Posted by: Barbara Wilbur for ElysJoy Church | November 20, 2011

Elys Joy – November 19th-Bartlick Mountain

Although I promised a video blog, as I mentioned may happen, I have no cell signal at all. I will post up all the videos and pictures when possible and share the joy of the trip. Yesterday we packed up the car and headed over to Haysi, Va. We arrived at the church about noon and were in awe of the beauty and peace of the mountain, even in the least beautiful part of the year. We had missed the brilliance of the fall leaves. Were too early for the shimmer of the white snow. The green of the summer leaves against a blue sky was still months away. It didn’t matter, everyone in the car felt those seasons as if they hung in the air.

Although it was bone chilling cold on Friday night yesterday was a perfect fall day. Sweatshirt weather, my favorite. (Thank You Lord!) We had a hard time leaving the cabin at the Breaks because it was so comfortable but we piled into the van and headed over Bartlick Mountain. We arrived at the church and just stood for a few minutes in awe of the view. The church was in desperate need of a paint job (which is on our new list!) but was virtually the same as it had been when Elsie Yates walked up the road feeling the stirring in her heart, knowing she was minutes from a shared encounter with her Savior through the worship and praise of Him with her church family. She turned her head from the view of that church only to tell the kids to quit wrestling and not get dirty before church even started.

The electricity had been turned off because no one had preached there for many months. It was dark and musty. But the minute we threw the doors open the sunlight streamed in and the darkness scattered. It reminded me of Psalm 107:10 ” Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death” when we got there, but once the doors opened and Jesus’ light poured in, it wasn’t even 5 minutes before people began to pull up to the church. At times, the driveway was completely full! We took a quick inventory of what we needed to do to clear away the cobwebs give the place a cleaning and then sat around and talked to the folks that came.

When we left, we went into town and every person we talked to opened a door we had been praying about. The volume of those confirmations was awe inspiring. The one I will share is that every single person mentioned the lack of a grocery store here. While there was a store about six miles away in Sandlick, they seemed to think a new grocery store would improve their town. We had never considered a grocery store, but found it an interesting concept.

When we got back to the Breaks, we called Cille, my Aunt to report on our progress. She was originally coming with us but something came up and she had to hold down the fort at home. She was however, with us in spirit. When she answered the phone and asked about our day, before we could tell her any details, she said ” You know I have been thinking all day about that town needing a grocery store, maybe a food co-op or something like that.” I couldn’t believe it. Sometimes in our ordinary days of cleaning and traveling we forget that God is the same one that parted the Red Sea, made the lame walk and freed us with the sacrifice of His Son! This mission of ours that feels so daunting, is already planned and executed by the Almighty. He just is sharing a bit at a time with us so we stay on His path and not our own.

We are headed out today to do the rest of the cleaning and spend some more time in town. As I read my Scripture this morning, Romans 15:1-2 kept coming up over and over.

“Now those who are strong have an obligation to bear the weakness of those without strength and not to please ourselves. Each one of us must please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.”

As I read that verse I realized that maybe the people of Haysi were the strong ones and we were the ones being built up by our neighbors on the mountain.

More later, pray for us!



  1. Give me strength God, without u the journey will be too long for me.

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