GodReflection: A Secure Grip On Hope.
Over the past one hundred years various cousins of my dad’s maternal family, belonged to the Hope, New Mexico, church. They were relatives of Dr. Owen E. Puckett my paternal grandma Lula’s brother.
Hints of the congregation’s origin seep from between the lines of an old family letter dated October 16, 1916. It is addressed to Dr. Puckett’s parents “P.J. Puckett and wife” (Pleasant and Fannie) at the time they were still residents of the family home back in Newberg, Arkansas. On stationary from the Hotel Bates in Carlsbad, New Mexico, the evangelist W.A. Schultz of Colorado, Texas relates rays of hope within Hope, New Mexico.
Dear Brother and Sister,
I am just returning from Hope, New Mexico, where I have just closed a fifteen-day meeting. There were thirty-five baptized during the meeting and one of that number was Owen’s wife. I left them all rejoicing greatly, and Owen is especially happy.
The boys told me that today was their father’s birthday and that he is 71 years old today. I offer you congratulations and assure you that you have not lived in vain to have raises such noble sons.
Hope is situated in a very fertile section of the country where health conditions are the very best. The boys sure made an excellent selection of a country to locate in . . .They are all happy and contented and more than satisfied. They are more than pleased with the country and well they might.
The brethren at Hope recently built a concrete church house 40 x 60 feet. We had it filled several times to overflowing during the meeting.
When I was first introduced to Hope, it was not a “very fertile section of the country.” Three decades had passed since the desert reclaim the fertile grass of Hope. One school (now closed and boarded), three or four small churches, a gasoline station, a little family grocery store, and a few old houses on dry dusty streets, remain in my memory of the childhood visits with the Hope family.
On numerous occasions throughout my childhood, I visited a church of Jesus followers in the Chihuahuan Desert community of Hope, New Mexico. A double draw was an uncle from my mother’s family was usually there as an itinerate preacher. It was good for our paths to cross when we visited.
A quick internet search shows Christian continue to meet at the little white concrete church house at 401 West 1st Street. I called a friend for confirmation and was delighted to hear his affirmation that hope remains alive in Hope, New Mexico. The Christian continue to meet every Sunday morning.
I find it a fresh testimonial breath of God’s grace to know that The Holy has not left that dry parched piece of earth without hope. Christ followers continue to shine as a light of hope among their neighbors for an eternal future fed by the River of Life.
What is the message for those of us who live on our daily piece of God’s earth? We may reside in pleasant green belts or in hot and arid towns. We may live among sparse populations or in concrete and paved metropolitan jungles with the millions of our closest neighbors. Our call and mission is the same as that of both early and current occupants of the remains of the village of Hope, New Mexico.
We are to be beacons of hope to bless our fellow travelers. We are to be their hope in Hope that is eternal. The Holy has given us quite a job description don’t you think? Let’s be worthy of that trust.
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection on, Hope In Hope.