Greetings to all from the Eolia Christian Community Outreach Center.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matthew 6:33 NKJV
Another year is almost behind us and I’m glad to see that ECCO is still flourishing and growing. I attributed the ongoing need of more hours in the day to the fact that I’m getting older, but Marie insists there’s much more activity going on at the center than a year ago. Our center is blessed to have committed volunteers who love to help others. Without them we’d have to shut the doors.
ECCO’s avocado green stove of 30 years died on us at the worst time, right before our annual Thanksgiving dinner. They just don’t make things like they used to. It’s a 40-inch double oven with cabinets built around it. The double oven is real handy in the summer when we have SWAP volunteers. After checking the price of a 40-inch range, I was willing to settle for a less expensive one, even though it would have left a 10-inch space. But good old Ray Bird would have none of it. In a couple of hours he had enough pledges for ECCO to have that new stove, which I immediately ordered. Believe me, Ray was a man on a mission. This kind of spirit is what makes ECCO the organization it is today.
Last weekend ECCO had friends and sponsors Chris and his wife Mary Anne along with Doug and Karen from Greenhills, Ohio. We had a very nice visit when they took me to dinner in Cumberland to a restaurant on Main Street called A Taste of Country. It was the first time I’d been there and found it to be quite a treat. The name says it all because it is country cooking at its finest. All I can say is, Paula Deen, eat your heart out.
Last Sunday was Pastor Appreciation Day for Eolia Baptist Mission’s new pastor and his wife Drew and Leah Baldwin. After the service a buffet meal was served at the fellowship hall. Rick Hunter from Lynch taught our Monday night Bible study, which we enjoyed very much. Our regular teacher Dave Hammond works for UPS and this time of year his job starts getting real busy, so hopefully Rick can fill in for Dave when he can’t make it.
I was so sorry to hear of the death of Mary Walker Davis. Deepest sympathy goes to her family.
I received an email from Freddie Terry the new principal at Arlie Boggs Elementary, which I’d like to share with you, especially the parents of Eolia. “I am excited about our future at Arlie Boggs. I truly feel that this is what I was meant to do. I carry a deep sense of pride and a heavy burden for our school and this community. I want nothing less than the best for our students and families of Eolia, Flat Gap, and Cumberland River. We have made tremendous improvements already this school year. We are leading the entire district in the daily attendance rate. Our goal is to finish the year at or above 95 percent attendance. Our enrollment has increased from last year’s 135 to now 139 students. Our KCCT test scores from the end of last school year are something to be proud of. We were one of five schools in Letcher County to meet all targets for the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) data. This means we were identified as meeting or exceeding AYP (Adequate Yearly Progress). We are very proud of our students and staff for their efforts put forth on the state tests. Our largest gain came in Elementary Science with a 43.59 percent increase in the number of students scoring Proficient or Distinguished. Middle School Mathematics had the next largest gain of 34.85 percent. Other areas of increase were; Middle School Writing, 26.09 percent, Elementary Math 23.36 percent and Elementary Writing 22.43 percent. Our goal is to have 100 percent of our students in the Proficient and Distinguished categories by 2014. We at Arlie Boggs Elementary truly believe that every child can and will learn if we provide the opportunity and resources to do so. My vision for the school since day one has been to have a school that the people in the community can be proud to say ‘YES, we are from Eolia, home of the best school in Letcher County and even the state of Kentucky!’ I encourage our community to join us in our efforts to make this vision a reality and others to stand back and watch the Wildcats of ABE as they climb to the top!!!”
With that said, I will leave you with another Bible verse that came to my mind immediately after reading Freddie’s email. “Without a vision the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18
Community Bulletin Board: Bible study at ECCO each Monday evening at 7 p.m. Eolia Community Park meeting the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. at ECCO. Good News Club meets each Wednesday 6:30-7:30 p.m. for ages three and up at the Eolia Mission. Cumberland River Volunteer Fire Department meets the second Sunday of each month at the Partridge Station at 11 a.m. Volunteers welcome. Partridge Lions Club meets the first and third Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the Ovenfork Senior Citizens Center. Come and bring a guest.
This week our prayer list includes: the family of Mary Walker, Karen Morgan, Barb Church, Myrel Lewis Jr., Kathy Morton, Gary Gaitner, Johnny Maggard, Tim Maggard, Linda Sturgill, Columbus and Lois Sturgill, Don Brown, Raymond Kiser, Ralph Nease, Lucy Maggard, Stephanie Estep, Lillian and Nora Walker, Jack and Marie Snell, Helen Chapman and Brenda Gross.
Also to be lifted up are our military troops, the United States, our President, the leaders of our country, all the children hurt by war, and the ministry of ECCO.
Until next time from the folks at ECCO, God bless.