If I can help somebody By: John LaFontaine
It was the summer of 1960, I had just finished my junior year in high school when my dad sat our family down and told us he had accepted a promotion and was being transferred to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. That summer we packed up and moved from my home town of Port Huron, Michigan to Oklahoma City, more than 900 miles away.
This was a hard move for me because I wouldn’t be able to graduate from the high school that I had attended the previous three years and all of my friends and family were in Port Huron. It started to hit me that I would have to start over, make new friends, except for one that would go with me. You see, I had recently accepted Jesus and I knew that, based on His word, he would never leave me or forsake me.
Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.
Little did I know that God was not only with me, He was training me to be an Evangelist!
After we moved and got settled, I met some other Christians and attended my first gospel concert. Due to a death in his family, the singer that we went to hear was not able to attend, so an artists named Doris Akers took his place. She sang an old Mahalia Jackson song that evening that changed my life forever. It was titled “If I Can Help Somebody.”
If I can help somebody, as I travel along
If I can help somebody, with a word or song
If I can help somebody, from doing wrong
No, my living shall not be in vain.
That song became my inspiration, and has stayed with me all through the years.
After graduation in June of 1961, I joined the US Air Force and by February of 1962 the Lord called me into the ministry. I started traveling, preaching special services as much as I could and eventually, met my wife, Loretta, while preaching a revival meeting in Madison Wisconsin. We were married in June of 1965, and started traveling to preaching sing before the honeymoon was over! Our goal, “If we Can Help Somebody, then our living will not be in vain.”
The following year our oldest son John Paul was born, two years later Sharon, our oldest daughter. The first trio started when Paul and Sharon started singing with Loretta and the harmonies started to blend. We traveled all over the United States and Canada, singing and preaching the Gospel to anyone that would listen.
In December of 1972 Isaac came along, then in 1979 our little “red headed caboose” Sheri was born. The first album we made was titled “Thank You Lord” and by the grace of God we have recorded more than 20 more albums.
Many of you remember those early years, when we came and ministered and sang at your churches. I’m very humbled, when people come up to me and say, I remember 20 or 30 years ago when the children were little and you came to our church. Then they begin to tell me what I preached and the titles of the songs the family sang. A common comment is, “we grew up listening to your songs.” Some of you have told us how you gave your hearts to the Lord, received deliverance, healing, etc, during those meetings. Oh, how we thank God for you.
Thousands of you, have became our friends and fans of our music. We are continually amazed at how the music has gone around the world. Congregations on almost every continent sing the songs that God gave our little family.
We continue to receive invitations from around the world to come and bring our family and although Loretta and I are not able to go on those long trips anymore, the children and grandkids are still going with the same inspiration, “If we can help somebody…”.
Recently, our family formed a non profit organization called, LaFontaine Foundation. We did so because, in our travels we continue to encounter tremendous needs. In the past we would sing and preach but have to walk away without helping like we wanted. The LaFontaine Foundation helps us get there and respond to the needs immediately as we see them. Visit https://www.lafontainefoundation.org
So, I write this letter to ask you, our friends and family to pray about helping us.
From my heart to yours, If our family have been a blessing to you, then help us bless others with, a one-time, or consistent, monthly contribution.
Take me to the DONATE PAGE
Thank you and God Bless You