If you cannot view “Join the Fight for Rural Communities” you can read the article below.
David Carr took his hands off the old car he and his son were fixing and turned to the sound.
“What in the world?” asked David. The sound was close, but not seeing anything out of the ordinary, they resumed their work.
A few minutes later a SWAT helicopter roared above them.
“Gunfire!” the man inside yelled. “Get inside!”
Just a few blocks away 14 teenagers had emerged from a U-Haul with automatic weapons – firing at an enemy gang across the street.
David and his son ran inside. And as bullets smashed through house windows and cars nearby, the family grabbed a couple of guitars and began singing worship music.
David Carr did not have the kind of parents that kids dream about. With both parents marrying multiple times, David was tossed around and completely abandoned more than once. In middle school, his father married a woman from Texas, moving David from his home in southern California, only to abandon him months later.
Yet, that Texas stepmom introduced David to Jesus.
A few years later, David’s father returned, but it only made things worse. By his junior year of high school, David, eager to leave home, joined the Air Force despite his father’s protestations.
Military: Preparation for the Fight for Rural Communities
After moving to Germany with his wife, Serena, and son, David began to fall away from the Lord. He put on a good face for church on Sunday, but it was all a façade, and he knew it.
One day, his guilt overcame him.
“That was the end of it. I put the kids to bed early, got down on my hands and knees and begged God to kill me. I wanted my boys to have a father that would lead them to God. I didn’t want to be the father that led my wife and kids to hell.”
Thankfully, God did not answer David’s prayer. Instead, God gave him something much better – a new heart. David began to grow in his relationship with Christ, be mentored, and lead His family to Christ. And God began to prepare him to fight for rural communities.
So much so, that by the time David was reassigned to Washington state, he and Serena were considering the possibility of full-time ministry. In Washington, David met Village Missionary Ron Sallee, and soon after he began attending Contenders Bible School. Two years later, the Carrs became Village Missionaries.
Over the course of David’s lifetime, God protected him through a troubled childhood, placed a godly mother in his life at just the right time, took him to Germany to find his faith and to Washington to be biblically trained, and finally brought him back to where it all began as a child – southern California.
Miracles in a Rural Community
Lenwood, California, would prove to be one of the toughest assignments the Carrs ever faced. Here, they would discover their fight for rural communities.
During their first two weeks, the church was broken into twice. Food for VBS and the food drive disappeared both times.
Livid after the second break-in, David went into military mode.
“I was pacing the streets, and I saw some homeless guys – about 10 or 12. I sat down right in the middle of them. They’re looking at me and finally one guy asks, ‘Who is this guy?’”
“Aren’t you the new pastor?” another man asked.
“Yes,” was all David said.
“Well, what are you doing here?”
“I’m mad. And this looks like a good place to be mad.”
“Why are you mad?”
David explained the break-ins and added, “That’s your food they stole, and the state says we might not get anymore unless we find a way to stop them.”
From that day on, these men slept around the church every night, guarding it from burglars. David befriended each of them. Not only that, but street kids and others from the community began to recognize David, Serena and the Lenwood Community Church as a caring, safe place.
The church was even marked “off limits” by local gangs.
And that was just the beginning. Through the years God worked miracle after miracle, meeting both the physical and financial needs of the church and the spiritual needs of the community. It’s never been easy, but it’s been good.
David’s entire life he’d seen God give him impossible assignments, only to show His glory every time.
“One thing that’s helped us is that we always looked at this as a military assignment,” said David. “And we have yet to receive orders to go elsewhere.”
That’s why, despite vandalism or tragedy or 14 gunmen, he and his family could pull out guitars and worship. Because they knew God would work this situation, like every situation, for their good.
“There have been hard times, but it’s been a pleasure. The Lord continues to show himself. And we’ve come to love these people very, very deeply.”
Village Missions is honored to have 34 active Village Missionaries who have served in our armed forces. These men and women have served our country and now continue to serve on the front lines of the Lord’s Army. Just like when they served, each of them depend on dedicated men and women back home rallying behind them. This is your way to join the fight for rural communities and for souls today! Will you join?