Reaping a harvest

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Last Monday night, the hubs and I sat down at a beautifully set table at The Event Center. We were the first to be seated and in a few minutes we realized we didn’t know anyone else at table 36.

I was surprised because my beloved owns a business (Integrity Auto Service – shameless plug), and is a pastor (Airview Baptist Church – not at all shameless plug). He knows a lot of people. I do too, from living here most of my life.

As neither of us are known for shyness, we introduced ourselves to the first nice couple who joined us. We shared chitchat about how beautiful the table was and joked about the possibilities of eating dessert first. As the minutes before the event ticked away, several more couples and individuals joined us. I struck up a conversation with a lovely young woman who told me she had a child with special needs at home and how it was creeping toward her bedtime. I commiserated with her over the early mornings we have as mothers. Our husbands immediately hit it off as they discovered they had auto mechanics in common.

Soon the welcome and invocation was said and we all started receiving beautifully-plated food. Our table had filled, and some of the other guests knew each other. There was a warm fellowship all around the table and throughout the room of 500 people.

This banquet was a celebration of ministry, of sobriety, reunification of families, love for fellow humans and great love for God. It was a fundraiser for Harvest Evangelism.

Rick and Kim Hagans have been dear friends for many years. Our children have grown up together. One of our daughters declared at 6 years old that she was going to accompany their son, RC, to China to be missionaries. Our younger boys have called Rick “Papa Rick” as long as I can remember, and they have enjoyed his company, along with his three sons, on outings like snake hunting and other things boys who are wild at heart do. Our older son associates the smell of roses with Kim – “They smell like her”, he says.

What they have shared with the wayward, lost, alcoholic and addicted is a book or two in itself. Their ministries now include a home for men, a home for women with children, a shelter for women, a thrift store, a farm, preaching ministries, counseling ministries, feeding ministries, mission experiences and more.

They have accomplished much, all the while remaining humble servants.

This fundraiser banquet was testimony to the many lives that have been touched by Harvest Evangelism. As the night progressed, Rick spoke of the people in the room he had watched grow and get clean through God’s divine intervention. He playfully called out a few who were doing particularly well after graduating from the His Place or Hosannah Home treatment/training.

One girl was at our table. I would have never thought she would have had need for Harvest. Within a few minutes I realized everyone at our table other than us had been through the programs there. I felt honored to be sitting among overcomers.

May God always be honored when people go out and rescue the dying. This is what Harvest Evangelism does every day.

For more info on the ministries of Harvest Evangelism go to www.harvestevangelism.org

Angie Brown is a humorist who loves being a wife, mother and grandmother. She lives in Opelika with her husband of 31 years and four of their seven children.

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