I have spent my 40 years of ministry asking for assistance in a variety of ways:
“You wouldn’t be able to… would you?”
“I’ll bet you couldn’t… could you?”
“I will go ahead and do that… unless you want to.”
“I’ve got time… I’ll just do that” (This statement comes with an intentional, overworked, overwhelmed voice tone).
This past week, I was recovering from an already memorable Christmas health-wise, when my week began to deteriorate. It soon became apparent that Thee Most Rev. B. Andrew Oliver had reached capacity. I had discovered my limits. First, death struck our congregation in multiples. In the midst of the death notifications, I called Aaron Hinton. I had Aaron scheduled to preach for me in February and I asked if he could preach on Sunday. He graciously responded with a much needed, “I would be glad to”.
The day after my call to Aaron, I received the news that my 100 year old father had fallen and had broken his hip. I rushed to the hospital in Gaffney to meet my brother and wounded dad in the ER. We soon realized that our first days of 2020 would be spent in medical care facilities and I ask realized I had a funeral responsibility in jeopardy. I called my dear friend and current, Director of Missions for the Greater Cleveland County Baptist Association to do the service. Wesley did not know our friend Jackie Milsaps, but he willingly responded to my cry for help.. “I would be glad to help you anyway I can Andy”. I received phone calls after the funeral service telling me what a tremendous job my friend did.
I was in Spartanburg with my father when Cindy Cooper called with heartbreaking news… her mother Nancy Patterson had just died. I shared with Cindy my current situation and we began to discuss options, due to the fact that she was insistent that I take care of dad. We soon came to the conclusion that we would contact Robert Callahan, Nancy’s friend and permanent deacon and Clyde Buckner, legend and Go-To person for PSBC. I will be attending the funeral on January 8th after spending the night with my dad tonight, the 7th, at Spartanburg Regional. He has been sleeping all day preparing for a wild night with his baby boy! If I am able to speak and walk on Wednesday, I will give you a report.
Sometimes you don’t have time to elaborate or embellish a request. At times it is just this simple cry… HELP!!!! Thank you Poplar Springs for rising to the occasion. You always do and like the apostle Paul said… “I thank God for you!”