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The boy “Growing Up on Dump Ground Road” had an early introduction to real pain. As a ten-year-old, he started having severe aches in his right side. His parents took him to their family doctor and it was determined that it was his appendix. This kid had never even heard of this organ, but he knew that it hurt really bad. Then, he was introduced to another new word, surgery! He was taken to the Catholic hospital in a nearby town to have something removed from his body. It didn’t help that this was in the days when all the people in that particular hospital dressed in black. This Baptist boy endured the most frightening experience of his young life.

The man that God grew from that DGR kid still has difficulty dealing with pain. What is hardest of all for him to cope with is the hurt he sees in the people that he loves. He has been fortunate in his personal life not to suffer from any further medical situations. He battles sinus and allergy troubles and an occasional back ache, but no major health conditions. However, he has witnessed the terrible traumas of people dear to his heart. He is all too familiar with the heartaches and hurts of other people, as he shares their pain.

When God called the DGR boy into the ministry, His call was not to merely preach the Word and then go home. The Lord placed a burden on my young heart to become a shepherd to His sheep. He gave me the responsibility of being the steward of His fold. That includes sharing in all of the joys and the sufferings of His people. I get to rejoice with those who are rejoicing and to weep with those who are weeping. The Apostle Paul explained it well with these words in 2 Corinthians 1:3, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” My heart’s desire is to be there with you, and for you, in every stage and situation in your life.

Serving in love, Bro. Jim


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