Browsing Tag

Vermont

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Sally Went Home.

A couple of years ago, many readers sent cards to a small church in Vermont; cards of encouragement, through a rough season for an often snow-bound community. As your letters were delivered, one of the families to which a delivery was made, had a house guest named Sally. Jason Floyd, the minister who was making delivery runs, began to study with this house guest. In time, we gained a beautiful sister in Christ. (You can read about Sally’s conversion here: https://thecolleyhouse.org/wp-admin/post.php?post=14214&action=edit.) Then later, we got the good news that Sally’s son Roger, had also been added to the body of Christ. We rejoiced together with these family members we ‘d never met.
Today, we got this news from the Floyd family, which works with this church in Bennington, Vermont. Sarah Floyd, thank you for letting us know and we will keep praying. Heaven will surely be worth it all!
Oh, Christian ladies, do some of you remember your card ministry to the members of my little congregation in Vermont? When you flooded my lonely brothers and sisters with hundreds of encouragement cards throughout that awful spring of 2020? And then, thanks to your ministry, my husband met a lady named Sally, who was baptized later that year? And then, in April of this year, her son was also baptized? (Cindy Colley has told the story beautifully on her blog.)
Well, those cards have quite literally brought someone to Jesus today, sisters. Sally left this earth this afternoon after a months-long health battle that included a wound that wouldn’t heal, sepsis, congestive heart failure, and internal bleeding. She isn’t suffering for the first time in her 65 years…she was born with a heart defect and wasn’t expected to survive childhood. And we wouldn’t have known she existed if y’all hadn’t sent those wonderful cards.
Thank you to all of you who participated and prayed. Please keep praying for her son Roger, her daughter Michelle, and the rest of her family, and for our little church, and for my husband, who will be preparing to preach his first full funeral at some point soon.
We never know what kind of eternal influence a small gesture may have on a single soul. Sometimes the influenced soul may not even be the target of the good will. Sometimes the positive reaction may be delayed. Frequently the  giver is not even aware of the good that’s been done by the gift. But someone is with Jesus now, in part, because you took the time to send a card. I’m very thankful to be in this group with sisters who love the Word, souls who need it, and Jesus!
Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

A Little Good News!

I don’t know about you, but it’s a temptation for me to fail to count the blessings when the schedule is overrun with things I’d rather not be doing. But, when I go to God in the hard times, it becomes obvious to me that there are no fewer blessings in the hard times than there were in the good times. God’s still present. He is still doing what He has always done for me–sustaining and making me lie down in the green pastures…restoring my soul. Sometimes, it’s even obvious to me that He grabs my most arrested view of His mercies when I am drowning in conflicts and commitments.

A few months back, you and I wrote letters of encouragement to Christians in a struggling Vermont congregation. When we finished, we got the great news that Sally Bristol had obeyed the gospel. We’d been praying for growth in that church and God was answering and giving the increase. We praised Him and we wrote Sally letters of encouragement. Remember Sally?

Roger on the left and (preacher) Jason Floyd on the right.

Well, the gospel is powerful and now, after almost two years, Sally’s son, Roger Bourne, Jr.,  has given his life to Christ in baptism and he, too, has risen to walk a new and blessed life! Praise God with me today as He is still hearing and answering. I believe Roger is the second of two men who have been baptized in recent weeks. If you’d like to send a card to Roger, or even another one to Sally, you may do so at this address:

℅ church of Christ

 524 South St

 Bennington, VT 05201

You may want to encourage the local preacher Jason Floyd and His wife Sarah, as well. Sometimes, those of us in areas with several and large churches forget the enormity of the struggle in cold and sparsely “Christian-populated” places like Vermont. I am traveling to New Hampshire in a couple of weeks to speak to ladies and I can tell you, they are eager for fellowship and learning from the Word. I can’t wait. I know they will bless and encourage me in their zeal and faith.

And, as always, if your kids helped you encourage this church a couple of years back, be sure you show them the newest Bennington brother! Maybe they will want to write again! Here’s the link to read about the baptisms: https://www.facebook.com/214031105408084/posts/2826593250818510/?sfnsn=mo

Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Bennington, Vermont: You Did More than You Know!

God can take a little and make a lot. Remember back in the very beginning of what we thought would be a short Covid season, when we tried to encourage that little church in Bennington, Vermont?  Well, it’s their turn to encourage us and they are doing that now in a powerful way!

Back in the spring we heard, from Sarah Floyd, the preacher’s wife at this small congregation, that members were struggling. A difficult mission field in any season, it became particularly difficult for the little group at Bennington church of Christ to remain cohesive and encouraged as meeting together and blessing each other with fellowship became more difficult. Some were having health issues and others were new Christians. Younger members were feeling isolated and funds were often in short supply. 

Lots of you sent cards, just to encourage them. As the minister, Jason Floyd (shown here), explained to me, he and his wife, Sarah, became a mini post office for a while there, unpacking boxes of your letters and making deliveries to the homes of the various members who are spread out over a large area around Bennington. The Floyds covered a lot of miles as they, and perhaps others,  hand-delivered your encouragement to the members. 

On one of those runs, Jason met a house guest of one of the families which attends the congregation. She answered the door when Jason delivered your mail. As Christians do, Jason engaged this lady, whose name is Sally Bristol, in conversation, which eventually resulted in a Bible study, and another and another…

Yesterday, this lady put on the Lord in baptism (Gal. 3:27) and became your sister in Christ! Our little cards helped, in a teeny, but important way, to produce something that was beyond what we had asked or imagined, according to His power that is working within us and especially is at work in Jason (Eph.3:20). If you were among the many who sent cards to encourage this family of His people, I hope you will bow before the throne and praise Him for using those little cards as tools of evangelism even when we were unaware of that occurrence. He is so good and His word is exceedingly powerful. I hope this baptism will make you want to continue to offer support to mission work and keep sending cards when you see those in God’s family struggling. I hope it will make you believe even more strongly in His providence for us as we pray for the gospel’s full effect on lives we may reach, even across hundreds of miles. It is doing all of that to my heart!

You might even want to take the time to drop Ms. Sally a note to let her know that you are praying for her life in Him and for continued influence for good as she now has a chance to take the message to others. You can send it to this address:

Sally Bristol

℅ church of Christ

 524 South St

 Bennington, VT 05201

And, if you have children who helped make the cards, be sure to tell them about this amazing day that THEY helped facilitate! Visible results of service projects WILL appear and they do wonders in growing the faith of kids.

What a glorious God we serve! I praise Him today in the words of the Spirit through Paul: 

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Eph.3:20,21)