Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

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July 6, 2014

EC mission comes out of VBS — Vacation Bible School is an activity many communities take for granted as a guaranteed summer experience.

However, while Garvin County can be counted among the more fortunate, Dee Stout of Elmore City’s First Baptist Church was troubled by a lack of outreach in far off Hot Sulphur Springs, Colorado.

It all came as she was alerted recently to struggles that also include a place of worship in disrepair.

It has since inspired an upcoming mission trip.

“They have very little income for that church,” said Stout, who is director of mission work at Elmore FBC.

“They can’t meet budget so they can’t work on their church and it is in a bad state of repair so we’re going to work on repairing that church as well as doing VBS for them.”

The call originally came from two former members of the Elmore congregation who now pastor at the afflicted location, according to Stout.

A quick trip by FBC Pastor Smokey Hurst to confirm the level of need was all it took.

It will also potentially help a group of kids in that area who spend the summers unsupervised in a local park, Stout said. She noted how parents in that town often can’t afford child care and that the kids just watch themselves.

“It kind of grabbed my heart and I went from there,” said Stout. “We aren’t there to push, but to encourage them. We’ll just be there trying to develop relationships.”

A group of 20 to 30 from the church will be there July 10-18, said Hurst. They will be mostly be made up of youth volunteers, who got a little training through their VBS program earlier this summer.

Some of the work they will accomplish will include painting the inside of the church and repairing guttering on outside.

They will be joined by Quinton McGruder, their youth pastor and Preston Harris, the music director, who will help put on a Christian concert in the park.

“Our whole philosophy is just to show them the hands and feet of Christ. The people going are not going to have a moment to rest so it’s very much a working trip,” said Stout. “I have some very hard working young people going.”

The VBS material used will be Discover 3 Agency, a secret agent program where kids uncover information and clues about the Bible.

They will also visit with families and kids in that community, some of it door to door and get them connected to that church if they so choose.

“Hopefully this will help them to be that light… spur this development in their community as well for the kids who live there,” said Hurst, who will stay behind.

“They will get the good news of Jesus Christ to those families who really haven’t heard of Christ at all. We want to support this church in that community to stay strong in the faith.”

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