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Most who read this will already be aware that Haywood County--and specifically the town of Canton--has been hit with bad news. The paper mill is closing. This will impact not only families but churches. The economic blow will fall on this community heavily. Will giving drop with corresponding reductions in mission and ministry funding occur as financial struggles come? Will young families leave our churches because they have to take on additional work to pay the bills or relocate to other areas where better economic conditions prevail? What about mental and emotional health? Depression, drug addiction, and a host of ills can sweep over a populace beset with financial woes.

Yet, we need not fear. The challenges are real, but so is God--and what a mighty God we serve! It may seem that the plant is sure to close, but God may have other plans. One would suppose that misery might descend, but God may have a brighter and better future than we can imagine. He is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all we ask or think!

But what if sorrow and suffering bring us to our knees? That is a good place to be! In our brokenness and desperation we may seek the Lord passonately and with material loss pursue eternal gain! The reality is that adversity is often better for us than propserity.

God is on the throne. We have the privilege of boldly apprioaching that throne of grace. There is a prayer meeting planned for this Thursday evening, March 9 at 6 PM in Sorrells Park in Canton. If you can, come and join other believers crying out to God. It is time to seek the Lord!

Yours for Haywood County,

Dennis Thurman, Mission Strategist

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