Dear Friends & Prayer Warriors,
Well, it looks like I’m on a quarterly newsletter now. It’s not intentional but just so much going on in our lives that it seems to end up that way. I never thought we would be in this kind of situation in my lifetime with the shelter in place orders due to this crazy coronavirus going on. We are all healthy and doing well. I have been able to see a little bit of the future as to what retirement life would be like though. As of right now, I only go into work one day a week since the university has gone to all online teaching and such. Our governor has put us on a shelter in place order until April 27. Who knows when life will get back to normal, but it has been good being with my family.
Our first engagement for the year was on February 7 and 8 for a men’s conference at LaBelle Haven Baptist Church in Olive Branch, MS. Their pastor, Bro. Dean Stewart, invited us to led worship for their first annual Men’s conference. We enjoyed getting to know their worship leader, Bro. Ken Washburn. I was unable to be there for the Friday night session due to a work conflict. But Christian stepped up and lead worship in my place that night. From what I understand, he did an outstanding job. We stayed in our motorhome while we were up at Olive Branch. As we were getting ready to leave on Saturday afternoon, we had difficulty getting it to start. I was afraid we were going to have to get someone out there to help jump us off. However, after continuing to try to get it started, it finally cranked up. We traveled back home and then took it to our mechanic for regular servicing and have him look at the batteries. After he inspected it, he found several things that needed to be worked on. He suggested that we just leave it with him because one of the problems was the bearings on the front axle were allowing water to get into the grease hub. He said if we drove it any more, it could do more damage than we already had. He was not going to be able to have it ready for the next two revivals, so we had to camp out in the gymnasium at one and stay at another couple’s house at the other.
We presented a Valentine concert at Fellowship Baptist Church near Mathiston, MS on March 15. Bro. Brent Manasco is their pastor. We truly enjoyed our time with them that night.
On March 1–4 we were at Corinth Baptist Church near Purvis, MS. This was our annual revival with Bro. Scotty McDowell who is the chalk artist evangelist from Jenna, LA. This was our 12th revival at Corinth Baptist Church where Bro. Brad Ford continues to pastor. It is always a pleasure to hear Bro. Scotty preach. He is not only a gifted artist, but also an amazing evangelistic preacher. On March 4, Becky and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. About six months earlier I started trying to decide what I was going to give her for our 25th. I know it’s supposed to be something silver. I also knew that we had done a lot of traveling in those 25 years and thought it would be interesting if we had been to 25 states. So I started counting up all the states that we have been in and amazingly enough, it had been 25 states. So I decided to start collecting the quarters from those states and was going to give her a plaque with the 25 quarters arranged as the number 25 in a frame. Now this was only part of the gift. After she opened it up, I told her there was an exclamation point to the 25 and that point would be the next state we go to. I then had her choose a jewelry bag or a ring box to reveal the next state. She chose the jewelry bag, but little did she know that the same state was in both gifts. She’s always wanted to go to Hawaii, and so I told her that we would do that as soon as I can get my parent’s house sold. Right now I can’t afford it. Please understand that I’m not selling it out from underneath them. They have both gone on to glory. So if you happen to know of anyone looking for a house in Weir, MS, have them give me a call.
Our next revival was in Millbrook, AL at Millbrook Baptist Church. We were there on March 8-11. We believe this was our fifth revival at Millbrook with their pastor Bro. Mike Ingram. The guest speaker for the week was Bro. Daniel Wilson who is the Evangelism Director for the Alabama Baptist Convention Board. He is a young man in his late 30s, but one who has an old soul and quite the fireball preacher. Alabama is lucky to have him as their evangelism director. As I mentioned earlier, this was the revival that we would be staying at someone’s house. We were always anxious when we stayed at someone’s house even early in our ministry because we always felt we were putting them out to have to host us, even more so now with four children added to the mix. Becky decided to do something she hadn’t done in the last 12 years of teaching homeschool by giving the kids their first spring break off. Since we were staying in someone’s home, she felt it would’ve been a whole lot easier to give them the week off than to have to set up school there or even at the church. So the kids were excited about not having school that week. Since we had no plans, we decided to do some things in the Millbrook/Montgomery area and did a little sightseeing along with some hiking and even took them to a trampoline park one day. We truly enjoyed our stay with Jim and Becky Bonds. They were quite the gracious hosts. We really enjoyed getting to know them better.
As we returned home from Millbrook, I began to receive emails from the president of Mississippi State University discussing extending their spring break for another week as they planned on finishing out the semester with online courses due to the coronavirus outbreak. As that week went on we were asked to work from home as much as possible if we could. But with our video work, sometimes it’s not possible when you have to do something in the studio. We have a weekly AG news show the we put together in our studios called Farmweek that airs on Mississippi public television along with RFD-TV.
We have been doing our part in practicing social distancing. We have also still been able to minister in our church through Facebook live on Becky‘s account. It’s kind of interesting, however, to go and lead worship at a church with no one in it. But we’ve had hundreds of people following the worship service online. We have had one revival at the end of March that had to cancel on us due to this pandemic. They did say they would try to reschedule though. And more than likely our other revival at the end of April may be postponed as well. However, we’re hoping we might be back into somewhat normalcy by the end of April. Though I don’t really see that happening anytime soon. Who knows? Our hearts go out to all of our evangelist friends whose livelihoods rely on revivals and conferences. Obviously, all of those have been canceled until further notice. Please keep them in your prayers as they are truly trusting in the Lord now more than ever to provide for their needs. If any of you would feel led of the Lord to help support some of these evangelists, feel free to contact me via text or phone call at 662–312–0836 and I will be more than happy to give you some names and contact information for you to help financially support them or even send them a letter of encouragement.
May God bless you all. And keep looking up, He’s still in control!
In His Service,
Steve & Becky Carver