As a teenager, I remember reading a story about a Mexican boy named Pepe'. His sister was dying of a fever. His dad was deceased. The doctor was 20 miles away through dangerous territory. The mother knew the paths/roads to the doctor, but her skills were needed to keep the daughter alive. Pepe' had never made the 20-mile trip by himself, but if someone did not go his sister would die. Pepe' made the journey. Folks were amazed that he found his way and survived. He brought the doctor. His sister lived.

Moral of the story: "A boy becomes a man when a man is needed."

There are times and seasons when God needs His children to be bold, take authority over circumstances, engage a plan and do battle. Yes, I did say battle. Battle meaning that a struggle is in progress. Battle meaning that there will be victory or defeat. Battle meaning that we either press forward or lose ground.

On a peninsula at the Red Sea, there was a war. Pharaoh's army was in pursuit with evil intentions against Moses and the people of Israel. There was a war in the heavens as Satan hoped to destroy the bloodline of Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and King David. If Israel were destroyed there could be no virgin to give birth to a Messiah. If Israel were destroyed there would be no Jesus dying on Calvary. If Pharaoh could destroy Israel there would be no Jesus rising from the dead on Resurrection morning, and we would have no hope of salvation. If Israel was destroyed Satan would win, and God would lose.

We think of Nehemiah who prayed for God to show him what to do. Nehemiah organized a group of discouraged and disheartened folks to put up walls in 52 days that had been down for 100 years. Nehemiah pressed the people to work with one hand, hold their sword in the other hand and pray. There were voices that protested and refused to work. Nehemiah reminded them that if they did not invest in doing the work of God they would have no reward from God when victory came.

We do not work to earn our salvation. I do not work to prove my love for Laila. I work because of my love for Laila and to demonstrate her value to me.

We work for Our Lord and His Church to demonstrate great love and appreciation for the Gift of God. We labor in hopes of sharing with others our joy as children of God.

We know that buildings will not go to heaven. We understand that buildings are of man-made materials. We build buildings to fellowship, worship and serve. We give of ourselves that we may enlarge and mature our family. Our doors swing wide to welcome people of every kindred, nation and tongue. Our hearts are warmed by people who come speaking languages we have never heard, lifting up hands in worship and serving each other, our community and Our Lord's Church - the Body.

Last Sunday was a red-letter day. We had new members join Covenant. We joyfully received Jolie from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Marina from Russia and Joyang from China. Such is Covenant. Our picture of Heaven is ever expanding.

Soon, very soon, we will walk through the North Annex. Soon, very soon, we will praise God for His favor for a new lobby and a new classroom. Soon, very soon, we will break ground on the complex joining our buildings together. We believe that these additions will increase the number of folks coming to salvation. We know from history these additions will increase our ability to serve the Church Body and our community.

As we journey with all our challenges we carry in our prayer hearts and our hands serve precious folks like Regina Miskovsky, Lori-Ann Strait, James Nicely, Kathy Nunnally, Tim Dumas and Patty Evangelista who have special health challenges. There are others who are spiritually working through challenges determined to be victorious.

Our Sunday Bible classes are strong. I hope you are in a Bible class.

Laila took the lead with a team to recruit teenagers for a Bible quiz state competition. The memory of 497 scriptures, quotes and facts must be pitted against speed to hit a buzzer. It is so exciting to watch the practices in planning for the April 29th competition—to be held at Covenant Church!

Last Saturday ten Covenant volunteers worked to help load a 40' cargo container with missionary goods to Honduras.

We had a delightful time hosting 50 people in our home this past Sunday to honor Gary and Barbara Glover as they prepare to move to Tennessee. The invitees were members of classes Gary has taught and Barbara has hosted since they have been at Covenant.

Davina Bare is leading a recruiting team for "street to the seat" hospitality. If you want to be a happy volunteer email davinahbare@gmail.com.

We give praise to the Lord for increased attendance in the past few weeks. There is a spirit of worship on Sundays. Folks linger, happily talking and sharing long after the service is over.

Men's Breakfast is this coming Saturday at 7:30 AM.

Water Baptism is this coming Sunday, March 26th, during the second service. Call the Church office 434-973-5536 to make sure you are included for water baptism.

Much Love, Pastor Bare