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 Special Needs

    OVERCOMING LIFE’S CHALLENGES

    When I was 8 months old, I was diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a disease where cancerous tumors form in your eyes. Doctors removed my left eye, but saved my right one through chemotherapy and radiation. My one eye let me see the beauty in this world, including my parents and twin sister. Over the next twelve years, the cancer came back eight times, and we beat it each time. But when I was 12, it returned with a vengeance and the treatment failed. The only option was to remove my right eye. My parents asked what I'd like to see in my remaining time with sight. I'd always been a huge fan of USC, so I wanted to see one more Trojan game. Coach Pete Carroll heard about my story and made me part of the Trojan family. It was a dream come true and one of the last things I did before doctors performed the operation. Being blind obviously changed everything, but my parents encouraged me to continue pursing my dreams. In high school I became restless as a bystander, and knew I had to find my way back on to the football field. I tried out for my high school team and became their long snapper. I also played golf, skied, surfed and went on mission trips. When it came time for college, I had my sights set on one school: USC. Shortly after getting into USC, the football program invited me to walk on to the team as a long snapper. For two years, I trained every day on… Read More

  • Unique Ministries

    FOLLOWING GOD’S WHISPERS

    It’s important for us as Christians to follow God’s whispers and to put our faith in Him no matter what obstacles we encounter. While attending my first Passion Conference in Atlanta as a high school senior, I learned about the End It Movement, which focuses on human trafficking. It was at this conference that God gave me a passion for educating others about the issue of modern day slavery. So, when I was a freshman in college, God laid it on my heart to lead a human trafficking awareness event at my school. Believing God wouldn't put something on my heart if He didn't want me to do something about it, I took a leap of faith and approached my school administrators about this idea. I was pleasantly surprised when they approved it. From there, God continued to give me ideas for the event, like involving various student groups to showcase their gifts. Students from the college volunteered to perform in dances, skits, and photo shoots to bring awareness to how human trafficking occurs. The director of a local organization that fights trafficking, Project4One, agreed to speak. But, then we started to encounter some hiccups. People told me to expect a light turnout because we were dealing with college students. But, I believed if I continued to trust Him, He would bring the people. So, that's what I did. I chose to believe God was in control, even when people dropped out of participating and when the entire sound system blew the night before the event. When the "27 Has a Name" event on  Read More

  • Special Needs

    THE INFLUENCE OF A GRANDPARENT

    When you see something as a young child, it can have an amazing influence on the rest of your life. Growing up, I watched my grandparents as they cared for their special needs son---my uncle. They took care of him well into his adult years. My grandparents gave him a wonderful life, and I learned a lot from their example of Christ's love to my uncle. When it  was time for me to enter college, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. A frustrating semester as a social studies education major was all it took for me to realize I needed something different. I looked through a catalog of other majors and came across "special education." I remembered the example of my grandparents with my uncle, and knew I had found God's calling for my life. I changed my major to special education and never looked back. Now, I work at a Christian university as an advisor and academic coach for students with special needs and learning disabilities. This is my ministry. I have been able to share the love of Christ and the Gospel with my students. I have seen God work in lives as my students persevere for their degrees, despite disabilities and adversity. I have Bible verses posted around my office, and God has given me the opportunity to be there for countless students through both academic and personal struggles. Bible verses, such as Philippians 4:13; Proverbs 3:5-6; and Isaiah 26:3, keep me focused on my life's purpose. They remind me it is… Read More

  • Church Activities Unique Ministries

    RUNNING A MOBILE FOOD KITCHEN

    I didn’t become a believer until I was an adult. I always believed there was a God, but the idea of Jesus dying for me was foreign. A couple of friends from work pestered me incessantly to go to church with them, and one night, I finally did. I heard about Jesus and what He did on the cross, and remember repeating, “Jesus died for ME” hundreds of times. As it sunk in, I became more and more in awe of what He did and decided to give my life to Him. I’ve made wonderful friends through my church, and been given the opportunity to give back to my community as an outpouring of God’s love. I run our church’s homeless ministry which acts as a mobile food kitchen---preparing, packaging, and serving food once a month. We travel to multiple locations near our church and serve meals to those needing some help. One of my favorite experiences with the ministry involved a man and a woman I had never seen before. They came up to a friend and me and asked for prayer, and then the woman said all she needed was a pair of black sneakers so she could get back to work. The car they were living in also had been towed, so they were on the streets until they could get the money needed to get their car back. My friend and I drove them to a nearby shoe store and while we helped them pick out sneakers, we were able to tell them about Jesus and… Read More

  • Children Prayer Special Needs

    NEVER LOSING FAITH

    Mothers remember anniversaries of the important events in our children’s lives. While I have experienced many good and bad moments with my sons, Matthew and Jacob, two days will forever be etched in my memory. On August 10, 2014, I received that call that mothers dread. I was at home working when my husband, Barry, called to tell me Jacob was in an ATV wreck two hours away from our home in Cartersville, Georgia. I remember rushing out of work, telling my co-workers he had been hurt. Once we drove there, we found Jacob talking and yelling. But 15 minutes after our arrival, he started vomiting and aspirated vomit into his lung. The nurses sedated Jacob and put him on a ventilator. It was the last time he spoke for 10 months. Jacob spent two months in a coma and six months in a minimally conscious state. But even that night, I had a peace about me. I didn’t leave his side for eight weeks. The second date I will never forget is August 17, 2014. That’s the night the doctors told me Jacob was dying. I told the doctor, “No, I am sorry but you are wrong, God told me He was not done with Jacob yet, so you need to do what you need to do, because it’s not Jacob’s time yet. Call the neurosurgeon and see what can be done.”  The doctor told the nurse I was in  denial. They contacted the neurosurgeon who said the only thing to do was a craniotomy which would remove a portion… Read More

  • Unique Ministries

    HELPING PEOPLE ADDICTED TO PORN

    It is devastating to find out your husband is addicted to pornography, especially when he's in the ministry and you think you have a good marriage. We had been married 17 years, had three children and he was the worship pastor of our church when I found out that he had been secretly viewing pornography our entire marriage. And that sexual addiction had led to a string of sexual encounters. In the devastation of his exposure, I wondered what I should do. So much of my identity was in trying to be the perfect Christian, the good example, and working for people's approval. Now my life seemed to be falling apart. Was this the end of our marriage? We immediately began meeting with a counselor and seeking recovery and restoration. I knew I still loved this man, that we had a history together, a family, a relationship, and I didn't want to give up on that. I decided to stay and see what God had in store for us. In addition to healing us and our marriage, we found He also wanted to use our story in other ways. One night a friend called in tears, telling me that her husband had an affair, and that she just needed to talk. I felt like God's hand was in this. He wanted us to use our experience to help others. If I can help someone by being there for them and listening, that is valuable. I don't have to have all the answers. Hurting people need to vent; they need a… Read More

  • Children Church Activities

    KEEPING TEENS ON THE RIGHT PATH

    My search for the truth began in earnest when I became a father. My son’s birth made me wonder more than ever: Why are we here? What is the meaning of this life? I'm from Russia and I was born Jewish. I thought Christ was not for me. But I started reading the Bible, and the story of Jesus touched me. A woman from a Russian-speaking church was sharing the Gospel in a park, and I happened to walk by. I had so many questions! She wasn’t used to someone coming up to her voluntarily. She usually was the one to come up to people, so when she saw my interest, she invested time in talking with me. She opened up her home to me and demonstrated what a truly passionate believer in Jesus looks like. And that changed my life. Now, that I’ve been a Christian for several years, I’m one of the leaders of the Youth Discussions for teenagers at my church. Living in New York City is tough for teenagers; there are a lot of temptations. Some kids start doing drugs at that age and get hooked for life. Some kids drop out of school and get caught up with the wrong crowd. Parents don’t always have time to talk about the tough issues with their kids. I think that developing a relationship with the Lord can keep teenagers on the straight path. We want them to feel the beauty of life with God, to think about how they can apply the Bible’s values to their everyday… Read More

  • Children Special Needs

    A VERY SPECIAL FAMILY

    You could say our house is a little busy. We adopted five children from China, all with special needs, after having four biological children. Scripture says to take care of the widows and the orphans, and this is a passion the Lord has given us. My husband and I feel we needed to do something beyond just living a comfortable lifestyle in the suburbs. He has a good job and we wanted to extend that blessing and share the love of Christ. Two of our kids require blood transfusions every three weeks to keep alive, but you'd never know it by the way they run around all over the place. Two other children have spina bifida and one just had his leg amputated to prepare him for a life with a prosthetic. But we tackle these problems one day at a time and as a loving family. Adopting these beautiful children has helped our biological kids learn how to care for others, to sacrifice. When one child is going through something serious, it affects the eight other kids. It's teaching all of us that we are not called to a life of "me". Some people wonder why we adopt children with special needs. I don't think a large family is as scared raising a child with special needs because they have dealt with kids being sick and having issues. We realize no one is perfect. Adoption comes out of brokenness and loss, so every child who is adopted has had to deal with some type of trauma, even if they are perfectly… Read More

  • Labor Verbalizing the Gospel

    STUDYING WHAT IS IMPORTANT

    As early as the first grade, I remember hating school. While my older brothers were studying and succeeding in their academic endeavors, I was staring at the classroom clock, waiting for the bell to ring. As I approached the end of high school, I opted to study auto mechanics at a vocational school instead of the regular school classes and prayed for school to be over so I could start doing manual work. Graduation marked the end of my schooling and I started a job where I helped build airplanes. During this time, I became a true believer and began reading and studying the Bible, as well as attending Bible studies. I thought it ironic that I struggled to pay attention and follow teachers throughout school, but the Bible was written in a way that I could understand. I worked with all sorts of people at the aircraft company, and was thankful for the coworkers who allowed me to listen to Bible study tapes and sermons while we worked. They were coworkers who had troubled and difficult pasts, and I was amazed by the way God worked through my simple tapes to speak to them. My humble, blue collar jobs led to many other opportunities to love and share the Gospel with others. I spent most of my working years in road construction and worked alongside men from all walks of life. During this time, God gave me the ability to speak to coworkers about faith, forgiveness, and reconciliation in marriage. Since I have retired, God has continued to give… Read More

  • 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