Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

February 7, 2013

Youth seeking community help for mission work

Ezra Mann
Pauls Valley Democrat

emann@pvdemocrat.com — Hearing a call to perform good deeds as a part of spiritual fulfillment may often be enough to inspire change in someone’s life, but for one Pauls Valley teen, it doesn’t mean a whole lot until the first step is taken.

Always involved in some way where he worships regularly at Cornerstone Community Church, Dylan Black felt he was missing that next big step he needed in order to answer a call to service and as it turned out, it is a world away from everything he knows.

What he was seeking will be a six-month mission trip over in Chennai, India, helping the overall Christian church grow by spreading the word of god beginning eventually later this fall.

However, this means first calling on the community to help raise funds to make it all possible.

“Back in July I felt God was calling me to do it,” said Black. “It was kind of a turning point in my life.”

The idea was initially inspired by an existing Oklahoma City ministry called 4Him and through it Black was introduced to one of their mission leaders Sunny Abraham, who was looking for someone to assist in work with establishing schools and small churches.

Since the travel and living expenses alone will make up the biggest hurtle to making it happen, he is getting started now with a goal to raise $5,500.

To make it all happen, Black had to make a decision to temporarily set aside some of his personal goals like pursuing a degree in music.

He also noted how while the decision was not an easy one, it helped after he rededicated his life to God recently with the goal of maturing through Christianity.

After a lot of prayer as well as searching for the right outlet, Black made the decision to put off those goals for a year back in September and he realizes how much something like this will impact not just his own life, but everyone around him.

“It’s something I was always scared to do,” said Black, who will stay either with the Abraham family or at a bible college located there.

“This definitely will push me out of my comfort zone.”

Some of the ways Black is raising funds will be selling a T-shirt for $12 that helps speak for his cause, simply printed with the words “Go Do.”

He said it is a reminder for everyone to go and do what they were meant to do and other ways he will raise money will be selling a CD he recorded previously for $5, a new one in the spring for $8 and holding concerts leading up to his departure.

In the end, Black said the biggest change will be getting used to an environment completely different to the small town he’s known all his life and is a big leap of faith since his only previous out of town mission work was in Texas towns like San Antonio or Arlington.

His parents are behind the effort, even though mom worries, and he believes the new experiences should only strengthen his faith.

“They’re very supportive of everything,” said Black, who will hold onto all of the shirts and people can either buy them from him in person or have them shipped.

“It is inspired by my passion by what I was meant to do… There will be a lot of growing up involved in that.”

For more information on how you can arrange donations call Black at 405-207-9181. Mailed donations can be sent to 36950 E. County Rd. 1550, Pauls valley, OK, 73075.

Shirts for $13 and CDs for $6 (the extra $1 covers shipping) can also be purchased online at DylanBlack.bigcartel.com.