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What does it mean to LoveLoud? It means loving neglected and hurting people as Jesus did— and pointing them back to Him as the source and ultimate author of that love. 

“God has given me a passion to reach out and help women, one at a time.”

Yocum temporarily found work in Birmingham for six months, but returned to New Orleans in March to reunite with Baptist Friendship House, the only family she knows. The mission allowed her to clear her head, find God and learn how to pray again. The home, she says, is providing for all her needs.

“One of the biggest things that Baptist Friendship House did was give me the ability to pray and be a stronger person,” she says. “This is my extended family.”

About 10 miles away at Celebration Church in Metairie, a New Orleans suburb, 34-year-old Andrea Robertson considered hers a lose-lose situation. Facing her husband’s infidelity and alcoholism, she was ready to end their marriage.

“There was no doubt I was done. I was at the end of my rope,” she says. “If I leave him, I lose and if I stay, I lose.”

Robertson and her husband, Eddy, enrolled in counseling classes at Hope Center, a ministry of Healing Hearts for Community Development, a non-profit arm of Celebration Church. Hope Center helped the wife and mother deal with the “paralyzing pain” of betrayal. Eddy also enrolled in Celebrate Recovery, a sister ministry at Celebration Church incorporating 12 Christ-centered steps and eight biblical recovery principles. Eddy has been sober and faithful for the past six years.

Today, Andrea and Eddy are still married and providing a loving home for their four children, ages 7 to 18.

Southern Baptist churches and ministries are fighting numerous social ills in a city known for good times and easy living. In efforts to fulfill God’s command to love the least of these, to LoveLoud, Southern Baptists are leading souls to Christ and penetrating lostness in North America.

The North American Mission Board recently launched its LoveLoud initiative to encourage and move Southern Baptists toward community transformation through compassion ministries, evangelism and church planting.

What does it mean to LoveLoud? “It means loving neglected and hurting people as Jesus did— and pointing them back to Him as the source and ultimate author of that love,” says Al Gilbert, executive director of LoveLoud.

20 Summer 2012 •

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