Couple on mission to help needy

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 19, 1999

FERRIDAY, La. – The Delta Store Front Mission has an open door and a helping hand for everyone.

&uot;People who don’t feel comfortable in other churches can come here and hear the word of God,&uot;&160;said Director Laverne Johnson.

Johnson and her husband, Peewee, have directed the Ferriday mission for three years. The mission has 9 a.m. services almost every day and provides clothing and food items to those in need.

Email newsletter signup

&uot;I enjoy the work. I love it,&uot; Laverne said. &uot;And above everything else I love the Lord.&uot;

Services are informal and non- denominational, allowing freedom in worship.

&uot;It seems like services we have in places like this are more spiritual,&uot; Peewee said.

A variety of ministers speak at the services including retired minister Charles Beard.

&uot;It just does something to help the people who really have a need,&uot; Beard said. &uot;I’m just glad to be a part of it.&uot;

Beard described the services as unique and marvelous.

&uot;I wouldn’t miss it for the world,&uot; he said. &uot;(The people) are more a blessing to me than I am to them.&uot;

The mission is one of more than 100 of its kind supported by Baptists in the state of Louisiana.

But Laverne said the mission doesn’t stress its Baptist affiliation. Everyone is welcome.

&uot;We see a lot of new people, and that’s one thing I enjoy – meeting the people,&uot; Laverne said.

The Johnsons have a long history of mission work involvement. Laverne has been with Missions Service Corps for 10 years, and she and her husband also work at a mission in Jena.

She made her decision to work in the delta in an unusual way. After watching a moving on Mississippi River Ministries she doubted she would ever be able to serve in that area.

&uot;I thought, Lord I can’t do that but I doing it,&uot; she said. &uot;You could just cry your eyes out over that film.&uot;

Peewee helps out by making regular trips to Baptist headquarters to get canned food items. The mission gives out about 500 bags of food a month, Peewee said. But tragedies like the earthquake in Turkey have diminished food reserves at the Alexandria office. So the mission needs community help in gathering items, Laverne said.

The Johnsons do not plan to stop their work anytime soon. &uot;I just simply feel like God put me in it, and I’ll be in it as long as I have health and breath,&uot; Laverne said.