God blesses me with many joys as I work for and with you. One significant joy is the pleasure of working with the West-Ark staff. I have enjoyed every team with whom I served. Being a part of this team provides me special joys.

Few people know (1) how unselfish this staff is; (2) how sacrificial this staff is; (3) how concerned for the good of the congregation this staff is; (4) how committed this staff is to the "personal touch"; (5) and how noncompetitive this staff is. None of us consider our work as an "occupation" or a "job." Each of us see our role as a commitment to the stewardship of God's call. We are a team, and we work together as a team.

Consider Brad Pistole. Brad was a child in one of the congregations that merged to produce West-Ark. He was a student in the Metro Christian School housed in this building. He is one of "your kids." As one of "your kids," he cares for you deeply. The fact that he grew up here too often results in taking him for granted. It also leads us to say, "Brad will do it." He always has--even to his own hurt. He is, with difficulty, learning to love and say "no." For people who work for the church, that is a hard lesson.

We have one of the finest, most talented youth ministers in the region (and likely the nation!). Brad is recognized far and wide for his ability, his love for people, and his love for God. Sizable congregations have asked him to work with them. Some situations were quite appealing. In specific ways, change offered simplification. He stayed because he loves you and believes in this congregation's opportunities.

When the Family Life Center was completed, the elders asked Brad and Ted to be in temporary charge of coordination and scheduling. That is a ministry in itself! Recently those responsibilities were given to Patti Anderson and Debbie Belote. (They need assistance--are you looking for a ministry?) When you need to schedule use of the Family Life Center, contact Patti. All details, including entrance and keys, are arranged and coordinated through the office. Please schedule in advance.

Wednesday, August 23rd, Brad had his sixteen-month check up following his brain surgery. One of his national ministries is to share with those who face the same type of surgery. He invests the same concern and interest in them that he invests in you. He is quite aware that once you have a tumor, the possibility of a tumor reoccurring is real.

Include Brad in your prayers. Drop him a note of encouragement and appreciation. Never forget Yvonne and her sacrifices. Brad does things for our families most will not know until Judgment. He wants no praise. He just wants your children to learn to use Christ to defeat evil and be a part of God's kingdom.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 27 August 2000

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