“I was given the great blessing of being part of a church who loved The Lord, and was willing to do whatever it took to serve him. We took a long hard look in the mirror and understood that in order for our church to not only to survive, but to thrive and grow, we had to change. We had to change our way of looking at the world around us. We endeavored to better understand the different generations, cultures, races, nationalities and lifestyles of the world around us. We began to embrace our community. We began an intentional, deliberate journey to become more like Jesus. To love without hesitation or condition, regardless of who you are. We challenged our own ways of thinking, and encouraged our young people to challenge us as well. It was hard sometimes. I came to realize that sometimes, things I had believed all of my life were not what I thought they were. It really challenged me to truly understand what it means to be like Jesus, and not just following our customs and traditions.
Our church, like many rural churches throughout the country, needs families. We need mission-minded families to move into our area, and help spread the gospel. Our county is among the highest impoverished areas in the nation, and yet we are surrounded by beautiful countryside and an abundance of land and homes available at minimal cost. We literally have hundreds of empty homes and businesses that people could help make into thriving communities. If only we could apply our overseas mission mindset to mission work right here in America, too, our communities could become thriving examples of Christ’s work here on earth. My personal daydream is for our small city to become a place where the light of Jesus truly shines.”