In January of 2008 I had the pleasure of meeting with the congregation in Booker, Texas. They have been one of our donors for a long time. I thought you might like to see, a little more personally, one of the congregations who support this work in West Africa.
Booker, Texas is located in North Texas. They have members in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. They are served ably by their minister Brother Bob Taylor who drives in from nearby Perryton, Texas.
I left Savannah one Saturday morning with the temperatures in the 60's. I flew into Amarillo, where the temperatures had to be below zero, late one Saturday evening and was met by Don and Ouida Kerns (pictured left). Brother and Sister Kerns had to wait as my flight was late to Dallas and I had to take a later flight. I stayed in their home that evening and Sunday evening.
Brother Bob Taylor
I spoke at their Bible Study hour Sunday morning to share news of the mission field and also shared a message from the Word of God at Worship services. The Kerns then hosted a dinner in their home for the members and myself. I have never been to a church dinner that lasted until Sunday evening services. This one did. The members of Booker wanted to know all about the work they were supporting and visited until time to go to services. One of their members in his 80's, Brother Lawrence Mercer, stayed the entire time and visited with me. He has since passsed away. His loss still touches me deeply. His picture is at left and also, he is in the front row of the picture of the congregation at the top.
Here are pictures of the Church dinner in the Kern's home. I am in a few of them. Look for the sleepy guy in the green shirt. (Scroll down for the rest of the story as well)
Brother Kerns' mom Stella on her birthday - Visit Booker and Sister Stella will tell you how old she was. I am not about to.
After Sunday evening services, I returned to the Kerns home and visited with them until far into the night. They made the trip to return me to Amarillo to the airport very early in the morning. In the morning, Brother Kerns said "If you're going to stay all night here, it don't take long". He was right. I had little sleep the whole time I was there but had a great time. the Kerns had very little sleep as well but still treated me nicely. What a great couple!
I came as a stranger to Booker, Texas and left with many friends. I still correspond with the members I met there and look forward to one day returning.
If you are ever in North Texas, make sure to stop by Booker. They are a great group of God's people and would love to greet you at Church. While you are there, make sure you get a copy of the bulletin. Their bulletin is one of the most informative and entertaining in the brotherhood. Write Brother Kerns at the email below and he will email you a copy each week. Trust me, it's worth it!
If you would like to find out more about West African Missions from someone besides me, I understand. Frankly, I would too. You can contact the church by mail at:
Booker Church of Christ; PO Box 490; Booker, TX 79005
Brother Kerns' email is firstname.lastname@example.org