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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN



Years ago, in a small fishing village in Holland, a young boy taught the world about the rewards of unselfish service.  Because the entire village revolved around the fishing industry, a volunteer rescue team, as needed in case of emergency.  One night the winds raged, the clouds burst and a gale force storm capsized a fishing boat at sea.  Stranded and in trouble, the crew sent out the S. 0. S. The captain of the rescue rowboat team sounded the alarm and the villagers assembled in the town square overlooking the bay.  While the team launched their rowboat and fought their way through the wild waves, the villagers waited restlessly on the beach, holding lanterns to light the way back.

An hour later, the rescue boat reappeared through the fog and the cheering villagers ran to greet them.  Failing exhausted on the sand, the volunteers reported that the rescue boat could not hold any more passengers and that they had to leave one man behind.  Even one more passenger would have capsized the rescue boat and all would have been lost.

Frantically, the captain called for another volunteer team to go after the lone survivor.  Sixteen-year-old Hans stepped forward.  His mother grabbed his arm, pleading, "Please don't go.  Your father died in a shipwreck 10 years ago and your older brother, Paul, has been lost at sea for three weeks.  Hans, you are all I have left."

Hans replied, "Mother, I have to go.  What if everyone said, 'I can't go, let someone else do it'?  Mother, this time I have to do my duty.  When the call for service comes, we all need to take our turn and do our part." Hans kissed his mother, Joined the team and disappeared into the night.

Another hour passed, which seemed to Hans' mother like an eternity.  Finally, the rescue boat darted through the fog with Hans standing up in the bow.  Cupping his hands, the captain called, "Did you find the lost man?" Barely able to contain himself, Hans excitedly yelled back, "Yes!  We found him.  Tell my mother it's my oldest brother, Paul!"

There are many, many souls around us who are lost just waiting for someone to come and rescue them.  That is the mission of the church!  For each of us to go out into a sea of sin and rescue those who are perishing.  We have a tremendous opportunity here at Smithville to send boat after boat of rescuers out through the various programs and activities we have offered.  As the excitement and enthusiasm is at an all time high, why not examine your position in the church and volunteer to become a rescuer.  Jesus said in Luke 19: 10..."For the Son of man came to seek and save that which is lost."

For His Cause,
Tim Woodward
Smithville Church of Christ