The Hillbilly Poet 

We are grateful for every person the Lord brings to us at God’s Appalachian Partnership. Several years ago, I had the honor of befriending a man named Walter. He came to GAP one day, bringing another man who usually rides his bicycle about 12 miles one way to get to our office. I soon discovered that Walter was a writer and used the name “The Hillbilly Poet”. Many of his poems and writings have been published in local publications over the years.

Our friendship has grown over the years, and he calls a couple times a week to share prayer requests, ask a question about the Bible, or just to hear a friendly voice. He and his wife live together in a small one room storage building which they have made into their home. They no longer drive and rarely leave except for an occasional doctor’s appointment. A few weeks ago, Walter called and said he had a problem and needed help. He and his wife are not people who ask for help lightly. Rats had invaded his little house, destroying his stove, electrical wiring, and several other things.

A mission group from Lawndale Baptist Church, Greensboro, NC, answered the call and met Walter’s need. They installed metal underpinning around his house, burying it between 5” to 7”. The couple were so pleased with all the team accomplished in just one day. Walter wrote a poem to express his gratitude. It was published in a surrounding county’s weekly newspaper. Thank you, Lawndale Baptist Church, for sharing the love of Christ! Below is the poem entitled, “Filling the Gap in the Foundation”, written by The Hillbilly Poet.

“The Poet had problems in his foundation leaking rats. God’s Appalachian Partnership sent a crew and repaired it in one day. The GAP director realized there’s no money in poetry, which sets the Poet free. The director didn’t make the Poet beg, but works for a generous God who shares the faith with people like the poor Poet. The Poet says God works through people and thanks God for Lawndale Baptist Mission Team who rescued him. We see God’s work in the people around us.” 

-Walter Lane

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