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?
  • Children Labor

    POURING MYSELF INTO MY PLAYERS

    To most, I am known as simply "Coach." As the local high school's football coach, I spend a great deal of time with high school boys. Many of them come from broken homes and could very easily end up on a very bad path. However, I realize the Lord has placed me in this particular job at this specific school to pour myself into these boys and help them become all they can be. For many of them, I am the closest thing to a father they will ever know. That is why my office door is always open. My players know they can come to me about anything, not just football. And almost all of them do at some point during their time on the team. We talk about girl problems, home issues, peer pressure, time management skills, you name it. Often, I ask them if they would like us to pray about their situation. I know I work in a public school and that's really frowned upon, but the only way I can meet the needs of these boys is through the power and wisdom of God. I've never had a student say no to prayer. And every night, my wife and I pray together about the needs of the boys on my team. I don't know if anyone in their lives is praying for them, but we are. And I know it's making a difference. Boys that would have ended up in jail, or worse, have gone to college and become wonderful adults. I don't take my role… Read More

  • Church Activities Mission Trips Prayer

    THE MISSIONS COORDINATOR

    When I read Scripture, I see Jesus sharing His love with the nations. From Genesis to Revelation, it is all about missions to me. I've been on several short-term mission trips to various parts of the world. Each trip has enriched my life in more ways than I can recount. I was definitely blessed far more than I blessed others. However, the Lord has not called me to full-time missions. But I can still be part of this effort. There is so much that can be done from right here at home to bless the nations. So I became the missions coordinator for my church. I get all the newsletters from missionaries and post them on our bulletin board for people to read. Each week, we have a missionary of the week and I get their information, a photo, and prayer requests that go in our weekly bulletin and on our app so our congregation can pray. I also coordinate our yearly missions week where we bring in missionaries from all over the world to speak in our services and spend time in our life groups, sharing about what the Lord is doing around the world. Most importantly, though, I coordinate our missions prayer effort. I have a team of people who work with me in this. Every time a missionary sends a prayer request, it immediately goes out to this team and we pray because we know that prayer changes things.

  • Children Labor Mission Trips

    ONE TRIP CHANGED MY LIFE FOREVER

    It’s been said that life can change in an instant. For me, a trip to Africa in 2012 altered the course of my life forever. On that trip, I was introduced firsthand to orphans. I had read about them and seen videos, but actually holding a child who did not know the love of a family stirred my heart. Already a mother to two beautiful girls, my heart was pulled in the direction of international adoption. In 2013, my husband and I started the long and difficult journey of growing our family through adoption. We knew we were being called to adopt from the DRC- the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We were matched with a beautiful little girl we named Emily, and we started the adoption process.  However after 18 long months, she no longer was available to adopt. We were crushed, confused, and torn. But the Lord was good. He placed a second little girl from the Congo in our lives, and in May of 2016, we were able to bring home our little girl, Evie. My family’s journey through international adoption molded our family into what it is today, and helped prepare me for my future work at Fund the Nations. This organization helps mission groups, families seeking adoption, and non-profit groups better fulfill the Great Commission through t-shirt sales and fundraising. I became the official storyteller of the organization. It is my job to express the desires and dreams of the groups traveling across the globe to spread the good news or the heartfelt cries of… Read More

  • Unique Ministries Verbalizing the Gospel

    SHOOTING POOL AT THE BEER JOINT

    Throughout life, God has called me to places far outside my comfort zone, to use me in the lives of those who are downtrodden. I turned 70 this year, and God has always used me to connect to hurting people. Some would describe me as an evangelist but really, I simply love Jesus and I want to talk about Him any chance I get. I spend a lot of time in places most Christians try to avoid. Most evenings, you can find me shooting pool at the beer joint on the corner, or at the prison telling funny stories. I don't drink beer or break the law, but I go to these places intentionally because the people there need a friend. They need someone to hear their heartache and to introduce them to Jesus through a real friendship. I know the best friend anyone can have is Jesus. He saved me many years ago and He has been my steadfast friend through every season of my life. No matter where you are, there are people hurting from the pain of this world. But you cannot expect them to come to you. It is my job as Christian to look for those who need Jesus' touch. I've always told my children, to have a friend, be friendly. We have to be intentional and look for those who are hurting. We have to share our own hurts and how Jesus changes our heart. I'll continue to do just that for the rest of my life.

  • Food Unique Ministries

    A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON GIVING

    My momma taught me to always help those who are less fortunate. She ingrained in me to "do unto others as you would want them to do unto you." So that's what I did. As a teenager, I would often volunteer in soup kitchens and shelters, loving every minute of it. But as a busy working adult with little free time, I eventually found myself no longer volunteering. I wanted to serve, to help people in need. I just didn't know how I would have the time to do so. I felt extra compassion toward the ones I passed everyday: the homeless. Living in a big city, I pass countless homeless people every day on my way to work. But I never felt comfortable giving them money; I thought I might be enabling them in some sort of addiction. Shamefully, I let that thought rule me, so I drove past them, giving nothing. Then one day it hit me: money isn't the only thing I could give him; I could give food, water, even clothing. So, one day I searched my car for anything I had on hand. Thankfully, I had a granola bar. I reached out and handed the bar to a man, and he gratefully accepted. After that, my perspective changed forever. Even with a busy schedule, I could still serve. I work at a bulk discount store, so I have plenty of snacks to spare. Now, I carry apples, granola bars, water bottles, and clothes I don't wear anymore, always ready to give at a moment's notice. Matthew 25:34-45 speaks of feeding the hungry, clothing the… Read More

  • Church Activities Unique Ministries

    THE VAN MINISTRY

    There are people in our community who would love to come to church, but they just don't have the means to get there. Public transportation in our small city is infrequent and can be costly. But everyone deserves the chance to attend church. That's why I started a van ministry. I coordinate four vans going to various parts of our community each Sunday morning. This ministry is more than just about driving a van and picking people up. Our van drivers get to know the people on their route. We pray with them as they share their needs. When we arrive at church, we bring them into the cafeteria and provide a light breakfast before the service. I know it's making a huge impact as I see the growth in the lives of their children. I see the gratitude in the eyes of the elderly no longer able to drive. Often, many of these people are new and don't know anyone. We invite them to sit with us and introduce them to our friends. We pray with them and just show as much of Christ's love as we can. We even create take-home bags for those we know could use the extra food, giving it to them as they leave the van when we drop them off. Everyone should be able to get to church if they want. I'm happy to provide a way to do that.

  • Unique Ministries Verbalizing the Gospel

    HELPING NEIGHBORS LEARN ENGLISH

    My inner-city neighborhood is home to around 6,600 residents, nearly 25% of whom do not speak English as their primary language. Since English-language proficiency is a gateway to jobs and better education, some of my education major classmates and I decided to serve our neighbors through English tutoring. Each week, I coordinate nearly 70 university students, myself included, to teach English to area residents. We go to their apartment complexes for home tutoring or teach in a local community center. Volunteering to teach English is just part of it. The real reward comes from the formation of friendships that transcend cultural barriers. For months, my ten-year-old student, Nora, had been asking to go to the mall for her birthday. When that day came, several of us spent the day with her and her mom exploring the wonders of the mall. The best part? It came when I was able to speak words of truth about Jesus to Nora and her mom. We were able to explain and tangibly show how dearly loved and valuable they are to us and to God.

  • Children Mission Trips Unique Ministries

    USING ART TO CONNECT WITH GOD

    I'll never forget the day in Guatemala when my missions team came across some children on the street. In an effort to build relationships with the kids, some of my teammates started chatting in their limited Spanish. I sat down with a boy who was a little separated from the group, and after exhausting the few Spanish phrases I knew, a teammate told him I was an art teacher. He jumped up, ran home and returned with a pack of crayons. We sat on the curb drawing animals, trucks, and whatever else he could think of. God showed me that art is a way to communicate all on its own. I never saw the boy again, but I hope he saw Jesus’ love through a stranger spending time drawing with him. Once I returned home, I began discipling my peers in creative worship and making space for kids from other countries to express themselves creatively. One day, my mentor was talking about personal prayer language, and I started thinking about how art is another layer of communication with God. It’s completely individualized, showing how He created me for a unique purpose. Once I saw art as a way to communicate with God, I realized it could be a way to connect with others about God. As I share who God is through art, I hope others can connect with God in their own unique way.

  • Children Unique Ministries

    A MINISTRY I NEVER WANTED

    I thought I knew what it meant to follow Christ and to take up my cross. But, over the years, I have learned that God often gives us ministry opportunities that we've never asked for and certainly never wanted. When my heart was broken as a young single woman, God gave me a ministry I never wanted. He gave me a group of women with broken hearts to come alongside. Ministering to other single women was incredibly rewarding but also vulnerable and painful. Years later, God called me to a new ministry in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. I never imagined spending nine months in a hospital with my very sick son. I remember holding him and thinking that once again, God had given me a ministry I never wished for. I can't say I did this unwanted ministry well on most days. But, I have a few select memories of God working through my presence in this unlikely mission field. I held a mom as her son's heart rate fell to zero and the code alarm sounded. I prayed for so many heart babies whom I would never have known without this season. I prayed for my own son and sang songs to him about our big God and told him about heaven. This was my ministry. I wouldn't trade this previously unwanted mission field for the world, no matter how painful. Now that we have lost our son, I find myself in a new ministry. I never wanted to be in the "I lost a child" club, nor… Read More

  • Mission Trips Verbalizing the Gospel

    A RADICAL TRANSFORMATION

    Before Jesus, I was a bit of a rebel. I was a lone wolf who lived a “Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n Roll” lifestyle. My heart was hardened, and I hid my pain by being the life of the party. Four years ago, I hit rock bottom and did not want to live anymore. I gave my life to God in a jail cell and was a completely new man walking out of captivity. Despite my wretched situation, I had overwhelming peace when I got released. Months later, God showed His love, mercy, and grace when I received a very light punishment in court. Now, I am a man after God’s own heart. I love Jesus, other people, and even myself. My heart is to share Jesus with everyone through the example of my life. I recently returned from a year traveling to eleven countries to share the Gospel and basically live out what we read in the book of Acts. It was a year of incredible adventure and deep intimacy with the Lord. I knew I didn’t want to stop sharing His love when I returned home, so I am traveling across the United States sharing Jesus, while relying on God’s provision for absolutely everything. No matter what I am doing, I want to reflect Jesus wherever I am. I look at each day as a mission trip where I encounter new people to share the Good News of Jesus. Knowing the difference in who I was and who I am in Jesus lights a fire in my heart… Read More

  • Children Church Activities

    THE SUMMER CAMP COUNSELOR

    I kind of stumbled upon being a camp counselor. As a teacher, I have my summers pretty free which I treasured. I usually traveled, took some time off, and prepared for the upcoming school year. A few years ago, our pastor said we had a bunch of kids that wanted to go to summer camp, but couldn't because each church had to send a counselor for every so many kids. Apparently, no one could take a week to go. I didn't even pray about it. I had the time, I am good with kids, and I know the Lord sometimes just drops these opportunities in our laps to embrace. That began what has become part of my summer schedule. Each year, I take a group of kids to camp and watch as the Lord impacts their lives. And we have a blast while that change happens! Some of these kids have been coming to camp with me for years. I've gotten to know them so well. I get to see some of them in the hallways at school. And I see almost all of them each week at church. I love when they run up to me telling me what new Scripture they've learned or about something that's going on in their life. I love the opportunity to spend not only an entire week with these kids, but then continue to impact their lives throughout the year. I simply can't imagine a better way to spend a week of my summer. It is the highlight of my year.

  • Children Prayer Verbalizing the Gospel

    PRAYING AT SCHOOL

    I've always been taught to not be ashamed of my faith. So going to a public school, I've always considered it my mission field. Exercising my faith and displaying my relationship with Christ all started when I was in 4th grade. Who would've thought that something as small as praying before I ate my lunch would cause so much attention and curiosity? Several of my peers stared at me---some with distaste, others with support. I never let the weird looks shift me away from praying. This continued into 7th grade, when I met a girl who also believed in God but was struggling with her faith. Daily, she would ask me questions about God. Seeing my opportunity to witness, I started bringing my Bible to school. Together, we explored the Bible, finding the answers to her questions. We listened to Christian music, prayed together, and frequently talked about God. In the 8th grade, she told me she truly felt different, like a new and better person. She gave her heart to Christ that year and was baptized. I was in awe of how God was using me. Excited, I continued to display my faith, even on the football field, which is a completely different atmosphere. I remember being partnered with a teammate, who wasn't the nicest guy. I was always praying, before games, before practice or when a teammate got injured. Slowly, I noticed my teammate changing. His behaviors changed and he, too, started to pray. We started praying together, even before lifting weights. Now as a sophomore, I know God is using me to be a light in my school and on the… Read More

  • Prayer

    NOW PART OF THE PRAYER MINISTRY

    My entire life was spent helping my husband in ministry. As a pastor's wife and mother, my work and ministry were never done. For years, we worked side by side tirelessly to see people come to faith in Christ, and then teach students at a Bible school how to do that very same thing. Now, my dear husband has passed on to his eternal reward, and I am unable to get around like I used to. I thought my days of ministry were behind me. I really wasn't sure what to do with myself now that I am confined to my home. I am so thankful for a church that helped me find a ministry I can do from home: a prayer ministry. Each week, the church sends me prayer cards filled out by members of the congregation. I then spend a few hours each day calling them and praying with them over the phone. Over the last few years, I have prayed for thousands of people and seen the Lord do amazing things. I am so thankful I am still able to be used by the Lord for great and mighty things. Prayer isn't just something to fill my days. Prayer is the true work of ministry to the Body of Christ. I feel what I am doing now is even more vital to the kingdom of God than anything I have done before.

  • Church Activities Labor Unique Ministries

    THE SERVANT PASTOR

    To a lot of people, the word "pastor" implies leading without serving. The truth is so much different. We are part of the body of Christ, just like people in our congregation. I felt called to the ministry in 1988. I was a young man attending a retreat in New Mexico, and during the last night, I felt God calling out to me. He said, "come serve me," and He wouldn't let me go until I did. Up until that point in my life, I'd been helping my dad run his air conditioning business. When I left that field to pursue a life in God, I never realized how much He would utilize my previous experience to bring glory to His kingdom. I have chased hard after Christ's will in my life, but not just by preaching and teaching His word on the weekends. To me, fulfilling my call as a pastor is about serving. It's about doing the lowest of the low jobs, not holding any arrogance or pride. Even at fifty years old, I still work as an A/C man for a great company in Austin, Texas. In that, God has given me the opportunity to reach out to my lost coworkers in a way that a Sunday morning sermon couldn't. I've been able to live out Christ's example, even in a regular job. Jesus himself washed his disciples feet. "Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet. I have set you an example that you should do as… Read More

  • Children Labor Unique Ministries

    RAISING MEN LAWN CARE SERVICE

    I was having a hard time deciding what I was going to do with my life. I prayed that God would use me as His vessel. I didn't hear anything from Him for a while. But in 2015, I was driving my car and saw an elderly man really struggling to cut his grass. So I got out of my car and helped him finish the yard. When I was driving away, I was amazed at how good that felt. And I truly believed God was speaking to me. So as I was finishing up my computer science degree, I would find widows, veterans, disabled or elderly people that needed their grass cut and just do it. For free. I couldn't believe how it touched them. So many of these people had lost a lot of joy in their lives. More than cutting their lawn, I'd spend time listening to their stories. So this was not just about taking care of their yard; it was showing them they matter and that God cares for them. Then I started getting kids in my city involved, encouraging them to take care of yards for people that couldn't do it themselves. We'll even blow leaves in the fall, and shovel snow in the winter. I give them a free t-shirt once they take care of ten yards, and if they do 50 yards, I'll give them a free lawn mower. It was my way of mentoring and training young men to give back to their community. Now it's developed into a ministry called Raising Men Lawn Care Service. We have 244 kids throughout the United States and… Read More

  • Unique Ministries Verbalizing the Gospel

    SHARING HOPE WITH OTHER ADDICTS

    I was a shell of a human being. By the time I was 20 years old, my drinking progressed to the point where I was emotionally and spiritually isolated from everyone around me. I abandoned my childhood faith and thought if God was real, He wouldn't want anything to do with a person like me. But I was given a beautiful solution to my addiction when I joined a 12-step fellowship and was able to reconnect with God. Recovery has allowed me to regain my family's trust, maintain genuine friendships, graduate from college, have a healthy relationship with my boyfriend, keep a job, and feel a sense of purpose through helping sick and suffering alcoholics and addicts. Recovery has transformed my idea of God and the personal relationship I have with him today. The most transformative, faith-renewing part of this journey has been talking about God with other alcoholics and addicts. No matter what kind of struggles you have overcome, your story can help others. I used to feel so much shame over the things I did, but I know God is using my past to help others in the same situation. The only reason why I'm able to do this is because someone else showed me the way by sharing their experience. I'm so thankful to now be that person for others. My walk with God hasn't been perfect. There have been times where I questioned him, even in sobriety, but I find He always brings me back to the truth. God never turned His back on me when… Read More

  • Children Prayer

    BECOMING A FOSTER FAMILY

    For years, my ministry revolved around music. I joyfully played the piano every week for worship. And during the week, I taught piano lessons to children in the church with the hope that they, too, would embrace a love of worship of God through music. Most of my time, though, was invested in my family. My three girls became the main focus of my life. I was very content with my music and my little family. But one day, I saw a booth at our local festival for fostering children. As I looked at the pictures of the faces of little children on the brochure, my heart broke. Then, as I looked at the faces of my three not-so-little girls, I realized I had to talk with my husband and daughters about fostering children. Within a few short months, we became licensed foster parents. We prayed each night as a family for the children who would join our family. And one beautiful, scary day, our social worker brought two little children into our home. These little ones became a part of our family. My girls embraced their role as older sisters and took care of them, reading to them, helping me make their food, and playing with them. My husband and I prayed with our new little charges multiple times each day as we worked to bring stability and trust into their young lives. Although I still play each week for worship and teach piano lessons, my true calling, my true ministry, are the little children that social workers bring… Read More

  • Church Activities Labor

    USING MY SKILLS FOR GOD’S GLORY

    I am a foreman of a construction crew. I really enjoy what I do for a living. I get to work with my hands, and with the help of my crew, create something that is needed. It's a lot of fun to see a bridge be built, a building rise out of nothing, or a road be fixed. At church, I do similar work for God. There always seems to be a need for something to be built. Whether it's a half pipe for the teenagers to skate on, the set of a musical for the children, more risers for the choir, or a large stand for a giant Christmas tree, I find myself very busy with work at the church. I may not be preaching or even participating in the musical itself, but I know my skills are needed in each area of ministry. I am helping teenagers come to Christ. I am helping children be discipled. And all that is just through my natural abilities of building. Some people might think I'm a little rough around the edges, and maybe I am. But working with my hands at church brings me a lot of joy. I am so glad that I am able to use my skills for God's glory.

  • Church Activities Unique Ministries

    REACHING OUT TO INTERNATIONALS

    I am from India, and came to America three years ago to work on my doctorate. When my wife and I arrived, we knew we needed to find a church, but we quickly realized that most churches in our town are not diverse at all. Once we settled on what has now become our church here, we spoke to our pastor about this. We know there are communities in our town of various ethnicities, where many of the people just recently came to America. Our pastor looked at us, and asked what we would like to do about it. This began our ministry to internationals in our community. Each week, we have local teachers come to our church to tutor new internationals in English. Every month, we host a dinner and invite all the internationals we know in the community. Then, we get contact information from them and visit them. Many have now decided to attend our church because of those dinners and visits. These internationals feel like our church is a part of their community. Since we have more internationals at our church, we host prayer events for the countries represented within our congregation. I didn't intend on starting a new ministry. I'm a father or two little boys, a husband, a full-time doctoral student, and I have a job, so my time is very limited. However, I am so thankful for this ministry. We have found the community we were longing for, and we have seen many come to the Lord as a result. There are countless international… Read More

  • Children Labor Unique Ministries

    GOWNS FOR HIS GLORY

    Gowns for His Glory started with a dream seven years ago to provide prom dresses and accessories to area high school girls free of charge. Prom is one of the most expensive nights in high school and no matter what their financial situation, every girl should be able to attend her prom. I understand how important it is to these girls. But sometimes financial difficulties can make finding the perfect dress or shoes impossible because their families simply can’t afford it. So, this became a unique way for me to serve and minister to the community. Now in its seventh year, Gowns for His Glory has provided over 3,000 dresses to high school teens in Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. There’s no limitation on who we’ll serve. Our motto really is, ‘first come, all served.' Gowns for His Glory is not affiliated with any other organization in the community, and we started this out of our own pockets. I’ve really just relied on the Lord and His direction. And our amazing community members. I really wouldn’t have been able to make it happen if it wasn’t for them. Each year, I get a front row seat to see the looks on their faces as the girls “shop” for dresses and accessories. They may not verbalize their feelings, but I know their hearts are touched deeply. It is God’s plan for me to help these girls. And that’s exactly what I plan on continuing to do.

  • Children Food Unique Ministries

    PRAYING FOR OUR SERVERS

    As a children's pastor, I've been blessed to have seen so many children come to Christ. There are few things more beautiful than seeing Jesus in a child's eyes. But the bulk of my ministry happens outside the church building. Several times a week, I find myself eating at a restaurant for one reason or another. As a Christian, I offer a prayer of thanksgiving over each meal. A number of years ago, I asked the Lord for more opportunities to share the gospel with people in my immediate area, particularly people who wouldn't normally be in church. The Lord challenged me to start praying for those I come in contact with during my day. I wasn't sure what that meant until I was out to lunch with a colleague. We ordered and then received our food, praying together before we started eating. Just as we said "Amen," I looked up and saw our waitress watching us. The Lord spoke to me, telling me to ask her how I could pray for her. That started a habit. Every time I am at a restaurant, I tell the server I will be thanking God for my food. Then I ask if there is anything I can pray for him during my prayer. Sometimes I get a strange look and a negative response. But other times, tears well up in the person's eyes, and it opens the door to sharing the truth of God's love. No matter what, though, I pray for that person before I eat my meal, knowing that God will… Read More

  • Church Activities Labor Prayer

    A FATHER’S LEGACY

    My father came to this great country for a better life. He came to know the Lord Jesus as his personal savior and his change meant great persecution. When he arrived in the United States, he dedicated his life to preaching the truth of who Jesus is to the Italian immigrant community. I remember my father praying daily that his children would have a relationship with Jesus, and that someday our family would have pastors and missionaries in it. Now that my father has passed, remembering those prayers gives me great comfort. I have done all I can to follow in my father's footsteps and raise my children to know Jesus. Although I work at a construction company during the week, my real passion is for the church we helped plant many, many years ago. My wife and I decided to move from the heart of the city to an area filled with Italian immigrants to help a new pastor plant a church. I literally built the church brick by brick after work and on the weekends. My wife brought us food every day as we worked to make this dream a reality. That was over 60 years ago now. It's hard to believe. I am amazed every time I walk through the doors of my church---amazed that I was privileged to help build it; and amazed at the number of people who are now following the Lord because of the ministry through this church. My children are a product of that ministry. In fact, my son is a pastor… Read More

  • Labor Unique Ministries

    LOVING YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF

    It is not very often that one can drive down a street and see tangible results of their volunteer work. But this is a gift I receive by volunteering with Christmas In Action - Spartanburg, a small nonprofit that aids the elderly, disabled and veteran homeowners in our county with free home repairs. "Love your neighbor as yourself," (Matthew 22:39) is one of my favorite verses and words that I strive to live by each day. My husband and I were familiar with the great work of the Christmas in Action chapters around the country, and we started a Spartanburg chapter when we moved here in 1997. With support of my family and church, I have had the opportunity to share God's grace with hundreds of fellow neighbors that simply need a hand-up and not a handout. As a local realtor, I understand how a home impacts a person's psyche and typically, impoverished homeowners go without; living in homes with leaking roofs, electrical problems that can trigger a fire, rotting floors, or insect and rodent infestation. Like the mold in the house, these problems spread, affecting the health and well-being of the homeowner as well as the community at large. For over twenty years, this is how I have been able to share God's message with those who need it most. One of homeowners that touched my heart the most was a single elderly woman who did not have access to hot water. Our volunteer team installed a new hot water heater and purchased new towels, washcloths and shower curtain for her first hot shower in her home. The tears that streamed down her face when… Read More

  • Children Church Activities

    WORKING WITH THE YOUTH MINISTRY

    The teenage years are crucial for a child, so when our older daughter was joining the church's youth group, we decided to become youth leaders. We planned to continue until our younger daughter graduated from high school. We just wanted to know their friends, their parents, and be involved in their lives. We had no idea that from the moment we started volunteering as youth leaders what that would mean for the rest of our lives. Both our girls have finished college and moved out. But we are still at the youth group every Wednesday. We're at every lock in, convention, concert, and a lot of their sporting events. We didn't realize that by just wanting to spend time with our daughters, we would find our calling: working with the youth. We're grandparents now and thought the kids would no longer want us to be around. But when we mentioned retiring from youth ministry, kids started coming up to us, asking us to wait until they had graduated from high school. Many of these kids come from difficult homes. They haven't seen a good marriage. Many have no male role model in their lives. For many of them, we are their consistent adult relationship. And so, we continue to pour into these young lives. We go to their ball games, listen as they share their difficulties, help them with their school work, pray with them, and really just love them. Although we only have two biological daughters, each of these kids are our own. They are a part of our… Read More

  • Children Other

    RAISING MY GRANDDAUGHTERS

    I received an alarming call in early 2010. "Momma, please take care of my girls. I can't do this anymore!" My daughter was in a relationship that led her down a very destructive path. In short, she ended up losing her children and spending the next several years in and out of the drug world. She begged me to keep her girls and I agreed. Thus began an incredible calling. What was supposed to be a few months turned into years. I received full custody of my granddaughters and stayed in constant prayer for my daughter. I prayed over my granddaughters and taught them to pray as well. I spoke life over them and encouraged them to dream big, forgive daily, and always put God first. Now at ages 15 and 20, my granddaughters are shaping up to be amazing, intelligent, beautiful women of God. Every day, I see more of how God has taken someone like me and has used me exactly the way I wanted to be used. I can't imagine where my granddaughters would be today. Would they have followed the same path as their mother? I don't know. What I do know is God works all things for His good. My daughter is now clean and focused on building a sustainable life for herself. She speaks to her girls daily, and they have nothing but love and forgiveness toward her. God worked through me to love, help, and make a difference in these girls' lives. I've always wanted God to use me in a mighty way. I wanted… Read More

  • Labor Unique Ministries Verbalizing the Gospel

    PRAYING WITH DEVASTATED PATIENTS

    I became a certified x-ray technician when I was 18 years old so I could pay my way through Bible school. I had no idea it would become a large part of my ministry to the community. And I certainly had no intention of continuing in the field for almost 50 years. But the Lord places us in the exact place He needs us to be used for His purposes. After graduating from Bible school and marrying my husband, a local pastor, I moved from general x-ray to becoming a mammogram technician. Those first few weeks were a bit nerve wracking and strange as I helped woman after woman with this machine. It was during these initial weeks that I discovered the Lord had more in store for my job than just a paycheck. He first impressed upon me to write down the names of the women who were about to receive the worst news of their lives, and pray for them during my devotional time. As I continued in obedience, that led to some interesting divine opportunities where I was able to pray with my patients. As the Lord continued working in my heart, I discovered I had a boldness within me I didn't know existed. And through this boldness, I began asking every patient if I could pray with her. I never received a negative response. In fact, over the years, I have been able to minister to thousands of women and share about the love of Jesus with each of them. It has been a wonderful time… Read More

  • Labor Unique Ministries

    PRETTY AND PRICELESS

    For so long in Ghana, women were not treated equally. A decade ago, most girls here were not allowed to go to school because it was believed that only men were supposed to be educated---they were the bread winners. But that has now changed, and the pendulum has swung. Maybe too far. Women now have equal rights, but many of them do not respect men. They almost treat men as useless. I call it "extreme feminism." I felt led to do something about this, and correct these misperceptions. I founded an organization called Pretty and Priceless a year ago. It is a Christian foundation that seeks to coach, mentor and inspire girls in the light of God's word, teaching them that everything they do must have eternal value but respect the men in their lives. We study the Word of God. We educate by outreaches, social media, pamphlets and other Christian materials. We also have a prayer network for women called GLOW---Godly Ladies of Worth. The prayer network meets on the last Friday of every month to pray with young ladies all around Ghana. The well-being of women is our concern. Our aim is to give faith to the faithless lady, hope to the hopeless lady and help to the helpless. Our motto is Raising Beacons of Hope. It is my prayer that Pretty and Priceless will continue to empower young women in a positive direction, while making a long lasting and deep impression in their hearts with the word of God.

  • Church Activities Unique Ministries

    MEETING THEIR BASIC NEEDS

    People often think about meeting others' needs when it comes to housing, food, and clothing. But, people tend to forget about other basic needs, such as the ability to do laundry. Coming from a social worker background, I spent time working with families in low income communities where I saw how people struggled to clean their clothes each week, or how many children who have aged out of foster care don't know how to wash clothes. So, when someone in my church's ladies group mentioned a laundry ministry in nearby Knoxville, I thought it was something I'd like to be involved in. In August 2016, our group from First Christian Church started the Rogersville Laundry Ministry, which provides everything but the dirty laundry! We started doing it one night a month for two hours. The people bring their dirty laundry, and we pay for the machines and provide all the laundry supplies. In the beginning, it was rather slow. However, once another church joined us, the ministry just ballooned! More community volunteers have joined us, and we have expanded to two separate locations one night a week. We had one evening in September 2017 where we provided clean laundry for 78 people. We begin and end each evening of washing with a prayer. But, in the meantime, we just spend time with the people. We have a sign-in that asks if they have prayer requests, and the guests know we will pray for them that evening, or take their prayer requests to the church's prayer team. The Lord has blessed… Read More

  • Church Activities Unique Ministries

    THE HEART OF WORSHIP

    I used to wonder how God would ever use a simple girl like me for His own good purpose. But that became abundantly clear when I realized the musical gifts He gave me. Ever since I was young, music brought me great joy, and God put an unquenchable desire in my heart to keep improving and learning to play new instruments. I started with the tambourines, but God prompted my heart to take on one instrument after another, including the guitar, the bass, the drums, and the keyboard. I now have the priceless privilege of leading my church into His beautiful presence through playing musical instruments during our praise and worship time. As the years have passed and our small church has grown, I found the Lord fulfilling His greater purpose for me---to teach and impart this God-given talent to our youth and our church’s leaders. I am humbled to have served not just the Lord but also the church, so they too can glorify God and experience the anointing that flows through worship music, bringing the worshipper to the foot of His throne. But more than just teaching the proper way to play the instruments, it is emphasizing that a sincere heart of worship is what truly brings genuine music before the holy presence of God---a sweet and an acceptable offering permeating right into His very own heart. Life may have thrown challenges at me, but I will never stop becoming God's living instrument in helping others see the face of the Lord Jesus and experience the fullness of… Read More

  • Other Prayer

    NEVER STOP PRAYING FOR THEM

    Sometimes, the hardest battles we fight as Christians are the spiritual one within our own family. That is certainly the case with me growing up in the Philippines. My mom was a born-again Christian and all the kids followed in her footsteps. But my dad was an unbeliever and that created a very uncomfortable situation in our family. I would go to church or family gatherings feeling joyful but incomplete without my father. We grew up committing ourselves to the ministry, and our dad didn't like that one bit. Our house was like a military training camp with my father being the commander. His every word was an order that needed an immediate call to action or else there would be a skirmish. But then, it was a blessing in disguise because it made us grow spiritually responsible. Even though we were young, we knew our dad needed Jesus in his life and just like gold, our faith was tested. We witnessed a major struggle in their marriage when my father committed adultery. It was chaos but this persecution made us dwell more in prayer and in worship. In the midst of this trial, we grew deeper on our faith. The Lord taught us to trust Him completely as we prayed for our family's restoration. During this painful period, God's grace filled our hearts with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. And then, after eight years of intercession, my dad had a change of heart. He started to join us in our family camp and even… Read More