So the deacon asked me if I liked venison (deer meat to you city dwellers). "Well sure," I said. Now I'm not a big deer hunter. A friend of mine took me deer hunting a few years ago. I got two armadillos and a squirrel. That's when I discovered that I did NOT like armadillo meat. But deer meat, not so bad. "Well," he said, "I've got some fresh deer I'll give you tonight after the service just before you head home." He wanted to know if I had a refrigerator in the motorhome I travel in. I told him I did. He said me he'd help me load it up that night. Now, friends and family have shared assorted meat products with me before. They're usually wrapped in white butcher paper with the particular cut written on the side. That is what I was expecting. But nay, nay! That was not what was coming. After the service that evening, at First Baptist Church of None of Your Business, here came the deacon. In his grasp was what appeared to be a commercial grade, contractor quality, industrial use garbage bag. It was straining to keep from splitting open. In several places, there were sharp points trying to burst out. Then it hit me. I asked, "Brother, is that a whole deer?" He smiled and said, "Well no silly. I gutted it and skinned it for you. But ya still got your hooves and head! You boil 'em for a bit, and they make a great stew. The legs may be a little long for your fridge, but I brought my hammer, so no prob."
I'll skip what happen in the next few minutes for the sake of the children. Three hours later, I arrive home. Betty met me in the driveway to help me unpack the motorhome. She first asked me how the day was and then she asked about the love offering. I told her that some of it was in a very large garbage bag. She asked, "Did they give you a garbage bag of money?" She seemed very excited at that possibility. I said, "No, deer." She responded, "Well,.. dear, what's in the bag?" I again said, "Deer." Again she responded, "Thank you, dear, but the bag, what's in the bag?!" Suddenly I felt like I was in an "Abbott and Costello" movie. She opened up the black plastic sack and peered in. The deer peered back. To this day, I cannot tell you the words I heard from her. They weren't ugly words, they were just so high pitched that only dogs in our neighborhood can tell you exactly what she said. They still bark about it to this day.
This work of faith that I and my family have been called to has been wondrous and frightening at times. For 36 years now this has been our road to travel. I've had the privilege to speak to multitudes of people. We've seen so many lives changed. Not that God couldn't have done it without us, but the amazing thing is that He allowed us to be a part of it! God has always provided for us through His people. This wonderful time of year, as we reflect on all that we have been blessed with, I want to thank so many of you for helping us. From your love offerings at the revivals, your donations to our ministry through the mail, to your deer meat. God has used it all to keep us out there. We have no other means of support but from folks who believe in what we do and care for us. This year has been difficult because of all the medical issues with Betty. But God is sufficient. He has provided. Thank you for your sacrifice and know that in the new year, we will go to wherever God opens the door for us. Our ministry is a non-profit organization and all donations are tax- deductible. But that's not why most people give. Most of you give because of your love for us. Thank you. It sure makes being out there easier knowing that someone cares about you.
May you have a blessed Christmas and a great new year. You are all so very deer to us. We love you.
David and Betty