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?
  • Prayer Unique Ministries

    GROWING IN THE VALLEY

    When I found out I had ovarian cancer, I had been a believer for 10 years and was the leader of our Sunday school for children. My doctors told me I would need to have surgery followed by chemotherapy. I learned what it meant to struggle with weakness, pain and worry on a daily basis. Our other Sunday school teachers created a schedule for visiting me and taking care of me. Our Sunday school kids drew pictures of me being healthy again and sent them to me. I finished the chemotherapy treatment but half a year later, the cancer came back. While I was getting treatment, I had moments where I grew very afraid. At one of those moments, I called a friend from my church. She was driving in a car with other believers and they stopped the car to pray for me over the phone. And God gave her a word: “There is no fear in love but perfect love casts out all fear” (1 John 4:18). When I heard those words, I found myself praying, “God, forgive me for not having perfect love.  If I had perfect love, I would not be able to feel fear.” And I saw a vision of Jesus coming down from a large staircase. I experienced so much peace and joy at that moment. When God finally cured me of my illness, I self-published a book about my trial by fire. Now, I frequently give a copy of the book to other people who are going… Read More

  • Unique Ministries

    HELPING THE HEARTBROKEN

    My wife and I are blessed to have experienced the amazing miracle of childbirth three times. But sometimes the joy quickly turns to heartbreak. When our oldest son, Maddux, was just two days old, the nurse noticed his fingers weren't getting the blood flow needed. She called a heart specialist to evaluate him. Up to this point, everything had gone smoothly with no indications of the news we were to receive. The specialist said Maddux needed to be taken to UAB immediately for further examination. Tests revealed Maddux was born with a one-in-a-million heart defect, and would need surgery. There were only three places in the world that perform that heart surgery: Paris, Toronto or Boston. So on his fifth day of life, we were on a MedJet plane to Boston. Maddux had open heart surgery by one of the world's finest pediatric surgeons. During his road to recovery, I would read the Bible to him every night, rubbing the side of his head because that was about the only place he didn't have tubes. Maddux had a few complications but made enough progress that we could return to UAB. He struggled to gain weight, but he was a fighter and after a few weeks, we got to take him home---one of the best days of our lives. But one day when he was four months old, he was not himself. We took him to Children's Hospital and were devastated to hear he had contracted a staph infection. His little body could not fight it, and a short time later,… Read More

  • Children Unique Ministries

    MENTORING

    I've known about the Mentor Upstate program for years, but I became passionate about it once I lived it. Mentor Upstate started in Greenville by a faith-driven couple who saw the need for healthy adult influence in the lives of kids of Greenville's inner city. Mentor Upstate works to pair a child in need of some adult encouragement through partnerships between schools, businesses, and churches. It is a great program, but unfortunately, there was not a program in our area. My family fostered children, and walking through the fostering experience quickly revealed how much I take mentorship for granted. My children have church leaders, family friends, and coaches who pour into their lives and provide them much needed guidance. But, many children do not have adults who consistently encourage them and help them grow. The kids we fostered did not have these adult figures in their lives or people who spoke to them about life choices. Even if children have loving parents or adults who care, some come in and out of their lives without consistency. And, then there are kids who come from difficult places that may have never had an adult encourage them or even listen to them. Seeing it firsthand led me to contact Mentor Upstate to see how I could help bring the program to my county. At this time, I am working with schools, area businesses and churches to recruit, train, and equip mentors to make a difference in the lives of children. Mentors meet with their student just once a… Read More

  • Labor Unique Ministries

    SERVING THE HOMELESS IN ISRAEL

    My husband and I live in Ashkelon, Israel. We serve the homeless, the drug addicts and prostitutes in the streets of Tel Aviv. These young men and women don't know God when they first come in. They don't know that God can change lives. My own relationship with Jesus started when I was in a car accident back in Ukraine in 1993. I heard the doctors say I would be crippled for the rest of my life and, in my despair, I prayed for the first time, "God, if you exist, help me recover so I do not have to be physically dependent on other people." Immediately, I felt someone in that hospital room with me. I sensed His presence. Once I had gotten better, I started attending a church in Ukraine. The first time I came, they had a Christian music group visiting that was called by the same name as my first name---I knew it was a sign that was where God wanted me to grow. Eventually, God led me to immigrate to New York City. I was there on September 11th, helping people who had run out of the burning towers, praying with them as they tried to make sense of this senseless tragedy. I met my husband on a trip to Israel. He was once a prisoner of drug addiction and had even been in jail, but God transformed his life. The two of us received a word from God. It's from Matthew 10:6-8: "Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, proclaim… Read More

  • Labor Unique Ministries

    ‘BUT IF IT DIES, IT BEARS MUCH FRUIT’

    I am in awe of the way the Lord orchestrates our lives so they glorify Him. My mother and I share the same birthday, and since she passed away, I’m often bitter on that day each year because she isn’t with me. Earlier in my life, this bitterness led me to only superficially care for those around me; I wasn’t able to see the larger vision the Lord had for me. After feeling unfulfilled in my advertising career, I turned to my mother’s profession and enrolled in nursing school. It was there that I realized the practice of caring for others as a whole is just what the Lord does. Now as a pediatric nurse, my vision and love for others has expanded immensely as I care for not just their physical needs, but also their emotional and spiritual ones. I’ve been able to share my story with patients, and pray with them if they ask me. Nursing has given me the opportunity to love and empathize with others on a level I never experienced.  In John 12, Jesus says, “unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” Just as the Lord gave His life for us so we may have eternal life, we should die to our selfish and negative ways and in turn, serve and love others as the Lord intended. I now see that suffering is not a curse, but a way to find the Lord in every situation. I have fallen in love… Read More

  • Children Mission Trips

    BRINGING LIGHT TO AFRICA

    In the same year that I accepted Christ as Lord over my life and returned to church, I started having dreams. I was dreaming of children that had no shoes and little clothing, children who looked at me with a hunger that was both physical and spiritual. Surprisingly, I had never even heard about mission trips at the time. These dreams continued so I felt I needed to experience a mission trip. I signed up for a short one to Cuba. I led worship there through dance and got to share the gospel with hundreds of Cubans. Cuba revealed a whole new world to me; I returned knowing that I was meant to do this, that God had designed me to bring His love and His word to all kinds of people. While I was attending school and working, I tried to follow the phrase: “make your home your mission field.” But I knew I would be traveling somewhere. Eventually, I went to Slavic Missionary Bible School in Florida. After preparation and prayer, I was sent to Tanzania, Africa, which had been my first choice from the very beginning. I had marked off different countries but inside, I was thinking: Tanzania. We stayed in Tanzania for five months. We worked with orphanages, we visited leprosy camps, we went from house to house talking about Jesus and handing out food. We visited medical clinics and prayed for the healing of people in the waiting room. God directed us in many ways, big and small. We ended our mission with a short trip to… Read More

  • Senior Citizens Unique Ministries

    COMFORTING & SUPPORTING WIDOWS

    When I lost my husband, I found that I didn't really know any other widows. I had written a book about my husband's battle with cancer but now that it was over, I had a battle of my own to fight. While I had some support, nobody could truly understand my particular type of pain. Once my grief lessened a little, I started to meet other women who were widowed, and remembering how it had felt for me, I started calling them. I spoke with them, prayed for them and invited them out for coffee. Part of what makes losing your spouse so difficult is that you frequently lose the fellowship you used to have as part of your husband's social circle. And then you have to deal with loneliness as well as grief. Eventually, I started attending a monthly widow's group. We were all struggling a bit, trying to lean on God and build friendships while trying to find closure. Finally, I started a widow's group of my own called The Victorious Women. We support each other, build strong relationships and try to plan special fun activities. Some women open up about their story but even those that don't, are comforted by the circle of friends they gain. The group is open to everyone, believers and non-believers alike, but we also meet separately with some of the women to study the Scriptures. I also have a blog for women about keeping faith in tough times. One Bible verse that instructs me when I speak with… Read More

  • Food Prayer Unique Ministries

    LIVING TO SERVE AND LOVE OTHERS

    I spent my first 23 years on earth living for myself and my personal achievements. I wanted to work hard in college so I could go to medical school and then become a doctor. It wasn’t until meeting a girl in college (who would later become my wife) that I discovered achievements alone wouldn’t satisfy me. As I sat reading Tim Keller’s “A Reason for God” after getting into medical school, I realized that no matter what I accomplished on this earth for myself, it would be lackluster. I would still have a feeling of emptiness. God compelled me to put my faith in Him and I realized that He was the only thing to fill that hole. I’m thankful for becoming a Christian just before the beginning of medical school because it helped teach me how to love and serve others. I’ve been fortunate enough to serve and pray for patients, and talk to my science and medical colleagues about my faith. One of the most rewarding parts of moving to a new city for my medical school journey has been using my home to bless those around me.  In our three years here, our guest room has been constantly filled with friends or acquaintances who needed a place to stay for a night, week or month. Family of friends who come to town are able to stay in the comfort of our home instead of an impersonal hotel. College students from our church spend evenings sprawled out in our living room, studying for exams as my wife passes out… Read More

  • Children Unique Ministries

    HELPING FOSTER CARE FAMILIES

    When we became foster parents 16 years ago, we had little to no support. But, we knew God had called us to foster. We live in Spartanburg County, which currently has more kids in foster care than any other county in South Carolina. When we began, we were disheartened by the lack of attention given to foster care and the lack of support for foster care parents. Recognizing a need, we began P.S. I Love You Ministries. It started as a church ministry where we provided childcare for monthly foster care meetings. In addition, we wanted to be a resource for other families serving as foster parents drawing upon our knowledge and experience to answer their questions. We didn’t want foster families to feel alone. We also began making care bags for children entering the foster care system. As foster parents, we saw firsthand how many children enter foster care with few (if any) belongings of their own. We decided to give the children a pillow with their name embroidered on it, so they would have something that was theirs to keep. We also provided them with basic hygiene items, a Bible, and a toy or a blanket. In 2012, we gained nonprofit status, allowing us to partner with even more people in our community. Since then, we have had numerous groups donate items for the care bags. People began to see the needs that extend beyond the care bags and started donating clothing. In October 2016, we officially opened our resource center that houses the P.S. I… Read More

  • Prayer Special Needs

    TRAGEDY TURNS INTO A BLESSING

    When I was 25 years old, I took a cruise to Cozumel, Mexico where my life was altered forever.  I went pier diving and broke my neck when hitting the bottom of the ocean head first. At that moment, I became completely paralyzed from the neck down. By God's grace, I remained conscious and floated up to the surface face down, completely unable to move. Just when I couldn’t hold my breath another second, my friends pulled me out of the water. Soon after my parents got the phone call, back in New York City. They were completely devastated, but cried out to God, even though we weren’t Christians then. This is when God stepped in. My aunt worked at her jewelry store and her friend stopped by just to say hi. Her friend heard what had happened, and through a series of phone calls, was able to arrange for a private jet and a doctor to fly me to a hospital back home, only 18 hours after the accident.  This came with a price tag of $34,000. But my sister's friend lent us $16,000 dollars and an anonymous person on the cruise ship paid another $18,000. We never found out who it was. During my four months in the hospital, I got to know Jesus. Another family friend attended a church in Brooklyn, and the people there started visiting and praying for me. They told me all about Jesus and His love for us.  Eventually, I re-learned how to breathe without a breathing machine and recovered from pneumonia and a high fever. Today, I can sit up without passing out, something doctors said would… Read More

  • Other Unique Ministries

    FORGIVENESS

    I hate drugs and the horrible toll they take on people. They are truly a demonic force and cause nothing but heartache. We lost our 20-year-old daughter, Ashlynn, when she was given a lethal dose of fentanyl. She was a beautiful girl who loved the Lord. She was a great student and a high school cheerleader, but then she started experimenting with drugs. She began hanging around a different group of friends, her grades plummeted and she would show some concerning mood swings. It was a nightmare for everyone. We got her into a rehab program and after some time, we thought she had turned a corner. But her struggles continued. She was in and out of rehab. Then, we discovered she was hooked on heroin. One night in January 2016, she thought she bought some heroin, but her drug dealer gave her fentanyl instead. We grieve our loss and miss her beyond words can express. But we know she went to be with the Lord and was instantly healed and freed from her pain. The drug dealer who sold her the lethal dose had been previously convicted nine times. On this occasion, he was sentenced to 20 years without parole. We talked as a family before his trial, and determined we did not want him to hold us in bondage. We knew that Christ died for him, just like He did for you and for me. He is no less of a person in God's eyes than the rest of us. So at his trial, we gave him a letter… Read More

  • Church Activities Unique Ministries

    GOING WHEREVER GOD OPENS DOORS

    Rome, Georgia is like most mid-sized towns in the Bible Belt with a church on nearly every corner. But many people may never enter the doors of a church. Since they are staying away, they are not hearing the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ. Broken lives are everywhere. Drug abuse and alcoholism are rampant. If people aren’t coming, why not go to them? So we started the Community Church Ministry where we take the church into neighborhoods. Several years ago, I dreamed I was in a large house, and many people were there. The house had several different rooms. In the dream, I went from room to room to minister to the people. I had the dream at least two times, so I believe it was of God. So in 2011, I purchased a 1969 trailer, not knowing if we could make it work. But with a lot of prayer and many volunteers, we got it working, and started having meetings at a local mobile home park that included a message, dinner and music. That year also included an Easter egg hunt, a fall festival and a Christmas play. Soon, the ministry grew to include 10 neighborhoods. The concept is simple. We go to where people live, feed them, love them, and share God's love. Many of the people reached by this ministry may never enter the doors of a church. I have seen God work in this.  A few years ago at one trailer park, we met in a small room next to the laundromat. I… Read More

  • Prayer Unique Ministries Verbalizing the Gospel

    SHARING GOD’S LOVE IN RUSSIA

    The year I entered acting college in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, I began to grow seriously depressed. I did not know the Lord then. I had always wondered what the meaning of my life was, why I was here. Now, I was facing daily criticism from my instructors, grieving over my grandmother’s death. I frequently went home crying. One day, a Christian evangelism group organized a church service at our school's theatre hall. Who were these people? Why did they seem to have so much purpose and love? Then, they left and I went back to my daily struggle, and the pain that followed me wherever I went. One day, I went to the pharmacy with a story about needing sleeping pills. I went home and took an overdose. I woke up four days later in the hospital. During my recovery, I remembered I had gotten a phone number from one of those people who had spoken about God and saved it in my wallet. I called her. She was a pastor at a small church. When I called, a whole group came to visit me and when they prayed, the pain went away. I felt so much lighter. I started reading the Bible and my life started changing. I now realize the fact that I could have taken so many pills and survived was the grace of God. That was 25 years ago and Russia has changed a lot. They no longer allow Christians to evangelize in secular colleges. I’ve been through a lot of struggles since but God always… Read More

  • Children Unique Ministries

    HELPING THE HURRICANE VICTIMS

    I was still reeling from the loss of my baby when Hurricane Katrina stormed New Orleans. As I watched the coverage, my mind immediately went to the mothers. How were these mothers going to take care of their babies when their homes were flooded and they were being bused to auditoriums? I felt moved to go to Sam’s and pick up some big boxes of diapers. Taking diapers seemed like a simple thing, but diapers were needed. And, helping these mothers ministered to my hurting momma heart. So, when my home town of Baton Rouge experienced catastrophic flooding in August 2016, my mind again went to the mothers. Entire parishes were underwater and had to be gutted. Believing that we are called to be His hands and feet, I wanted to do what I could. I created an Amazon wish list for baby items such as diapers, wipes and formula to be shipped to my home address. It took me less than twenty minutes to create the list and post it to social media. In the days that followed, we received box after box from Amazon from friends and strangers across the country who donated from the list. My kids also helped by sorting through the boxes. It was an easy way to show my kids they are called to be His hands and feet, too. When Hurricane Harvey recently led to massive flooding in Houston, I felt led to do the same thing. I contacted a friend who is a school principal in Houston and asked if we could… Read More

  • Prayer Unique Ministries

    STANDING STRONG IN DIFFICULT TIMES

    My life was forever changed when I was diagnosed with my first brain tumor. I was experiencing severe headaches, and I knew something was wrong. When the results of the MRI came back and the doctor told me, I wanted to scream. I was devastated and cried uncontrollably. "Why me, Lord?" I yelled. But after a few days, I heard the Holy Spirit say "Why not you?" He told me He'd always be with me and not to be discouraged. Since then, I've had a peace that is hard to explain. The Bible says that it passes all understanding, and in my case, it really does. I went through the surgery. I woke up temporarily blind, but my sight returned and the surgery was deemed a success. I had a second chance at life. However, it is now eight years later, and the tumor has returned. With a vengeance. The tumor has disabled me, both physically and mentally. I am unable to work. There have been countless time when I didn't know how I would survive with this pain. As I await the next surgery, I don't know my future prognosis. I will either be cured here on earth or be totally restored in heaven. I know He has promised to be with me no matter the result. God's grace and mercy have brought me through all my burdens and battles so far. While my life has been dramatically altered and not in the way that I would have scripted, it is now my goal to be a living testimony… Read More

  • Children Special Needs

    SHOWING HIS LOVE TO MY STUDENTS

    I am a Transitional Kindergarten teacher and I love working with my students each year! I have been teaching for about twenty years now, and sometimes the work I do is really challenging. Some of my students have learning disabilities or behavioral disorders. Often times, the kids just don't understand what's going on, and their parents may be equally unaware. This can be so difficult. His grace each day gives me the help I need at just the right moment. More importantly, He has given me many opportunities to share the Gospel with both the students and their parents. One great joy I have experienced is seeing families come to faith in Christ, and getting to witness first hand the transformation of their hearts, lives, and even marriages. What I've learned throughout these years of teaching is that when God gives you a task, He is going to equip you with the strength to do it. No matter how difficult it may seem, and even when you're crying in the bathroom, He will give you the strength and wisdom to continue and to love well!

  • Unique Ministries

    USING MY ORDEALS TO HELP OTHERS

    I tried to take my life once. I had so many bad things happen: I had been molested, raped, physically abused and I've had a child die. I have been a Christian since I was seven years old. But I thought there must be something wrong with me and that I must be a bad Christian if all these horrible things were taking place in my life. I sat down one night and told God that I couldn't deal with the pain of this world any longer and I wanted to come live with Him. So I took a bunch of pills. When I woke up in the hospital, I knew I needed help. I went to counseling for some time, but what helped me more than anything was that I started seriously reading the Bible, every day. I found that these painful things were not happening to me because I was a bad Christian. I felt like God wanted me to use my ordeals to help others. I thought about how I could do that. I have always had an ability to relate to people that may be different, that others may feel awkward talking to. And I thought I could relate to just about any bad thing that someone may have experienced. So I started talking to ladies that worked in strip clubs. I go into the dressing room and just listen to them. I do not have an agenda, and I don't hand them any pamphlets or tracts. I just love them unconditionally. I meet them were… Read More

  • Prayer Unique Ministries

    RESTORATION

    This is our son who died in the county jail 11 years ago. He accepted Christ as a teen, but hung out with the wrong guys and got involved in drugs. Drugs became his escape. To some his story might seem heartbreaking but it is really a story of redemption. For fifteen months, my wife and I prayed that God would restore and heal our son. He did, but just not the way we had envisioned. Our son spent eight days in jail. God worked in his heart and, on the Sunday two days before he died, he rededicated his life to the Lord. Our pastor visited him on Monday and he shared this awesome decision. The next morning, he suffered a brain aneurysm and passed away. He's now with the Lord, his salvation complete. His story underscores that we don't know what the future holds. The Bible says we are not promised tomorrow. God numbers our days for His purpose. God has given my wife and me His story to tell about our son. Sharing this story has drawn many to Christ. I am a civilian working for the police, and God has allowed me to become the chaplain for our jail. Our jail ministry provides worship services where a number of us are able to bring hope to inmates. Our son's death also opened the door for my involvement in a prison ministry, trying to make a difference in the lives of men who are incarcerated, sharing the message of eternal hope. It is such a blessing to… Read More

  • Children Labor

    SETTING A WONDERFUL EXAMPLE

    When my husband was deployed a few months ago, our son was very sad. He had never been away from his dad and he really missed him. Of all things, they had a special bond of doing yard work together. A couple days after the deployment, our son said he was going over to our neighbor's house to see if Dean could come out and work in the yard with him. Dean is not a child---he has a wife and three girls as well as a full-time job. But Dean set aside whatever he was doing and started raking the yard with our son. That night, our son came home with the biggest smile on his face. And the next day, our son knocked on Dean's door and out he came to help our son blow the leaves out of the yard. Nearly every day for the past couple months, Dean has been working outside with our son. Not just in our yard, but other neighbors' yards. Dean can sense our son's sorrow of his dad not being there, but Dean is helping take our son's mind off that for a short period every day. And doing something that my son and husband loved to do. Dean is also teaching him to serve and be responsible. Together, they chopped up a tree that had blown down across a road during a storm. My husband and I have three kids and I don't know how I could have handled this deployment if it wasn't for Dean's unselfishness. He's made this manageable.… Read More

  • Other Unique Ministries

    BEING OPEN TO HIS WILL

    You never know where God will lead you on life's journey, but if you're open to His will, it can be quite a ride. I was in the pharmaceutical industry while also serving in the Army reserves for 32 years. When I was retiring from the reserves, a friend invited me to be part of a four-day event at the Kairos prison ministry. I had never been to a prison or an event like that, and I was incredibly moved. So impacted that I got involved teaching a Bible study twice a week at a correctional facility, and a few years later was asked to be on the Board of Shepherd's Fold. This ministry serves the Lord by providing food, shelter, clothing, guidance and love to men and women seeking to change their criminal behavior following their release from prison. It is a six-month transitional ministry with a separate men's and women's facility. We train them to be productive citizens. We help change their thinking and teach them that real freedom comes only by believing and following Jesus Christ. We show them God has a purpose for each of their lives. I got so involved that they asked me to be the executive director. It is incredible to see how God moves here and transforms lives. We have over 100 people in our program. Nationally, the recidivism rate among former inmates is anywhere from 35% to 65%. For our graduates, it is less than 1%. I'm blessed to be part of this each day, and see… Read More

  • Unique Ministries

    RESCUING GIRLS FROM THE STREETS

    When I was 12, I was raped by three teenage boys. It shook me to my core. I felt scarred, was blamed for it, reacted with rebellious behavior and began running away from home, repeatedly. At 15, I was on the streets and miserable. A man I knew said he "loved" me, and offered me a home. He was nice; he knew I needed food and shelter. It turns out there were four other girls living there. He said we each had to bring in a certain amount of money daily to support our family. He was our husband, daddy or boyfriend based on where we were. I soon discovered I was caught in a sex trafficking ring. He made me sell drugs at first, but soon the drug money was not enough to make my "quota." I had to do what I could to survive and he began to prostitute me. Then, I began using those drugs I had been selling. I was bought, sold, traded and given away to other pimps a number of times. I was caught in this ugly, sick web for 12 years. In 1997, I was released from jail once again, but for the first time, I didn't call my pimp. I called a friend who gave me shelter. And I started to "fix" myself. I went back to school and got a job as a waitress. Even though there were bumps in my road to recovery, I started to make something of myself. I met a lady who wanted to help girls get… Read More

  • Church Activities

    NOT SITTING AND SOAKING

    I don't think we, as Christians, were called to "sit and soak" at church, so I explored ways to get involved on Sundays. After seeing all the needs, I started volunteering with the baptism team. On the first Sunday of each month, we get to church early to set up everything for the baptisms: the tables, the signs and the special bags that we hand everyone getting baptized. Those bags include the clothes to wear during the baptism, towels and toiletries. We gather everyone who will be baptized and give them instructions. We even get the privilege of praying with them beforehand. The team is made up of a great group of people that help make the day special for those getting baptized. I originally served as a member of the team, but realized I wanted to help lead the group because of how amazing an experience this was. I love getting to connect with people from all walks of life, and being able to help at church. To get to be a part of this special day in their lives is truly wonderful.

  • Children Other

    GLORIFYING JESUS IN TRYING TIMES

    I've had some traumatic experiences in my life. But I know God allowed me to go through these to help me grow and use them for His Glory. As an educator, I now use these trials to encourage my students. God blessed me with a sister and we were each other's source of strength as young children. Our life was not conventional; some may even say it was hard; however, I believe some of those life lessons taught me how to be a survivor. As a young adult, my sister was killed in a car wreck. It was a devastating loss. Then in 2010, my friend and I were out for a run at 5:00 am. We had been training for a half marathon for 10 months. A car came over the hill and struck us both. Tragically, my friend was killed. I was flipped in the air and came crashing down on the windshield. I sustained 25 breaks and underwent 8 surgeries. Doctors said I'd never walk and they talked about amputating both my legs, but I objected. I knew immediately that God had chosen me to glorify Him through this horrendous experience. I didn't know how, but I was determined to show everyone that He was real and He was still doing miracles. I was in the hospital for two months and in intense rehab for another ten months. Through this time, I never complained. I wanted my kids and friends to see that what I'd been telling them about Jesus was true. I needed to practice what I'd been… Read More

  • Prayer Unique Ministries

    STARTING A MINISTRY IN A BAR

    I was a picture of good health until May 2001. We were vacationing at the beach when I got a call from my doctor, telling me I had non Hodgkin's lymphoma. The news brought me to my knees. I was scared and shaken, wondering how this could be. Me? I took a walk alone on the beach, crying out to God. And on that long walk, I met God like I never had before. In my fear and through my cries, I got a message that this was not the end. He told me I would be alright, but He wanted me to use this to glorify Him in a very specific way, one that was clearly spelled out to me. He wanted me to start a ministry called Operation Jesus. Being in the police force, I had no ministry experience or any idea on how to get this off the ground. But His message had been so strong that I was only supposed to be His vessel. I started by inviting my fellow officers and some city employees to a mid-week gathering where we would have a guest speaker share his or her testimony. We'd also sing some praise songs and have some time for prayer. They started inviting their friends and the ministry grew. We started in an extra room in a church but God's message clearly told me I was to move it to a bar. Yes, a bar. That sure took some of my fellow officers by surprise. But we found a tavern where the owner was open to the idea. We'd move chairs and tables around, and… Read More

  • Senior Citizens Unique Ministries

    MUSIC TO CALM THEIR FEARS

    Jesus instructed us to use our talents for His glory, and that is what I try to do with my music. I play a variety of musical instruments including the violin, fiddle and guitar, and even some unique instruments such as the Irish bouzouki and bodhran. Music is an integral part of my life and has been since I was a little girl. I wanted to spread the word about God's love in a way that tapped into my passion and talent. So I started a music ministry at the local hospital every Sunday morning. I begin by playing some traditional Christian hymns on the violin. This is soothing and seems to draw people in. Then, I head up to the Alzheimer's unit. I play some more hymns, read from a passage of scripture and then end by playing some religious songs that so many of us know from memory. Songs like "This Little Light of Mine" and "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot." It is amazing to see the joy on the faces of these Alzheimer's patients when I play these songs and hymns. A few of them may not remember their own names but they are singing along to these songs and know every lyric. It makes them smile and has a very calming effect. Many see their physical body deteriorating, but this may remind them that there is an eternal hope. It's a blessing to bring that special hour to them each week.

  • Children Unique Ministries

    KEEPING THINGS ROLLING

    Our local Children's Hospital uses these shiny Radio Flyer wagons throughout their facility. They are a wonderful distraction for the kids---parents wheel their child around the building to give them a much-needed break from lying in a hospital bed. They're also used in place of luggage racks so people utilize the wagons to move their suitcases in and out of the hospital. Whenever I'd visit Children's Hospital, I would wonder who did the upkeep on these wagons. It turns out one of the men in my church was doing it, and he recruited several church members to join him. I was floored to find out there are over 500 Radio Flyer wagons in our hospital, so there are always a number of them breaking down. We gather every Wednesday afternoon and tackle the repairs. We'll fix the flat tires, replace the loose parts, and even straighten the ones that have been hit in the parking lot, left there when someone took a child to the car to go home. It will take us anywhere from two to four hours every week, depending on the number of wagons. We are "behind the scenes" guys. Only a handful of people know we do this. In fact, all our work is done in a basement room that we call "The Shop." But we enjoy each other and even find time to eat dinner together after we're done. It's a great way to give back. The Bible tells us to help each other, especially people that aren't as fortunate as us or that are going… Read More

  • Special Needs

    I LOVE THE WAY GOD MADE ME

    I’ve had a physical disability my whole life. I was born with Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita (AMC), which means a lack of muscle mass. My arms and legs are affected. But I don’t “see” disability. I don’t dwell on what I can’t do. From early on, I learned to accept my limits, to know challenges will always exist, but they don’t have to be obstacles. I can chase dreams, love life, and embrace the story I am living. Does it look different? Do I need help to achieve those goals? Yes. That’s part of my normal and I don’t mind welcoming others into my world. We all need community and life is better together. Nowadays, I blog about living with a disability. I share my story because this is something I can do---to spread awareness, build understanding, encourage others, and show I am normal. Yes, I have limits, but I love the way God made me. I wouldn’t erase my disability. This is the life God has given me and the story I have to tell. And every day, I have so many reasons to be thankful.

  • Labor Unique Ministries

    MENTORING YOUNG MEN

    I never thought I'd quit my job as a fire fighter and go into full time ministry, teaching unemployed young men the art of wordworking. But I felt the Lord's calling and you don't say no when you hear that voice. I planned on being a fire fighter my entire career but my life changed once I got saved by a friend at the station. I started reading my Bible every day. I got to Matthew 4:19, and I felt like the Lord was speaking to me directly. He was calling me to share the Gospel with people. But what could I possibly do to fulfill this? I prayed and what became abundantly clear was that I was passionate about several things: Jesus, working, people and building things. I had built a few pieces of furniture and sold them to fund a mission trip, so I wondered if woodworking may be the vehicle to help me reach out to people. On my off days, I started working with a couple guys who were having a very rough time in life, teaching them the art of wordworking. We built a couple pieces of furniture together and they sold right away at a consignment store. Maybe we were on to something! A few friends saw the positive effect this was having on these young men, and wanted to help me reach other guys who may be unemployed or struggling. So we started Magic City Woodworks. And it grew over time, so much that I… Read More

  • Children Special Needs

    LOVING ON KIDS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

    When I was in college, I worked for a non-profit that served infants who had special needs due to prenatal contact with drugs and/or alcohol. I was immersed in this inner city population for eight years, and I fell in love with these small children. They were such a light to my life. Once I had my own children, I took a hiatus from work, but knew I would go back eventually when the time was right. When I did return, my intention was to pick up where I'd left off, but the commute was too long for me as a mom. Instead, I started working for an autism diagnostic center that provided speech therapy. During this time, my church was in the process of expanding their special needs ministry. My name came up for consideration and they approached me shortly after. I had no intention of leaving my job, and I even prayed against this new opportunity. But God kept calling me. Once I finally accepted the position, it was clear Jesus wanted me here. Doors really started to open. I've been here for three years, and can honestly say it's been the most important work in my entire life! God has been amazing through this process. Kids who are non-verbal are learning Scripture! Our church congregation is seeing that each child has a purpose and that they are amazing individuals who are not to… Read More

  • 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

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