Just among friends
Wednesday, August 7, 2013 1:00 AM
Fair 2013 has come to a close. Time to drain the plumbing, pack the sheets and towels in Downy sheets, and put Borax in the fridge. One of the "best Fairs" in some respects, except for the "people holes," which grow larger with each passing Fair. Time has smoothed some of the loss, while others are still so jagged, the tears fog our eyes, and make us hug a little harder. The early morning bird calls reminded us, that no matter the hurt, God is with us.
My mother always said, "The Fair is where you are." That gets truer with every passing birthday. This year my Fair was pretty much at the east end of Sunset Strip. Percy Barrett, now 91 years of age, came by, as he does each year, to visit our family which has pretty much outgrown the fair house he built us in 1967. Best material investment Harold and I ever made.
I did go up to the pavilion Sunday night where the Baptist choir and the quartets sang praises to our God and country. As Chris Vowell expressed it, "Jesus is everywhere tonight!". In the opening ceremony at the grandstand after lunch on Monday, the flags waved in a wonderful, unexpected July breeze, proudly proclaiming a freedom that the world can't take away!
Just by walking across Sunset Strip to the Sugar Shack, I learned of a beautiful story to share with you. Those of you who remember our "Monday night shows" on Sunset Strip, will possibly remember cute, little Marci Hollingsworth, the daughter of Marie and the late Harold Hollingsworth of Decatur, who beginning at about six years of age, would open the show each year as the "Singing Sweetheart of Sunset Strip." She was an angel to us then, and the journey God has chosen for her, has made her an angel to many through the years.
In the course of graduating from Decatur High, East Central Community College and Delta State University, Marci met and fell in love with John Ferguson.
John proposed to Marci in the parking lot at the fairground in 1998. They married in 2000. For five years, Marci and John spread God's word traveling with a gospel trio known as Embrace. Kirkland, their first child was born in 2003. Settling down, they bought a home at Patrick Farm in Pearl. John was employed as an electrical engineer with Siemens. Life was good.
As John told me, "We knew all along that God had a plan for our lives". Involved in the work on the "We Will Go" mission field, John and Marci felt the call to sell their home in Patrick Farm and move into "Love House", a home for the homeless and destitute located at 799 North Congress in downtown Jackson. By then, there were Preslee, now 6, and Maxwell Paul, who will be four this month. "You can't do that!", the world told them, but early on, Marcie and John had told God, "Here we are, send us." They answered His call and lived and served God's people in the Love House for eighteen months. Life was good.
What did God have in mind when He instructed John and Marci to, "Find a house and raise children?" Read on. They moved into an old house, in need of renovation, on Woodgate Drive in Brandon with their three children. Is this what you meant, Lord? A little seven-year-old girl, whose name is Asya, came to the United States, to Brandon, with the Joyful Journey Group from the Ukraine. The mother of the host-family became ill, and the Fergusons were asked if Asya could stay with them. In the ensuing two days and night, Marci, John, Kirkland, Preslee and Max fell totally in love with Asya!
Learning that Asya had a seven-year-old sister named Inna, and a five-year-old brother, named Vitaly, in an orphanage in the Ukraine, the Ferguson's had the answer to God's instructions to "find a house and raise children." On Easter Sunday 2013, John, Marci and Kirkland left for the Ukraine with a God-inspired, determined dream to adopt the three children. After seven weeks of working with the embassies there and in the United States, John, Marci and Kirkland returned to the United States, to Brandon, with Asya, Inna, and Vitaly, U.S. citizens, legally adopted into the Ferguson family.
Returning home after a seven-week absence from his work, John received a promotion. An answer to her prayer afforded Marci help with the children. Her response, "Ain't that just like God!". Life is good with the Fergusons and the house is full!