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 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

  • 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