A recent goal of the EFC-MAYM Home Missions Board has been to support and enable all EFC-MAYM local churches to carry out the Great Commission of making disciples that make disciples. Each Home Missions Board member took up this challenge to make this dream a reality in their own lives. A small sample of this reality is recorded in this series below, including new disciples stories of their own transformation in their own words:
Gardner Friends | Melissa Adams
A big change of behavior in my life is honesty. It has become very important to me. I just don’t want to be untruthful about anything. I want to be open and honest and be a good example for Mia. A benefit of following Jesus is Hope. I feel so hopeful now; there has been so much hard stuff going on. Before I didn’t feel much hope, but now I feel hopeful about everything, ’cause I know God’s in charge. I’m not so afraid of challenges that I am facing. I also know that the hard stuff is to build my faith and make me more of what Jesus is like. Another big blessing is knowing that I will get to spend eternity with my little boy.”
I now have goals for your new life as a Christian! I want to live as an example of the love Jesus has shown me; to everyone in my life. I want to help others understand and feel this incredible love. I want to help those who are in need. In fact we just opened our home to someone who just lost their job. It just seemed like the right thing to do.
My example and the one who influenced me most for Jesus is Kathie Swan. She is so real, honest and she is so passionate about Jesus. She is leading a Bible study so I can learn more about living the way Jesus wants us to. I am hoping to be able to go to the same church she goes to, Gardner Evangelical Friends Church. I really like her pastor, he’s just so nice and he’s normal, he jokes and stuff.
I am learning that if you will listen and let Him, God will see you through anything when you trust Him. He is so willing to give you strength, and love you even when you mess up and sin. Everybody should meet Him!
Crossroads Friends, Wichita & Oasis, Dodge City | Greg Martinez
To the Followers of Christ, Praise the Lord for God is Good. I am Greg Martinez, 56, and have lived most of my life in Dodge City, KS after having moved with my family from Illinois at the age of one. I was brought up in a large family in the Catholic Church, being baptized when I was a child. I am divorced but have two married sons and seven grandchildren.
Currently I, Inmate #107272, am to be released from the Kansas Department of Corrections on June 26, 2015 after serving 18 months of a two-year sentence for Driving under the Influence and Aggravated Battery. On July 18th 2012, I injured a six-year old girl in a terrible car accident. My experience with God, I can say today, began with that accident. I have truly felt the Holy Spirit transform my life through the faithfulness of many true disciples of Jesus since that time.
While incarcerated, most pastoring visitors just wanted to know my details but one was different. Gerald Mendenhall, Pastor of the Oasis Church, and jailhouse minister kept telling me that God loves me, has a plan for me and nothing can ever separate me from God’s Love. He asked me to pray for that little girl with my own thoughts and with my heart and to read Luke 11:9,10. The little girl made a full recovery. Praise the Lord for God is good. I am a dedicated member of the Oasis Church in Dodge City.
I served time in Dodge City, Eldorado, Norton, Stockton, and on July 21st, 2014 was moved to the Work Release Facility in Wichita. Pastor Gerald explained that Oasis had a sister church in Wichita, Crossroads Friends Church, and introduced me to Charles Mullen. I believe the Holy Spirit has introduced me to these true Disciples. I believe God does have a plan for me. Today I know that I am walking with the Lord because I feel God’s presence. I know if it were not for Oasis and Crossroads and all the good people in both churches, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I enjoy the peace and hope that comes from being a follower of Christ and not just a fan.
Oklahoma City Friends | The Shaffers
We, Nick, Charla, Nathan and Hope Shaffer, from Oklahoma City Friends, have been building a friendship with our neighbor boy. He lives with his grandparents since his father is in prison and his mother is unknown. We began by building a neighborly relationship with his grandparents and spoke with them and the boy when we saw them in their yard and invited the boy to our children’s ministry, Kids In Action.
It took several years but eventually he began coming to Kids In Action. Nathan and Hope took him under their wing while at the children’s ministry, and over time our whole family developed a relationship with him. We decided that we would invite him to our house for ice cream and to play games. He was so excited about spending time with us! Later, we invited him and his grandparents over for dessert. He has now come into the habit of visiting our home just to check in about once or twice a week and also continues to participate in Kids In Action.
He accepted Jesus as his Savior one evening in Kids In Action, and we are gradually seeing God’s love, truth and salvation transform his life.