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God's 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 suicide.
    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 world.
    "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 them."

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