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|V-Vehicle announcement answer to prayers|
I listened in stunned joy to the historic announcement of the new company coming to our area. Tears came to my eyes as I thought about what this will mean to this community that we love — and as I thought about what a direct answer to prayer this is.
Just a few weeks ago about 40 area ministers gathered together to pray and prepare for what God has been saying to the spiritual leaders of this area. We have committed ourselves to a common vision that is now spreading like wildfire: to see the physical, social and spiritual transformation of our community that is so visible it can't be missed. It was incredible to hear one after another sharing about what is already happening as real needs are being met and real lives changed. And then to commit ourselves to whatever it takes to see our ultimate vision become reality. In that meeting were black ministers and white ministers, leaders from many different denominations and traditions. And we know we are just a few of those who have been praying and working toward this kind of dream.
We have been openly asking God to change the economic state of our area by bringing new businesses here. And what an amazing way God keeps answering! I heard our governor say seven times that our community is about to be transformed! The very word we have been praying for.
Something is happening among us. Something new. And something big. Bigger than us. What a picture it was to see the unity of the leaders gathered for that announcement — from both sides of the river and beyond. And so many of these leaders I know to be men and women of deep and authentic faith. We should all be so proud of them.
We should not be surprised at what is happening. For we have a promise from God. In Jeremiah 29:7 He tells us that we are to seek the prosperity of the city where we are. If we will give ourselves away to meet the needs around us, God will step in: "Pray to the Lord for the city, because if it prospers, you too will prosper." We are watching that begin to happen!
Five years ago two men, just passing through town felt led to come by our church. They left a message they felt was from God. Let me share some excerpts:
The Lord is preparing to visit this region. He has set you apart, as a dominant spiritual influence. I am building a legacy in you, says the Lord. I will provide every resource and I will cause you to have favor in this place. For I have destined a spiritual reformation for this time.
I believe this time is the time. Let's walk carefully into the favor of God and join Him in what He is doing. As we open our heart to Him and our hands to each other, we cannot be stopped.
V-Vehicle CEO Frank Varsano, standing right here among us quoted Henry Ford, "I am looking for a lot of people with an infinite capacity to not know what can't be done."
He found those people here. But God found us first. And I for one look forward to sharing life with you as together we see what can't be done … done.
Dr. John Avant is the senior pastor at First Baptist Church of West Monroe. For more information on the church, go to www.firstwest.cc.