visit but rather we’ll go there when compelled by the Lord and when we can really focus just on Him. The “remember bench” is there for anyone who wants to come and sit awhile with the Lord.
Lord, my prayer, in the end, is that You will be honored and remembered. I pray that these rocks will never have to cry out because we are not giving you the praise and glory.
As time goes on Lord, please identify all idols of my heart and give me grace to give them up. Help me Lord to see you only.
With the days left in this life, Lord be glorified. Help me to remember, trust you and be humble. Help me to visit you often.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Community Transformation

A great New Opportunity!

In the ‘Horn’ of Africa close to the borders of Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo, our friends at CTA, (Call To Africa), has targeted several villages for community transformation.
If you look at you can see an example of what this transformation looks like. Please pray for CTA as they connect partner ministries and churches to these targeted villages for ‘Community Transformation’.
You can contribute to this effort through Fair Havens Ministries web site. Your donation will receive matching funds from two other organizations.

Friday, January 7, 2011

School at the Orphanage

As you can see it has been a while since I have posted a blog. There has been a lot going on but I guess I have been a bit lazy in writing.
I am excited to report that through an incredible move of the Lord, funding has been raised to bring some of the children back into the orphanage for school. This also opens doors to bring some of the neighborhood children for school also.
Please pray for Ms Agnes, the children and teacher as we begin this new adventure at Ms Agnes Orphanage.

Monday, June 8, 2009