Bittersweet Farm Journal
This weekend a hearty snow storm swept across the southern part of the state covering our part of Jackson County in nearly a foot of fresh snow. I was away speaking at a retreat up in the tip of the Mitten at Camp Barakel.
As always, it was delightful to be at Barakel even though I miscalculated the starting time of the last chapel and they had to come get me out of the shower to preach. Still, I was invited to return.
It’s been my privilege to speak at Barakel for 20 years. Since December my brother Kevin and his family have been serving on staff there. I was able to share some meals with them in their home on the camp property.
I arrived at Barakel after dark and stepped out of the cold and snow into the circle of warmth of a crackling wood fire in my brother’s home. It was sweet to think how kind God has been to give the Pierpont family so many opportunities to serve in such a blessed ministry.
It was my first Sunday away from Bethel. I missed being with the Bethel family and it’s good to be home. I returned early enough to enjoy the beauty of the snow storm, but late enough to miss it’s danger.
This weekend I spent some time working in the Conference Room at Barakel. This is a photo of Uncle Johnny and his Alumnus of the Year Recognition and chair given to him by Moody Bible Institute.
Lois did some decorating in the Farm House while I was gone.
You Need A Plaid Couch
In 1985 I was the Associate Pastor of Youth and Music at Loomis Park Baptist Church right here in Jackson. When we came to serve at Loomis Lois was pregnant with our third child, Chuk. The church provided a nice parsonage for us, and a full time salary including health benefits. They promised to cover the cost of our baby’s birth.
When the time of his birth approached we discovered a mistake had been made and there would be no insurance coverage. The good people of the church promised to take up an offering to cover our expenses. We were grateful.
One afternoon I went home for lunch and Lois was worried that our care would not be good because we would be coming in without insurance. We had met with the hospital administrator who promised that we would be treated well. We agreed to pay $200.00 ahead and the rest we could pay after the offering was taken.
I reminded Lois of our arrangement, She said; “I know honey, but we don’t have 200.00 dollars.”
As a young husband I wanted to comfort her and I wanted to be a man of faith, but I wasn’t very experienced in these things yet. The only thing I knew to do was pray.
“I said, let’s kneel down here and pray.”
We knelt there by our humble plaid couch and committed our worries to the Lord, then I returned to the church.
Within ten minutes of my return to work the faithful church custodians, a couple named Earl and Verlie Wedge, came in and stood at my desk. They said; “We know the church is going to be collecting money to pay the hospital bill but we thought you might be able to use a little before the baby is born.” They laid a check on my desk. I thanked them and prayed with them and they left.
The check was for $200.00.
Chuk was born healthy and he was paid for. He’s all grown up now with children of his own and he is a youth pastor about an hour from here. He and his wife Cecilia have another baby on the way soon.
I tell him, “God will take care of you, son. You can count on Him. You just need an old plaid couch where you can kneel and turn your burdens over to the Lord..”