Merry Monday by Parris Bailey
Happy Birthday Victory Fellowship! You’ve made 33 years!
“This hope we have as an anchor of soul, both sure and steadfast and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become HIgh Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” Heb. 6:19
This week had some real highs and some real lows. My stepdad of 36 years died and the memorial was this week. I rode up to Maggie Valley, NC with my daughter and grandson to meet Frank, Jeremy, Nat and his family. Papa Erv touched us all with his humor, his patience, and his love for God. A cat scan revealed that the cancer had come back, and within three short weeks he passed away. My mother had just celebrated her 80th and now has a lot of decisions to make while she lives 4500ft above sea level surrounded by majestic views of God’s creation.
Frank and I were asked to share at his memorial at the First Baptist Church in Waynesville. I chose the above scripture for a lot of reasons. One being that Erv served in the navy during World War II, and this scripture is what my mother needs in the days to come.
My high this week is of course Victory making 33 years. It’s still hard to believe that I was 21 years old and Frank 26 when we made the trek back down to NOLA to start our adventure that has lasted these many years. As I stood at the pulpit Sunday, I can’t help but feel God’s goodness. Victory has never stopped being hungry and thirsty for Jesus. I call Victory and the Baileys an uncommon union, you have loved us in our unloveliness.
The words both sure and steadfast in the greek mean to sustains one’s footing and to keep from tottering. When we throw the anchor overboard into the deep, blue water, no one can really see where it goes. Such is our hope, we place it in the invisible God, and He in turn sustains our footing in the storms of life.
When Katrina hit in 2005, this scripture became our bread. Victory reached out her arms to the city and supplied groceries, ran a soup kitchen, and helped rebuild New Orleans. He has continually been our anchor when we failed to meet our banknote (this was years ago) yet we felt led to host a huge picnic for the city on July 4th every year. He is the anchor of our soul both sure and steadfast.
In 1994 a wave of the Holy Spirit swept through our congregation and you (Victory) embraced it. We are still embracing this wave and the many others that have swept over us. During this time we started a multi-media presentation called Beyond the Grave which has and still touches thousands of young people every year. Thank you for stepping up every year and never growing tired of our dreams.
I also thank Victory for our precious Victory Academy these many years. We have seen so many children pass through those doors, we now see their own children coming back through. It was a dream in Frank and my hearts that you, Victory, embraced. I wanted my children to be in a Spirit-filled garden where they could worship freely and feel the love of God.
In the past 3 years, Victory has stepped up to the plate and helped me launch Marysong Restoration Center for Women. When God takes one look at these women and they are forever changed. What will the next 33 years be like? I do not know, other than it will involve winning souls, pressing into the presence of Jesus, and throwing out that anchor again and again.