Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Church Where I "Grew Up"

First Baptist Church of Borger, TX.  Andy & I went to this church in 1987 when he was 36 and I was 31--the ages some of our kids are now.  Andy became the youth minister under Pastor Gary Miller.  We'd come "back home" from Broken Arrow, OK where we'd been under Pastor Paul Burleson for 3 years...and where Gary had been a former youth pastor, ironically.  We had no idea when we went to Borger (which was Andy's home town and where he'd gotten to know Paul Burleson) that we'd be there for 26 years and be a part of the ministry of 4 different pastors or that Andy would hold several different positions in this church.

What a great place to "grow up!"  I actually grew up in Pampa, TX--a mere 30 miles from Borger.  But FBC Borger is where the people graced me to be myself, allowed me to practice the spiritual truths I was learning, and loved on me.  The pastors we were under invited some of the most incredible men and women of God to come and teach us.  People like Major Ian Thomas, Bill & Anabel Gillham, Peter Lord...there were so many and they all left a lasting impression on my heart.  I learned things from them which I still teach today.

There were people in this church who took me on my first overseas mission trip and really planted a desire in me to reach other countries for Christ.  There were people who taught us how to teach English as a second language--which God used to open doors in many countries.  There were people who came alongside us to do youth ministry and became our right hands.  There were older women who taught me and encouraged me.  There were people who challenged us and caused us to have a broader focus.  It was here that I learned how to pray--and I prayed with some amazing saints.  I'll never forget a 90-year-old man who had such a passion for our youth and prayed for them consistently.  It was while I was in this church that I learned the blessing of giving.  There were people who were passionate, bold, and outrageous about God who breathed life into us.  There were people who held us accountable.  There were those who encouraged us.  There were older people who were great examples for us.  People in this church knew how to roll up their sleeves and get things done.  There were women who were organized and brought those skills into our ministry.   These people walked arm-in-arm with me through some of the hardest things I've ever faced--like Andy's kidnapping. There were people who helped us raise our kids and loved them unconditionally.  It was here that we developed deep friendships--the kind that last for a lifetime.

I will forever be grateful for the investment this church made in my life.  It was a deep, deep investment.  It was a church who helped me and watched me "grow up."

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