The Valdosta Daily Times
During the Mailbox Club’s Harvest Dreams fundraising dinner, John Mark Eager shared the letter Tuesday night that keeps him involved in the Christian organization founded by his parents.
Written by a 14-year-old girl from Liberia, the letter notes her parents are poor; the girl shared how she had to sell her body to feed herself and her family. She wrote Eager that his and his family’s Mailbox Club saved not only her life but redeemed her soul.
“I no longer sell my body,” she wrote. “… I know I’m going to heaven when I die.”
In the dinner’s keynote address, nationally syndicated columnist and Fox News contributor Cal Thomas referred to this 14-year-old Liberian girl’s letter and a series of videotaped experiences of children from around the world as exemplifying the power of the Mailbox Club and the international work it accomplishes from its Valdosta-based hub.
“You heard those testimonials,” Thomas told the audience of about 600 South Georgians. “Do you think anything that comes out of the election next week will match what we have seen tonight? It won’t.”
Founded in 1965 by George and Laura Eager of Valdosta, the Mailbox Club grew from a regional presenter of children’s biblical literature to an international distributor of Christian teachings. It rose from reaching approximately 200,000 mostly American children in 2000 to reaching more than 2 million children in more than 80 nations this year.
The Harvest Dreams dinner served as a forum to raise awareness of the Mailbox Club’s many programs overseas and in North America as well as a fundraiser to ensure the organization’s mission continues.
Cal Thomas was the featured attraction. Not only did he give a ringing endorsement for the Mailbox Club’s work, going so far as to instruct participants on how to fill out a donation card at evening’s end, Thomas gave a fiery speech that rang like a brimstone sermon, leaning heavily on issues of faith, often with touches of humor, while only skirting the political.
Without saying which candidate he backs, though anyone who reads his twice-weekly column on the Opinion page of The Valdosta Daily Times or the hundreds of other papers carrying his words know which candidate he supports, Thomas reminded the audience of King David’s biblical admonition warning against placing too much faith in kings and princes.
No matter which candidate you support, he warned the audience, or which candidate you oppose, “if you truly think electing a politician is going to deal with the real problems facing this country,” you are mistaken. “Our primary problems are not the economy and politics. The primary problems facing the nation are moral and spiritual, and no politician can reach into the hearts of this country and change that.”
He reminded the audience of Ecclesiastes, that there is nothing new under the sun. There are no new ideas, Thomas said. Everything that can be done has been done; however, this does not mean that people should live in the past but they can learn from the past.
Thomas said he would vote for his preferred candidate but will pray for whichever man wins the election. He reminded the audience that no matter which candidate wins the presidency, “everything is right on schedule. God is still in control.”
Yet, he gave a fiery denunciation of abortion, comparing it to the sacrifices of children to pagan gods in ancient times. He denounced “abominations … parading things in public as being normal,” things which would have never been mentioned, let alone flaunted, in the time of past generations.
“We sing ‘God Bless, America,’ but I wonder, why should He?” Thomas asked. “… The way back to God is not through Washington, D.C., or through the next election, but rather by humbling ourselves before the offended power of God.”
Thomas discussed the devotion of discipleship. He spoke of personally eschewing labels. He spoke of not advocating religion but advocating Jesus Christ. He warned against pulling Jesus into politics or other contemporary issues.
Jesus plus the GOP. Jesus plus the Democrats. Jesus plus the environment. “The more you add to Jesus, the less you have of Him,” Thomas said.
Jesus was sent to save mankind from its sins. Each person is born with sin. Jesus carries that sin for us, if we let Him. He died so mankind’s sins would be forgiven, Thomas said.
“God sent the one person who could pay that debt of sin,” he said. “Sin is in my nature. It was something I was born with … handed down since Adam and Eve.”
And Jesus was resurrected. “He did something no one else could do. He came back to life of His own power after three days,” Thomas said. “Try that one, Mohammad. Try that one, Buddha.”
In the end, Thomas brought the message back to the power of the Mailbox Club, a group which he said he knew nothing about until being booked several weeks ago to speak at the Harvest Dreams dinner. A group working in near-anonymous obscurity while changing millions of children’s lives around the world.
He mentioned radical Islam teaching children to hate Americans and infidels. He said the Mailbox Club is a Christian counterweight of love in a turbulent world.
“This,” Cal Thomas said of the Mailbox Club, “is the real power of God.”
More information, or to help the Mailbox Club, visit www.mailboxclub.org