WATER VALLEY – A milestone was celebrated last Monday, Oct. 5, as Compassion Ministries’ decade of service providing food to Yalobushians was honored during a luncheon at the First Baptist Church in Water Valley.
Ministry founder and pastor Raymond Aven helped organize the celebration, inviting board members, former board members, elected officials, pastors and other supporters.
Aven reported the ministry has raised almost $250,000 during the last 10 years, money that was used to feed 50,000 families during the last decade.
“Everything we did was done by you,” Aven said, applauding the efforts of the community to make the ministry a success. Aven recalled advice offered, both by the late Brownie Crawford and Water Valley Mayor Larry Hart, during initial planning to start the program.
Crawford told us to get lots of donors, instead of depending on two or three key supporters, Aven recollected.
“We never borrowed a dime, never had any credit,” Aven said, adding that Crawford’s advice had been followed.
“Mayor Hart said to be accountable, be open and the community will support you,” Aven added, recalling the words Hart offered more than 10 years ago.
Aven also invited three key speakers to commemorate the event, Mayor Hart, Yalobusha Board of Supervisors President Amos Sims and First Baptist Minister Randy Bain.
Hart, addressing the crowd first, told the attendees that he would not want to live in a community that did not have compassion for its people.
“I look forward to the next 10 years,” Hart added.
Sims took the podium next, pointing to the difficult economic times that many Americans are experiencing.
“The times we are facing now, many families find themselves at a place they never thought they would be,” Sims told the crowd.
Dr. Bain brought the closing remarks, telling the attendees that the ministry not only provided physical food, but also spiritual nourishment.
“Many have come to trust in Christ through this ministry,” Dr. Bain said.