February Newsletter - Lufkin
As we eagerly swept the old year out, the new year rushed in. We were just as busy in January as we were in December. God’s ministry didn’t skip a beat even with the coming of the new year. He is faithful and we continue to serve Him.
The joy of the Christmas season settled down just in time for the new year to come in. We slowly returned to the daily routines we had before Christmas and the new year.
Hey-were you here the day it snowed? It started on a Sunday morning. The white flakes fell all day. Lufkin’s official tally was two and a half inches. It was a pretty sight. I guess we have a group of fuddy-duddies or no imagination as I wondered out loud why no one was making a snowman or having snowball fights. Someone heard my loud lament and headed outside where a small snowball fight ensued. It was a short fight and everyone was soon back inside. Inside or out, all were warm from their heads to their toes with new caps, gloves and socks received at Christmas. And thanks to you and your coat donations nobody should be cold this winter.
No matter the weather our guest cooks came with delicious meals. We were treated to potato soup, chicken, spaghetti, burritos and shepherd’s pie. Man! The eatin’ is so good! A big thank you to all our guest cooks.
Michael checked in close to the end of the month. He was waiting on a bed at rehab. We checked him in. The next day we got a call from the folks who brought him to GODTEL. The wife tested positive for covid. Michael was told to wear a mask and stay in his room and keep his distance from the other residents at all times. He was scheduled to take the covid test in order to go to rehab. We calmly waited for Monday to arrive. He took the test and the results were to be known the next day. He came back negative and he left for rehab in Beaumont.
This was not Michael’s first time at GODTEL. Some people come through our doors more than once. We find out their story for having to return and we pray for God’s leading in this decision. Our answer to Michael was yes. We pray with this second chance, covid scare and rehab opportunity that he makes the right choices for a better lfe. Of course, our prayer is that he would say yes to Jesus and have a heart change.
January was not all “winter weather” in Lufkin. GODTEL has been doing some sprucing up. Our fences have a new and fresh look these days. The old wood came down and the new went up. Junk piles were removed and hauled off to the city dump. A leak at the director’s house was found and repaired.
Janis has been here several times. Her departures have not always been wise decisions. This time we put stipulations on her return. She already had the desire to attend The Mosaic Center spring session so we told her she had to attend (by way of zoom) and complete the whole session. She started classes on Monday, the first of February. Our Christi has, also, re-committed to mentor this spring session. Go, Janis! Go, Christi!
The Fieldhouse, also, started their spring session February 1st. Martin is the curriculum leader for the Jobs For Life curriculum. Five men are attending the night time classes. Three of these five men are GODTEL residents. The men are meeting at The Fieldhouse, following covid safety requirements, in person. At five o’clock the students eat a meal (sandwiches), watch a Bible study video and then hit the books to learn how to write a resume, get a job, keeping a job, and improving their lives. The desired goal is to meet Jesus as their Savior and serve Him as Lord. Pray for Janis, Tony, Louis, Robert and all who have a part in these amazing ministries.
Sisters, Betty and Sally (not their real names), came at separate times. Both left bad living situations. One evening, Sally’s live-in boyfriend came on property. He had been drinking and came with a combative attitude to GODTEL. He wanted Sally to come home. Betty entered this conversation, blaming him for her situation. She said he was the reason her dad was in the hospital. The yelling began. The boyfriend tried to grab Sally and drag her home. We were able to calm things down. Sally and Betty were told to go to the dorm. The boyfriend was told to leave. We called the police and now the boyfriend cannot return to GODTEL. Sally went to the women’s shelter the next day. Betty left a few days later.
These situations are not daily occurrences. They are heartbreaking, to say the least. We can be assured that these two sisters have heard the gospel more than one time during their stay. Jesus can and He will give them a better way to live. And because God the Father loves us so much, He gives us the choice to say yes or no to Him.
We have made it through the first month of this new year. God is faithful and He never leaves His children. Thank you for your prayers and encouraging words and support. You are in our prayers.
Because we serve a Living God,
~Martin and Mary Baker