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?
  • Mission Trips Senior Citizens Verbalizing the Gospel

    A FAMILY SHARING HIS LOVE & GRACE

    I've learned our world is truly beautiful and sometimes we need to leave our comfort zone to appreciate everything around us. The love I have for God's word and the teachings of Jesus Christ started generations ago when my grandmother placed her faith in God, and traveled with my grandfather to Tanzania to begin their missionary career. That decision to step outside her comfort zone set our family down on a path that would transcend generations. From one woman to another, my family has a passion for God, wanting to ensure others hear the good news of Jesus Christ. She instilled in our family the tradition of fulfilling God's calling when asked to share His love and grace. When I was four, my aunt and mother took all their children to Tanzania to assist my grandparents in their day-to-day mission work.  Mom then provided a way for me to serve with my grandparents in each of their mission fields--Alaska, Israel, El Salvador, Burkina Faso, and Zambia--to make a tangible difference in the people that I now call my brothers and sisters in Christ. Our work has allowed us to receive blessings for eternity. The book of Philippians teaches, "As long as I'm alive in this body, there is good work for me to do." My life in America is pretty easy. I have seen first hand that being poor in America is better than being rich in most any other countries. I'm grateful to be surrounded by strong examples of Christian women that serve as my sounding board through my journey… Read More

  • Financial Help Other Unique Ministries

    TOTALLY CHANGING THEIR LIVES

    As a teenager, I was in and out of homeless shelters. By the time I was 17, I was a single mom. But in looking back, I think God was preparing me to do some wonderful things to glorify Him. God blessed me with initiative and eventually, I became a real estate broker. I started selling commercial properties. I worked long hours and built my business. It started to take off. One day, I closed on a sale, took my $10,000 check and hurried to my next appointment. But somehow, I dropped the check in the street. Someone found it and called me. I was touched that he was returning it and not asking for anything. I arranged to meet him, and to my surprise, he was a guy who was down on his luck and had been homeless for a year. But he had the integrity to return my check. I felt God's nudge to help this man. I sensed God put this man in my life at that time to do something big. Instead of temporarily solving his problem with a check as a reward, I wanted to change his situation. And maybe change it for some others. He was a smart guy and I set him up in an apartment and sent him to school to be a real estate agent. The more I got to know him, the more impressed I became. He had a unique perspective on how to help the homeless. So we started working on a plan to build a transitional home for homeless… Read More

  • Labor Other

    HELPING WITH EATING DISORDERS

    To experience healing is to experience the loving kindness of Christ. As a recent graduate student of Marriage and Family Therapy, I’ve been able to witness how the healing of one person can, in turn, be a healing for others. With God, nothing is impossible, as says Luke 1:37. So far in my work, I’ve had the opportunity to provide individual, group, couples, and family therapy in an intensive outpatient setting where I specialized in the treatment of eating disorders. A person’s battle with this disease is intense, yet sometimes unnoticed or misunderstood. However difficult it may be to admit that we or someone we love is struggling, the reality is that when one person suffers, it is not only their burden to carry. It affects those they love, too. Although the process of recovery is both rewarding and challenging, being able to witness the healing power of God is truly a privilege. This is exactly the type of situation for God to use the right people at the right time to help a person grow towards recovery---physically, mentally, and spiritually. An authentic conversation, listening ear, and compassion reach far beyond we can see at first when we are supporting someone in a therapy setting. Sometimes, one doesn’t know the impact of a few sessions until much later, when a client reports back. It gives me joy to know of a client’s progress toward healing! It is a blessing that God would have me be involved in any part of their journey, and especially to hear of their subsequent recovery. To be able… Read More

  • Children Unique Ministries

    WE DO CARE

    On February 14, 2010, I woke up at 5:00 in the morning. Jon didn't make it home that night because he had died in a car accident. I was 34 and he was 38. We had a 3-year-old son and I was three months pregnant. My life took a complete turn. I felt no one could relate to me and my situation. If I went to a widow's support group, the women were typically in their 70s. I had a 3-year-old son and a baby to raise, and they'd all been married 40 years with grown children. I know it's still sad, but it's very different. I always wished there was a support group for me, but there wasn't. Eventually, I began meeting with four young widows at casual restaurants where we would laugh, cry, talk and vent; and say, "yeah, I know what you're going through" and actually know. With John dying on Valentine's Day, I also started Gifts of Love. These are care packages given to widows and their children. The packages would include something to provide comfort or joy to let the recipients know that people loved them. I always liked helping people, and found my best healing came from helping others. Once this was started, God kept putting young widows in my path. I wouldn't have been able to run from it if I tried! After seeing this make a difference, I decided to create a non-profit called We Do Care, and three years ago, we held our first support group in my church. It empowers widows with coping skills, and gives them a way to just put one foot in front of the… Read More

  • Unique Ministries Verbalizing the Gospel

    OUR INNER CITY OUTREACH

    Inner city ministry was something that I wasn’t searching for; in a sense, it found me. It started when my wife and I moved in with my brother. It was a temporary move, so we could find a place to live. My brother lived in a rough part of town. Most of the buildings were unkempt and crime was a daily occurrence. It took a little time to get used to it; waking up in the night to gunfire was not a comforting situation. One of the main reasons my brother chose to live in this rough location was to join an outreach ministry. This was something I admired and was curious about as well. The vision to love your neighbor and love your community attracted me. It wasn’t long before my wife and I fell in love with the people of the neighborhood. We began to feel God calling us to pour into the hurting people that surrounded us. What opened my eyes is the understanding that you can love and care for someone, but only God can truly change that person. I discovered depending on my fellow believer was vital to living in a challenging area. It’s a common occurrence that one of us would awaken in the middle of the night to pray. Then we’d be informed the next morning there was an attempted break-in to one our friends’ apartments. The whole experience is eye-opening. My wife and I decided to stay in the inner city with the outreach group. The heart of Christ’s teaching is… Read More

  • Labor Senior Citizens Unique Ministries

    HELPING WITH TAXES

    I was playing Contract Bridge after I had retired in early 2005, and one of the players was an AARP volunteer who helped people submit their federal tax returns for free at the local senior center. I had always done my own tax returns and had a good idea of what was involved in reporting one's taxes, so when she asked if I might be interested in helping, I said yes. After attending training classes and passing a series of tax tests, I started volunteering in 2006 using a pen and calculator to figure out the returns; now we use computers. We help all ages from February through mid-March and you don't even have to be a member of AARP to come to us. I was an engineer during my career; in retirement, I missed working with technical issues. Income tax law is a very complicated thing. It provides challenges in interpreting the law, and every year we need to be re-certified to cover new tax laws and refresh our memories on existing laws. But beyond that, it's the sincere appreciation and thanks from our clients that gives me the most satisfaction. It's fun meeting new people and helping them accomplish something they find very confusing. Every day, we have someone saying, "You people do such a great job, thanks." I would guess about 80% of our clients came to us the year before. It's like seeing a friend once a year in many cases. Our growth in clients, I believe, is a friend telling a friend that we do tax returns and it's free. My Christian faith and upbringing has taught me to help others. Volunteering to… Read More

  • Labor Unique Ministries

    HELPING THEM OVERCOME ADDICTION

    There are an overwhelming number of women who have had their children, lives, and freedom taken from them due to drug addictions. Many have professed a Christian faith but still face suicidal thoughts and a deficit of hope. After facing my own addiction with alcoholism and restoring my life in Christ, I knew He was prompting me to help these women reach a place of stability. I began my response to His call by sponsoring young women through AA, and then went on to receive training for Christian counseling. In 2018, I began volunteering to counsel young women regularly at a rehabilitation center. I currently provide Christian counseling to three to five women a week. Most of these women have been to prison and have a lot of work to do to rebuild their lives. In our weekly sessions, we help them identify the root cause of their addiction. This journey often involves a lot of shame, rejection, and other humbling emotions. We remind them what they mean to Jesus and that they are significant. We help them learn what healthy relationships and friendships should look like. Most importantly, we pray and facilitate the restoration of their hope in life through Jesus Christ. We work to help them restore their faith and progress toward facing a life free from the chains of addictions. I have been humbled and honored to see many of their lives changed. Watching these women week after week as their mind, body, and faith are restored is breath-taking. It is not always a happy ending, but most women… Read More

  • Children Food Unique Ministries

    ENCOURAGING NOTES FOR YOUR KIDS

    I've been writing notes on a napkin and putting them in my kids' lunchboxes for years. Some are funny, some are serious. But to me, it's just a way to tell them I love them and to make them smile, think, laugh or blush at the school lunch table. One day, I took a picture of a napkin I thought was clever, and posted it on my Instagram account to share with my buddies. I had no thought of it going viral, but it did. Apparently, it reminded people of things their family used to do to make their day brighter. So I continued to post my napkins each morning and they continued to get very heartwarming reactions. The number of followers kept growing. I came up with a name for them: Napkinisms. Someone at the Chick-fil-A Foundation heard about these napkins. Since they provide free lunches every week to needy kids in the inner city of Atlanta, they asked if I could create a napkin to be placed in each free lunch. A few years later, our local Children's Hospital asked if I could provide one each day for every kid staying in the hospital. So that's what I'm doing. I’m not trying to change the world through Napkinisms. I just hope I can change someone’s day, and let kids know somebody thinks they’re special. I know how significant that can be. If I've been gifted by God with certain talents, then it's my responsibility to use these gifts. And I believe God has directed me… Read More

  • Labor Other

    HELPING THOSE AROUND ME

    I served in the disaster relief ministry, one of the most intense and demanding times of my life, both spiritually and physically. This helped stretch me in ways I didn't even realize. But now, I am focusing my efforts to help those around me. I want to use the gifts that God has given me in compassion, wisdom, and discernment. After a lot of prayer, I feel God is directing me to pursue a formal bible college education, particularly in the area of biblical counseling, so I can grow more and use my gifts to more effectively serve the body of Christ. My prayer is to draw those outside of the faith into a loving and meaningful relationship with the one true God, through the Son. I want to use my technical experience along with the wisdom that God has placed in me to serve the Body---not only physically, but also spiritually, by discipling those who may be younger in their faith or possibly even brand new in the faith. God gives gifts to His people so they may bless the world, bless the Body, and ultimately give all the glory for such a gift back to the giver, Himself!

  • Church Activities Unique Ministries

    BRINGS FURNITURE TO THOSE IN NEED

    If you were to see me in passing, you'd notice nothing different about me compared to my fellow man. God has blessed me with a job in which I work a 40-hour week. I come home to a wonderful family and spend the remaining hours of the day with them, before it's time to do it all over again. However, there was a voice which began to awaken my spirit. The same voice that told Peter to, "Feed my sheep," was calling me to do the same. God began to open my eyes to the needs of my city. You cannot enter the city limits without being greeted by a homeless person on the street corner. How could I who has been given much, not give in return? Reading through the Scriptures, I was reminded of James who said, "Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, 'Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,' but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?" My church offers a variety of outreach programs, and I found one that served the needy. Every Saturday, people come together to collect and deliver furniture. It's a program designed to help those who are trying to get back on their feet. It ranges from people coming off the streets into an apartment to refugees arriving in the States. Being part of this program really opened my eyes. I would come into tiny apartments where the lights were off because they couldn't afford to… Read More

  • Children Special Needs

    THE LUCKY GIRL

    Lucky. We can all apply this word to our lives in one sense or another, but for me, the definition has radically changed recently. I am a junior in college, majoring in occupational therapy. I have always had a heart for helping others, but it wasn't until last year that I found the true avenue for my passions. It started when I followed a family on Instagram who had adopted three kids, two of which have Down syndrome. I felt naturally drawn to this family and knew in some way, I was meant to be a part of their lives. One day, the mom, Heather, posted an ad for an internship opportunity. For me, I knew it was from God. I immediately applied and earned the position. Each week, I assisted Heather with her activities and got to hang out with her kids. I had always been drawn to the joy and love of people with Down syndrome, but this family was my first personal introduction to kids with Down syndrome that were treated as competent and who were allowed to experience a whole range of normal emotions. The way Heather treats people has truly impacted my life, and shaped how I want to treat people. I absolutely believe it was a "God thing". God used this opportunity to teach me how much every person has to offer and how to view people as Children of God first. Heather has a strong faith, and talks about how her life isn't what she thought it would be but it is so… Read More

  • Children Food Unique Ministries

    GOT ‘FREE’ MILK

    In 2017, my oldest daughter started kindergarten. The school she attends has the highest poverty rate in our district, where 75% of the students receive a free or reduced lunch. So, there is a lot of need. A month into the school year, I sat down with the principal and asked, "How can we help? What is something you are struggling to cover?" Her instant response was, "We need milk." I didn't totally understand, but she explained. While most of their students get a free or reduced lunch and even breakfast before school, milk during their snack break was not covered by the program. Since most families couldn't afford the additional cost, the majority of kids in the school went without milk during breaks. The principal believed many of those students were getting the bulk of their nutrients at school, so it was vital they get the milk they need while they were there. At the same time, our church was looking for tangible ways to serve our community. Armed with an idea, I went back to our church staff and explained the need. We launched a campaign asking our church members to sponsor milk for one or more children for a semester or the whole year. Within a few weeks, we raised about $5,000 to help purchase milk for students in two entire grades. One lady wrote a check for $1,100. When I thanked her, she said, "I went to that school as a girl--those are my people." I think for all of us, it was a great lesson in showing the love… Read More

  • Food Labor Unique Ministries

    HEALTHY MEALS TO CANCER PATIENTS

    I have worked in the cancer field my whole career. I've seen the struggles patients go through and how it permeates every facet of their lives. I know how difficult it is to get the right nutrition during different phases of cancer treatment. So the idea of delivering nutritious meals to cancer patients started swimming in my brain years ago. But I kept it bottled up. How could I possibly pull off something like this? Whenever I let my mind wander on to this dream, I saw obstacles pop up. A year ago, I had three close friends in their forties diagnosed with cancer, so the idea was really on my mind. That's when I told a few people about my idea. They were all rather intrigued, so they promised to pray about it. Within a few months, several pieces of the puzzle came together. Was this a sign from God? So I started praying for further signs, figuring if God wanted to use me, I would be all in. And the signs came. I prayed for some guidance on nutrition, and a chef volunteered her time. I prayed for direction on how to make meals for a number of people at once, and the availability of a local commercial kitchen reared its head. So I started asking people to pray for a specific obstacle that stood in my way, and one by one, the obstacles dissolved. Maybe not the way I expected, but the door was opened for me. So I jumped in and formed Read More

  • Children Church Activities Unique Ministries

    USING MY UNIQUE TALENTS FOR HIM

    I come from a very musical family. I wasn't blessed with the gift of singing, but I was rhythmically inclined. My mother was a great dancer, and she showed me a few moves. Then, I discovered Michael Jackson and James Brown. I studied their moves and worked to perfect my gift. Growing up in Queens at the time, Hip Hop was a bit combative. I started to learn how to battle rap and dance. It was a way for me to express myself. It wasn't long until I became a part of that culture and fluent in its artistic language. In my late teens, I left New York and moved to a small town in Kentucky. I gave my heart to Christ in 2000 and He completely turned my life around. I began serving in the youth ministry at my church, and quickly became a mentor to a number of young people. I saw a little bit of myself in some of the kids, and I wanted to help them express themselves with their God-given talents. Thus began the start of Opfor: Open Platforms For Outreach. It was a vision that God birthed in my heart to empower creative young people to use various art forms to bring enrichment to our culture and communities. One manifestation of this is our Friday night "sessions." We set up in a parking lot on a busy street in town every week. I open with prayer, then we play music; and dancers, singers, rappers and visual artists come out and share their talents with the community. We take time to spread the Gospel during each session, and to encourage and build up the young people of the area.… Read More

  • Children Labor

    TUTORING HOMELESS CHILDREN

    I was 46 years old and with my only child entering high school, I was praying about what I should do with the second half of my life. As a teacher and educator, I volunteered at my daughter's school, and one day I picked up a magazine to read while I was waiting for my next student. I was looking for a pumpkin cheesecake recipe in a magazine when an article called 'Lessons in Love' caught my attention. There was an older lady standing there with a child, both holding school supplies and backpacks in their hands. It was Agnes Stevens and she had started a program called School on Wheels in California. Agnes was a retired nun and school teacher who had been teaching school across the street from a homeless shelter. All the homeless kids would come to school without supplies or backpacks. Here was a woman who saw social injustice, wanted to do something about it, and just did it. As I was reading the article, it felt like God tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Here you go." I called Agnes and asked her how to start the program here in Massachusetts. And I did. We started in 2004 by working with two family shelters, giving out 50 backpacks and tutoring about 20 kids a week. By the time I retired as executive director in June 2018, we had 14 program sites tutoring over 250 kids and giving out 2,800 backpacks. I always knew this was too big for me, but… Read More

  • Labor

    HONORING JESUS IN MY BUSINESS

    As a chiropractor, I take my patients' health very seriously. I work hard to look at the entire person and his or her health, not just a few symptoms. I am very passionate about this and I believe that passion comes from the Lord. Every time a patient leaves my office able to move a bit better than when he arrived, I give God thanks for His help and pray that it is for His glory. Just as I believe in treating the whole person, I believe it is my responsibility as a follower of Christ to live out my faith in every area of my life. That includes my chiropractic business. I work hard to deal in the utmost integrity with my patients and the community. I have also made it a policy that half of every patient's first visit's cost goes to a charity we support. They are are all Christian charities and serve our local community both through service and proclamation. We will certainly continue this practice. The Lord truly continues to bless me as I work to honor Him in my life and in my business.

  • Labor Special Needs Unique Ministries

    HELPING CHANGE SOMEONE’S LIFE

    When you spend a few hours helping build a wheelchair ramp for someone who is homebound, you play a part in changing someone's life. That's what struck me when I was part of a Kiwanis club that built a ramp about 30 years ago. It was amazing to see the new-found freedom the person in the wheelchair enjoyed. In the following months, I felt the Lord leading me to get more involved. I discovered many people who need a ramp don't have the money or the knowledge of what it takes to make it happen. So they are stuck in their house for much of their lives. It was hard to imagine. So my club started building more ramps for people. We went from building a couple a year to 25 per month. We received referrals from hospitals, rehab facilities and dialysis centers who knew clients that needed ramps. People would hear what we were doing and come volunteer their time. The project just keep growing. These ramps were donated to the homeowner, so we needed funds to make this happen. We became a 501(c)(3) so we could solicit grant money to help fund these ramps. It was obvious the Lord was in this because everything kept falling into place. We became the Texas Ramp Project. We now have over 3,500 volunteers that have provided 16,000 free ramps throughout our state. Most of these residents don't have a lot and the majority are over 60, but there are a good number of children suffering from spina bifida. The Texas Ramp… Read More

  • Children Unique Ministries

    FREE MUSIC LESSONS FOR THESE KIDS

    Every Monday evening, the practice rooms in our Fine Arts hall are filled with university student music instructors and pupils eager to learn piano, guitar or drums. However, this isn't just another music school. This is a Christian ministry called WOVEN: With One Voice Energizing Neighborhoods. It all started 16 years ago when another faculty member and I decided to begin giving piano lessons to the neighborhood kids surrounding our inner-city campus. Our mission is to provide opportunities for success through music literacy and performance for the children of downtown Minneapolis through mentoring and teaching music. We work on theory, understanding the instrument, and how to read notes and rhythms. An additional goal is to build relationships and help each child feel special through one-on-one attention. Music is a powerful gift to help people express themselves. The children come ready with big smiles on their faces. The program offers the lessons free of charge to families in the neighborhoods near campus. At the end of the semester, we hold a performance celebration, where the music students and instructors alike beam with pride for all that has been accomplished. Making a child feel cared for is one of the greatest impacts we can have on a life. I love that I get to do this through this music ministry.

  • Other Verbalizing the Gospel

    I AM NOW A CHRISTIAN

    My wife and I came to this country a few years ago from the Middle East. We were Muslims living in the Midwest, and spoke only a little English. Life was very difficult. Thankfully, I met an American who had lived in a Muslim country for a long time. He understood me and my struggles in our new home. He and his wife patiently taught us about American food and how to navigate life in the United States. They were kind and warm, even inviting us over regularly for meals. They are truly our best friends in America. They had invited us to their church a number of times. But we are Muslims, so we always declined. They never pressured us to follow Jesus; they just shared their beliefs and kept inviting us to special events at their church. Finally, my wife encouraged me to say yes to an invitation. And we are so thankful we did. We met Jesus for the first time; we now follow Him and attend church regularly. Recently, a young Syrian Muslim man came to the United States. He was blinded by a bomb that went off near his home. A specialized doctor resides in our town and was willing to do the surgery. I was asked if I would host him during his time here. At first, I was a bit afraid. I'm no longer a Muslim. But I am still Arab and my name is still Muslim. But, again, at the encouragement of my wife, I said yes. We welcomed this man into… Read More

  • Church Activities Food Unique Ministries

    WORKING WITH THE FOOD MINISTRY

    When people meet me, the first thing they notice is that I have Down Syndrome. What they can’t see, though, is that I am strong and brave, and I love Jesus with my whole heart. I’m very proud of myself because I earned a black belt in karate and can take on just about anyone, even though I’m pretty short. I love when my friends and family watch me at a meet because everyone knows I will do my very best. But I’m most proud of my work every Wednesday. My mom drops me off at my church on her way to work. My grandmother is usually already there helping to set things up for the day. I join some retired people in a Bible study where we read God's Word, talk about it and pray for everyone’s needs. Then we begin setting out all the food in the church gym. Each week, there is so much food that people and restaurants have given to the church to hand out to people who are struggling. We bag it up so everyone who comes gets a little bit of everything. Then, at 1:00, someone opens the door and the people start coming in. I smile and give hugs to the people I know who come every week to get food. I love it when they have children. I take a few minutes to play with the little kids while the grown-ups talk with the people and pray with them. Sometimes I talk with the grown-ups when there aren’t children around,… Read More

  • Church Activities Labor

    HELPING PEOPLE MEET JESUS

    I was born in Brazil and moved to North Carolina with my family when I was 11. During high school, I was an agnostic or maybe an atheist. But, after wrestling with my thoughts about God, I came to faith during my freshman year of college when a friend introduced me to Jesus. I spent my college years falling more in love with the God, learning how to study His Word, and sharing my grace story with others. After graduating, I worked for four years with a college ministry, where I helped launch a new chapter of Campus Outreach in Virginia. There, I was able to share with students the love of God in sending us His Son. I was also able to train college students on how to live out their faith no matter their location or context. In 2010, I came to the Hamptons to visit my brother for a month. But I never left. I fell in love with the vision of Grace Presbyterian Church in Water Mill. In fact, in 2012, I accepted the position of Director of Spiritual Formation. This job is a great fit for me. I get to minister to women, teach the Bible, lead a mercy ministry team, and work alongside our pastor to develop a discipleship program for our church. I love seeing people meet Jesus and be transformed by His grace. It never gets old!

  • Children Unique Ministries

    MENTORING YOUNG MOTHERS

    When I had my first son, I stopped working and stayed home. I loved it, but after nine months, I started to go a little stir crazy and missed the socialization. That's when a friend told me about MOPS---Mothers of Preschoolers. I found one nearby and went to my first meeting, scared to death. But once I got there, I loved it! I was suddenly surrounded by other moms like me, craving connection during that season of motherhood. I saw firsthand how they encouraged young moms, all while incorporating God's word. At MOPS, I spent time with a table leader and a mentor mom. My mentor mom was great. She would invite us over for tea and just pour into us. For moms with little ones dripping off of us and feeling exhausted, it was wonderful to have a more experienced mom remind us that "it'll all be okay." The next year, I felt led to be a table leader and continued in the program until the youngest of our seven children graduated from the program. Then, I was approached to be a mentor mom. I was humbled. It hit me that I was now at the point where I could pour into new moms the same way my mentor did for me. God had used MOPS to bless me, and now I get to be on the other end, serving Him and blessing others. Many years later, I am still serving as a MOPS mentor because He isn't yet done with me there. God still has something else for… Read More

  • Financial Help Food Unique Ministries

    THE LOVE KEPT MULTIPLYING

    When Hurricane Florence hit Myrtle Beach, it left over 2,000 families without a home. They literally had nothing. I knew I had to do something to help. Growing up, my mom taught me we should love our neighbors and treat others like you'd want to be treated. I own a 70-room inn, so I told people they could come stay with me for free as long as they needed. We filled up immediately. They were hungry and had nothing to their name. Since I love to cook, I fired up my grill, bought some burgers and hot dogs, and fed everyone. I didn't know how we'd handle day two but I had faith the Lord would help us in some way. I wasn't prepared for how much He helped. The response from our community was overwhelming, and the kindness just spread. People started showing up, handing me money to help our residents. Local restaurants donated meals for all 350 people crammed into our inn, so we started feeding them three meals a day for several weeks. The love kept multiplying. Barbers came to cut hair, artists to paint children's faces, DJs to play music, veterinarians to take care of their pets, and clowns to make people smile. God met every one of our needs. My friend is a social media consultant (I never thought I'd need one of those!) and established a Facebook account, Myrtle Beach Midtown Disaster Relief. We could post the specific needs of people, like "my husband starts a job next week and needs… Read More

  • Labor Mission Trips

    A DIFFERENT LIFE THAN I EXPECTED

    I am a missionary kid. I grew up in Panama where I joined my parents in ministry throughout the country. I saw God do some pretty amazing things. When I was a child, I was called to missions. Honestly, I always assumed my life would be me and my family living overseas, doing the work of the Lord. So, when I moved to Tanzania after college, it seemed my dreams were becoming a reality. However, when my two-year assignment in Tanzania finished, I found myself single, alone, and heading back the United States without a real direction for my future. I took the first job offered to me, working to help new missionaries go overseas. It seemed ironic I was helping so many get to their respective places of service while I stayed behind in America answering emails. I've now been in the United States for four very long years. However, during that time, I have traveled around the country, sharing my passion for the lost to be reached for Jesus. Mostly, this means setting up tables with pamphlets at universities, and then having conversations with students interested in missions. It seems so simple, and yet I have seen hundreds of college students answer the call to go, and I have helped them get there. I have worked with teams in the field in need of a particular skill set and found the person they needed. I have been a part of an answer to prayer for so many. I don't know what the future holds for me. I hope I do get… Read More

  • Children Labor Unique Ministries

    REACHING OUT TO HURTING KIDS

    In September of 2011, the son of one of my marketing clients was struck by a car. He was a very active eight-year-old and had broken both of his legs. I went searching for a gift for him and couldn’t find what I had in mind. He loved his favorite team and was going to be laying in a hospital bed recovering for a long time. So that night, I stayed up until 3 a.m. creating the first ever Roll Tide Activity Book as a gift for him. Just a month prior, I had changed my prayers, asking God to help me find a way to live a more meaningful life and to impact others. With this creation, I saw a way I could make a difference in the lives of children who were hurting. I hired a graphic designer and a year later, I had my first sports activity book in print. The reaction was amazing. I took my savings and immersed myself in this full-time. In the Sports Zone is now a full line of licensed team activity books, storybooks, and coloring books for kids. There is a book for nearly every NFL, NBA and MLB team, as well as over 40 college football teams. I developed an app, so hospitalized kids everywhere can have access to these books, for free, enabling them to have some fun during their very tough times. But more than a business, this is my way of giving back and helping children. I donate thousands of books to those… Read More

  • Children Mission Trips Unique Ministries

    THE POWER OF YOUR SHOES

    Throughout my life, I have managed spherocytosis which causes a weak immune system. I've battled this disease and with each step, God has guided a sickly little girl into the strong youth pastor that I am today. Two weeks before turning 16, I had my spleen removed due to my illness. While in my recovery room, feeling pity for myself, a younger, sicker patient walked in and out of the blue announced that she was praying for me. God provided an eye-opener at that moment of how lucky I was with my family and church to provide me needed emotional support. It was then when I made a personal decision to pursue missionary work. Weeks later, my father and I went on an international mission trip to the Dominican Republic. During that stay, I saw an important need for shoes. Shoes for children, parents and even the orphanage security guard. When I arrived back home, God opened the door for me to speak at a church. The pastor asked me to share my testimony and the need for shoes for his congregation. At the end of the sermon, the pastor challenged members of his church to leave their shoes at the altar. Immediately, people walked forward giving the shoes off their feet resulting in over 1,000 shoes for the orphanage. It has been one of the most significant moments of my life to see God's work among a group of people. During that one series, we collected enough shoes to last three years. My health has not allowed me to… Read More

  • Church Activities Labor Unique Ministries

    HELPING WIDOWS AND SINGLE MOMS

    My life is pretty busy. Between work and family, there just isn't a lot of time left for ministry. For a long time, I felt really guilty about that. Twice a year, my church parades people from various ministries across the stage in hopes of getting new volunteers. I would watch as each went by and think, "Man, this is not for me." At least, that was my response until my pastor spoke one Sunday morning about a ministry he wanted to start. He was looking for people who could change the oil in cars. That seemed like a simple request. I've been changing the oil in cars since I could drive. He started talking about the single moms and widows living in our area. Many haven't had the oil changed in their cars in years, simply because they don't have the money to get it done. My pastor wanted to see if there were people in the congregation who could serve the community in this way. Then, while the oil is being changed, ladies would talk with them to see if there are other things they need, and then pray with them. Now, the first Saturday of each month, I am changing the oil in dozens of cars for single moms. My wife comes and talks with the ladies. Even my kids join us and play with the other kids. I've watched as my children have shown the love of Christ to kids in the area. I smile as I look over to see my wife praying… Read More

  • Food Labor Unique Ministries

    SERVING OTHERS WITH FOOD

    Food is the way God led me to serve. About 18 years ago, my husband first volunteered as a driver for a local food pantry in our home state, Alaska. Unlike most soup kitchens or food pantries, this food pantry also delivered the food right to the doors of those in need, since they usually didn't have access to reliable transportation. This organization had two drivers who would deliver, and one person to pack the food. While my husband enjoyed delivering the food, I was not as comfortable driving in the Alaskan winters. So I began as a volunteer food packer, and have done so ever since. My daughter was home schooled during elementary school, and she usually came along to help pack the food. Although she didn't always love it, she has since told me that this is what taught her empathy and to have the heart of a servant. I also worked as the cafeteria manager at a local public school. Due to the financial circumstances of the school's neighborhood, all meals were free to the students. It gave me another way to serve others in some way through food. My husband went to be with Jesus a bit sooner than anyone here on earth expected. That was about a year and a half ago. Thankfully, we were in a place that my finances were in order and I was able to retire early. While I miss him daily, I know he's having a better time now than he ever was here on earth. I can't wait to… Read More

  • Children Labor

    DISCIPLING HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS

    High school was pretty rough for me. I spent those years struggling with identity and friendships, so when I graduated, I declared I would never go back. Of course, God, with His sense of humor, had other plans. During college, He revealed how my pain from high school could be used to pour into the next generation. I began to see how my testimonies could help other girls know they aren't alone in their trials, and God could use me to disciple them. I became a Young Life leader and worked as a high school teacher after I graduated college. I fell in love with this age group, and wanted to give my life to serving them. More than anything, I wanted high school girls to know they already have the approval they seek. So often, teenagers strive to fit in, be the sports star, and make the highest grade in their class, all in the pursuit of affirmation. What they don't realize is they already have God's approval. Jesus didn't go into the wilderness, do ministry, heal the sick, or rise from the dead to earn the approval of the Father. He knew who He was and did everything from that. That's exactly how it is for us. My biggest hope is to awaken high school girls to the truth that because the Spirit of God lives inside them, they get to have a relationship with God and do great things. I want high school girls to know what I wish I would have known at their age: You… Read More

  • Church Activities Other Unique Ministries

    SERVING AS THE CHURCH NURSE

    I am a nurse. I am also a Christian, and have found the best thing I can do for my patients is to pray with them and for them, which I do for every patient. Now I am retired. I wasn't sure how I would like retirement since my entire adult life has been as a nurse. My pastor, knowing my health is good and that I like to be helpful where I can, asked if I would become our church's nurse. For the last three years, I have loved my new position. I don't get paid, yet I feel more fulfillment than I ever did as an RN in a doctor's office. Each week, I visit church members in the hospital to pray and just be there for the patients and their families as they walk through a difficult time. I also visit shut-ins and anyone from the church who have a long-term illness. Each week, I visit a few families with children who are very sick. Usually, I just sit with the child, while the parents take some much-needed time away to get some coffee or have a date night. Each Sunday, I spend time before and after church in my "nurse's office" near the sanctuary, where I give free blood pressure readings and other simple medical tasks so people don't have to pay to visit their doctor or a lab. My work is pretty simple. But I feel I'm using my skills to help others, many of whom are in need. I don't see it as… Read More