March 2005

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Real Shepherds Will Smell Like Sheep

In many developing countries around the world it is common to see shepherds tending their animals on open ranges, fields, and even across busy highways. Visitors from the States get a kick out of seeing these hard-working folks dutifully going about their task, because it is a sight seldom, if ever, seen in this country.

During our years in Mexico we became so accustomed to this that it was no longer a rare and interesting sight, but simply a daily part of life. Goats, sheep, or burros could wander right into the driveway, but received less attention from us than do the squirrels that fill our yard today.

However, as a preacher there were some things to be observed and learned, because Jesus had something to say of sheep and shepherds.

I noticed that shepherds spent much time with the flock. It doesn't pay to let the sheep wander about on their own. This invites trouble. The shepherds were guardians and protectors. They saw to it that the sheep were watered and fed, and protected from such things as other animals, thieves, and automobiles racing along desert highways.

These shepherds were also amazingly patient and long suffering. I would head out early in the morning, and when I returned later that afternoon the same shepherd could be found watching over the same sheep who were in turn doing the same thing they had been doing many hours before. The shepherd had no cell phone, video game, radio, or book in his hand, but held instead the same wooden staff as before. He was still watching and herding his sheep, a lesson to me of his tremendous patience and ability to stay to the task.

Mission House Needs Generator

"Because We Care Ministries" has completed construction of their mission house in Somotillo, Nicaragua. This will enable them to adequately house the many teams that go in to share in the mission efforts throughout the year. However, they have not yet purchased their emergency generator, and this is where you or your church might be able to help.

It is common for the electricity to go out in this remote area, and sometimes it can remain off for lengthy periods. A whole house generator is a necessity, but they are expensive. About $7,000 are needed in order to purchase this in Nicaragua. If you would like to contribute toward this worthy tool, please make your checks out to either "Because We Care Ministries" or the Strawberry Baptist Association, send it to us, and we will see that it goes toward the generator. We also remind you that we would love to help you get to the Nicaragua mission field to experience this exciting ministry yourself! Your support is greatly appreciated.

Missions Needs You Now!

We are in great need of mission volunteers for 2005. Please take time to refer to the "It's A Big World" article in the January newsletter and our Website for the details. We need folks for Vermont in May, the Czech Republic in August, CenterFest in September, and Nicaragua throughout the year. This is urgent, so please share this with those in your church!

Etc., Etc., Etc.

Youth Movie Night
Sunday, March 13, 2005, 7-9 p.m.
Mount Olivet Church

"Joshua" is an inspirational story about a stranger whose mysterious "supernatural" powers inspire a small town. Refreshments provided. No charge! All area youth invited.

River Rock Church on the Move! River Rock continues to look for a suitable place to meet at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings. They are now in the Twin Oaks Restaurant at the intersection of 221 and Perrowville Road, beside the Forest elementary school, across 221 from the Food Lion. The entrance is marked with a "Twin Oaks Restaurant" sign. Please be praying about where they will be permanently located.

Focus on Our Family

Hunting Creek filled 44 shoe boxes for the Operation Christmas Child project of Samaritan's Purse.

Mentow and Palestine will gather with Huddleston United Methodist Church for a Community Easter Sunrise Service.

Mount Zion observed Focus on WMU and Missions Week on February 20. Lori Lewis, Director of Bedford Pregnancy Center, spoke about that ministry and how we could help. The Baptist Men held a breakfast on January 29 with Don Craighead, Executive Director for Bedford Christian Free Clinic, as speaker. Baptist Men's Day was observed Sunday, February 6, during the morning worship service. During the February 13 evening service, Mrs. Patsy Wheat of Updike Funeral Home gave a presentation on Handling Life's Losses. Our youth sponsored a Valentine Spaghetti Fundraiser Dinner on Saturday, February 12. Timothy Mark presented a concert on Sunday night, February 20.

A Place for You in WMU!
Mrs. Rebekah Overstreet,
WMU Director
1813 Oakwood St., Bedford 24523
Phone: 540-586-2956

Women on Mission: Radford continues to lead devotionals at Oakwood Manor for the first quarter of the year; Thaxton will lead them in April. Diamond Hill will host the March birthday party for residents of Bedford County Nursing Home; Palestine will host it in April.

SBA WMU Annual Meeting
"Life Is Like a Patchwork Quilt"

Shady Grove
March 19, 10 a.m.
(Covered dish lunch afterward)

Preparations for the meeting are in the final stages. Remember that someone from each church will have ONE minute to explain the quilt square representing their church that they are bringing to the meeting.

Each church is asked to bring ONE quilt for display that has a story/history. The written story/history should be provided with the quilt. (If you plan to bring a quilt for display, please contact Rebekah by Thursday, March 10.) Miss Alma Hunt is coming with her quilt and will wrap up our program.

Click for March Calendar

"Lion of Judah, Calvary's Lamb"

On Palm Sunday Weekend, the congregation of Rainbow Forest will be presenting "Lion of Judah, Calvary's Lamb." The cantata will be only a small part of the weekend opportunities. To help set the stage for worship, an outdoor Jerusalem market is planned before and after each presentation. A variety of vendors and activities will be hosted by the church to help create the atmosphere. Following is a schedule for the weekend:

    March 19
  • Market open 1:00 p.m.-1:55 p.m.
  • Cantata at 2:00 p.m.
  • Market reopens for hour after the cantata
  • Market open from 5:00 to 5:55 p.m.
  • Cantata at 6:00 p.m.
  • Market reopens for hour after the cantata
    March 20
  • Market open from 5:00 to 5:55 p.m.
  • Cantata at 6:00 p.m.
  • Market reopens for hour after the cantata
Dr. Gary Habermas will be speaking during the 9:00 and 10:40 a.m. services on Palm Sunday, March 20.

Additional information about the weekend activities is available by calling Rainbow Forest at 540-977-1789 or by visiting their website at

Tsunami Relief

For those interested in donating money to help with the disaster relief effort taking place in the Far East following the horrible devastation of last week's tsunami, here are some trustworthy organizations. Donate to "Asia Earthquake Disaster Relief" through the International Mission Board, P.O. Box 6767, Richmond, VA 23230, or call 800-866-3621, menu option 6, or email the IMB at Donate through Samaritan's Purse by calling 1-800-567-8183 or mailing a contribution for "Indian Ocean Tsunami Relief" to P.O. Box 3000, Boone, NC 28607


April 4 Jerry Parr (Suck Spring)
April 9 Jackie Carver (Palestine)
April 13 Gary Fowler (Flint Hill)

Wedding Anniversary

April 4 Jerry & Liz Parr (Suck Spring)
April 29 Elmer & Tiena Sellers (Retired)

Church Ministry Anniversary

April 9 Larry Ross (Pastor/Mount Zion/5 years)

Christ is ALIVE!

Please have items for the April newsletter written and in the association office by Monday, March 21.

Archived Newsletters
October 2001 - November 2001 - December 2001
January 2002 - February 2002 - March 2002 - April 2002 - May 2002 - June 2002
July 2002 - August 2002 - September 2002 - October 2002 - November 2002 - December 2002
January 2003 - February 2003 - March 2003 - April 2003 - May 2003 - June 2003
July 2003 - August 2003 - September 2003 - October 2003 - November 2003 - December 2003
January 2004 - February 2004 - March 2004 - April 2004 - May 2004 - June 2004
July 2004 - August 2004 - September 2004 - October 2004 - November 2004 - December 2004
January 2005 - February 2005

Strawberry Baptist Association
163 West Main, Bedford, VA 24523
FAX: (540) 586-4246

Copyright© Strawberry Baptist Association
Updated 2/24/2005
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