How Everyday People Live Out Their Christian Faith

Illustrating how men and women display their love for Jesus in their day-to-day lives.
Little things that may have an eternal impact. Might these stories motivate you to use your talents?
  • Other Unique Ministries

    HEALING AND RESTORING MARRIAGES

    The Lord has given me a passion for helping women and marriages that are on a journey of healing and restoration. Eighteen years ago, as a broken single mother with four children, I clung to Jesus. I could never praise Him enough for sending family and friends to walk with me through this very dark chapter of my life. They never condemned me. Words of wisdom, healing, love, encouragement and truth were like manna from heaven. As I experienced healing day by day, I began to cry out, "God, if I ever get my sanity back and think straight again, please use me like You have used others in my life." Just as Psalm 107:20 says, "He sends forth His word and heals them and rescues them from the pit of destruction," God brought healing to my soul and turned my life around. I had to first acknowledge my sin, then find out where I had allowed substitutes for Him. I realized that all along, Jesus created us to know Him as our first love, whether we are married or not. So, after a seven year journey, I began to find my identity in Christ. God was redeeming my life! As a divorced woman, I wondered if there was a man who could know everything about me, and still love me. But God knew me, and He brought an incredible man into my life. We have no secrets and he still loves me. I used to say if God can heal me, He can heal anyone. Not only did He… Read More

  • Labor Special Needs

    TURNING “DISABLED” TO “IS ABLE”

    I was shot when I was 17 years old, and paralyzed from the neck down. In a matter of seconds, I went from a healthy young man with his life in front of him to someone whose dreams were shattered. At first, I was angry---at my circumstances, at the man that shot me and even at God. Why would a loving God want me to live this way? How could He let this happen? Slowly, that anger gave way to a deep and dark depression. I didn't want to live if I couldn't walk again. I planned my suicide. But that morning, in my darkest time, God spoke to me and changed my whole perspective. He told me that I needed to learn to live again before ever thinking about learning to walk again. I was crying out to Him about my hopelessness and discouragement, that there wasn't any help or resources for someone like me. And then He planted the idea that altered my life. Why couldn't I provide that hope and encouragement to others who were paralyzed. After a lot of research, my buddy David and I began an information referral service for individuals who were paralyzed. We connected people to resources that… Read More

  • Prayer

    TAKING TIME TO KNOW JESUS

    My faith has undergone a major transformation lately. I've "known" Jesus since I was a little girl, and growing up, I usually had all the right things to say. For most of my life, I've gone to church and heard church leaders describe and interpret Jesus for me. But that is not how one develops a personal relationship with the Lord. My revelation is that I need to sit down and get to really know Him. Now my prayer every single second is, "God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Father, and King, I want to know you for myself, not through someone else's eyes." I've come to realize that I need to know God in a more profound way. Mother Teresa was once asked, "When you pray, what do you say to God?" Her response, "I don't talk, I simply listen." The interviewer then asked, "Ah, then what is it that God says to you when you pray?" She said, "He also doesn't talk. He also simply listens." This is so simple, yet profound. Listening. When do I just sit down in solitude and listen, and allow His presence to fill the space? The controlling part of me wants to earn God's grace and love, instead of silently feeling it. For the first time in my life, going to church is not the only priority. I want to know Jesus, like I do my husband. I want to know Jesus' emotions and how He walked on this earth when He came. I want to try and enjoy His love without thinking I… Read More

  • Unique Ministries Verbalizing the Gospel

    PUTTING ALL OUR TRUST IN THE LORD

    We lost our son in 2005. He was just 20 years old. He was shot by his roommate as he was coming over to our house to celebrate Father's Day. He had recently graduated from a drug rehab program. But like so many young people afflicted with this disease, he couldn't break away from his old "friends." We have no idea why he was killed, and we still struggle, every day. You're never the same once you lose a child. It changes the way you live, it changes everything. But seeing how God has worked in our lives and in the life of our family has been miraculous. We were all brought to our knees, and decided the only thing we could do was to put all our trust in the Lord. Something like this either draws your family together or it tears it apart. And our family has been strengthened. We are always there for each other. We wanted to reach out to others in some way, and make something good out of this. So for the past several years, we have been going to two of our local shelters, and sharing our story. We help minister to the men and women who may be suffering from the same addiction as our son. We tell about the Lord's saving grace, about the hope we have because of His promises, how He changes you and what the Lord has done in our lives. And we have forgiveness for his roommate who is still in prison. We don't understand how we… Read More

  • Children

    LISTENING TO JESUS, NOT OUR FEARS

    I have two adopted children and they are my world. My husband and I used to be a part of this foster-to-adopt-program, and the process, although absolutely worth it, was excruciating. After experiencing some very difficult circumstances, we decided to tell our social worker not to contact us for a few months about adopting. However, Jesus had other plans. Isaiah 55:8 says, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord." One day, as I was walking back to my car from my kids' school, I waved to another mom walking up, and "pop". My arm slid out of its socket. Then crazy pain. I bellowed out, and then all at once a team of people flooded in my direction, including our assistant principal. They called the fire department, but thankfully, about thirty seconds before they arrived, my arm slid back into place. I was so embarrassed, not only about my very loud shriek, but also because I had dislocated my shoulder just waving to another mom! The physical therapists had a good laugh at that one. Three weeks into slogging through my physical therapy sessions, I get a call from our social worker. I'm initially pretty shocked, but as she tells me about a very low-risk private adoption. I get a tiny bit hopeful and then panicky. The baby is due in six weeks, and we feel so conflicted. My husband and I have some very long deliberations about this speedy decision. There are so many concerns: our exhaustion, fear, rejection and… Read More

  • Church Activities Prayer

    BUT I CAN STILL PRAY

    For years, my husband and I taught Sunday school. We were both very outgoing and loved to pour ourselves into other people. We found a great way to do this was to lead a class of married couples. At first, it was rather intimidating, having to speak in front of others, knowing that our marriage had its share of struggles. But we loved the Lord and honored Him in our marriage, and that is what we wanted to pass on to these younger couples. For over thirty years, we led various small groups of people that were usually much younger than us. It was so much more than the time we had in class. We got to know everyone on a very deep and personal level. We invested in them. We'd check in with them all the time. We'd get together and pray when they faced a challenge. We'd share meals together and really get to know their families. These couples became our "Christian children." The bonds we formed have lasted a lifetime, and have been such a blessing. My husband passed away six years ago after almost 57 years of marriage, and my health has deteriorated. I now live in a retirement community in an independent living apartment, and can't make it to church because of my physical pain. But even though I'm not able to see these dear friends as often as I'd like, I can still pray for them. And I do, every day.

  • Food Unique Ministries

    REACHING OUT TO THE HOMELESS

    I have always had an internal struggle when it comes to reaching out to the homeless. I grew up in a suburban town in New Jersey and I didn't encounter many homeless people there. When I moved to Southern California to attend college, that quickly changed. Southern California has one of the largest homeless populations in the country. It broke my heart that there are people who are hungry and don't have a warm safe place to sleep at night. I wanted to help but I was warned by others not to give homeless people money--only food--because money might enable their addictions. But the few times I offered to buy them food, I was "told-off" by the would-be recipients. This created a fear in me of helping, so I did nothing. But in the last few years, I can tell God has been working on my heart and to mold me into someone different. A few months ago while my mom was visiting, we had a conversation about my past struggles to help the homeless. The next day while I was at work, she went to Costco and loaded up on socks, granola bars, water bottles and applesauce. The plan was to put together "blessing bags". I was floored by her act of generosity and thoughtfulness. This gave me the courage I needed to start handing out, and eventually making, these bags on my own. I now keep these "blessing bags" handy in my car to offer up to anyone who may want them. Now, every recipient is so grateful. I'm no longer scared to approach the homeless. I now say hello, flash a smile, tell them that God… Read More

  • Other Unique Ministries

    HELPING OTHERS THRU THEIR TRIALS

    I am a recovering alcoholic. I've been sober now for 27 years and that's truly by the power and grace of God. Alcohol almost killed me. It destroyed my first marriage and I got in a horrible car accident when I was under the influence, breaking my hip. But fortunately I got into a 12-step program, and it was there that I established a true relationship with the Lord. My life has never been the same. Being part of a fellowship of other alcoholics is like taking your medicine if you're a diabetic---it's vital for your health. And I feel led to help others that are going through the same struggle. As part of my church’s mission program, I visit a local homeless shelter and rehab center. We serve the meal and conduct a chapel service. I reach out to the guys that have this addiction. I'm totally open with them. I share my testimony so I can instill hope in them that they, too, can turn their lives around with the Lord's help. Everybody goes through some type of struggle, and we can help one another through these dark times if we make ourselves vulnerable and "there" for others. The Lord brought me through the wilderness. If these guys put their trust in Him, they can come through it too, and lead a productive life.

  • Children Unique Ministries

    BEING A BROTHER AND AN EXAMPLE

    When I was 12 years old, my parents sat me down and told me we were moving. They were becoming house parents at Big Oak Ranch, a Christian home for children needing a chance. It’s one thing to talk the talk, but another thing to actually commit your life to making a difference, and that’s what my parents decided we were going to do. My parents showed me through this sacrifice that life is all about what you do to serve others using the gifts God has given you. We stepped out of our “comfort zone” as a family, and committed to serving and loving God’s children that weren’t fortunate enough to receive that love from their own parents. Over the course of those eight years, I had the chance to be a brother to about 20 boys between the ages of five through eighteen. This incredible experience shaped me into who I am today. I learned to see the value in every person, no matter their circumstances. My biggest role in the ministry was to be the best example I could be to these kids who did not grow up having the good example to follow. Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” This wonderful upbringing taught me to never be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, and watch what God can do through you when you take that step.… Read More

  • Children Labor

    SERVING PATIENTS WITH COMPASSION

    I always had nursing in the back of my mind as a career, but I chose a different major in college. After receiving a bachelors degree, I wondered what I would do. My husband and I brainstormed my next step, but nursing kept tugging at my heart. I was nervous because I'd have to go back to school and basically start over; then once I became a nurse, I'd be liable for lives. As I searched my heart and prayed with my husband for answers, some doors started to open. The confirmation came when my husband, like a Nike ad, said "Just do it, what do you have to lose!" So I did. I went to school, got my second degree in nursing and I've been a nurse now for six years. I've worked in different units: some where the loss is significant like the ICU units and some not as critical. But the Cardiovascular ICU for heart babies is where God touched me the most. Watching families go through hell, not knowing if their child was returning from surgery, or seeing them lose their child altogether, impacted me greatly. As I watched others suffer, I would continually pray, "Lord, how do I love these families in the midst of tragedy?" I heard an answer while working with one very special family. Their child had a chronic heart condition, and was given three weeks to live. A few days into that third week, she passed. Watching this family endure such tragedy and being there for them changed my life forever. My passion for nursing… Read More

  • Children Special Needs

    HELPING OUT OVERWHELMED PARENTS

    The challenges of caring for a child with special needs can be overwhelming. Care must be provided at all times. Our son, Aaron, had cerebral palsy, and we took loving care of him for 27 years until he passed away in 2009. Our loss devastated us, and we searched for how to make sense of it. We knew God had a plan, we just didn't understand it during that period. We didn't know what to do next, but from our personal experience, we always knew there needed to be some relief for the parents of children with special needs. While we were taking care of Aaron, we didn't have any time to pursue this idea. But God started revealing His plan to us. A woman came up to us at church and said "The Lord is telling me that you have a dream. I don't know what it is, but it's time for you to pursue that dream." Wow! With that nudge, we started to investigate the possibility of providing a ministry dedicated to providing respite for parents and guardians who have children with special needs. So we started Aaron's Staff in 2010. Volunteers give their time to provide quality care for these children and their siblings while their parents take a Saturday night out for themselves. It's open to anybody in the community, not just fellow Christians. And it's not simply babysitting. The children take part in a program that includes arts & crafts, story time, music, recreation and movies, all of which is Christian-based.… Read More

  • Children

    A HEART FOR TEENAGERS

    My heart is and always has been teaching the youth. Teenagers are in the most vulnerable time in their lives, and I feel I should help make straight as many paths as possible. It says in 1 Corinthians 3:11, "For no man can lay a foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ." There are so many bad influences out there in the world today. We see this so often in movies, songs and video games. It is easy for our youth to take a step back from moral values and make bad choices. I feel it is up to me and all Christians to step up and teach our youth God's Word, and help them establish a life worthy of our Lord. I use the analogy of an old car going up a hill: it takes so much effort to get it to the top of the hill; yet with perseverance and hard work, it makes it. Such is a life with Christ. It takes perseverance, dedication and hard work to live the life He set out for us. But too many children today take the fast ride down the hill, with no work or dedication, conforming to the worldly ideas, and missing out on what God has for them. My mission in life is to reach as many teenagers as possible, whether on the street, in a park, in a gym, anywhere; and let them know they can have a life that is filled with power, gifts, rewards and peace through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

  • Unique Ministries

    GETTING INVOLVED IN THEIR LIVES

    I fought off becoming a Young Life leader most of college, but after graduating and returning home, my heart changed; I began to appreciate that Young Life truly goes where the teens are. Young Life teaches its leaders to listen, invest time, and hopefully earn the right to speak about Jesus' love and the truth of God's Word. I'll never forget my very first meeting as a volunteer---this young girl marched right up to me and introduced herself. I could see right away that though she was young, she had an old soul, and in that moment, I knew our relationship was going to be special. I learned of her compassionate nature and how she truly cared for others. She started coming to Young Life faithfully as a freshman, and she would even campaign to her other classmates about it! She told me about one friend she'd known since middle school, and she was worried about her because she was headed down a dark path. She told me how special this girl was. After hearing this, I knew we had to get involved. I met this girl not long after our talk, and all three of us started hanging out regularly. We would grab coffee, dinner, ice cream and talk authentically about anything and everything. Over the years, we walked through life's intense stuff together: high school stratospheres, boys, heartbreak, family issues, parents with cancer, fear, hurt and many other things. Our relationships grew exponentially over time. I was their leader at first, and then we all became best friends.… Read More

  • Other Unique Ministries

    HANDING OUT BIBLES

    It has always been my desire to find inexpensive, meaningful ways to get Bibles into the hands of people willing to take one. I became a Christian a little later in life, and reading scripture has had a deeply profound impact on my life. I went from not knowing about true unconditional love, grace, and acceptance, to experiencing all of these things and more through God's word. My desire now is for others to experience this as well. Since there are a lot of homeless people living near me, I thought it might be a cool place to start sharing God's love letter. The only barrier for me was cost. But one day while shopping at the 99-cents store, I came across a bunch of small Bibles. I knew I had to buy them. So for the past few years, I've kept a large stack of Bibles in my car, with a dollar stuffed inside each one to hand out. Now, if anyone asks for money, I offer up money and a Bible. The Lord wants us to step out of our comfort zone and share the "good news". I guess this is my way of taking those initial steps! My hope is that each person receiving this feels God's love and acceptance, just like I did.

  • Children

    ADOPTION CHANGED OUR HEARTS

    I did not grow up a Christian or in a Christian household. But my spiritual life dramatically changed when I met my future wife, since she was very grounded in her Christian faith. She is a teacher and has always worked with young children, so loving kids was always in her heart. Even before we had our four biological children, we always talked about adopting a child at some point. We thought a good first step would be to become a foster family to kids looking for a forever family. Our family ended up fostering two brothers, and I could tell during this time that the Lord was working on my heart. Most of the families who thought about adopting the boys wanted to separate them. That just wasn't acceptable to us. The longer the process took, the more apparent it became that God had His hand all over this. After a lot of prayer, we both became very open to adopting both boys. Since adopting them, it is easy to see that they helped our family more than we helped them. We all banded together. Everyone chipped in. It brought our family closer. That is how the Lord works. We learned it's not about blood, but it's about love and compassion.

  • Unique Ministries

    FIGHTING SEX TRAFFICKING

    I have been fighting sex trafficking in Boston for the past eight years. My exposure to this horror began in college. I heard a presentation from the founder of "Not for Sale" about modern day slavery and human trafficking. I couldn't believe how much was happening right here in the United States. I was shocked and horrified. I heard a clear calling from the Lord to get involved somehow. I began an internship and naively thought all I needed to do is tell everyone, and then it would stop. I soon realized human trafficking is overwhelmingly complicated. I encountered my first "survivor" of commercial sexual exploitation while interning. She shared with me the first time someone tried to buy her, it was a police officer. Wow! My world shook a bit. If a police officer is buying girls, then who is helping them? Who can they trust? I began to see a devastating truth: many people know about it, are participating in it, and benefiting from it. After college, I got involved full time. I saw clear gaps in this fight against trafficking. There was and is a desperate need for survivors to have safe housing, and a need for a place to teach those who want to get involved. Most of the experts in the field are too busy to teach. I discovered the ugliness of the politics behind funding, because if a grant runs out, the work stops. This was all so frustrating. I felt I needed to help connect people: those who wanted to get involved needed… Read More

  • Other

    FINDING A NEW FREEDOM WITH JESUS

    Indonesia 2014. I was on a tiny island on a mind-blowing surfing trip, and there I felt God awaken my heart to something new. No cell service or wi-fi was accessible for miles. All safety nets were gone, but I felt free, completely free. This trip was like nothing I had ever experienced. A few months later, I injured my back, and couldn't do anything physical. I was in chronic nerve pain for three months, which felt like a prison. This was one of the most difficult seasons of my life, yet I experienced a new sense of freedom in this unlikely place. I drew into Jesus. His presence was palpable, and it was there that he birthed a new dream in my heart. I discovered a connection between Adventure and Freedom. I realized that adventure can unlock something in a man. It seemed to me that if a man feels fear, but steps through it knowing the risk, he will find freedom! With this new idea, I set out to provide opportunities for risk and adventure, inviting men to question their fears. My first Adventure Freedom journey began January 2017, the stormiest day of the year. Ten guys crammed into a 41' sailboat, and set sail in the rain, sailing 13 hours through the night. Our destination was a deserted island off the coast of California. At the beginning of our trip, I quoted Yvon Chouinard, the Founder of Patagonia, who said, "The adventure doesn't begin until something goes wrong."  Well, it turned out I unknowingly led these guys… Read More

  • Children

    ORGANIZING A TOY DRIVE

    When you are a young social worker who calls on families in a poor neighborhood, you see a number of things that break your heart. Some of these families have so little in life. One of my families has five children and just one toy between them to share. Kids learn how to deal with other people through play and toys, since it engages so many of our senses and builds confidence. But this family had just a single toy. My heart was heavy for these kids who had so little. I prayed about what to do, and felt like Jesus was leading me to a creative solution. I decided to get all my friends together and do a toy drive. Everyone was thrilled to take part, especially when they heard about the families that would receive the gifts. Once the drive ended, we gave each social worker in my office a couple toys for every child they dealt with and had them personally present them on their next house call. It brought so much joy and happiness to these kids and their parents, as well as every social worker. It turned out to be such a simple act, but heartwarming for everyone involved.

  • Unique Ministries

    HOME OF THE HUSKIES

    I have always had a passion for animals, and knew I had to get involved when I came across two huskies belonging to a young Marine on a Facebook group I follow. The group is for men and women that get deployed and need to find a temporary home for their animals while they're serving. The foster family he lined up had fallen through, and he was going to have to give up his beloved dogs while he was serving overseas for a year. I could only imagine the devastation he was feeling. My husband and I talked it over and decided to take on the challenge. Since we already have two huskies of our own, and are both retired military officers, we felt a special prompting from the Lord that this was a way to show His love to others. Even though we were a little daunted by the idea of having four huskies, our desire to serve outweighed that concern. It's been a joy lavishing love and building an incredible bond with these dogs, but also getting to invest in some cool friendships with people at our dog park. They want to hear how we ended up with four huskies, and it has given us a chance to just listen and share. Our Thanksgiving table was full this year---it wasn't just our four canines, but several of our friends (and their dogs) joined us too. I love knowing Jesus has called me to serve in this way. Now if only He could help me with all the shedding.

  • Labor Unique Ministries

    JEWELRY WITH A MESSAGE

    I've always loved music. One of my earliest memories is standing on a pew between my mother and father on a Sunday morning, hymnal in hand, singing to Jesus. And I've also always loved crafting. It brings me so much joy to make something special and unique for someone else. I wanted to find a way to combine what I love doing with what inspires me. I began making beautiful, unique necklaces and bracelets that contain simple phrases from hymns and scripture, and offer them through an online Etsy store. Phrases like "Then sings my soul" and "Tis so sweet" and "ask, seek, knock". When worn, they serve as a sweet little reminder to pause and reflect on how great God is. It is my hope that my jewelry serves multiple purposes for those who wear them. They complement any look, they keep you singing praises throughout the day and most importantly, they are perfect conversation starters to help believers share their faith and love of Jesus with others.

  • Unique Ministries Verbalizing the Gospel

    A DEVASTATING LOSS, A BOLDER FAITH

    I am a New Yorker, a painter, a wife, a soon-to-be mother and a sister who recently lost a sibling. Growing up, I was the youngest of five in my strong Italian-American family. We lost our brother, Matt, in the summer of 2015 to addiction. He was forty-eight. When I think of Matt, I tell everyone he was the smartest of us all, but more importantly he was loving, kind, caring and really funny. During his funeral, friends from everywhere flocked to comfort our family. They told of how his humor and love impacted their lives in such positive ways. It's sad to think of someone with twenty years of addiction, because you start to think he didn't get to finish his purpose, but he did. He impacted me and others in ways that weren't always obvious. Because of Matt, I started searching for a different way of life. I found some answers when I met my loving, gracious, healing and accepting Savior, who offered hope and redemption. When I found this incredible hope, I shared it with Matty. Over the years, I would talk to him about God's love and pray for him unceasingly. Miraculously in 2001, Matty accepted Jesus into his heart while we were praying together. He wasn't able to overcome his addictions, but I know now without a doubt he is with Jesus. After he died, I had a series of experiences and signs that he was finally accepting and enjoying God's love. I know it sounds strange but it came in the shape of a heart. Everywhere I turned, I… Read More

  • Food Unique Ministries

    LOVE-ON-THE-GO BAGS

    I started putting together love-on-the go bags about five years ago. I got inspired while driving and consistently being stopped at a certain street corner where homeless people ask for money or help. I would scrounge in my car to try to find anything to give--a water bottle, a power bar, or some spare change. But one day, I felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit to do more. After praying about this, I decided to put together ready-to-go bags with loving messages, hygiene products, first aid kits, socks, food and water. Now, I'm never empty-handed when passing or driving by someone hungry or in need. Jesus said it best in Matthew 5:42: "Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you." In a small way, I'm trying to live up to His Word.

  • Verbalizing the Gospel

    PLANTING SEEDS

    One afternoon, I was leaving the grocery store after running some errands and outside in the parking lot, I see a horrible scene unfold. As I walk toward my car, I see a man violently raging against this woman. He is winding his arms back ready to do some damage, but right then, with Hulk-like force, he shoves her out of his car. She hits the ground hard, back first. He drives off as quickly as his temper flares. I feel utter shock and dismay by this savage scene, but also prompted by the Holy Spirit to intervene. I quickly get out of my car and ask the woman if she is okay. The woman is sobbing and just keeps repeating, "He left me, he left me, I don't have a job or money." I wrap my arm around her as she's crying, and ask if I can give her a ride home. She agrees, but then asks me to take her back to her boyfriend---to the man who has just assaulted her. I try persuading her to go elsewhere but she won't listen. I feel so defeated that I am unable to convince her NOT to go back. Before dropping her off, I ask for her number, but she refuses to give it to me. I then ask to pray with her, give her my number, and let her know if she needs anything---a job or a couch to sleep on---I'll provide it. But I never hear from her again. I don't know what… Read More

  • Children Prayer

    JUST KNOWING GOD CARES

    This winter season our family got bamboozled by 2017's epic virus infestation. It felt like we were in an underground bunker for weeks on end, surrounded by snot-infested tissues, fevers, vomit, screaming toddlers, and so little sleep. It was torture. When my kids are sick, I feel helpless, heartbroken, small and extremely tired. It's in moments like these I realize I have very little control in life, and this truly results in lots of prayer. Even though I desire control, I ultimately feel relief knowing Jesus "takes the wheel"--especially since half the time I'm just wondering where my keys are (ha!). I'm so grateful for a God who truly knows me and cares about the little things too, like tummy aches, runny noses, and scraped knees.

  • Children

    FINDING JOY OUT OF THE ASHES

    It's amazing what God can do creating something glorious out of our ashes. I went through hell and back several years ago, losing my mom to brain cancer, then my dad to the same disease, and a month later, my grandpa to a freak accident. But, what I've learned out of these losses is that God is real. He is true. And His relationship with us is truly one-on-one. The only formula that dictates our relationship is the one that He designed. I also came to the humble realization that each person lives in his or her own struggles and battles; comparing or judging is no use. We must forgive and understand one another, in spite of ourselves and in spite of our struggles and battles---or we destroy a part of ourselves. I love people more fully now, I also love myself more wholly. My relationship with God is He and I. This year, I became the Dean of Students at my school. It was the hardest job I've ever had; however, when I slowly accepted where God had me, I started to find joy in the exhaustion. And now, God opened up a new door for me, my dream job. I'm helping develop and teach for a new program called Da Vinci RISE, which is helping foster kids and homeless kids to graduate high school. It's hard for me to believe how fulfilled I am by believing and following the Lord, since just a few years ago, I was really hurting.

  • Food

    TAKING MEALS TO NEW PARENTS

    As a mother of two, I know how important meals are for parents of newborns. During those first six months of being a new parent, life is crazy, and being able to provide homemade food or take-out to families in this brand new paradigm is something I love doing! Bringing food to families isn't always convenient, especially with two toddlers in tow, but it's something Jesus has put on my heart to do. Also, I love cooking and being able to bring them something yummy and comforting. It is so fun! Sometimes when I drop off the food, I even get the chance to share a few encouraging words. It's such a tangible way to serve.

  • Prayer

    PRAYING FOR OUR LEADERS

    I am originally from Italy and immigrated to the United States when I was twenty. I love it here, but the world, and this country, is a lot different than when I first became an American citizen 63 years ago. The bickering between political parties divides the country. I was reading my Bible early this year, and I was struck by what Jesus preached. We are to respect and pray for those in authority, whether we agree with them or not. They are our leaders. I felt God was leading me to do this. So I felt particularly burdened to pray for the President and everyone who is serving in a political role. From that day on, I started waking up at 4:00 am to pray for all our political leaders and for the church as a whole. There are now seven other believers that are joining me in this prayer time. Something amazing happened about a month after I began this new routine of prayer. I met a man at our church visiting from Australia who confirmed my Holy Spirit prompting to pray for the President and the church each morning. I thought it was uncanny that a total stranger would confirm what I knew to be His voice. It was like a personal wink from Jesus.

  • Children Mission Trips

    LOVING ON THESE SWEET CHILDREN

    From the time I was a little girl, I wanted to be a missionary. Finally, God opened a door for me. After spending 30 years in special education, I retired in August 2015 and began working with Real Hope for Haiti, a medical mission primarily serving malnourished children. I homeschool the children of the missionaries serving at RHFH. After my teaching responsibilities end for the day, I am blessed to have opportunities to love and serve the precious children healing in the clinic. I spend nine months of the year in Haiti and then come back to the United States for three months. What I love about what I'm doing now is I am able to align the skill set I have with my faith. Every day I feel like I am where the Lord wants me to be.

  • Prayer Unique Ministries

    SEEING EQUALLY

    My mom raised me to see the poor, to view life through the eyes of people who are economically at the bottom. She taught me that people living in impoverished conditions need help, and that I could serve through prayer, mission trips or volunteering. However, my perspective dramatically changed when I began working as a nanny for a wealthy family in California. Before working there, I had a mental picture of how wealthy people lived; I saw wealth as privilege without struggle. What I didn't expect to see was genuine need. These people had real struggles like everyone else, just not economic ones. It turns out I needed to see the rich in the same way my mother taught me to see the poor. Just like us all, regardless of class, there was a longing for love, attention, encouragement, and structure. The sweetest part was not just serving this family and meeting needs, but getting to be a point of connection to Jesus. My experience as a nanny taught me to disregard any sort of class system, and to approach all people as needing help and, most importantly, love. I now realize God's idea of significance is way different than mine, and He can use anyone, in any role, to be powerfully loving. Truly, He sees us all.

  • Prayer

    COMPLETELY TRUSTING THE LORD

    I'm nine weeks pregnant, and it is tough. It's not just the sloth-like tiredness, constant nausea, or the treacherous vomiting. It's especially difficult because I am so afraid of having another miscarriage. The other day, my husband brought home a maternity shirt, which was so thoughtful of him (and the shirt was surprisingly cute), but I was unable to fully enjoy it because I was afraid of losing this baby. The questions, "will I get to wear this shirt" and "will I remain pregnant", kept running through my mind. We heard about our church's Holy Spirit Conference and decided to attend despite our skepticism. We were really curious about this part of our faith that we hadn't really exercised. The coolest thing happened---we experienced the Holy Spirit in such a personal way. Before we went, I begged God to reassure me everything was going to be okay with this baby. I asked the Holy Spirit to send someone to pray for me who didn't know my situation. Then, while we were worshiping, a leader in the church came up to my husband and me and asked if he could pray for us. We said, "yes". He asked my husband to put his hand on my stomach and he began to pray for our pregnancy. He also prayed against all fear and anger. I was astounded by this real and instant answer to prayer. The moment he prayed, I was filled with an overwhelming peace that I have never experienced. The leader who prayed with us asked, "what are you feeling right now?",… Read More

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