That Special Touch

Eva Wilson works with the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists. In an e-mail Thursday, she informed us that they are once again sending another team of volunteers into New Orleans to help with the rebuilding of the city. The group of 50 should arrive at Gentilly Baptist Church Saturday night, October 21. Their leader is Elijah “Touch” Touchton from Trinity Baptist Church in Pittsburg, Kansas. “Touch,” known to his team-members as “the Boss,” is an electrical contractor by trade and has been involved in full-time volunteer missions for more than a dozen years.

Eva sends her regrets that she’ll not be along this time nor will she make the November trip due to all the associational and convention meetings Southern Baptists tend to group together this time of the year. She expects to make the December trip.

Prior to Katrina and her ugly sister Rita’s visit to our part of the world in ’05, the Kansas-Nebraska Baptists had a working partnership with the much larger Arkansas Baptist State Convention, but working together in Katrina-land has taken their partnership to a higher level. Eva writes, “I often hear of ‘synergy,’ but this is one time I have truly experienced it.”

Over this year that our good friends from Kansas-Nebraska have been coming down, 116 volunteers have put in 5,000 hours here. They have rewired 10 houses, which saved the homeowners from $100,000 to $150,000. They’ve sheetrocked 3 homes and finished several others. They’ve insulated two homes, hung the sheetrock and installed the outside siding at Global Maritime’s new port ministry center, and poured the wonderful sidewalk outside our BAGNO associational center. They have done electrical work and painting at Gentilly Baptist Church where they and the Arkansans have created a headquarters and where they all stay. In addition to all this, they have handed out 900 flyers to local residents, given away 500 gift bags, 200 care bears, and 18 backpacks.

Eva Wilson writes, “It is a privilege for our small convention to join God’s work there.”

The privilege is all ours, dear friend. (Touch Touchton and his folks are scheduled to be with us for a full week each month through the middle of 2007.)

“The Windshield” is the quarterly mailout from a fascinating organization called Macedonian Call Foundation. This incredible group has one purpose for existing: they find used cars and make them available to furloughing missionaries during their time back in the states. Where do they “find” them? People donate them, and get a little tax credit for their troubles.

Dr. Grover Tyner is a retired missionary–from Indonesia, I think, or maybe the Philippines–and has been my contact with MCF. His lovely sister-in-law Elton Crowson was a member of my church in North Carolina some years back, and it was such a pleasure to get to know Grover and Libby during their visits home. Every year or two Grover e-mails me that they need more cartoons for their newsletter and I do my little part.

The newsletter this week lists gifts of 36 cars donated to Macedonia Call Foundation from January through August of 2006–everything from a 2001 Ford Taurus to a 1977 Chevy Silverado–and a lot of 80’s and 90’s in between. But it was the cover story that got me, and this is what I wanted to call to your attention.

Dr. Chip Woodruff pastors Morningside Baptist Church in Douglas, Georgia. Interestingly, both he and his wife are registered nurses. Some years ago, they began using Mrs. Woodruff’s salary from her nursing job to buy cars at salvage auctions. They have a body shop make needed repairs, then Chip drives them for a while to make sure they are dependable, and then they donate them to MCF. Over the past few years, they have donated 20 cars to this organization.

Last year, the Woodruffs gave MCF 9 cars, and so far in 2006 they have given 6. In addition, they have also donated cars to pastors needing them, and once to a stranger whose own car had broken down.

Pastor Woodruff claims II Samuel 24:24 as his life-verse. “But the king replied to Araunah, ‘No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.’ So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen and paid fifty shekels of silver for them.”

Want to receive their newsletter or receive more information? E-mail Dr. Grover Tyner at

Eva, Touch, Grover, Chip–so many of the Lord’s people have that special touch that allows them to devote their lives to serving others. What a wonderful example for the rest of us.