Montie Hoover loves her
“I walk through the
garden thinking about how good God is,” she said.
But 32 operations,
including open-heart surgery when she nearly died, have made it difficult for
Hoover to work in her garden. On April 24, she sat in a chair in her garden and
thought about God again as members of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Troy worked
in her yard and power-washed her carport.
“I’ve been praying that
the Lord would send somebody to help me,” Hoover said. “If I could, I’d be out
here pulling the grass myself.”
The work was part of
the church’s efforts during the one-day community mission blitz Operation
Inasmuch conducted April 24 and May 1 by Baptist churches throughout North
Hoover, who lives in
Mt. Gilead, said she appreciated what the volunteers were doing.
“I consider this a
mission project,” she said. “You don’t always have to go to another country to
Operation Inasmuch lets
churches do missions in their own community. Mt. Carmel pastor Tom Vannoy told
the 17 church members participating that they would make a difference in the
lives of people they helped.
“That’s really what
it’s all about, being Christ where we live,” he said during a devotion before
the workers went to their assigned projects.
Vannoy read a passage
in Matthew 25 where Operation Inasmuch gets its name.
In it, Jesus says that
“inasmuch” as people help the “least of these” they help Him.
“When we’re out there
touching people’s lives, we’re really touching Jesus,” Vannoy said.
This was Mt. Carmel’s second
Operation Inasmuch, but church members have done other mission projects in the
community, gone on mission trips and helped with disaster relief efforts,
Vannoy said. Most recently volunteers from the church went to High Point on
April 2 to help tornado victims.
mission-oriented church,” he said.
One of those on the
High Point trip was Jim Coltrane. On April 24, he was on a ladder cleaning
Hoover’s carport with a power-washer.
“You’re helping the
Lord and you’re helping people,” he said.
Coltrane, who helps
build NASCAR racecars for a living, got a new perspective on such help after he
went on a mission trip recently. The day after he returned, a tree fell on his
house, causing $50,000 in damage.
“I can understand how
people feel helpless,” he said.
Louise McRae is not
helpless, but she still appreciated the work the church members were doing in
her yard. At age 85, McRae has been keeping up her house in Mt. Gilead by
herself for 28 years, while also caring for a mentally challenged daughter.
She watched as men from
Mt. Carmel cut limbs from an oak she planted decades ago. She’s thankful the
limbs no longer threaten her home.
“It’s a blessing,” she
Others from Mt. Carmel
trimmed limbs and cleaned the yard of fellow church members, Earl and Linda
Barker. Earl Barker, who was a welder and pipe fitter in nuclear power plants,
Other church members
worked in the home of Johnny Husley who has limited mobility and often uses an
electric wheelchair to get around.
Volunteers repaired a
floor in Husley’s mobile home that was so deteriorated he couldn’t get to the
bathroom in his chair. They also installed a dryer vent to keep lint and
moisture out of the house.
Church members also
worked at the Troy home of Mary Poole, a former librarian at N.C. State
University, Virginia Tech and Duke University.
Vannoy’s wife, Susan,
remembers thinking the house looked like something out of a fairy tale when she
was a little girl.
Now it is in disrepair,
overgrown with trees and ivy.
Poole said she appreciated
the volunteers cleaning her yard, cutting down a tree and repairing her porch.
“I don’t have words to
express how wonderful it is,” she said. “I just can’t do it anymore.”