Robert Bell, 82, stepped in when no one else could.
Four teenage boys had signed up to attend Summer Salt, but no one from their church was available to drive them. Bell said, “The two candidates who were going to drive didn’t have driver’s licenses, so I volunteered.”
He had worked with the boys at his church, Iglesia Bautista Emanuel Church in Conway. “Two of the boys had never attended Summer Salt. One of the other boys had spent a week at Camp McCall. The people who worked with Summer Salt helped us so much with the requirements, application, and computer work,” he stated.
Bryant Laird, who oversees Summer Salt Ministries, said, “We need more Robert Bells who are willing to invest in the next generation. The fact that he would chaperone four teenage boys for a week at Summer Salt … well, that’s the kind of soldiers we need in our churches. He is a joy to be around.”
Bell said he enjoyed the experience: times of worship, fellowship with others, especially the pastors and staff. “It was beautiful to see the boys praising the Lord and participating in worship,” he said. “They had a great time learning the Word, and I was able to counsel and pray with our boys when we got back to the room in the evenings.”
He remains hopeful and prayerful that the boys he worked with at camp will soon profess Christ and follow Him in believer’s baptism.
David Parks, executive pastor at Shandon Baptist Church, said, “Robert did not want the boys to miss out, so at age 82 he volunteered to take them. What a heart for this (younger) generation he must have.”
When the opportunity to serve came, Bell took it. Boys’ lives may have been impacted forever because he did. Of all the lessons we could learn from his story, the unavoidable conclusion is that we are never too old to serve Christ in whatever opportunities He provides for us.