God works in mysterious ways

Published 6:54 pm Tuesday, July 13, 2021

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“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up as you are already doing.” — 1 Thessalonians 5:11

When the Vidalia United Methodist Church burned early Sunday morning, the Miss-Lou community and many across the State of Louisiana rallied behind the church congregation and immediately started looking for ways to help them back on their feet, as we all should.

Whatever your religion or belief is, whether you believe that Jesus is our savior or not, it’s undeniable that the church meant a lot to a lot of people.

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For those church members, it was like a second home — a place where profound spiritual connections were made, a place where baptisms took place, where the lives of lost loved ones were celebrated and where marriages started.

To see all of that go up in flames on a Sunday morning is nothing short of tragic.

What is amazing, however, is how people responded.

This tragedy brought people together in unexpected ways.

Some in the congregation of that church went to other churches to worship and made new connections as a result. Others spent their morning praying while the fire consumed the church and still made connections.

Guylyn Boles didn’t know the first person who hugged her when she first arrived at the church fire Sunday morning, but “I know her now,” she said.

The Rev. Steve McDonald said people far and wide who had some connection with the church or no connection at all offered money and their services.

Some offered to help clean up and rebuild and others asked to donate Bibles, hymnals, chairs and space for worship services.

Former Vidalia UMC pastor Stewart Sherman said the fire was indeed a tragedy but also an opportunity for the church to connect with the neighboring community in ways that they couldn’t before.

God works in mysterious ways in the midst of our struggles and sorrows to make good things happen as a result. We offer our prayers to the Vidalia United Methodist Church community and are grateful to those who supported them in their time of struggle.