Word is for desperate, lonely people, couple tells Southern Baptist messengers
-- By Tony Imms
ATLANTA, June 15--Duane and Iris Blue -- people who have experienced
loneliness, desperation and hurt -- encouraged messengers to the Southern Baptist
Convention annual meeting June 15 in Atlanta to reach the cities for Christ.
The Blues, now Mission Service Corps volunteers for the Southern Baptist North American
Mission Board, shared their testimonies in the opening session interpretation of the
convention's 1999 meeting theme, "His Tears -- Our Task!" based on the
Scripture, Luke 19:41, " ... He beheld the city and wept."
Raised in a Baptist church, Iris Blue became involved with drugs as a
teenager. She was arrested for armed robbery at 17 and spent seven years in jail. Upon her
release, she returned to drugs.
"All my life, I just wanted somebody to think I was
valuable," she said, "or precious, or at least OK."
She found the answer when a young man from a local church shared the
gospel with her on the street. In front of a topless bar, she knelt and received Christ.
Iris met her husband-to-be years later when her brother, who worked
with Duane Blue, invited him to their home for Christmas. At the time, Blue lived in a bus
on the street. His father had left when he was young, and his mother had committed
After that Christmas, his future wife's family shared the gospel with
him over several months. Finally, in a long-distance phone call, he was saved. He became
involved in a local church, and shared his new faith with his old friends.
The Blues encouraged Southern Baptists to carry God's Word to the
"It's a world desperate and hurt and lonely," Duane Blue
said, "and if we don't get back to sharing the one thing that matters -- the truth of
Jesus -- they're going to die alone and enter eternity separated from the one that loves
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