Since I graduated high school and left Portsmouth, Virginia, I have lived mainly in small, rural towns. The people who have grown up there often have a very idealistic view of their hometown and see it as safe and crime-free. Such is not the case.
Several things have happened in our area that have been disturbing, and these types of things are increasing. Small towns are not exempt from crime and other issues. This area has its share of meth and multiple other issues that disturb me. They disturb me because I know that I as a pastor and us as a faith community must address them. It does us no good to stick our heads in the sand. I would love to think that everyone who affiliated with Overcomers Church is what he or she proclaims. I know people come who struggle with alcohol, drugs, sex, pornography, and the list keeps going. The excuse “I’ve known her all my life and she comes from a good family” does not hold water with me. Several years ago, I was in a small town, rural church with a long-time molester who was a faithful attender and “upstanding man in the community”. Everybody THOUGHT they knew him, but he was doing despicable things behind closed doors that eventually landed him in prison for life. Except for the grace of God, any one of us could go down such a path. Before you scratch your head and wonder how these things could happen, remember Scripture said that perilous times will come.
So, what are we to do? Pray! Fight the good fight of faith! Resist the devil! Determine that you will make a positive impact in your community! Your difference may be small, but even small can be significant.