WHITE LAKE — Little blue men popping up in homes and businesses doesn’t mean a Toy Story battle is taking shape. Rather, one local church wants people to pray.
Several weeks ago, Kay Martin, wife of the Rev. Tom Martin of White Lake Baptist Church, was in the mountains and saw something there that piqued her interest.
“There was this suitcase with little plastic soldiers in it,” she said, pulling out a photo showing a camouflage-draped, open suitcase with the small figures made famous in Toy Story’s epic escape scene, with a note to pray for soldiers. “I thought we could do that for law enforcement.”
The idea was to set up in local businesses displays with plastic figurines. Patrons would be encouraged to take one of the toys, put it in a prominent location in their own home, where they would be reminded to pray for law enforcement officers.
Upon returning to Bladen County, she set out to undertake a task that proved more arduous than she initially thought.
“Those soldiers — you can find those everywhere,” she said, “but the policemen are hard to find.”
Martin ultimately located a wholesaler on an online auction site and, while shopping for school supplies for another ministry, also found containers to put them in that just happened to be blue.
On Friday, the Martins and the young man they called their assistant, Michael Guyton, were delivering the displays to area businesses on behalf of the church.
“This will be a good way to keep people aware of how important law enforcement officers are and how they need prayer every day, not just one week,” Kay said.
The “one week” was in reference to earlier efforts by the church to support law enforcement. A five-day event put together by the congregation after the Dallas shootings involved goodie bags for White Lake police and the Sheriff’s Office, a Law Enforcement Appreciation Day — including a service — and breakfast for officers.
“Our law enforcement officers put their lives on the line for us every day,” said Tom, “and we need to remember them in prayer and pray for God’s protection for them as they protect us.”
Kay said that as long as she can continue to find the toy figures and as long as the businesses which house the displays continue to call her for replenishment of the figurines, the church will continue the effort.
Any business that would like a display is encouraged to call White Lake Baptist at 910-862-4255, follow them on Facebook, or visit whitelakebaptistchurch.org. The displays take up approximately eight square inches of space and will be replenished as requested.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.