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Linda Beck column – Are you someone's Barnabas?

Recently, I had the privilege and pleasure of attending a youth program that my grandchildren took part in at Oakdale Baptist Church in Statesville. It was a blessing to finally get to watch my oldest grandson play the drums to Christian music. My other grandson took part in a skit and my older granddaughter sang with the group.
My son-in-law is the youth minister and has a large group of students from sixth to l2th grade. They have been on many mission trips where the youth have learned valuable lessons about loving their neighbors and helping others to the glory of God.
After the service, Pastor Wayne shared his appreciation to the youth minister and the young folks for the service on which they had worked so hard. There were several adults, including the choir director, who had spent a lot of time helping those kids prepare this worship service for the Lord.
Anytime youth are involved, adult volunteers are needed, and the pastor mentioned this by asking volunteers to “come alongside” and help support the youth minister and the young people in all of their activities. Because of my disability, I’m unable to do so, but I was reminded of an earlier Bible study of the Book of Acts.
I learned about some of the many mission trips which Paul took. A fellow named Barnabas was Paul’s first traveling companion. The name Barnabas means “son of encouragement,” but in that Bible study, we were told that Barnabas also means “one who came alongside.”
God had chosen Barnabas to support Paul in his mission trip.
I realized this was similar to what Pastor Wayne was encouraging the congregation to do where the youth are concerned. I thought of my own position as a servant of the Lord. He has given me an opportunity to be Barnabas to many other disabled folks.
My name, Linda, may not mean “son of encouragement,” but he has given me opportunities to be an encourager to others who need help in their spiritual and physical journeys. I have an aunt from Panama, and when I was a little girl, she told me that Linda in Spanish means “beautiful.” I certainly never considered myself beautiful, but I pray that others see “beauty” in my attempt to reach them in service for Christ.
During the years I traveled speaking for Christian Women’s Club, I guess I was kin to Paul in my mission work, and God brought a wonderful friend into my life. Gerri Holshouser became my Barnabas. She was such an encourager as she sat time after time listening to me tell others about how God has been the anchor in the storms of my life.
Are you a Barnabas in someone else’s life? Are you willing to be an encourager to others? Has God called you to “come alongside” with someone who has circumstances similar to your own? If you feel that you were called in service to the Lord, then don’t hesitate to be available to help youth and others as needed.
Service to the Lord should be the mission of all Christians.

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