WAVERLY, Iowa—Two years ago, Pastor Brian Wilkins called it devastating—“an absolute, atrocious mess.” The basement of First Baptist Church was buried in mud and debris during the massive flooding that hit the Cedar Rapids area.
“Baptist Builders Club met together with me and representatives of our state association to come up with a plan that involved getting the word out to a number of churches and individuals who helped us,” Pastor Wilkins says of the recovery efforts, also crediting the Baptist Builders Club website for publicizing the church’s needs and replacing damaged Sunday School curriculum from Regular Baptist Press.
During the next year the church spent about $211,000 to clean up, repair, and remodel the historic church, generously assisted by volunteer work teams and many donations.
Now that the church is recovering, Pastor Wilkins suggested they do something unusual with their money: give it back. So he mailed this letter to Baptist Builders Club director Michael Nolan:
“Our people here are still overwhelmed at the outpouring of financial gifts which came our way consequent of the flood two years ago,” Wilkins writes. “God had been so gracious in His provisions to us! We now find ourselves financially blessed in ways I have not seen in my twenty-two years of ministry here. Because of this, we wanted to give back, in part, to the Baptist Builders Club ministry. We know there are needy churches that can use the assistance of your ministry.”
“Please apply the enclosed gift of $8,000 however Baptist Builders Club can best use it.”
Nolan calls the letter from Pastor Wilkins “a real live account of how God used Baptist Builders Club supporters to help a church. Now their church is in a position to help another church,” illustrating the truth of Luke 6:38: “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
In the words of Pastor Wilkins, “Thank you again for your personal and timely help. Thank you for being used of the Lord. We serve a great God!”