Thank you, Bev!
Last Friday night, Pastor Bev Myers said goodbye to Water's Edge UM Ministry in Buckeye Lake. In many ways, it was a typical Friday night there. Buckeye Lake area children, some with parents and many by themselves, enjoyed a good meal followed by a Bible story, prayer and games. Thanks to one of Bev's disciples - Shirley Kay Sanders - no one left empty-handed. She made sure every family or child left with a bag of food, most of it donated by the Hebron Kroger store. But all that happens every Friday night. Meals are also served on Wednesday nights.
But there were also some tears Friday night and lots of hugs as parents and children thanked Bev for devoting six years of her life to them and Buckeye Lake children and families in general. It was noisy and boisterous Friday night, but that's generally how it is at Water's Edge. Children have fun and they are comfortable there.
In our 12-year tenure here, we can unequivocally state that NO ONE has done more for Buckeye Lake youth than Bev Myers. She started out in a rented storefront near our officeand had to move four times before realizing her dream of having their own permanent home.
Frankly, I was a bit skeptical when Bev outlined her plans to build their own building. But I underestimated her spirit, faith and determination. When she put up that tiny tent on that vacant lot along Ohio 79 and then spent 40 nights there, I knew we were witnessing true faith and devotion. Even then, the contributions didn't pour in. But Bev made it happen, using a combination of community donations, financial contributions from her family, donations from other conference churches and donated services and materials. There weren't any major corporate or foundation gifts. It was built with a $20 gift here, a $1,000 donation there, a "we'll do the painting" here, a "we'll sell it for cost" there and so on.
All those pieces fell in place for one reason - a belief in Bev Myers and her ministry. She talked about her ministry and then went out and DID IT. More often than not, there is a lot more talk than action.
Bev did more than just minister to children and their families. She inspired dozens to volunteer their time and services on a continuing basis. While many of us relish being "off" on Friday nights, some of Bev's volunteers were concerned about possibly losing their Friday nights at the Water's Edge. That's the kind of dedication she inspires.
Bev will be very uncomfortable with this personal praise as she writes below. She credits God and his plan for her.
We should also thank Bev's husband and three sons for sharing her with us for six years. Bev spent nearly every Friday night and many weekends at Water's Edge. They gave us a lot of her time and energy.
As Bev said Friday night in a prayer, "The game plan isn't clear yet." She isn't turning off her spirit or faith, so our loss will be another community's gain. We will miss her!
Pastor Robert Beyer of the Jacksontown United Methodist Church now has responsibility for Water's Edge. He has some big shoes to fill. We wish him well.