Dear Brothers and Sisters in the Lord Jesus,
As we approach the celebration of Resurrection Sunday, I rejoice in my Risen Savior. Over this last year, since the passing of my precious husband, the resurrection has become a more precious reality in my heart. Since we have a Risen Lord, who is always mightily at work, carrying out His plans and purposes, we have assurance and hope in this life and our home above. For this reason, I would like this newsletter to be a source of encouragement to you, our co-labors in the faith. How I thank the Lord for your faithfulness to partner with this ministry. Seeing how the Lord continues to open doors and provide in the carrying out of this ministry is an incredible, yet humbling, blessing!
THE VALUE OF ONE
Using the life of Rahab from the book of Joshua, I taught on this topic at the ladies’ event for Rainsville Baptist, Rainsville, Al. That morning we were graced with having a great turnout, a delicious breakfast, and sweet fellowship. There seemed to be great receptivity of the word of God, as I focused on the value of one life in the hands of the Lord.
Many think they are too young or too old for the Lord to use them in His work. Some feel their work is menial, insignificant, and too small to make a difference in His Kingdom. Others feel unqualified because of their sinful past, uneducated, or their lack of training hinders them, and they will not be effective in His work. Rather, we are to focus on what the Lord can do and find our worth in Him, confidently trusting that He will work in us to accomplish the work He has for us.
This is how the Lord works. He takes the unworthy and makes them worthy, for He has placed a treasure in that earthen vessel. He chooses the unqualified; then qualifies them by giving them the Holy Spirit. He takes sinners (which is all that He works with) and through repentance and saving faith transforms that sinner into one of His saints. Friends, no assignment from the Father is a small and irrelevant work. He is working out His plan and then graciously allows us to join Him in this work. The value of one in His kingdom is an amazing thing for the one whose life is surrendered to Him. This is encouraging news for you and me!
THE PRODIGAL SON
Bro. David Cofield, the pastor of Rainsville First Baptist, had planned a month-long emphasis on the parable of the Prodigal Son. Bro. David and his wife, Roxanne, have been dear friends for many years, so he was very aware of our testimonies. So, he contacted our daughter, Benita, and me about taking part in this outreach. His purpose was to hear from Benita, who once had been a prodigal child, but later came to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Then my assignment would be to speak from the aspects of the parents’ journey through that time. Even though I readily admitted to once being a prodigal, so, I could identify from both sides of that coin.
David preached on the first Sunday of this month’s theme, using the text of Luke 15. The following Sunday, Benita shared of being a prodigal, then the next Sunday, Bro. David interviewed me about those many years, and how the Lord worked in our lives through it all. Evangelist, Phil Waldrop, who proclaimed a gospel message, concluded this special emphasis. A couple of weeks later, Roxanne called and told us that the Lord was encouraging and strengthening many during that time. Also, the Lord had been convicting others revealing they had never been converted and was bringing them to saving faith. Friends, this is encouraging, for our God is at work.
Benita humbly shared of running from the Lord and her parents, in rebellion, going her own way. The Lord would remind her of scripture she had been taught and begin to convict her of sin. Then she spoke of the hope that came to her when the Lord pursued after her, and by His mercy and grace saved her soul. She testified of the truth of Ezekiel 36, because the Lord took away her stony heart and turned it into a heart of flesh.
Bro. David ask if he could write something about these two Sundays for the newsletter:
He writes, Our church (Rainsville First Baptist Church, Rainsville, AL) was recently blessed to have Mrs. Dianne Lacy, wife of Ed Lacy, and their daughter, Benita Bussell, with us for a special emphasis on “The Prodigal.”
God had placed on my heart to have this emphasis and we were extremely blessed to have these two ladies share their stories. Benita shared her powerful and moving testimony to our church about her days as a prodigal running away from home, wanting nothing to do with her mom and dad, and living in rebellion. But then God got her attention and turned her life around to where she could not get enough of being around her mom and dad; notwithstanding, the dramatic story of how afterward Bro. Ed gave her a coat, then a ring, next a pair of shoes, followed by taking her to an elaborate steak dinner. After these things were completed, then telling her to go home and read Luke 15.
The next Sunday, Mrs. Dianne shared her life as the parent of a prodigal. Oh the wisdom God graced our church with through her testimony. While admitting they were not perfect in their dealings with Benita, they did take a hard line of not enabling her which God used to bring Benita to the end of herself. Additionally, Mrs. Dianne shared that through all of this, God wanted to bring her and Bro. Ed to a new level of trusting God no matter what they were going through.
In the end, our church gave them a standing ovation to express their appreciation for their ministry among us. Then the altars filled with people praying for God to do a work in their own lives.
We also had the opportunity to have Mrs. Dianne for a one-session Women’s Conference on Saturday, during which she taught “The Value of One” with a powerful teaching on the life of Rahab.
I highly recommend that any pastor or women’s leader prayerfully consider having Mrs. Dianne and Benita in your church. Many families are dealing with the issue of prodigals and their ministry is well-trusted to help. Blessings, David O. Cofield, Pastor
Afterward, Bro. David posted the following statement in their church’s newsletter. He wrote: “The glory of God was so evident this past weekend as I heard of tremendous reports from the Women’s Conference and its great attendance. Then her sharing Sunday as the “Parent of a Prodigal” was wisdom to take to heart no matter what one is going through. God is always interested, (top- Priority) of changing us to trust Him more, no matter the situation.
Friends, I included his words in that last paragraph to bring glory to God, for it is only by His wisdom and strength enabling us, produces any spiritual work. The Lord does use everything in our lives, good and bad, to conform us into His image. I was reminded of a treasured truth in Elisabeth Elliot’s book, ‘Suffering Is Never for Nothing’. She said, “I am convinced that there are a good many things in this life that we really can’t do anything about, but that God wants us to do something with.” The more life happens, the more I realize that this statement is true. One of the cries of my heart is for anything the Lord allows me to go through, I will desire for Him to do something with; thereby He alone gets all the glory. Friends, the Lord wastes nothing! This is encouraging news.
Just a footnote: I highly recommend this book. It is a great resource.
MINISTRY CONTINUES TO MULTIPLY
An exciting new opportunity has been presented related to foreign fields. Recently, a pastor in Louisiana contacted me and told me of this possibility. A Thailand missionary couple he was meeting with conveyed of their great need for biblical teachings and training material. He shared about Ed’s available material. Thereby, pray, for there is a possibility that these Biblical teachings will be translated into another language, for the equipping of the saints and the proclamation of the gospel. The Lord is at work in this world. This is indeed exciting news!
In addition, the reports I receive from our pastors’ work in foreign fields are incredibly uplifting and convicting. They work in such remote and difficult situations, but are filled with joy and gratefulness. There is abundant fruit flowing from their labor. While we often emphasize a ministry on foreign fields, in keeping our focus on the ‘Value of One’, I wanted to update you on some ministry work that continues locally.
For this reason, I asked a couple of the young men Ed was discipling to share how the Lord’s work continues to bring forth a harvest. This does illustrate the value of one, who is surrendered to the Lord.
First, a testimony from Spencer: He is one of the young men Ed taught and equipped as he took him to ministered alongside him. Spencer has been called into the ministry and graduates in May; heading off to Master’s Seminary in July. Recently, he shared about teaching a one-on-one Bible study with another young college student. They were studying through Ed’s workbook on the Beatitudes. As they progressed through the study, the young college student begins to realize he had never come to Jesus on His terms. But this young man has been converted through the power of the Word of God and the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. As Ed often said, “Time will tell if it is a possession of faith and not just a profession of faith.” However, the evidence appears to reveal that he is a new creation.
This is just one among many testimonies of how the Lord is working through Spencer, along with several men that was in this group. They minister weekly, several times a week, in drug and alcohol rehabs and frankly to anyone that will listen. What can one man do? Much, when they surrender their lives to the Lord!
Secondly, Collier, another one of these young men, gives testimony. He refers to this as a small piece of the continuing ministry from Ed’s investment in his life; they call it, “Edventures”, because Ed taught and lead them in this work. I will only focus on one portion of his testimony. Collier wrote, “Ed poured his love for the lost and his passion for Biblical teaching into us, his unworthy companions, who have since found opportunities to utilize Ed’s teachings in personal discipleship ministry and bible study groups.
During those nights spent in the field of Gospel ministry, we saw the value of Ed’s teachings as they presented Gospel Truths to men from all different backgrounds, mental capacities, and education/reading levels. Not only were the starving souls of broken men fed and nurtured, but, those who were recently converted, being young children in the Faith, were so heavily impacted by the clarity of the teaching and the compassionate ministry bestowed on them.
Since his passing, we have preached through his workbook on the ‘Beatitudes” multiple times, and also implemented it for personal discipleship. Presently, I am meeting with a group of 7-10 men in a gym early on Wednesday mornings to study the prayer series, “The Biblical Path To An Effective Prayer Life”. This opportunity began in January of 2023, by witnessing to one man in the gym where I go to work out and I offered to study the Bible with him. Other men heard of it and joined us in this study. The edifying selection of scriptures, gospel oriented messages and brilliant teachings points provided in this workbook have directly influenced the repair of a marriage, planted Gospel seeds into the hearts and minds of lost men, and produced opportunities as the scriptures instructs, for iron to sharpen iron, as men pray for each other according to the Will of God with fervency and persistence. (Collier) THESE THINGS ARE ENCOURAGING!
Oh precious, faithful friends, I hope these things have encouraged you to recognize the value of one life. As a co-laborer in this work, you have a part in these testimonies. Your faithfulness, prayers, and love for souls and missions, for this ministry and me, undergird this work. Our loving Lord continues to provide the support needed for the work on foreign fields; and offer these ministry tools for teachings, workbooks, and tracts to churches and individuals. The Lord multiplies His work, using His people to carry it out. I pray you will see how valuable you are in His Kingdom. I pray you rejoice greatly in the Resurrection of our Lord!
He is Worthy,