My family moved to Anahuac, Texas, around Christmas of 1986. I had just turned 6, and was in the middle of first grade. Anahuac was (and, to a certain extent, still is) a sleepy small town down in the river bottoms and swamps, somewhere between Houston and Beaumont, well off the beaten path of I-10. You don’t get to Anahuac by accident.
Soon after we arrived, we began attending church with my mother at First Baptist Anahuac, and I grew up there, both physically and spiritually. Sitting in the wooden pews in the sanctuary, surrounded by the late-1970s split-pea-soup-green carpet, I heard Jesus call me to be His. My understanding of what it meant to be a Jesus-follower grew as I sat in the Sunday School classes, Royal Ambassadors sessions, and youth group meetings. But a building is not a church, any more than a house is a family.
What I remember most are the people of FBC Anahuac—the parents, teachers, farmers, ranchers, mechanics, businessmen and -women, nurses, plumbers and electricians who invested in the life of an occasionally challenging little kid who grew up into a slightly-less-challenging teen. When our own family fell on hard times, the church showed Jesus’ love to us, without regard to whether or not we deserved it. And when I shared with them, so many years ago, that God was calling me to full-time vocational service, they nurtured and encouraged that calling.
So it only made sense that when God brought us to Wycliffe, that we would share this great news with FBC Anahuac, and ask them to pray about becoming financial partners with us. Pastor Gary Hilliard (a former missionary himself) and the Missions Committee agreed to meet with us, and after a few months of meetings, prayer, and discussion within the church, they made the significant commitment to partner with us in an ongoing, monthly manner, starting in January of this year.
We couldn’t be more excited that God has brought about the partnership relationship we have with FBC Anahuac. We’re even more excited that they are the first body of believers to make the decision to partner with us in our Wycliffe ministry in a regular, on-going way! Our family is excited about what God will do in and through our relationship with FBC Anahuac over the duration of our Wycliffe ministry.
We are currently working to wrap up our partnership development process, and are in discussions with a few other churches about possible on-going partnership relationships. If this is something that you think your church would be interested in, please contact us directly—we’d love for you to be an advocate on our behalf in that relationship and we’d love to talk more with you about what that means.