December 18, 2013
Editor’s note: Betty Jackson of Thomaston wrote the following story which seems fitting for the Christmas season.
When avid vintage car enthusiast and collector Ronnie Evans asked his church, Valley Grove Baptist, to host a vintage car show, he had no idea it would be so successful, but after all, it was a first for Ronnie and his family.
With the help of his wife, Judy, and daughter, Bridgett, they were able to enter 30 vintage cars in the show and enlist numerous sponsors. They also coordinated food for a hot dog lunch and baked goods for a small fee.
Proceeds from the car registration, sponsors, and a silent auction help to raise funds for Ronnie’s dream, which was to have a successful show and to give to missions.
At the end of the day, a trophy was awarded to Best in Show. A gentleman from Atlanta, who attends shows but had never entered before, walked off with the top award for his vintage pink Chevrolet.
And now for “the rest of the story,” and the second dream.
At the tender age of 13, a young teenager felt a call to missions. Tim Harris, whose father was a minister, always thought he would be a minister, too, but the mission field was calling him.
After marriage and now in their 30’s, he and his wife, Rachel, went to Croatia in 2007 as missionaries, but not before raising money to live on. To took them three and a half years to raise enough for the first year. It would cost them about $2,800 a month. The group they are with, Pioneers Evangelical, does not supply living expenses, so they are dependent on donations from individuals, churches, friends and family.
They are on furlough here until May 2014 and will be speaking in different churches to raise money for their next year abroad. They will not be going back to Croatia, but to Bosnia. They work mainly with children ministries and have been asked to go there because of the needs of the children and young people there.
Pioneer Ministries has 2,593 workers, 248 church planning groups, are in 95 countries, have 180 people groups and 100 languages are spoken in the areas they serve.
Tim and Rachel’s work is mainly with children activities including orphans, Bible teaching, church planning, and physical needs.
Two years ago, Rachel had to return to the United States dues to a high risk pregnancy situation. There were no specialized medical facilities in the Croatian area that could have helped her. Isaiah is now two years old and is already learning to speak two languages – English and Croatian (or Serbo).
There are no houses for rent there, so they have to buy their own home for cost of about $1,800.
Tim is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Chris Harris of Lawrenceville, and the grandson of Mr. and Mrs. Phil Harris of Thomaston.
This story began with a green flag and ended with a checkered flag when Tim and Rachel came to speak at Valley Grove on Sunday morning, December 1, 2013, sharing a slide show and telling of their work as missionaries in a foreign land. They accepted a check from Ronnie, Judy and Bridgett Evans during the morning worship service in the amount of $1,800. In a breaking voice, Tim turned to the congregation and said, “This is the largest donations we have ever received.”