Heritage on Mission: Buzz Arthur
During this next season of the Heritage Christian Fellowship blog we will be celebrating individuals in our church body that are on mission in our local community or even to faraway places in the world for the glory of Jesus. At Heritage, we desire that the body of Christ seek ways to BE the hands and feet of Jesus to people that would otherwise be unlikely to attend our church. These individuals are doing that and we pray that their stories encourage and inspire the people at Heritage to be on mission as well. If you are involved in being on mission here in Medford or to the world in any capacity, let us know. We would love to celebrate that, encourage that, and allow your story to inspire the body of Christ.
Heritage family, we want to highlight the grace of God in the life of Buzz Arthur.
Buzz, tell us a little about your life.
I was born on a naval base in Oakland, California (Moffitt Field) in 1957. My family moved to Medford when I was eight years old from Sweet Home, Oregon. After graduating from Medford Senior High School in 1975, I joined the Marines for four years, serving at Quantico and later in Okinawa, Japan.
Upon returning to Medford, I worked at Boise Cascade for 20 years. I met my first wife in October of 1980 and was married to her for 36 years. My life came to a screeching halt in March of 2017 when my wife passed away from cancer. Even in the middle of the heartache, my wife responded to God’s free gift of salvation through Christ her last week of life—glory to God!
I was really in a bad place after my wife died, even with her getting saved, I was just done. Then near the end of 2018 I met a girl named Sherry. We really hit it off and fell in love. We got married. And it’s been wonderful, especially since her heart, like mine, is to feed the hungry and clothe the poor.
Buzz, when did you give your life to follow Jesus Christ?
I was raised in a very strange church, but our Mom taught us to love Jesus. So, when I was 30, after our house burned down and my foot was run over by a forklift, I decided that I needed to give my life to Jesus. Obviously, that was the best decision ever. The church I grew up in didn’t understand what grace is, so once I learned about that and the depths of God’s love, my life has never been the same. I heard a pastor the other day say that he was just a beggar at the door of God’s mercy.
You currently serve with the Medford Gospel Mission. When did you begin serving there and what spurred you to serve with them?
I have always wanted to serve at the Gospel Mission, so I started the Monday after Easter last year. They even created a position for me. I’m taking donations, intakes, and answering phones while the residents are in chapel and for team meeting. It’s funny, I love doing what I do down there, but the more you do, the more you want to do. In the last month, I’ve just started helping out with Compassion Highway Project. They go out and feed the homeless Tuesday and Friday nights and every other Sunday. It is truly a blessing for everyone involved.
Tell us a little about the ministry of the Medford Gospel Mission.
The Medford Gospel Mission serves to provide a place for men and women who have been homeless and/or drug abusers. They provide an opportunity to go to rehab, become stable, and develop coping skills for life through Christ-centered restoration. You can check out more about the Medford Gospel Mission by visiting their website: www.medfordgospelmission.org.
What is your motivation for serving at the Medford Gospel Mission?
Funny story, we moved to Medford when I was eight years old. Going with Mom downtown and on Front Street (where the mission used to be), there was a fairly big sign that said Jesus saves. I loved that even as a little guy and never forgot about it. So, a year or two after I was saved, I started asking what the Lord what He wanted me to do. About a month or two after, I was praying about this and very time I opened my Bible, it fell on a passage about feeding the hungry and clothing the poor. This happened for quite some time. You would be amazed how many times it’s in the Word. I think God put it in my heart at the same time, so I was eager to do it.
What would be your encouragement to individuals who may be hesitant to serve in the community?
For any of my believing brothers and sisters who want to serve, first and foremost, pray. I can guarantee that the Lord will put in your heart what to do. What’s so amazing is once you get started, you want to do more and more. And while I’ve heard some of the homeless say that we are a blessing to them, I have tried to convey to them that they are more of a blessing to us being able to serve them.