This week of ministering to the people of Guatemala has been dedicated to the memory of sweet Carla Felps Kyser. If you are a part of Friendship Baptist then you have heard my dad say, “You preach your funeral everyday of your life.” Last January, we celebrated Carla’s life, but Carla had already preached her funeral through her contagious positive attitude, her love for Christ, her love for her family, and her compassion towards others. Carla’s life was a testament of an intimate relationship with a loving Savior. Carla’s life showed hope, compassion, and faithfulness. One morning in Sunday School, Brad Hutto asked the question “What is hope?” Without hesitation Carla answered, “Hope is knowing there is something better for you in the future!”
Last year, I wrote a blog about Carla as Grand Bay celebrated Carla Felps Kyser Day at Sam’s Superburger. Here is part of the blog entry:
We all have initial moments where God begins to use a specific event to birth a new desire and passion in our lives. When I was 12 yrs old, I chose to get involved with the bus ministry at church. This ministry would require me to spend every Saturday visiting houses in Bayou La Batre and giving them a flyer about church with a piece of hard bubble gum. Rain, shine, freezing temperature, or scorching heat, every Sunday we would ride the bus to pick them up for church and take the home. As a general rule, the kids would not have a way to church if it wasn’t for the bus ministry. Some of the kids did not live in the nicest areas or wear the nicest clothes or have security of a home. The Saturday bus flyers, piece of bubble gum, and riding the church bus were the only stable things for many of the kids. Every Saturday Carla Felps would drive me from house to house as we invited the kids to church. Every single Saturday, Carla would spend her time ministering with a spoiled 12 year old girl. Carla showed me faithfulness in ministry. Carla showed me how to love. Carla showed me kindness. God began to give me a passion for children. He began to give me a burden for those kids who may not come from a loving, Christian home. My passion to help meet the physical and spiritual needs of underprivileged kids has only grown stronger. How I love to see the cycle of poverty and spiritual darkness broken through investing in the life of a child! Every time I invest in someone’s whether it is in Grand Bay, Bayou La Batre, or Guatemala, Carla has a huge part because she invested in me.
One night, my parents allowed me to ride with Carla to the Dauphin Island Retreat to attend a worship service with Abel Garcia’s youth group. (Regardless of what my dad writes on his blog, he has always loved Carla!) After several months of God revealing how I need a Savior, regardless of my “good works”, that night is when I chose to follow Christ. No fireworks–No outward change–But an inward peace! I am grateful!
Carla’s life continues to make a difference in eternity!