Sunday, July 13, 2008

Church and neighborhood. . .

Recently, Preston Weaver, our pastoral counselor at Community Health Services and Senior Minister at the Central Dallas Church, sent me the following message by e-mail. Provides an inside look at what it means to "do church" in our community. I'm grateful for Preston's leadership, courage and faithfulness. I think you'll understand my appreciation after reading this brief report on the church's reality.

Over the past week, Satan has attempted to kill and destroy what God has created. I am here to say that Satan has not been successful and God still reigns victorious!

Here is one of many examples: On Sunday, July 6, at 1:43 am, I received a telephone call from Officer Ferguson of the Dallas Police Department stating that the Church had been broken into, burglarized and the burglar arrested. He asked if I could come and identify what had been taken.

Upon our arrival (Barbara accompanied me), we found the building secured except that the burglar broke a double-paned small window (on the fenced side) entered the building, cut himself in the process and proceeded to empty the refrigerator and pantry (120 wieners, 5 lb bag of shredded cheese, 34 quart container of instant lemonade, 34 quart container of instant tea, 150 bags of chips, two 20 lb bags of ice, and trash bags); took the electronic keyboard, base guitar, acoustic guitar, two speakers, vacuum cleaner, telephone, other small appliances and bleach. We contributed to the burglar’s success by not setting the security alarm.

God provided the security alarm through our neighbors. Various neighbors witnessed the burglar leaving the building with the above property and called law enforcement.

Law enforcement went to Caddo and Munger, made some inquiries and our neighbors that frequent that intersection, after learning that the items the burglar had been fencing came from the Church, assisted law enforcement in apprehending the burglar. Around 10:50 am, one of our neighbors that frequent the Caddo/Munger intersection, came to the Church and identified the person who had purchased the musical instruments, speakers and appliances.

Six of our Church Leaders proceeded to the home of the purchaser of the stolen property. Upon learning that the property had been stolen from the Church, he gladly allowed them to retrieve the Church’s property from a storage facility in East Dallas. All of the musical instruments, vacuum cleaner and one of the speakers have been reclaimed. None of the food was recovered, however, we were (through the generosity and commitment to feeding our neighbors) able to serve hot dogs, chips and iced tea to our guests and neighbors.

The window has been temporarily repaired and our security provider has been notified to inspect and make any necessary repairs or adjustments to our system. We have also committed to increasing the lighting on that side of the building.

This is an example of God’s faithfulness to the faithful. God continues to be merciful to those who choose to follow Him and serve His people. Loving God and loving neighbor reaped the benefits for our neighbors and Central Dallas Church. The Lord reigns! The Lord is victorious!

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