How Everyday People Live Out Their Christian Faith

Illustrating how men and women display their love for Jesus in their day-to-day lives.
Little things that may have an eternal impact. Might these stories motivate you to use your talents?
  • Other

    IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL

    "It Is Well With My Soul" is my favorite hymn. I’ve always loved it, but it also seems to describe my walk with the Lord in some ways. I’m in my mid-60s now, and I’ve had the gift of knowing the Lord for over 50 years. It’s a journey unlike any other---one that I’d never want to travel without Him. I left home at 17 to be closer to my wife-to-be. I finished high school in a new town and bought a little trailer where I made my home. Shortly thereafter, a tornado hit my trailer and destroyed it. We married when I was 19. We met during Sunday School. I knew I’d marry her the moment I saw her. We had two children. Then I lost my oldest brother when he was 47. Fourteen months later, I lost my wife of 24 years after a 10-year battle with cancer. God was the Great Physician and had healed her from incurable cancer, but she became ill afterward and passed away. I was devastated. How would I live without her? I truly didn’t think I could. But I felt God’s presence all around me. Over the next 15 years, I became “Granpa” to eight grandchildren. But then I lost my mother, and in 2015, I lost my daddy. I sure am blessed to have had so many wonderful people in my life, and God’s gentle voice reminds me of this as He has always been my comforter and my healer. I remarried, and the same year I lost my father, we… Read More

  • Children Special Needs

    OVERCOMING OBSTACLES AT AGE 10

    My son, Isaiah, has no peripheral vision and can only see one foot directly in front of him. But that hasn't stopped him from playing football. Or baseball. Or basketball. Immediately after he was born, my wife noticed there was something that wasn't quite right with his eyes. We thought it might just be fluid in his eyes. At two months, we took him to an eye specialist. After some extensive tests, he broke the news to us: Isaiah has bilateral optic nerve coloboma--the tissue didn't form properly around his retina. He actually has holes in his retinas. He would never be able to see much. While we were devastated, we also felt God blessed us with the diagnosis coming at such a young age; we could start working with specialists to help him adapt to this life. This would be his normal so it was up to us to help him make the most of life. And boy, has he! At age four, he learned how to roller skate and ride a two-wheel bike. He started playing baseball in the Miracle League where the ball whistled when it was pitched to him. And at age 10, he started playing football. Isaiah is the nose guard on defense who lines up right over the center, so he can see when the ball is snapped. He loves the contact and practices harder than just about any kid. Some of his teammates didn’t even realize he couldn’t see a foot in front of him. But he led the team in sacks, tackles… Read More

  • Children Labor Unique Ministries

    GARRETT’S PLACE

    I was absolutely devastated when our son, Garrett, died of SIDS. I cried out to God, "Why?" That happened 27 years ago and the pain is still ever-present, and always will be. God blessed us with two other wonderful sons who have since grown. After our boys started their own lives, there was a lonely spot in my heart, an emptiness. I turned to my husband and said we should become foster parents. He was reluctant, since this wasn't our "plan." We had a 401K and wanted to travel as empty nesters. But we went to some fostering classes, and the light went on for him. We became foster parents, and after a couple years, we adopted two beautiful children. A few years later, we adopted twins, so our family now includes four young energetic children. Since we were foster parents, we saw how little foster care kids have of their own. When they go from one home to another, they usually bring all their belongings in one sack. They've never have their own "stuff". This broke our hearts. We felt a nudge to change this. So my husband and I cashed in our 401K and started Garrett's Place. We provide free clothes, toys and books to foster children. When they enter Garrett's Place, kids get a suitcase and can fill it with toys and 14 outfits. It's a way of giving the foster children some control, something they haven't had much of in their lives. Then we put a Bible… Read More

  • Labor Unique Ministries

    EMPOWERING CUTS

    I travel around the country giving free haircuts to the homeless, veterans and anyone going through tough financial times. There is something about a fresh haircut that puts a bounce in your step. But I don't look at these as just haircuts. I feel I am empowering people because this gives them a bit of hope and an assurance that someone cares about them. That's why I named my ministry, Empowering Cuts. As a kid, my dad used to give me haircuts because we couldn't afford going to a barber. But honestly, he would mess up my hair really badly. So I guess that is where I got my interest in going to barber school. When I was there, my instructor would take us to homeless shelters to get some practice cutting hair. I loved talking to these men because I wanted to understand their addictions. You see, both my mom and dad were drug addicts. I wanted to try to figure out what leads to addiction. Even though my childhood was difficult because of this, I know I wouldn't be the person I am today if it wasn't for my faith. When I graduated from barber school, I set out to give these free haircuts to those in need. My friends told me I was crazy, that this didn't make sense. I had children at home that I needed to support. The money I make being an Uber driver isn't a lot, but it does pay the bills. But I know that God gave me a clear message to… Read More

  • Other Prayer

    FROM HATRED TO PURE LOVE

    My husband was a very successful businessman and always wanted to mentor others, showing them the steps to success. He was a true giver. But we all know people who tend to overstep the boundaries, taking someone's kindness and using it for their own gain. My husband had one such particular colleague. He started treating my husband terribly, stealing and poisoning my husband's clients against him. At one point, after a business dispute, he even threatened our family's lives. For a time, we lived in fear. I developed such a hatred toward this man that I found myself wishing him dead. But God led me to Matthew 6:14-15. He said that I had to forgive my enemies. What?! How could I forgive a man that has taken advantage of my husband and threatened my family? He doesn't deserve my forgiveness, and he's never apologized to me. So why should I show him any mercy? Then God reminded me, "Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy." Who was I to judge? Despite my stubbornness, I begged God to make me willing. So, every time I thought of this man, I mumbled, "I hate him, God. But forgive me and bless him." I did this everyday regardless of how I felt about him. Eight months later, I was driving down the road, and felt something overwhelm me to tears. It was God filling me with love and forgiveness for this man. You cannot give what you have not received. Yet, we've all received forgiveness from our Heavenly Father.… Read More

  • Labor Mission Trips

    GOD CALLED ME BY NAME

    My name is Levi and this is my story of how God called me by name to do missions. I was working as a pizza deliverer and struggling with my sense of purpose in life as a twenty-year-old college graduate. My mom’s advice was to look into a missions program called The World Race. It's a mission trip to 11 countries during an 11 month timeframe. When I had first heard about it years ago, I dismissed the idea of going because it cost too much money. Yet now, here I was, seeking newness and purpose in my mundane, day-to-day grind. So I applied to the program. Ironically, the week that I got the exciting news that I was accepted to participate in this life-changing missions experience was the same week that I received the unfortunate news that my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Suddenly, I didn’t know what to do. Was the right choice to travel abroad and serve others while sharing Jesus with them? Or was the better choice to stay home and be with my family? Trying to find guidance, I opened up my Bible to a random page and began reading. My eyes landed on Mark 2:14. It said, “‘Follow me,’ Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.” Levi got up and followed him. Well, if that wasn’t God directly speaking to me, I don’t know what is. So I decided to get up and follow Jesus around the world. For the next 11 months, I met so many amazing people in… Read More

  • Labor Unique Ministries

    TRULY UNSTOPPABLE

    I lost my left arm in a shark attack while I was surfing at age 13. I felt a sudden tug and pressure on my arm and saw a flash of gray which turned out to be a 14-foot tiger shark. I went into survival mode and began praying, “God, please help me, please get me to the beach.” I prayed this prayer many times. I was rescued and rushed to the hospital where I lost 60% of my blood. I’m thankful I made it through that day and the difficult week that followed. So many doubts, fears, and unknowns flooded my world. But I had the peace of God to carry me through. When I was recovering, I thought, Okay, God, what are you up to? But I knew God was in control and had a plan for my life. I knew something good could come out of this. I just didn’t know what that was at the time. I put my trust in God to get me through this and not let fear control my life. The hope I found as a Christian led me to overcome this, along with the amazing support of my family, the kindness of my community and having a passion for life. I had learned to surf when I was eight and had really gotten into surfing competitively. That passion I had for surfing was greater than my fear of sharks so I was determined to get back on the board. So that became my goal. Within a month, I got back in… Read More

  • Children Labor Unique Ministries

    WRITING A CHILDREN’S BOOK

    When my twin sister called me from Los Angeles to tell me that her 10-year-old son, Jackson, had a brain tumor. I was completely numb. It didn't seem real. Within 24 hours, he had gone from a basic MRI to the operating room. I felt far away and helpless at my home in Nashville. All I could do was pray. When I finally got to visit, Jackson wanted to show me his journals. They were filled with his strategies for coping on “MRI Day” which, for him, happened every three months. He had developed ways to calm himself when they put in the IV, stay still in the machine for long periods of time and not get scared by the noise of the machine. After seeing another little boy who was screaming and crying before his MRI scan, Jackson decided that he wanted to find a way to help other kids not be scared of MRIs. I said, "Why not write a children's book?" I didn’t actually know how to write or produce a children’s book, but Jackson was onboard, and I felt a tug in my heart urging me to make it happen. Rather than simply a cute story about Jackson’s experience, we wanted to create a tool that nurses, doctors and child life specialists could actually use with their patients. After I wrote the text, we ran it by lots of different people in the healthcare industry to be sure we got it right. It took more than three years, but I think it reflects the spirit of… Read More

  • Food Unique Ministries

    FAMILY DINNER NIGHTS

    During the last meal Jesus had on earth, He instructed us to remember Him by the very thing we indulge in every day without thought. Family dinner night started from a prophetic vision over my husband at our church’s retreat. Through hospitality, we could bring people in and have them leave differently. No pressure, no expectation, just a loving household. We prayed over what this could be and three things stood out: relationships, food and openness. The Lord revealed each person who should come. We also brought our kids into this, teaching them how to take their requests to God and ask for it. In these bold prayers, they specifically asked God to bring families with children and the Lord provided abundantly! Our dinner was now our mission field where conversation flowed easily, God-related or not. The Holy Spirit led. Our family never hid who we were: all broken people loved by the Lord. Community and college students from the University in our town knew they could expect honesty, from our current moods to large life questions to our adorably crazy kids. Our house is a bit messy for Family Dinner Night because that is how we normally have it. We were authentic. And that let others be, too. From these dinners also came our open-door policy where people knew they could stop by anytime. They felt safe to come with their questions, burdens, and celebrations. For us, hospitality goes beyond inviting people into our homes; we invite them into our lives. And through this openness comes true transformation.

  • Children Prayer

    A SECOND CHANCE AT A FAMILY

    My heart broke when I read the story of seven siblings that lost both parents in a horrific car crash. Their entire family was traveling with a moving trailer when they veered off the highway and flipped several times, throwing everyone from the car. All seven children, ranging in age from 1 to 13, sustained head injuries and had to be hospitalized. When released, they were put into a foster home since there weren't any family members able to take them. My heart was touched reading their story. It would be devastating for these children to be split up into different homes, especially after the heartbreak they had already endured. I could feel God moving and see how He had prepared both me and my husband for this moment. We had raised five biological children in a large six-bedroom house. It was now empty. We had discussed selling it, but we just couldn't bring ourselves to do that. Now I could see why. The Lord had also nudged us to become foster parents five years earlier so our hearts, and our lives, had been prepped. The day I read the story, I cried several times and knew what I wanted to do. I sent the story to my husband at work, fully expecting him to slam the idea that was stirring my heart. Later that night, he looked at me and said, "We need to adopt those kids." I immediately started calling DHS, saying we wanted to adopt all seven of them. We had to be vetted, interviewed, fill out… Read More

  • Church Activities Labor Unique Ministries

    THE MOBILE SANCTUARY

    I wanted to be the pastor of a church, but I ended up being an Uber and Lyft driver. Yet I wouldn’t change a thing. I now truly believe I’m just pastoring a very different kind of church and this is exactly where God wants me. I always dreamed of having my own church plant and I prepared for it. As an undergraduate student, I majored in the Bible with a minor in Christian Education. I then went on to get a Master’s degree in Biblical studies. But when I graduated, my dreams did not materialize. The church plant didn’t work out. To make ends meet, I started driving for Uber and Lyft. I could have felt sorry for myself, but felt God was calling me to love every single person that got in my car. So I just tried to display the goodness of God to my riders. Every day, I felt challenged to plant seeds for the Lord with each rider. When I pick up someone, I start with general conversation. As we talk, I can feel the Holy Spirit giving me something to ask that person. And usually, the floodgates open. There are a lot of broken people in the world, and so many just need a safe place to talk. I’ve given rides to alcoholics, drug addicts, prostitutes, atheists, sick people, people with broken marriages, you name it. I’ve bought people meals to help them feel loved, cleaned them up after they passed out and had hour-long discussions after we reach their destination. I try to… Read More

  • Children Labor Senior Citizens

    ANGEL WINGS OF LOVE

    I lost my baby girl when she was just three days old. I think about her every day and I have for 44 years. When it happened, there weren't a lot of people I could reach out to, and hospitals weren't really equipped to help you deal with the grief and how to say goodbye. I relied on my Christian faith to get me through those very difficult days. Unfortunately, this kind of heartbreak happens a lot more frequently than people realize. So about six years ago, I wanted to do something for parents that were experiencing this pain. To help them in any small way to make parting with their baby just a little less painful. So I started taking donated wedding dresses, cutting them up and making gowns for infants that pass away prematurely or right after birth. It's something beautiful to put on the child for his or her burial. I did it for a friend that lost a child. And then another. There were a number of friends that heard about what I was doing, word started to spread and a couple friends joined me. People began donating their wedding dresses to us, and we made quite a few of these infant gowns. We packaged them in a nice box and included a crochet blanket, a hat, booties and a vest for baby boys. We also put a Mommy and Me bracelet set in each box along with a scripture verse and prayer card. We formed relationships with hospitals and funeral homes, and gave them a… Read More

  • Labor Unique Ministries Verbalizing the Gospel

    NATION’S BOUTIQUE

    I was at the funeral for a two-year-old child of a dear friend. The child's father preached an amazing eulogy, and said 93% of Christians never share their faith. I was so moved. That's when I prayed and asked God to show me a way to make an impact for His Kingdom. I felt God leading me to start a line of women's clothing that I designed, manufactured and sold out of my home. I wanted these clothes to be different and meaningful, so I put a label in these clothes with a message that had resonated with me for several years: "He will never leave you or forsake you." The clothing line started to really take off and it became too consuming; it was hard to find a balance between my personal and business life. So I ended up taking a break. After a while, I kept getting nudged by God to return but to do it differently. I could see His hands in opening up an opportunity for me to find a small warehouse where I sold the women's clothing items and accessories, and eventually a retail store called Nation's Boutique. The word Nation's comes from Matthew 28:11 where Jesus says for us to make disciples of all nations. Placing God's Word in each of our clothes is our way of doing this. The theme in our store is "Do Beautiful." I want women to know they are beautiful and made in His image. Women sometimes think it's the clothes that make them beautiful. But it's your inner… Read More

  • Labor Unique Ministries

    THE STREETS OF HOPE

    For several years, I battled an eating disorder that consumed my days. I was dieting or binging, and always hating who I was. One day, I promised a friend that I would come and serve the homeless with her, since I've always had a desire to help the homeless. Instead of going with her, I went to the beach, crying and feeling sorry for myself. I texted her to let her know I could not make it because of how sad I was. She replied, “Come down here and shine the light that God has placed inside you.” I consented. On the way down, I hated who I was and believed I had nothing to offer to anyone on those streets. However, when I arrived, everything shifted. I loved being there. I had a moment when I decided to dedicate my time there every week. After a few months, I felt God telling me to use my gift of cutting hair to bless those on the streets. So we built a haircutting ministry that services the homeless each month. We also started hosting events where we would have people using their gifts in cooking, chiropractic, massages, and much more to bless the homeless. Then I felt Him say bless the children, so we began a birthday ministry for the kids on the streets to celebrate them. We let them know that they are seen and loved, even when their parents could not afford to celebrate. Last year, I was voted as President of the organization to one day build… Read More

  • Labor Special Needs Unique Ministries

    GRACE CERAMICS

    I’ve been hand throwing pottery for nine years, beginning in high school. It has always come naturally to me and is a meditative, sweet time for me to quietly sit and talk to God. Being behind the pottery wheel, throwing clay, is one of my favorite steps in the entire process of making a mug or bowl. I love watching the dramatic change it goes through in just a few minutes. I’m reminded of Isaiah 64:8, which says, “Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” Just as God molds us into His people, He can transform our lives, passions, and jobs into something for His glory. So is the case for Grace Ceramics. I was selling my pottery at farmer’s markets, breweries, and coffee shops. However, instead of just profiting off my ceramics, I wanted my business to have a larger purpose. So I teamed up with a friend who was preparing to go on a mission trip around the world but needed financial help. I made dozens of beautiful, unique mugs with the world engraved on them. For every piece of pottery that I sold, 50% of the proceeds went toward my friend’s mission fund. I was able to raise almost $500 for her! Months later, another friend was raising money for a mission trip. I did the same thing and helped her reach her financial goal. It’s incredible using a talent of mine to support others! Each mug, bowl, and planter that I… Read More

  • Church Activities Labor

    SERVING ANY WAY I CAN

    I am a transplant patient. So there are many days I feel weak or tired. This could give me a great excuse not to do much, but God has been too good for me to sit still! I absolutely love my church and I dedicate so much of my time to helping wherever there is a need. You might call me a “Jill Of All Trades.” There is so much to be done to spread the love of God! I help organize rummage sales, give tours of the daycare, greet visitors to our church, pray with people at the altar and cook for church dinners. I love to volunteer because God has placed it on my heart to serve. Every ministry I am a part of yields fruit because God is in it. I do not want to be in the spotlight; rather I want God to be glorified through me. I wasn’t always a good person. I come from the world of drugs and alcohol. I was very much a part of the “party scene.” But God delivered me out of a dark place. I give Him all the glory and honor. I try to show as many people as possible the hope that I have found in Jesus. Sometimes when I give a tour of the church daycare, I feel the urge to pray with people. The presence of the Lord can sweep in and touch anyone, anywhere at any time. I thank God that He has used me in many ways to help bring people into the… Read More

  • Prayer Senior Citizens

    WHY I’M STILL HERE

    I didn’t understand. I was 71 years old. She was only 42. I kept asking God, “Why, Lord? Why her and not me?” She was my only daughter. She fought cancer and beat it but died after complications in the hospital. It should’ve been me. I’d lived my life. She left behind a family. Three years later, I had lost my husband and three dear friends. We used to play Scrabble on Tuesdays. I lost my oldest son in 2012. He would’ve been 62 that November. I was 86. It should've been me. I’ve thought a lot about the loss of my loved ones. I’ve lost several others—each one younger than I. At first, it seems so unfair that I’ve lived into my old age, and so many never saw old age. Few saw grey hairs. Fewer saw their kids become adults. I spend time in prayer everyday. When my aide comes in the morning, we pray and reflect. It’s important to me to be able to ask God for His intervention in my life and in the lives of others. I pray for family, my Sunday School class and for two of my daughter’s friends who are now facing cancer themselves. I have seen the Lord work. I have seen lives transformed, trials overcome, and sad turned to glad. He is so good to us. One day, it finally occurred to me: perhaps He has me here still---though I can’t walk or stand---to be an intercessor for those around me. And that day, I found peace. My old age… Read More

  • Children Unique Ministries

    LUCY’S LOVE BLANKETS

    We all need extra love and comfort sometimes, especially if you’re a kid going through a difficult time. That’s why I started “Lucy’s Love Blankets.” I make and ship flannel blankets for free to kids going through an illness, a divorce in their family, or the loss of a loved one. Anyone needing a little extra love. It all started three years ago when I was eight. My mom had taught me how to sew and I thought I’d make a homemade blanket for a friend for her birthday. She loved it and I really enjoyed making it. So I asked my mom if I could make a blanket for a random child having a tough time, and give it away on Instagram. We posted something and got 16 heartbreaking stories from kids, each requesting a blanket. My mom told me to choose one, and I just could not stand the thought of any of these kids going without a blanket. So I made one for all 16 of those children and shipped it to them. People heard about what I was doing and started requesting one for a child they knew. So I started sewing. And kept sewing because I kept getting requests. Folks started chipping in money to help us cover the cost of the fabric and the shipping which really started to add up. Everything is free to the family that receives the blanket. It takes me anywhere from two to three hours to make a blanket. But what is really cool is that I know the… Read More

  • Labor Mission Trips

    A MISSION FIELD IN THE SKY

    My friend calls me a mission worker in the sky. After graduating college with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics, the last thing I expected was to become a flight attendant. Yet here I am. My typical day involves welcoming people on flights, ensuring they are safe, and serving them drinks and food. However, the Holy Spirit thrives on interrupting my routine to make Jesus’ name known. So I try to obediently act on these heart tugs, even when I’m miles off the ground and confined inside an airplane. There is an unspoken bond between flight attendants that allows us to share our life stories with one another while we’re working. I have shared my faith journey, given advice, and have listened to others' stories during these instances. I also like to share my love and appreciation for other flight attendants. If I’m personally taking a long flight somewhere, it’s my mission to make the crew feel recognized and loved. Bags of chips, chocolate bars, minty gum, and herbal teas are given to the flight attendants as I board the plane, along with a hand-written thank you note. Such a simple gesture goes a long way and for many of these crew members, it’s a huge blessing! I have given encouraging notes to help brighten up the day of upset passengers. Even drivers to the airport do not go unseen and give me the biggest smile when I hand them a genuine thank you note. I like to take trips for the purpose of serving others. I have flown to Spain… Read More

  • Labor Unique Ministries

    THE CONTRIBUTOR

    For most of my life, I never would have imagined I would be the director of a nonprofit helping our homeless neighbors get back on their feet. Twelve years ago, my seemingly ideal life and marriage ended in divorce. I was depressed, angry and resentful. Three weeks later, I was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. Consumed by all I had lost, I made a choice that has guided my life ever since. I chose to give my life to God. I let go of all my attempts at control. I prayed (and still do) every morning for God to help me see that this is His show, and to just let me do my part. That is when I began seeing a homeless man selling a paper on the street corner near my house. I must have driven past him 50 times before I finally stopped and started buying papers, then throwing them in my back seat. Finally, while cleaning out my car one day, I actually read the paper, The Contributor. I learned The Contributor allows homeless individuals to buy the paper for 50 cents and sell it for $2 plus tips, and that 70% of them work their way into housing. I learned about the lives of our unhoused neighbors: Mary, addicted to crack when she got out of prison but now clean for ten years because she found purpose in selling the paper. Mario, who lost his job as a cameraman for a local TV station after a heart attack, says The Contributor helped him get on his… Read More

  • Children Labor Unique Ministries

    A REAL-LIFE SUPERHERO TO SICK KIDS

    I never thought my calling in life would be to dress up as Spider-Man and visit sick children in hospitals all around the country. But that is where God has led me. In real life, I've been a corrections officer in Los Angeles for 20 years. But my true joy comes from bringing smiles and comfort to people that need it most. My mom was a true inspiration to me, and when she died of cancer in 2009, I went through a very dark period. I kept asking God to give me some signs to get through this tough time and to help me find a way to honor my mom's legacy. When He kept showing me some things that would lead me to dressing up in a costume, I honestly kept ignoring such an off-the-wall message. But finally I relented, bought a Spider-Man costume, and took part in a parade. Then I went to a pediatric hospital. I was astounded at the reaction. It instantly brought smiles onto the faces of these kids that were going through horrific trials. So I've continued to do it. For 10 years, every chance I get. I have now visited children in hospitals in all 50 states, and I can't wait to go back. Kids need something to take their mind off whatever illness they're experiencing. Their reaction, their smiles, their momentary distraction make it all worth it. I encourage them to fight hard and never give up. And I love it that no one really knows who I am in that costume.… Read More

  • Labor Unique Ministries

    AMAZED AT GOD’S PLAN

    I’m always amazed at God’s plan. When I was young, I saw my mom go through abusive relationships, homelessness and other hardships. She walked through and overcame tragic challenges. Two seeds were planted in me: a drive to succeed and a heart for mothers. I had my own vision of success, and I used it to become a fairly affluent businessman. But my idea of “making it” was not fulfilling. God had a different plan. He softened my heart for people and showed me what fruitfulness really looked like. His plan involved a change of location and a ministry I never expected. I started teaching about God’s love on the streets and loving people that didn’t have anybody. I spoke at the Western Carolina Rescue Ministry in Asheville and I was offered a job. I was a businessman and I hadn’t worked for anybody in years, so I turned it down. God was trying to teach me something though, and when the opportunity kept presenting itself, I took it. At WCRM, we walk alongside people and invest in them to help them find purpose in God. Although we served hundreds of people a day and provided food, clothing, shelter and the Word, God wasn’t done. My thoughts kept going back to mothers and their children. Women’s recovery is one of the toughest ministries and the rate of success is low because they suffer continuous trauma. Most women that have a substance issue lose their parental rights. Funding goes to the children and the mother has no support to get help.… Read More

  • Children Labor Unique Ministries

    MOMS IN THE MAKING

    Infertility affects so many couples but is rarely discussed. My husband and I married in 2011 and a year later, we tried to start a family. But we couldn't get pregnant. We got tested, and were told we’d never be able to conceive. We were devastated. Several months later, I invited six other women who were struggling with infertility into my living room. It was so refreshing to have honest and transparent conversation about what we were experiencing. Afterwards, we prayed and all felt a close connection to each other and to the Lord. While infertility was very difficult, I felt renewed since I was now focusing on Jesus and not finding my life's worth in becoming a mom. I started writing down my thoughts in a blog called In Due Time. I was amazed how many people started reading it and how quickly the group in my living room transitioned to an online presence called Moms in the Making. So I ended up leaving my job in corporate finance and making this a full-time ministry. I wanted to encourage women on their journey to becoming a mom by sharing the hope and truth of God's Word. One of our first endeavors was to put on a faith-based infertility conference. We announced it through our social media pages. When it came time for the conference, we had 160 women from 33 states as well as someone from Africa and the Bahamas. We were so grateful for this response. This has now turned into an annual conference.… Read More

  • Children Church Activities Verbalizing the Gospel

    THE GOOD NEWS CLUB

    I first learned about the after-school Good News Club in a letter. At first glance, I thought it was junk mail and threw it away, but the Lord prompted me to pull it out of the trash and read it. At the time, my church was meeting in a public school on Sunday mornings, and we would pray that the Lord would give us direction on how to impact the children in that school. As I read the letter, I knew this was it. I literally jumped out of my chair and said “Oh God, this is the answer!” Good News Clubs are an outreach of the Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF). With this program, a local church adopts a school and holds a Good News Club after school to share the gospel to children in their own classrooms. How exciting is that! I presented the idea to the church and they were totally on board with the project. When we made contact with CEF, the director was brought to tears, saying they had been praying for more clubs to start specifically in our little area of Southern Illinois. I’ve been working with CEF and the after-school Good News Clubs since 2015, and have since been asked to be the Coordinator over the Southern Illinois chapter. We now hold 16 clubs in our area. Seeing these children come to Christ and working with the local churches so excites me. These clubs are the key that unlocks the doors for the local church to go into the public schools and reach the… Read More

  • Children Labor Unique Ministries

    INTO HIS ARMS

    ‘There’s a 10-day old baby girl and she has a disease,’ I was told. ‘I’ll take her,’ I said without hesitation. Just hours later, the social worker was at our door in Guatemala, holding a bundle wrapped in a blanket. She explained the baby was abandoned due to her diagnosis. She was left with nothing, not even a name. And this baby girl wasn’t expected to live very long because she had Hydranencephaly. She only had about 3% of her brain and an enlarged head due to an abnormal accumulation of fluid in her brain. The days that followed were filled with MRI’s and hospital visits. Then, I stood as a 19-year-old before the judge, asking if I could adopt her and give her a name. ‘Her own family didn’t even want her,’ the judge told me solemnly, ‘She’s probably not going to live, and if she does, she won't have a normal life. Why would you even bother?’ I told her I cared because her life matters, and the value of our life isn’t decided by the number of our days. I named her Emma Leigh---Emma means ‘whole and complete’ and Leigh, (my middle name I share with my mom) means ‘healer.’ There were surgeries, court hearings, lost paperwork, and so many medical appointments. But these were never a burden. I just wanted her to be loved here on earth. Just 31 days old, Emma Leigh passed from my arms into the arms of Jesus. She was born into a completely hopeless situation, but she died being… Read More

  • Children Prayer

    GOD CARRIED ME THROUGH

    I went into marriage expecting I would need a lot of medical intervention in order to have children. I had been told my chances were slim. Five months into my marriage, I began thinking about my options, but before I could start, we found out I was pregnant! Throughout the pregnancy, I had a feeling of gloom and doom because I kept seeing warning signs that something wasn’t right. At 25 weeks, my water broke. I was in shock and thought, “my pregnancy is over” because I didn’t think a baby could survive that early. Days later, my son was born. He fought and battled, and I found myself in a place of hopelessness, wondering every day if my son would live to see tomorrow. I could truly feel that we had literally hundreds of people all around the U.S and even around the world praying for us during this time. I found myself spinning with God and had to really rely on the prayers and faith of others. We were told if our son made it through, he would go home with a trach tube. 110 days later, we walked out of the hospital with our son---no trach, no oxygen assistance, just us and our baby. Despite all we went through with our son, I knew deep down I had a desire for another child. I wanted to fully experience pregnancy in a way I didn’t get to. I knew it would take trusting God to go through it again. To our surprise, we found out we were pregnant… Read More

  • Children Labor Unique Ministries

    THE LA LA LAND KIND CAFE

    We need to care and be kind to one another. I was blown away when I learned how America has failed older kids in the foster care system. Once foster kids reach the age of 18, they "age out". How can we possibly allow the most vulnerable kids---those without parents---to be released into the world with no help? Many of them have nowhere to go or live. A shocking number become homeless, turn to drugs or alcohol, or even prostitution. I ran a fairly successful restaurant at a young age, but I found that having a packed restaurant and making money wasn't making me happy. I wanted to find purpose in my life so I started volunteering with a number of organizations. That’s when I learned about the plight of older foster kids. I felt led to do something. Initially, I started the We Are One project, where we tried to provide everything these kids would need to become self-sustaining adults: housing, mentorship, job placement and therapy. But it didn't work because the kids couldn't get or keep a job. Without a job, their life deteriorated. Employers didn't want to hire kids without experience, and they did not have the patience to teach the kids the skills they needed. If no one was going to hire these kids, we set out to do it ourselves. So I started the La La Land Kind Cafe. We took an old home and transformed it into a coffee shop. We offer organic coffees, teas and delicious treats that our… Read More

  • Church Activities Labor Senior Citizens

    THE TRANSPORTATION MINISTRY

    When I was a child, my family was visited by people from a local church. We didn’t go to church at the time. The people who knocked on our door came with an invitation, and a bus that would take us to church. Little did we know that our lives would never be the same after stepping foot in that first service. What I felt in that sanctuary was something I had never felt before: the undeniable presence of God. I wouldn’t be living for God today if it wasn’t for the Transportation Ministry of that church. After many years of seeing its impact, I am now the coordinator in charge of this pivotal ministry. What we do every week changes people’s lives. I do not say this to boast; for only God deserves the glory. I am simply a vessel willing to be used where I am needed. This is how I became involved in the transportation ministry at what is now my home church. I prayed “God, what do you want me to do? Wherever you need me, I will go.” Then God gave me a burden for this ministry. We simply drive to different areas of Flint, knock on doors, and offer people a ride to church. These are people who do not have the means to come on their own. Many have never been to church and lack the motivation to go. Given the opportunity, people begin to consider this priceless offer. What we are really offering them is a path to hope. The theme for… Read More

  • Other Unique Ministries

    LOVE EVERYBODY

    The world is so divided right now. You can't say anything without offending someone and causing strife. This is so contrary to what God commands us to do: love one another. It's one of His two great commandments. Yet we stand divided on just about every issue. God woke me up one night and laid it on my heart that I needed to do something about this. I didn't know what someone with my skills could do about something that significant, so I tried to ignore it. But it kept eating at me throughout the day, which I can see now was the Holy Spirit at work. A few days later, I was driving and the guy on the radio said we just need a big sign that says to love everybody. And I felt God's presence all over me. That was what He wanted me to do. So my wife made a sign that simply said "Love Everybody" and I stood on the street corner and waved it at passing cars. The next day, Kerry stopped and gave me a bottle of water. We started talking about race relations and how sad it was that we all just can't get along. I told him I had another sign and asked if he'd like to join me. So here we were, a white man and a black man, waving "Love Everybody" signs at our community. The reaction was amazing. People honked, stopped to talk, and yelled encouragement. One lady took what we thought was a picture, but it turned out… Read More

  • Children Prayer Special Needs

    A MOTHER WITH A SPECIAL CALLING

    I have had to learn that God has a unique way for each of us to serve Him. I have two adult children with various disabilities. My second son Caleb was born prematurely and spent the first three and a half weeks of his life in intensive care. He was eventually diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. Two years later, my daughter Alice was born and within eight months, we knew that she also had developmental delays. Early on, I had to learn to advocate for my children. While navigating many of Caleb’s medical issues, I learned to question doctors and even argue with them when necessary. I also began to learn the rights of parents in the education system. I insisted that Alice (who hears but is not able to speak) get sign language instruction. I refused to sign the IEP until that was incorporated into her learning. As my children were growing up, I learned to be honest in prayer. Sometimes, I’d say, “Lord, I don’t think I can handle this.” And He taught me. He taught me that we can handle more than we think if we let Him hold us up. Also, when we say we want to do great things for God, “great” doesn’t always look the way we expect. For me, service to the Lord consisted of loving and serving my family. It was enjoying them for who they are, and it was praying that they would reach new heights. It was letting them fight their battles independently too, even though I always… Read More

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