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 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

  • Church Activities

    SERVING THE CHURCH VOLUNTEERS

    I am a people person. It’s just the way God made me. Growing up, I was always in trouble in class for talking and no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t stop. Now I know why: It’s how God made me. I attend a very large church and struggled to find a place to connect. I am not a Bible scholar, so teaching Sunday School wasn’t a great fit. I’m a bit too scatter-brained to teach children. But, I can serve those who serve. That is my life’s mission. We have hundreds of people each week who sacrifice their time and energy to serve in all sorts of ministries. I decided it was time to serve them. Each Sunday morning, I get up super early to drive to church so I can set out simple breakfast items and coffee for those who will serving. Some of these wonderful people will be at the church from 7:00 am to 1:00 pm, so around noon, I'll set out snacks and soft drinks. As the volunteers make their way to the room, I greet them with a big smile and thank them for their service. Sometimes folks want to talk for a few minutes, sometimes they need a bit of prayer, sometimes they need a word of encouragement. I see myself as the church’s cheerleader, cheering the team on to victory in Jesus each week. I know it may seem small and insignificant, and maybe it is. But I believe the work I am doing matters. It matters to the volunteers who are hungry,… Read More

  • Prayer Unique Ministries

    PRAYING FOR REFUGEE FAMILIES

    As a seminary professor, my days are filled with theological questions, biblical languages, and the deep study of scripture. It's a wonderful occupation and I love it. However, it is what I do outside of work that gives me the greatest joy. Each week, I spend two evenings with Congolese refugee families that have settled in our community. I bring them items they need, help them find work, and get them plugged into English language centers. But really what I do is simply listen. I listen to their stories of their homeland. I listen as they share about the horrors of war. I listen to their difficulties as they try to navigate life in the United States. I simply listen. And then, as the Holy Spirit prompts me, I ask them if I can pray with them. There are no great theological discussions. I just ask them if I can pray and when they respond positively, I pray. I pray with them for jobs and health. I pray with them for family left back in Congo. It's nothing profound or earth-shattering. But those prayers are meaningful. Those prayers bond us together. Those prayers lead to eternal significance as I demonstrate the love of Christ. Those prayers lead to Congolese refugees finding Christ in the midst of their tumultuous life. It's simple really. I just love these refugees. I think that's what God wants us to do with all people on earth.

  • Children Mission Trips

    ESTABLISHING A GIRL’S HOME

    It is said that history often repeats itself. Twenty years ago, my daughter spent Christmas break ministering in an Indian orphanage. She met four orphans who would drastically impact her life. Some fifteen years later, she was able to reconnect with one of those children. She learned that he was now a seminary student and had a strong desire to see a children's home open in Pune, India. Feeling the pull of the Lord on our lives, my husband and I went on a short-term mission trip last year to India to meet this young man and his wife. Once there, we were shocked to learn some staggering statistics about life in India. Some 53% of girls are illiterate and 50% are malnourished. Each year, one million girls die before their first birthday. Ten million girls have been aborted in the past 20 years just for being female. Two million children between the ages of 5 and 15 are victims of sex trafficking each year. This grim reality in India was astonishing. As a result, we felt a call by the Holy Spirit to start a girls' home, and shortly thereafter the Straight Arrows Foundation was created. We now provide small group homes to girls who are true orphans, victims of sex trafficking, and those involved in child labor. We do not run an orphanage, as we desire that they be "orphans no more". Instead, we offer homes with a family unit where each girl can grow up in a nurturing and loving environment. We want to… Read More

  • Church Activities Labor

    BEHIND THE SCENES

    For a long time, I just went to church. I didn't want to be too involved because being out front is pretty scary. I don't know a lot of scripture or a lot about theology, so I felt I was pretty limited on what I could do. Then a friend asked me what area I serve in at church. I sheepishly told him nowhere. He was astonished. We talked a bit about me, my personality, and what sorts of things I like to do. Then, he said the sound team was looking for more help. He said they'd train me and I would get all the help I needed. It sounded pretty interesting, so I talked with the team leader. I absolutely love helping with sound. I love that I'm in the background, making sure the worship team sounds great and the pastor can be heard well. I love that I'm able to do this without anyone knowing I'm even there. That is, unless something happens like a mic cuts out or there's some feedback. For me, serving as a sound guy is like what Jesus said in Matthew 6:1-4: "Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But… Read More

  • Children Prayer

    A PEACE THAT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE

    My love for the Lord led me to be a youth pastor. Last year, I left my doctor's office with the news that I had cancer. During treatment, I woke up each morning and wondered if the hours of chemo at the hospital and sickness would actually result in shrinking tumors. I remember feeling so tired and having no ambition or desire to do anything, just waiting for the day to pass. Thankfully, I have now beat cancer twice. My cancer diagnosis and treatment has reminded me that I am not in control. It was God's way to shake me a little and tell me that He holds my life in His hands. While this sounds scary, it's really a beautiful thing to remind myself of daily. The Bible talks about peace that surpasses understanding. I like to call it "the peace that doesn't make sense" since I don't understand how I can have peace during these trying times, yet God grants it. When I needed encouragement, I looked to the Bible and reminded myself of truths like, "God is my strength." I asked God to help me remember this truth and make it be bigger than my negative feelings and circumstances. This perspective was huge in getting me through the rough days. God has also used my cancer to better love and lead my students I oversee and teach at church. One of the greatest ways to lead is by example, and my kids were my constant reminder and encouragement to live for the Lord through hard times. I… Read More

  • Labor Unique Ministries

    GIVING BACK TO MISSIONARIES

    I am a dentist. It's a small thing, really, but helping people with their dental hygiene is a passion of mine. I know that my patients' dental health reflects their overall health. It's why I check for types of cancer and other diseases with every visit. When I decided to open my own practice, I wanted every part of the building to reflect my love for Christ. The light fixtures have vines on them representing abiding in the vine, the art represents various parts of the fruits of the Spirit, and the music played is instrumental hymns. Every morning, the staff and I get together to pray for the day and dedicate our work to God. The Lord has been so gracious to us. Not only are we booked solid with patients, we have opportunities every day to pray with them. We've even had Muslims come in for dental work and remark on how our facility has a peaceful feeling. We simply tell them that it's Jesus working through us. Since the Lord has given so much to me and the staff, we want to give back. So every missionary who comes through our doors does not pay a penny for dental work. We even gift them with free teeth whitening and other things their insurance would not cover. Since missionaries are usually only in town for a short amount of time, we move heaven and earth so they can get their teeth checked while they're in town. My goal is to bless those who serve so sacrificially around the… Read More

  • Labor

    EXTENDING GRACE IN THE CLASSROOM

    Academia is not an easy setting to proclaim Christ, but Jesus didn't call us to do what is easy. As a chemistry professor at our local community college, my faith is not checked at the door. In my discussions with my colleagues, I stand for Christ and the glory of His creation. I don't have as much freedom in the classroom, but God is not banned. As soon as I get my schedule, I begin praying over my students, asking God to give me a chance to share His grace with them. I make my classroom a safe place to explore and learn. As an example, I expect my students to take responsibility for their learning. I don't constantly remind them of upcoming due dates for assignments. Several students missed one particular assignment. Per my policy, there would be no make-up, but I felt in this instance, grace was needed. I acknowledged the students who completed their homework on time and asked them to not be angry, but join me in extending grace to those who needed it. Several of the students who had finished the assignment on time later approached me and thanked me for explaining my choice. None of them complained. Conversations like these build a trust with my students, so when they need advice and prayer, they know I am available. During office hours, I have had multiple opportunities to share the love of Jesus and pray with my students. Jesus is not banned from my classroom nor office.

  • Church Activities Labor

    HUMBLY SERVING GOD’S PEOPLE

    I started working in the GE factory when I graduated from high school. I worked there until the day they shut it down, 20 years later. For months, I had been trying to find a job knowing that mine was soon coming to an end. But nothing. On that last day of work, I went home and wondered how I would provide for my wife and children. Our pastor had been speaking on relying on God for our needs, so I did what he said: I prayed a very simple prayer and asked God to provide a job for me. The next morning my phone rang. My pastor had called because the janitor at the church was retiring, and they were looking for someone to replace him. They wanted to update some things, which meant more work and a different title: facilities manager, which included helping them work on the janitorial needs for the new building being built. The pay was more than what I was making at the factory. Now that was an answer to prayer! I've been the facilities manager at my church for almost 20 years now. I love that this job is not only an answer to prayer, but I get to serve God and His people. I know my job may not seem like much, but if the bathrooms aren't clean and things are in disarray, new people won't want to come back. My job is simple: make the facilities as welcoming as possible so that everyone who enters feels the presence of God. It's… Read More

  • Labor Unique Ministries

    MINISTERING TO THE HOMELESS

    It's amazing who the Lord chooses to use in ministry. I grew up in a family of non-believers that rarely went to church. But I found the Lord through reading the Bible. I knew I was being called into the ministry early on, but I could not imagine the Lord using someone like me. Despite the doubt, I surrendered to the call of ministry and began attending seminary. I was not sure what the Lord wanted to do with my life, but I desired to work with an inner city ministry where I could preach the gospel to lost people. In December of 1995, two weeks before graduation, I learned of the Calvary Rescue Mission, a non-profit Christian ministry that ministered to homeless men. I felt immediately drawn to this ministry. Not only did it provide meals and clothing to men in need, but it offered nightly chapel services, discipleship training, counseling, and lodging to homeless men in and around Memphis. It just so happened the Executive Director position became open right around the time of my graduation from seminary. Although I was the third choice for the Executive Director position, the Lord saw fit that I would become its new Executive Director. His timing truly was perfect. Now some 22 years later, I still am serving at this tremendous ministry. This spring, we will open a new facility that will allow us to house 108 men instead of the 46 we currently can serve. In 2017, our neighborhood was ranked the most dangerous in the United States, but despite the danger, the Lord… Read More

  • Children Labor Unique Ministries

    HELPING KIDS WHO ARE HURTING

    I've always been drawn to kids who were hurting. Maybe it's because I didn't have anyone to talk to when I was struggling at 12 years old. And, back when I was growing up, you did not go to counselors for help. Instead, I talked to my horse, Princess. One summer day, God spoke to me and put it in my heart that I would eventually start a ranch for hurting children. Many things have happened between that time long ago and today. I worked in business, with at-risk youth and as a special education teacher. But, I didn't forget what the Lord told me as a young girl. One day when I was teaching, I felt the Lord speak to me again and say it was time to start the ranch. I listened. After several years of prayer and generating support, I opened Hope Remains Ranch and served our very first child. I realized the Lord had been teaching and preparing me all these years for this work. Today, we provide Christian equine therapy for 3,000 kids and adults year-round. The focus of the ranch is Jesus. Everyone who works or volunteers on the ranch is a believer, so we try to be Jesus to everyone who visits. We want to show those who enter our gates after a crisis or tragedy that hope remains through Jesus Christ---you won't find hope in the bottle or drugs. So, we offer therapy and Jesus. Whenever anyone asks Jesus into his heart while on the ranch, we ring a large bell,… Read More

  • Children Special Needs Unique Ministries

    LEADING BOYS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS

    When something you are passionate about comes to you naturally, that's how you know God's hand is in it. I have been involved in scouting in some way my entire life. My mom was a troop leader and I was a girl scout, so getting my children involved was a natural decision. I wanted Christian mentoring for my son outside of our regular church activities, and scouting provided it. As a parent, the first years of scouting were spent at my son's troop meetings. Then, as he moved up, I began serving as my daughter's troop leader. But, I also served in different areas, such as taking over the popcorn fundraising for my son's troop. Since I have a sales background, this volunteer time allowed me to use my gifts. And, as a Christian, I understand the importance of having a servant's heart. However, my educational background is in speech pathology where I also learned sign language for pursuing a career in interpreting one day. One thing led to another, and I ended up being asked to lead a troop separately from my own children. I am now the troop leader and interpreter for the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind. My troop has 22 boys, ranging from 6-15 years of age, all with visual impairments, hearing loss, or both. When I was given this opportunity, I knew it was a chance to use my God-given gifts to serve. In this role, I can speak openly about my faith in a way that is not generally accepted in the public school… Read More

  • Labor

    THE LORD GUIDES OUR BUSINESS

    Several years ago, an opportunity landed in our laps to start our own business. The steps leading to this seemed like it was divine intervention. But I was still full of anxiety because I had never run my own company. I called various banks to discuss a small business loan to get things rolling, and after meeting with several that didn’t seem quite right, I met with the guy who would become our banker. We talked at length about the business and life in general. Then he walked me to my car and asked, “Greg, I’m really not supposed to ask this, but do you believe in God?” When I answered yes, he was visibly relieved and asked if he could pray with me. In the middle of the bank parking lot, he laid his hands on me, and prayed. When he had finished, he looked up and said the Lord had some very special plans for me and this business. In the years since, the Lord has been very faithful in making our business grow in ways we never imagined. Even more importantly, every day I am meeting with potential clients and employees who recognize my relationship with God. They ask me to pray with and for them, and I am happy to oblige. I can’t recall the number of times I have had opportunities to share about the love of Jesus with people through my work. And I’m in the compost business! Recently, our largest client decided not to renew our contract because of a change in their… Read More

  • Labor Unique Ministries

    A BREAKDANCING MINISTRY

    I am in full-time ministry and married to the love of my life. We have with four young children under the age of five. Oh, and I happen to enjoy breakdancing. My ministry is not what you would normally expect. From the outside, you will see a group of young guys from all different backgrounds breakdancing and having a blast. What is actually happening is discipleship. Years ago, I picked up breakdancing as a hobby and then God starting using it as a tool to deeply engage the hip-hop culture. The goal is to reach the breaking community and see the Spirit transform it. Ministry in Break Free is for the engagement in the lives of other breakdancers. Breakdancing is a great tool for this community because it is in every major city center around the world. It is mainly comprised of men, ages 18-35, which has been a hard group for the church to reach. We get to engage at the deepest levels of life with these men. We are often the only voices they hear that are sharing the gospel. Many of these men have never seen healthy marriages, faithful fathers, or have had deep friendship of any kind. We pray that we can share our lives, model healthy patterns, and show the transforming work of the gospel.  When I lived in Dallas, I poured my life into three men who have now become passionate disciple-makers in their communities. My prayer is that all the young men involved in Break Free become passionate disciple-makers and also, leaders and… Read More

  • Food Unique Ministries

    LITERALLY PLANTING SEEDS

    I was looking for a way to help our local community. I absolutely love helping people because that's how I came to know the love of Christ. I was at a low point in life and some Christians reached out with kindness. Their generosity was so surprising that it led me to give my heart to Jesus. I'm so thankful for them and that's why I am always looking for ways to help others. Since I work, I couldn't be at our church's food bank distribution time. That is my absolute favorite ministry, but the time just doesn't work with my schedule. I sat down with my pastor and complained about having to work and not being able to help others as much as I'd like. He told me the food bank was running out of food and there wasn't a lot of money to buy more. After brainstorming a bit, we came up with an idea: use part of our empty field to grow fresh food. I've never been a farmer, but I knew I could learn. I asked some folks I knew had good-producing gardens, and we came up with a plan for this empty field. It took a bit, but now we have about a half-acre of land we use to grow corn, potatoes, cabbage, and a host of other fresh ingredients. I come by the church before and after work to check on our crops. It has been surprisingly easy and has proven to be a great way to help those in need. What's even better is… Read More

  • Children Labor Unique Ministries

    HELPING CHILDREN BLOSSOM

    "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." This verse in Proverbs made more sense after I had my second child. I used to bring neighborhood children to my house every Saturday afternoon to share stories from the Bible. Most of them usually came because we always had candy and other treats. After a few weeks, I noticed there was a lack of Christ-centered children's learning materials in Ghana. Even our TV channels do not have many Christ-centered children's videos and songs. If children are not exposed to Christ-centered content from a very young age, they will likely not watch or read Christian content when they grow up. When they are young, it's their blossoming stage. That's why I started an organization called Blossom in January. I produce books, puzzles, board games and building blocks with scriptures and stories from the Bible. I want to merge the Montessori teaching style with the Gospel. So children who use our learning materials will learn to love Jesus. We are looking to expand as the Holy Spirit leads into the production of videos, songs and a 24-hour TV station with exclusive and entertaining Christ-centered content for children and teenagers. My husband and I currently fund this but I know this idea is from God, and I believe He will help us expand this to reach many more children in other African countries.

  • Prayer

    THE POWER OF PRAYER

    When I heard the first shot, I assumed it was a nearby tractor backfiring. By the third shot, I was down. I started to crawl through the infield dirt to get away. But I couldn't make it far. The bullet had struck me in the hip, shattering bones and piercing internal organs. What should have been a fun Congressional baseball practice with my colleagues turned into a shoot-out between the United States Capitol Police and a gunman. Yet, even in the midst of the chaos and sounds of gunfire, I felt a sense of peace that I was in God's hands. I started praying. I prayed my ten-year-old daughter would not have to walk down the aisle at her future wedding alone. I prayed I would be reunited with my family. And, I prayed the Capitol Police would be able to stop this man from hurting anyone else. Throughout the ordeal and the weeks that followed, I was aware of God's presence and the miracles He performed. Miracles like the Capitol Police being on site. If these heroes had not been there, the rest of our baseball team would have been sitting ducks. It was by the grace of God that it didn't turn into a massacre. I was unconscious for several days, hovering between life and death. I spent weeks in the hospital undergoing surgeries. But I truly felt everyone's prayers. I needed those prayers as I was fighting for my life. This whole ordeal taught me that the power of prayer cannot be underestimated. I have seen God do amazing… Read More

  • Other Unique Ministries

    A NEW HEART

    When I was 36, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My husband and I had been in college ministry with Campus Outreach for a decade when this very difficult time hit in our lives.  We also had two young sons. I had spent many years walking with God and studying his Word, but this painful challenge came as a shock to our lives and our faith. I wrestled with God through surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation. There was plenty of suffering, but we stood on the truths we had learned and taught others. After several harrowing years, I was blessed to be able to step back into full-time ministry, cancer free. Fast forward a decade later, and our sons are now teenagers. Last year, I started to feel shortness of breath and thought I should be checked out.  I sat in the Mayo Clinic thinking I had asthma, only to learn that I was in heart failure due to the chemotherapy for the breast cancer.  After numerous appointments and tests, the doctors concluded a heart transplant was my only option. I spent over 100 days in the hospital, waiting for someone else to lose his or her life for me to receive a new heart.  After this long wait, the perfect match was found, and I underwent a heart transplant. I was blessed once again, and am now fully back to work and engaged in my life and ministry. Through these major health crises, I've had many hard questions for God. I wasn't supposed to get sick. I was young, athletic,… Read More

  • Unique Ministries

    SPECIAL PACKAGES FOR PRISONERS

    I would consider myself a pretty ordinary person. I am a preacher's kid, married to a godly man, and the mother of two wonderful children, but a few years ago I found myself in the last place imaginable: behind bars. I did not commit a crime or break the law, but an unforeseeable accident resulted in time away from my family. I cannot begin to explain how this felt. I was no criminal, yet I was being treated as one. Despite my circumstances, the Lord never left my side. He provided me with comfort and hope. After several difficult and extremely long years, I was joyfully reunited with my family. As a result of my ordeal, I have been given a desire to meet the needs, both spiritually and physically, of those behind bars. While away, I not only became aware of the spiritual needs of those around me, but I also witnessed firsthand the failings of the prison system. Most people assume that the state prison system meets the needs of the women in their care. However, this is not the case at all. Women are given a handful of necessary items once a month, including a bar of soap, a toothbrush, feminine products, and two rolls of toilet paper. I know from personal experience that this is not enough to meet theirf needs. So I joined with a friend in ministering to the women of the Washington County Correctional Facility. We collect personal hygiene products and present each inmate with a bag of much-needed extra items. This includes… Read More

  • Labor Prayer

    SELLING HOUSES, SHARING JESUS

    I was working as a hairdresser while going to college in Hawaii. After I graduated, one of my clients asked me to help in her real estate brokerage firm. She had seen my love for people and wanted me as an agent. She gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse. She paid for my training, licensing, coaching and continuing education plus gave me all my leads and a weekly salary. This opportunity allowed me to rapidly gain extensive real estate knowledge and skill. And I loved the work! But when we moved to the mainland, my license did not transfer. We did, however, find a church that helped me grow more deeply in my knowledge and love of Christ. I concentrated on raising our children until it came time for my husband to retire from the Navy. While we were deciding what we should do in the next chapter of our lives, our pastor called the church to a two-week fast. Along with the prayer focus of the church, we prayed about our immediate future. Two weeks later, a friend approached me; he had noticed that Facebook posts I had made demonstrated a knowledge of real estate. He asked if I would be interested in joining his brokerage. I was back to doing what I loved, but this time with Jesus Christ at the center of it all. People coming to me are in transition. They may have a new job in a new town or a new baby. Some are empty nesters looking to downsize or a family going through… Read More

  • Unique Ministries

    THE COMFORT DOGS

    If you have seen comfort dogs on site at crisis situations, then you've probably seen a member of the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog ministry team---a network of volunteers and dogs working together to bring compassion where it is needed. This powerful ministry officially began in 2008, but God was working on it even before it became "official." When Hurricane Katrina hit, the LCC Disaster Response Team set up a disaster triage. The team was asked to perform search and rescue for people with animals as many people were refusing to leave their flooding homes without their pets. The team saw firsthand the power of a pet to someone going through a crisis. In February 2008, Lutheran Church Charities (LCC) was contacted and asked to bring the dogs to Northern Illinois University where a shooting had occurred. At this point, it became clear that God was saying to stop waiting for disasters and to put dogs in churches. So, that's what LCC did. LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs started with four dogs in August 2008, and since then, it has grown significantly. The network now consists of 130 trained golden retrievers in churches and Christian schools across 23 states to do outreach ministry. People feel safe with the dogs, and the dogs allow the ministry team to go places they may not have been able to go. With the comfort dogs, the team can go out into the world and offer compassion, prayer, and Jesus to those who are hurting. They only go when invited, but they've been asked to serve many communities suffering from tragedies… Read More

  • Children Unique Ministries

    A REFUGE FOR TEENAGERS

    Since I was a high school senior, I had a dream of starting a youth center for teenagers. Even when people dismissed it, I knew that God had placed that dream on my heart. After I returned from Bible College to Sunbury, PA, my wife and I started a youth center called The Refuge. We wanted to create a safe and fun place for teenagers to go to after school, free of charge. In nine months, our youth center grew to about 50 teens coming in each week. We provided them with a comfortable space, games and a free meal. During the next two years, I went back to school to get my teaching degree (I now teach junior high). However, when I returned, we began to look for a new building in order to reopen The Refuge. When we did find an old broken-down building for $30,000, we received an anonymous donation that covered its cost. It took us three years to get it ready. We restored the building, set up a ping pong table and video games, made it accessible for handicapped kids and prayed it would be a blessing. Now, we also provide homework help, do Bible studies and use recording equipment so the teenagers can make their own music. All of our tutors and cooks are Christian volunteers from a variety of surrounding churches. We want the kids to have a real sense of community when they are here and be exposed… Read More

  • Church Activities Unique Ministries

    STILL SERVING THE LORD

    I was a pastor of the same church for over 50 years. In that time, we moved from a small store front property to a large building that sat 500 in the sanctuary. And we ended up filling every seat on more than one occasion. By the time I retired, the church had grown to where it had two services to meet the needs of the growing congregation. The Lord certainly did some amazing work while I was pastoring. Since retiring, though, I have found that the Lord has even more for me to do. My days aren't as full as they once were, I am 90 after all, but I do what I can for the Lord. Most of my time on the weekends is spent filling in at churches without a pastor. I preach, counsel, and help these congregations as I am able. Many of them are small, rural churches that are hard-pressed to find a pastor willing to serve for so little salary. But they are wonderful people and I enjoy helping them. During the week, I visit shut-ins and people in the hospital to pray with them. We sing hymns and share old stories of what the Lord has done over the years. Then I will go to various auctions and farms around the area, picking up food for the food bank. There's never enough food for the number of people we serve each week, and this is a way I can contribute. I hop in my pick-up and make my rounds, knowing that the local… Read More

  • Children Church Activities Unique Ministries

    THEY CAN’T READ OR WRITE

    It's so important that we pass on everything we have learned to our children. And that's because they are the future leaders. But can you imagine a bunch of leaders who do not have an education? I teach a Sunday school class of about 40 kids here in Ghana. The majority of them do not go to school at all and can't read or write. For that reason, it's hard to teach them Bible verses and English songs. It's sometimes hard to imagine what their future will be like with little or no education. This unfortunate situation makes me very sad. They will never be able to read and understand the word of God, which is the most important thing in life. So I decided to teach those who were willing to read and write. It was a bit challenging when I started. Most of them were interested. But some of their parents stopped them from learning because they are also not educated, and saw no value in it. There's close to a 70% illiteracy rate in our region. They simply want to take their children to the market to help them sell. But by God's grace, most of them know the English alphabet and that's a great encouragement to me. God is nudging me to continue despite these hurdles. So I'm putting together a team to help me teach these kids how to read and write so they, too, can benefit from the Word of God.

  • Church Activities

    A WARM SMILE AND LISTENING EAR

    About five years ago, I started volunteering as a door greeter at church. It was fun since my whole job was just welcoming people into church. Since my son was in high school and my husband served in a different ministry, it was a simple way for me to be involved at church without any added stress or preparation at home. About six months after I started working the doors, I realized what I was doing was an actual ministry. Before this, I saw myself as just opening the doors for people and helping them get to where they needed to go. But one morning that all changed when a young woman timidly walked up to my door. It was obvious she had never been there before as she tried to figure out where to enter and what to do. I approached her with a smile, ready to walk her to wherever she wanted to go. But something switched in my heart. I realized I wasn't just helping a new person find the auditorium. I was helping a lost soul find Jesus. I asked her about herself, and she began opening up to me. After the service, I tracked her down and we continued our conversation. She was all alone and just in need of a friend. That started my weekly journey to find one person that is all alone and show them compassion and love. It's been five years since I started, and I can't tell you the number of people I have stopped to talk with at church. I don't know… Read More