Joey Buck: New Assistant Director / Dollywood Chaplain
It has been an exciting three weeks as my family and I have begun our work with SMRM. There are many facets of ministry with which we have already been involved. Just days after our arrival, and before the truck arrived with our household goods, I was called out to the hospital to meet a Dollywood employee family whose loved one suffered a traumatic fall resulting in critical injuries. It is a privilege to be together with the family offering comfort through the assurance of God’s presence, power, and faithfulness. As we continue to watch the Great Physician heal our friend, I know that the ministry to this family is in the sense of love and prayers from all who support this minsitry.
The winter season at Ober-Gatlinburg is nearing the end…but the snow continues to fall! Skiing conditions are great and the conversations with the employees have been even better. As the International students are preparing to say goodbye to new friends and return home, we take the opportunity to visit with them about their experiences in the United States. To so many, the idea of a relationship with Jesus is a new concept. Our lives have demonstrated that being a Christian is more than talk, more than a religious tradition- it is about being open to the love of God and living in the joy of knowing He loves us!
Katy and I quickly unpacked the boxes so that we could open our home to a few students who offered to help us move in. We discovered that “old-school” Nintendo is popular entertainment in Brazil! The students appreciated a good American hamburger grilled on the back porch along with the free internet to check email and catch up with family back home. One-by-one they are leaving to returning home but we are content knowing that they have seen God’s love demonstrated through service and have heard God’s truth through our conversations.
We are glad to be here and look forward to the plans God has for us.