Godly Girls For God

Glorifying God and Encouraging Others


sToRiEs Of LiFe

WorshipLover's Testimony 

In late March, Early April 2012, I was diagnosed with a tumor in my kidney. They also found masses. It was a hard time for my family, friends, and me. We were scared, afraid, and didn’t Know what to do. We prayed a lot... and cried a lot. Everything felt like it was hitting me sooo fast. Everything in life felt like a bullet trying to kill me.

I prayed and tried with all might, to not lose hope and ignore God. And I didn’t. I went for a lot of testing. Cat Scans, MRI’s, Ultra Sounds. I didn’t think I deserved this. After all, I am a teenager.

In August, The same doctor that told me that I had a tumor told me that I didn’t. It was ‘’unexplainable’’ It had disappeared. But we knew what happened. God had healed. My story was shared with many non-believers, and some of the souls joined the body of Christ. God gives us hard times, but uses us in ways we would never think.

Copy right Worshiplover Permission to post on Godly Girls for God

Never Good Enough: My journey into confidence

 By Tiffany Dawn

I’ve often felt like I wasn’t good enough. Not thin enough, not pretty enough, not enough boyfriends, not smart enough, not sweet enough. Just, quite simply, not enough.

As a teenager, I don’t remember ever feeling comfortable in my own skin. I’d look in the mirror and criticize everything I saw. I didn’t let my insecurities consume me though. I had more important things in life to worry about – things like my relationship with God. 

All that changed my first year of college when I met this absolutely incredible guy. I was one of those girls who wrote out a three-page list of what she wanted in a future husband, down to his height and name. And I found him. Girls, he was everything on my list. Yet, turns out, he was nothing that I needed.

I was too blinded by love to notice the warning signs, when he would tell me, “I didn’t think you were pretty when I first met you. My ex is a ten on the beauty scale, and you’re just not that attractive to me.” When I asked him why, he explained it was because my face was crooked.

I would dress up for our dates, only to have him flirt with the other women in the restaurant, who were better dressed and better looking than me. I started to feel disgusted with myself. I had never particularly liked what I saw in the mirror, but now I disliked it intensely. I felt like I never measured up.

My whole life changed. No longer was my walk with God most important to me; now beauty was my priority. I wanted to be beautiful more than I wanted anything else in the world, because maybe it would make me good enough, maybe it would make me worthy of love. So I wrestled with disordered eating, throwing my heart at guy after guy, and always wearing a “mask” of perfect makeup, hair, and clothes. Even if I didn’t like myself, I was hoping I could convince everyone else that I had it all together.

But living like that isn’t really living. It’s more like walking through life completely numb. It’s exhausting to hold together your own brokenness in such a way that no one else can tell it exists. I wanted to know what it felt like to be alive. Really, truly, alive.

John 10:10 says that Jesus came to earth to give us life “abundantly.” That means full, overflowing life. Not a life where you scrape by, never feeling good enough. I wanted a life in which I felt confident no matter what I looked like, no matter what I was wearing, whether or not I was single. A life in which I knew who I was because I knew Whose I was. But how could I find that life?

One day I was moping around my parents’ house when my dad noticed something was wrong. He asked what was going on, and I said, “Dad, I feel like I’ve let you and mom down so much that I can never please you again.”

My dad came over and took me in his arms. He said, “Tiffany, I love you because you’re my daughter. Yes, you’ve made some stupid mistakes, but that doesn’t change a thing. I don’t love you because you’re good enough; I love you because you’re my daughter.”

Everything became crystal clear in that moment. I’d been trying to impress God too, and feeling like I had let Him down so much that I could never please Him again. And here was His answer to me, just as my dad had said.

He loved me because I was His daughter. He knew all my goodness was just like filthy rags; I could never make myself “good enough,” so to speak (Isaiah 64:6). But that didn’t change a thing. He loved me no matter what I’d done or where I’d been. He loved me no matter what I wore or looked like. And not only did He love me, but He also enjoyed me. When I spent time with Him, His heart could burst because He was so happy to have me near Him. He was dancing and singing over me, delighting in me (Zeph. 3:17). And I realized that ultimately, all of eternity is about Him and for Him. He’s the King of heaven and earth, so wouldn’t His opinion matter more than anyone else’s? And His opinion was that I had value and worth simply for being His daughter.

Maybe you’re reading this devotional today because you’re wondering: “What does it mean to be a godly girl for God?” I’ve often asked myself that question. For awhile I thought it meant being good enough to impress God. But here’s what He has shown me:

It’s not about being good enough; it’s about staying close enough.

He’s not concerned, like my ex-boyfriend was, with me being perfect or having it all together. Long, eloquent prayers don’t impress Him, and I can’t trick Him into thinking I have it together by acting like I do. He just wants a relationship with me. He’s looking for a heart that wants to walk closely with Him, that wants to know Him and will pursue a relationship with Him (2 Chron. 16:9). He’s not looking for perfection; He’s looking for proximity – for closeness with Him. He wants me to stay close to His heart.

This truth brought such freedom to my life. Instead of trying to impress Him, I learned to just be. Just rest. To be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10), to rest and abide in His love (John 15:9). Instead of striving and trying to become good enough on my own, I decided to just stay close to His heart. Surprisingly, that closeness began to transform my life. It brought joy, confidence, wholeness, and life abundantly. It made me more like Jesus. And the whole while, my heart was at rest in Him.

Today I can go to the mall in sweatpants and still feel confident. That’s a big deal for me! I no longer struggle with disordered eating, and I like what I see in the mirror. I am comfortable in my own skin. I am single, and that’s okay because I know He has someone who’s just the right fit for me, and I’m willing to wait for Him to make that desire beautiful in His time. And for now, I have the opportunity to travel across the country, sharing my story at colleges, youth ministries, and conferences. I released a book and CD, and am standing in awe as God uses it to change lives. Let me tell you, there’s nothing better than living the adventure of life He created just for you!

I now know who I am because I know Whose I am, and every day I discover more of His fullness of life. I discover that life not because I’m good enough, but because I’m staying close enough to His heart.

To hear more about Tiffany’s journey, check out her book “The Insatiable Quest for Beauty” or visit her website at www.tiffany-dawn.net.

Perspective: A Car Crash and A Missed Flight

by Ella P.

All of my family lives in Michigan and I visit them twice a year.
Once for Christmas and once for the summer. A little over a week ago
I was getting ready to go to the airport to visit them. We were checking to make sure everything was packed. I real quick said a prayer
asking God to keep us safe, and to have a safe trip.

After driving for a while (we were about 10 minutes from the airport)
we came to a stoplight. Suddenly the car jolted forward! I would have slammed forward too if my seat belt wasn't on. It took me a few moments before realizing that we were rear-ended! I calmly asked my mom, "Did we just get in a car crash?"

"Yes." she said.

I kind of freaked out (well, i freaked on the inside). My heart was beating fast.

Almost a MINUTE after, the cops arrived. We pulled over and stepped out. I felt nauseous. Almost the entire back part of the car had fallen off, only being held by a few wires of some sort. The guy who had crashed into us seemed okay. Still having a plane to catch, we didn't know how we would make it to the airport in time. Luckily, the cop let a security man drive us there (he took his license and plate to make sure it was safe. Normally my mom and I would never get in the car with a stranger.)

We were really grateful. Unfortunately we DID miss our flight. But we were booked for another one at the same time the next day. We got a cab back and my mom dealt with the insurance stuff.

When we got home, I was confused. I asked God for a safe trip. And what had he given me? A car crash and a missed flight. I then realized that's exactly what he had given me!

None of my family was hurt in the crash and neither was I! We could have gotten seriously hurt. But he saved us.

Besides, God didn't cause us to miss our flight and get in a crash!
The guy who rear-ended us did (no offense to him)! But God did keep us safe. For that, I thank the Lord! :)

Father’s Day


Sent in by Marlene P.

This is the very unlikely story of a father God saved and transformed.

Jim was a lonely teen, and being the youngest of 6 children left him feeling left out. He just didn't fit in, and all he heard was, “Would you grow up?” Jim began doing what he thought were “grown up” things - smoking, drinking beer, rebelling, shop-lifting, etc. In the process Jim made new friends of like nature. He suddenly was "cool" and liked by his new friends.

Jim had no religious upbringing. In fact, the only time he heard God was in a cuss word. Jim was liked by his peers, as long as he was bad. The alcohol abuse soon turned to the use of drugs, and various kinds too. He started out with marijuana, and soon discovered why it was called a "gate way drug" (meaning he tried harder drugs.)  Life became consumed with making or getting more money to get high. School was a waste of time, Jim thought, because he could be working making money to get high.

Why get high, you may ask? Simply to escape reality. Jim didn't want to face the facts that he was a zero, going nowhere. He drove a small motorcycle, and was a dare devil driver. He said he had no fear. If there is no God, no heaven, no hell, what's there to lose?

At 15, Jim quit school and ran away from home. He honestly knew what he wanted, but it wasn't there. Jim was searching for love, and as you know, apart from God, there is none. Jim had a few girlfriends in his past, but found the humor of trashing his girl in front of friends more appealing. Right, they dumped him.

One night at a party Jim met the girl he claimed to be the love of his life. She indicated she liked Jim too. But she always had another boyfriend. Jim loved this girl like no other, and he decided he couldn't live without her. After several attempts at suicide, of course all of which were unsuccessful, Jim got an idea and attempted a drug overdose. After that failed, too, Jim recalled someone saying, “If you curse God you'll die. He will kill you.” That night, Jim cursed the God he didn't believe in. He blurted out, “Hey God, I don't believe in you, but if you are real, Kill me? Prove to me you are real, go ahead, I dare you.”

The very next day started out as normal for Jim. He lived in a little trailer by himself. Jim was determined to make it through this day to prove there was no God. If he could do that he would know he was on his own, no consequences, no regrets. About 6:00 PM, as Jim was riding his motorcycle slowly down highway 71 in Fayetteville, AR, and it happened.

A car pulled into Jim's path, and his bike collided with the car. Jim smashed into the window of the car.He ended up pinned under the back of the car, his neck was broken, and death was certain.

At the hospital Jim slipped into a coma, and became paralyzed. His doctors refused to even work on his body to correct things, or set broken bones, for 6 weeks. They tried to persuade Jim's parents to put him in a nursing home, to let him die there. Even said, if by some miracle he lives, he will just be a vegetable. With severe brain damage, he will never be normal, they said.

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, there is a God! While in the wheelchair Jim became aware of the reality of the risen Christ who died for his sins, was buried, and arose the third day, to live forever. There in the chair Jim asked Jesus to come into his heart and save his sinful soul. God saved Jim that day, and even though his recovery from the accident has been very painful, Jim has that abiding love from God. Five months after the accident, Jim walked out the door of the hospital. His face has had 6 plastic surgeries, and the hip the doctors refused to set, has been replaced now 4 times. Jim is an evangelist, does prison ministry, and has 2 grown children of his own.

Yes, there is a God, and He loves you!

Saving People

by Marlene Pearlstein

God has used me to save 8 people out of bad situations.  Most of the ones I helped came from an unwed home for girls.   The others, well, they just needed my help.  I helped out Bobby; he had a bad past.  He didn't know what love meant and he did not believe in God, either.  I know Bobby through Jim.  Jim and Bobby were best friends.   Jim and I met last July.  Bobby saw my picture and wanted to talk to me about love, God, and church, and helping people out like me.  I saved him and he became a better person, but he passed away.  He had cancer.  His cousin Penny his cousin wanted to know about how to love and to know about God.  She is pregnant and 18 yrs old.   She has had a really had a bad life.  Her parents abused her.  She wanted to abort her baby, but I said no, I would help her raise the baby.   This June she will have the baby.  I want to be there.   Then came Betty - she had the same kind of life.  I help her out with how to love and bring her to Jesus.  They all are in the home for girls.  Gail is the Chaplin of the home and she needed my help, too.  Everybody in that home calls me “mom” because they all love me.  Two people who were running from the law are now back to where they belong, and safe.  

The house that these girls are in is in Dallas, TX.  They live in a dorm like settings.  Jim and I in the future want to open a place for girls in Arkansas close to his family.  I want to see girls in a safe place and off the streets - out of harm’s way.  This would be a place that is full of love for them.   That is what my goal is.  If it wasn't for Jim I would not being doing this.  I want girls to feel loved and wanted.  I want girls to have God in their lives and a warm place to stay.  The girls I help out all wanted to end their lives, but I made them see that they each have a life that they can live and a baby to love and that there is lots of love in the world; you just have to see it.  I just want to the girls to know that they are loved and cared about.

My First Over Night Retreat

by Taylor 

   At my school all of the kids in high school are required to go on a over night retreat every year, where as in middle school it is just during the day. I knew about this, but did not expect it to be in the third week of school. I got very anxious and my parents said that I could stay home. Thankfully my principal and best friends convinced me to go.
    When it was the day of the retreat I was 99% excited and 1% nervous. I arrived at school with my suitcase and my sleeping bag. The teachers loaded everything into a few cars and all of us teens went on the bus. It was about an hour drive until we got to the camp. When we arrived we went to the cabins and each picked out beds. There were bunk beds and tissue boxes, as we call them (tissue boxes are like beds in the wall). They were very cool. After we set everything up, we went to the main building where we met our amazing speaker.
  Throughout our time at the camp I learned many things and became a lot deeper in my relationship with God. I was astonished at the effect the outdoors can have on you, all of God's beautiful creation surrounding me. I could just sit and pray or read my Bible and spend one on one time with God, which was very comforting. I also grew closer with friends at a campfire and some other activities.
   But the most important thing I noticed and learned there is that it's important to practice stillness and unplug, which means unplug your laptop and turn it off, turn off your TV, ipod, cell phone and anything else that distracts you... It's much easier to spend time and focus on God when you don't have people texting you every second. It sounds impossible but it's not - it is a struggle but it's a struggle that will pay off.
   I still struggle with it but I will not give up. Sometimes I can't help but think it would be much easier to live in the past before electronics were invented.
    Just remember keep striving toward God....



My First Mission Trip

By Amy S.

This past Spring I went on my first mission trip! I got to go with some friends from school. We all go to the same Bible study that meets at school. We spent 6 days in a town located in Kentucky. We got to do all sorts of mission projects that most people can do in the cities that they live in!  We focused on loving on and serving all of the people that we met during the week. We got to stay at a church’s gymnasium. They had nice couches in their Sunday school rooms that we got to sleep on. This church had really friendly people that went there. Another church had a nice youth pastor who coordinated all of the places for us to go and help out at during the week. Our group had a great 6 days in Kentucky!


The first full day that we were there, we were supposed to go to a crisis teen pregnancy center and sort through and organize donations. However, when we arrived with the youth pastor who had set everything up for our group, the pregnancy center was closed! So, instead of not having anything to do, the youth pastor suggested we go and prayer walk two different trailer parks near by. I wasn’t really sure how to prayer walk but all it involves is walking and praying at the same time. The trailer parks were right next to each other. Our group of eight people split up and each group decided to prayer walk one of the trailer parks. It turned out to be a really good time. Our group would pray to ourselves silently for the people and their families living in the different trailers. If one of us saw something we wanted to pray for specifically, we would stop walking and one of us would pray out loud. We saw a lot of children’s toys in some of the yards so we’d often stop and pray for the family living there. One cool thing we saw was a traffic sign that said “Caution Deaf Child Area.” We had never seen a sign that said that before. We prayed for the deaf child living there.

On day two, we went back to the crisis teen pregnancy center. The parking lot was full! There was a class going on when we got there. A lady from the center met us outside and explained all about the classes and what all they do there. They have several different types of pregnancy and family classes and men and women’s Bible studies available. We were asked to pray for a specific mom who was upset with her pregnant teen daughter. They were on their way to the center when we were there. We started off by praying for the people that were at the center and would come there. After a little while, we all went inside and prayed in the prayer room. It was set up really nicely. They had a list of names of women who had accepted Jesus as their Savior and Lord recently and also names of women considering keeping their babies and those who were unsure. We prayed for a while in that room. Later, a lady came and told us about how the angry mom and her pregnant teen daughter were at the center. The mom had been so angry when the volunteers gave the daughter a DVD for teens about the facts on abortion that the mom broke the DVD in half! We all spent some time praying for that situation again. Next, we were asked to stuff and address lots of thank you notes to the center’s donators. When we were almost finished, the same lady came and told us how the angry mom had calmed down and that things looked a lot better! I know God answered our prayers!


Later on that day, our group got to go to the youth pastor’s church for Wednesday night church. A guy in our church had prepared a lesson for the youth group. We got to the church early and got to meet the children’s director who was only my age! She is a college student with a real passion to love children and teach them about Jesus! Some of our group stayed with the youth group that night and a few of us, including me, went to help with the children’s ministry called Awana. I had a really good time seeing what all went on for the children. I stayed with the kindergarten group and helped listen to a couple of them say their memory verses. I was very impressed at how well they could say them!

The next day was an early morning. Our leader had been assigning different jobs for all of us. We were able to decide what job we wanted but it was a great way to help us learn responsibility and learn how to not be afraid in front of others. A lady in our group picked the job of talking in front of a class of elementary students during their prayer breakfast. We drove for 30 minutes or so to an elementary school in Kentucky. This lady was not used to getting up in front of people, especially 5th graders, and so she panicked. Thankfully, our leader told a guy in our group to take the lady’s place and talk about what he’d been practicing for the college’s Bible study. Even though he was probably nervous also, he took the challenge of talking to the students, and they listened pretty well. We, as a group, were able to encourage the lady after the short devotional time. I would’ve been really nervous, too, talking in front of people. However, I have heard that it gets easier over time, and we have to depend on God for strength. It also helps to be positive about what you’re going to talk about before you get up in front of people.

Later that day, we had decided as a group that we wanted to explore Mammoth Caves National Park! I had never been to a cave, as far as I can remember, so this was definitely an adventure! The youth pastor had been several times before since he lives near by in Kentucky, so he ended up going with our group which was fun. Also, his church paid for our group to go which was so nice! We ended up taking a course that involved 300 steps! It was really cool, literally and figuratively haha. The temperature in the cave was pretty chilly but thankfully I was fine with a light weight jacket. When we got to where the cave was with our tour guide, it looked like just an area in the forest. Then we were told that where the ground dips down, like a small valley, is where the cave is located. We walked down some steps to where a door was located in the side of the hill. We had to walk in a single file line and thankfully there were lights so we could see where we were going. We were told that there were no bats on this course but that there were crickets that looked like spiders! I stayed away from those. I really enjoyed seeing all of the stalagmites and stalactites.

Also on this trip, we got to do something that I’ve always been interested in doing but never have. We got to serve dinner at a Soup Kitchen. I wasn’t really sure what to expect as far as who would come and what kind of kitchen it would be. It turned out to be a great experience. When we arrived, not many people had gotten there yet. However, I did see an older man that had approached a friend of mine outside of the church we were staying at. He had told us that his bike wheel had broken. I was sort of afraid when he approached us on the sidewalk even though my friend was there with me. I was glad to see him at the soup kitchen. I could tell he was homeless though due to him having lots of bags tied to his bike. The kitchen was run by some regular and irregular volunteers. All of the volunteers were nice especially the main ones. The kitchen and dinning area was very clean and home-like. A Bible verse was written on the wall that was encouraging. We probably served 80 or so people. There were elderly people, families with little children and old, middle aged, and young. I was really encouraged to want to serve at a soup kitchen again!


One evening we went to play games with the children at a domestic violence shelter for women and their children. I can’t remember which day we went. However, I was also unsure of what to expect. Our leader thought of different jobs a couple of people could take and I volunteered to help plan a few games for the children. Our leader had brought some different crafts and toys from her church. She and I found some cute games in a book that you could play with a Twister like game board. When we arrived at the shelter, it was this beautiful old house. When we came inside, there was a women’s class going on and just a couple of children needing to be played with. Thankfully, a family from the community was also there with their two children so we had 5 children to play games with. We had a really fun time. We started out getting to know a little boy who was about 2 years old. He was shy at first but slowly opened up to us. We had a really fun game that involved a parachute that our group each held on to a section of it and lifted it up towards the sky and then back down. The kids loved running underneath it before the parachute came back down the ground. It started to rain not long after we had been outside so we all went to the playroom. Two of the teenage guys in our group, who didn’t think they’d be good playing with little kids, ended up being the favorites of two of the little kids! It was really cute to see how they all interacted with each other. I got to play my twister game and two of the little boys were interested and wanted to play which was fun!

On another day we spent an afternoon at a boy’s home for teenage boys who have behavioral problems. We heard that before we came to Kentucky it had rained for 28 days straight! Thankfully, when we were there, we had beautiful weather. We planned to play different sports with the teenage boys. They were really ready to get outside and play with us. We asked them what they’d rather play. Most all of them wanted to first play some softball and then kickball. It was a lot of fun. When all of the boys came out of the house, they all came up to us and introduced themselves and shook our hands! I was pretty impressed. I could tell they really enjoyed having us play games with them. After a few hours of running around, we said goodbye. I think we later stopped for some ice cream which was really nice.

The next to last day, our group went to paint at an elementary school. We stayed for several hours on a Saturday when all of the kids were not there. The janitor showed us all of the wood around the windows and doors that needed to be painted. We later found out that the girl who works with the children at the church that had our group that Wednesday got to have a really good conversation with the main janitor about our Bible study’s reason for wanting to help out at the school. I also heard from the youth pastor that the janitor really was thankful for our group helping him with the painting. We finished several windows and doors. The guys in our group also helped spread a big pile of mulch outside of the school. It was hard work but a lot of fun!

I really learned a lot about God on my trip to Kentucky. The last day we were there was Sunday and I heard a great Sunday school lesson and sermon. Instead of the pastor talking that Sunday, a missionary was there and spoke to everyone which was really cool since we had been on a mission trip. Also, I was encouraged to step out of my comfort zone and trust and obey God. All of the places we went and volunteered are places that are probably in your home town also. I encourage you to call around different places such as a soup kitchen, pregnancy center, and homeless shelter and see if they need any volunteers. It’s really nice if you have a friend with you, too! If you feel like God wants you to help out somewhere in your community, across the country, or world, pray about it, trust God to help you, and go for it!

Deuteronomy 31:8 “It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed." (ESV)



My Experience Working At Silver Birch

Ranch 2011

By Mariana M.



Silver Birch Ranch is the camp I have been going to for fifteen years. My parents have been going for over twenty years. :) The camp is about a half an hour from Antigo, WI and is closest to White Lake, WI.

This summer I wanted to serve God at SBR and was there for two weeks as a wrangler. I made a lot of older friends. This was good for my part, because pretty much all of my friends are younger than me.

I have wanted a horse for as long as I could remember. Unfortunately my mom is allergic and that has prevented me from getting one. And they are also terribly expensive.

The first place I rode a horse was at Silver Birch. That was only a pony ride, though. You have to be eight to ride by yourself without someone leading your horse.

When I was seven, almost eight years old, I rode alone at Village Creek Bible Camp. It was one or two months before my eighth birthday. I remember there being light snow on the ground while I was there. My birthday is in January, so it would have had to have been either November, or December. My dad had told the people in charge that I was eight years old - which wasn't true yet. They let me ride, and it was just fabulous.

Then when I was officially eight, I started riding alone at Silver Birch. From that point on in my life, I always looked forward to going to Silver Birch and riding. This was an activity I did only once a year, so of course I was very excited. As I grew older, I made friends who owned horses, and I would go riding with them at their places.

I was worried before I left home that I would not be prepared enough. I had never had the opportunity to work with horses before, and so everything was new to me. Believe me, this was definitely a learning experience; everything was difficult. When I was emotionally and physically exhausted, and felt like complaining so many times, I just kept going. And those were the moments when I seriously felt like giving up.

When I left camp, I had never had so many black and blue marks on my body. One of the days before I was to middle on a trail ride, I was adjusting and tightening the saddle on my horse Rainy. Unbeknownst to me at the time, Rainy hates when people do that. He hit down hard on my right foot. So hard my eyes began to water. It hurt me so bad and I almost was about to ask one of the other wranglers to take my place. Somehow, I remember getting on Rainy and going on the trail ride. The rest of lunch and the early part of the afternoon, I limped so as not to put much pressure on that foot. By the end of the day, I could walk normally. The only time it hurt after that was when I would purposely press down on my foot with my hand to see how sore it really was.  

Even when I wasn't having a good day, I wanted to make sure that this was the best summer these campers had ever had. I enjoyed the conversations I had with the campers. The two weeks I was there, they had one group each week. The first week was middle schoolers, and the second, highschoolers. My mother asked me when I got home which was my favorite. I answered, middle schoolers. They loved asking questions, and just seemed a lot more mature than a lot of the highschoolers. The teens talked like they knew everything, and it was very difficult at times to not get upset with them.

At Silver Birch, I learned to feed, groom, halter, bridal, (still with some difficulty -- not going to lie) and saddle a horse. I spent about seven hours outside each day at the barn. Now, I'm not an outside kind of girl. I stay inside as much as possible. What is funny is, I thought that I did not burn easily. Well, when I actually spent some time outdoors, I did get burnt.

It was hard those two weeks. Particularly the first week. Everyone had been friendly, but no one invited me to do anything with them. I did feel alone. It helped that my eldest brother had worked there the summer before that, after being a NBI student. But despite that it did not even feel comfortable.

Then I met Ashlee. She was eighteen years old, and a recent homeschool graduate. We had a lot of spiritual conversations. We talked about a lot of things. I was sad when she left after my first week there.

I thought, Well, I already know people here now. My second week won't be so bad. But then, most of the close friends I had made, left after my first week there.

Kasey was my next closest friend. She was seventeen, and I believe she said she had one year of school left to finish. She also was a homeschooler. Kasey was going to be working in the barn too. What a relief!

My friend Lindsay, (an already graduated homeschooler) and Kasey and I, had a really good conversation on our opinions of courtship/dating. Lindsay had already started the courtship process. Her walk with God was amazing to hear about.

The last day I did it. Yes, that's right. I let out my frustration finally. It was my last trail ride. I got on a camper horse instead of a wrangler horse, because another wrangler was riding Rainy. Jezebel was my first pick - my favorite horse. All the wranglers talked about how mean she was, but I could never believe it because I loved her so much. The problem with Jezebel was that she followed horses. She wasn't independent. When another horse was being let out into the pasture, she would start to follow him. I gave up. I didn't want to admit to the other wranglers that I couldn't control her. But I did tell them that I wasn't "strong enough." The only way I could get her to do what I wanted was by getting her to trot. Which, by the way, wasn't allowed. I got off her and tied her up. Then I went into the bathroom and cried. When I came out, I tried my best to act normal. My friend Grace came up to me when I had been sitting down. She said, (paraphrase) "I won't let you end your summer like this. I want you to get back on Jezebel and I'll show you some better ways to handle her." My good friend Grace!

I did not want to get back on Jezebel. I was so upset with her and I felt like this would make it worse. "I couldn't control her." I told Grace. "I feel so bad. You all are great with the horses, and I look like I don't know what I am doing."

Somehow, I finished the day strong. Grace was so sweet and patient with me and with Jezebel. She was amazing!

Before Silver Birch, I had never done barn work in my entire life. I had never spent so much time outdoors. I had never been troughed before. I had never saddled or taken care of a horse, let alone a vast deal more than one. I had never felt so close to God before. I had never had so many spiritual conversations like I did those two wonderful weeks of my life. And I never felt so encouraged by anyone before Lindsay, Ashlee, Rachel, Kasey, and Grace.

Overall, I learned to do hard things. When life knocks you down, you can choose to get back up. God is so good. When I was lonely, He saw my need, and brought some of the most wonderful girls into my life. He helped me get through the rough days, and comforted me when I was weak. God changed my life drastically this summer.

My prayer and hope is that someone reading this might be changed as well.

God bless you all,
~Mariana M.


Change of School, Change of Life

By Taylor

  I remember that day, as I stepped on to the big yellow bus. All the kids were looking right at me and it seemed like half of them were saying “we got a new kid.” I took the first seat next to a girl in fourth grade. She was very nervous about me and squished herself against the window and didn’t say a word to me. I kept to myself and waited for us to arrive at school. The bus pulled up and I got out and ran up to a girl who looked around my age and said hi and asked what grade she was in. She replied with eighth which was the same grade I was in, so we walked to the homeroom together. She was walking ahead with another girl and I had to keep jogging to keep up.

   I got to the classroom and was told to sit in a seat - thankfully the teacher began talking and saying everyones' names. She got to me and said I was new and had me tell everyone about myself. I did just that I found out that I was the only new kid and everyone else had been together since preschool.

   As the days moved on I was very confused with the scheadule for school, so a teacher asked one of my peers to help me around she did. She became one of my first good friends. We stuck together and she would have me sit with all the girls in the class at lunch. Shortly after I was in my element and began to joke around and made friends with most of the girls. The days rolled by and I was happy and comfortable.

    On the first Monday of school we had chapel. The principal and vice principal spoke and then a few students went up and began to play beautiful music and sing. A projector was set up with the words and we all sang along. That is the first time I can remember when I felt the love of God going through my veins. I sang along and had a wonderful day.

   The days passed and I had an awesome time. About halfway through the year I met my best friend, practically my sister, who was in 11th grade. We became best friends

and she helped me through everything. I also became very close with one of my teachers who I ended up hanging out with at church and we would go eat together with her family.

   At the last week of school I became saved and I have had a better life since.

My teacher and friend are true blessings that I am extremely thankful for. That is one of the many reasons I gave my heart to Jesus Christ <3



Hannah's Testimony



My testimony

It was a breezy Father’s day 2009 when my family & I headed out for a day at the beach in a small town near us.

This beach town was about an hour away so when we finally arrived, I began looking out the window. First, I saw all of the seafood restaurants. Next, I saw all of the cute little boutiques and shops. Then, I saw the crashing waves and the seagulls as they would dive into the salty green water to catch a big fish.

Then, I heard God’s voice speaking to my heart. I told my parents “I think we should move here and start a church.” (I am a PK:-D) That was the dream that God had put in my heart.  A big grin spread across my parent’s face as they told me that they had been praying about moving there for over a year! I had no idea!

Later that day, as I lay on the sandy beach, I began to think about hat moving really meant for me. I would have to leave my friends, my school, and my church! It would be hard, but I knew I could do it.

In January 2010, we made it official that we would be moving to an awesome beach town to start a great new church. Although sad to see me leave, my friends & teachers were all very supportive and told me that they would come to see me soon.

We finally moved on August 17th. We rented a big building for our church and gave it a complete makeover! It looks great! Our first service was on Sunday morning, September 19th. Between January and August, God provided for my family. He blessed us beyond belief and we are SO thankful!

I will never forget that Father’s Day 2009, where a dream began and not only came true, but became more than I could’ve ever imagined! The verse that kept me going through it all was this one:

Jeremiah 29:11-13

11“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all you heart.”

Thanks for Reading!

-Hannah H. 

Hannah's Ministry


Hi GGFG! If you’ve read my bio, you know that I am a PK and my family just moved to the Gulf Coast to start a church! I would like to let you know about the opportunities that come with our new church.  But first, I have some exciting news! We had our very first Sunday service 9/19 and had 350 people come!!!  Alright, now let’s get started!

One of the coolest opportunities I get is the worship. I love singing, and I will be leading worship for our youth group in a couple of months when we get that started!

Another fun thing I get to do is help in our kid's ministry. I love all the little kiddos. Sometimes I work with the little babies, sometimes the pre-school kids, and then the elementary group. It usually depends on where the most kids are that Sunday or where the kid's director is lacking volunteers.

Before the church started, I also got lots of decorating opportunities! Now every girl has her inner designer and I got to set mine free as I got to help choose paint colors, light fixtures, and much more when getting the church ready.

I also have the chance to help out in the food ministry. We wanted to put some yummy breakfast items out so that our church members wouldn’t have to listen to a sermon with their tummy a growlin’! So my dad & I tried out several doughnut places in our town and chose the best one so that we could set out a box. Sometimes we have doughnuts and other times we have fruit bars and bananas! But don’t forget the orange juice and coffee!

I love helping in all these areas! But you don’t have to be a PK to help out in your church, also. If you are interested in singing, talk to your youth director about being onstage. What about kid’s ministry? Talk to your church’s kid's director. They could always use the extra help. Or, recommend a great doughnut shop or yummy granola bars to your hospitality director. Whatever you want to do, pursue it at your church!

If you have any questions on how get connected in your church you can email godlygirls@yahoo.com : Subject: Hannah H.


-Hannah H.





Amadj's Testimony


Let me start by saying I was a fairly religious girl. I was a straight A student, with tons of friends, and a family who loved me.


I’ve never been one for peer pressure. I’m very unique and have always been accepted as that. I was the type who would watch what you did, then do it better just to prove I was the best. I had it set in my mind if I wasn’t number 1 then I wasn’t worth anything. Realizing that is when things started to go downhill for me.


I’m smart. I have a lot of common sense, and would frown on people who wouldn’t get it right away. Everything has always come easy to me. I never had to work for anything - at all.


Almost 2 years ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had headaches, fatigue, and a lot of weight gain. I would cry myself to sleep out of pity - pity for myself. I was...angry - angry at God, angry at the man who was supposed to be so 'good,' angry at the fact that I couldn’t stop anything. I couldn’t say anything to make it go away. No matter what I did, what I didn’t do...it would change nothing. It got to the point where I was so ashamed of myself, my presentation, and my life, that I wouldn’t even look in the mirror. From morning to night it was hell for me. I was put on a lot of painkillers - painkillers that wouldn’t work.


I woke up one morning, vomiting, nauseated. I had a headache I was sure would kill me. I went to the bathroom, looked in the mirror, and looked beside the sink at my painkillers.


I thought about it. They were meant to kill pain right? Wasn’t I in pain? Wasn’t this pain? I knew I wanted it to end. I knew I wanted to be free of this pain that had been going on for months. As quickly as I could, I swallowed 5 painkillers. I passed out on the floor.


I woke up in a bed with people surrounding me. People crying, people in shock, people who loved me, people I had let down. I broke down and cried.


That was the beginning.

I began to pray...pray hard. Pray long. Stay hours inside the chapel at the hospital. Pray rosary after rosary with my mom.


Instead of crying for myself, I would cry for the people who hurt. Instead of speaking my mind, I proved everything with actions. And for the first time in my life, instead of setting goals, I just let everything be.


Having God bring that realization in my life, having God show me how truly grateful I was...makes me so grateful. So happy… that much more full of life.


I have been in remission for almost 2 years now. I attend church as often as I can and I never take anything for granted. I love my life. I have so many people to thank for that. And I’m so glad God helped me realize that.



Allie889's Testimony:

Christianity isn't a religion. I know you've probably heard this, but its a relationship. With the Creator. Why he loves us so much and wants to talk to us and be friends with us, I have no clue, cause we are really mixed up. But he does love us, he does want to be our friend.

I know this because I have felt it. I am beginning to realize that even though life completely sucks sometimes, I know there is "light at the end of the tunnel." Somewhere is this mess we call life, there is something so amazing and so caring, we can't even fathom it. I love everything around me, all the nature and all the things man has made and I simply can't believe in evolution. I know there is a Superior Being and I know He loves me and wants me in heaven with Him. Any other religion or god just doesn't make logical sense.
There are times when I doubted that such a God existed. There were times when I even wished I hadn't grown up in a Christian home so I could go and do things I knew were wrong. But something held me back, and it wasn't my parents or the pressure form school or anything. It was myself. My own conscious, the Holy Spirit was telling me I would regret it if I did. So I didn't. I was still confused and I was really frustrated and alone. I felt that I couldn't talk to my friends anymore, that I couldn't rightly call myself a Christian anymore.
I talked to my dad and he told me about trusting God with everything, even the things so little like brushing my teeth, and how prayer isn't supposed to be us asking for something, but for us to just talk to him and be in his presence. I thought about it and I realized that I am almost glad I had those questions. Growing up with Christianity made me curious. It was all I had ever known. I had questions made me think about what I valued and about my morals and how I really wanted to live my life. Those questions started to multiply I wanted answers. But I have been realizing some things, like prayer and God knowing everything are too big and huge for me to even start to fathom.

I know this sounds hard, we can't wrap our minds around it. I think that all God really wants us to understand is that He, the Creator of the Universe, the Creator of everything we hold dear, love us. He loves us so much he sent his Son to die. Imagine giving up the one thing you treasured most, to save people, half of who would never turn toward you to thank you. That's how much God loves us. He wants us to know that we aren't alone, no matter how hard life gets. No matter how tough and stupid everything seems, we have support and a friend who won't ever leave us or judge us, because we make mistakes. No matter what happens, I know that God's got my back, and when the time comes, at the end of the world, to fight against Satan, I know which side I'll be on.


10 Years Ride

by Hillary-Beth

I remember when the biggest problems I had were remembering to unload the dishwasher, my biggest challenges were memorizing the long verses for Sunday school, my biggest fear was getting too sick to play outside, my worst enemy was the dog a few streets down, everybody loved me and I loved everybody...

I was probably about 9. I had just asked Jesus to be my Savior. Good timing, cause I don't think I would have even made it through the next year.

Nine years old...what a great age. It's been a decade!I didn't realize it - I've been saved 10 years :) And I can say, there's no better place on earth, no other place I'd rather be, than walking with my Jesus.

I'll be honest. As much as I don't like staying at school nine hours a day,when I only have two hours of classes, and as much as I want to be able to drive, and as much as I would love to get rid of some of these books in a car for part of the day at least, there is one thing I am quite sure of. I am supposed to be there, and I am letting God use the time I have.

Sometimes I get lonely when my fellow Christian friends all go home or to work or wherever they need to go, and I stay on.

Like, this summer, I started out with no one who would even give me an emergency ride home. And when I've had the worst days, those are usually the days that no one can seem to pick up their phones. Some of them have some honestly good excuses. I just wish I could escape my problems and no one seems able to help.

Which might seem heartbreaking, but I know what I gained from that time...I know that even if the timing's wrong to be able to talk and the distance is too great and I never get ahold of anyone to tell that something's wrong, I am strong enough to make it through, because through Christ I can do all things. It's His strength; I'd give up if it were up to me to carry on. And in resting in His strength I know that I am weak but I can see Him work through me to reach others with the Gospel message: Jesus' work was enough to save me, and I can't add to it. It's been done. I just need to give Him trust for everything I hope for, and everything I dream of.

I get too caught up sometimes, emotionally and in every which way, in things that don't really matter. But usually someone's there to tell me to shut up and sit down, or stand up and shout, which pretty much describes anything. Aren't we always either waiting or pursuing a course of action?

So sometimes I just need to hear a voice on the other end of the line, telling me to look at this promise that God made, or that one, and where God makes a promise, we can know, everything's going to be all right.

To be hugged or give a hug, to be told it's gonna be all right cause the Lord's gonna answer...sometimes I just need to see the rain doesn't last forever, and that there's way too many good things going on, to give up yet. And that could be accomplished through the most simple things: My favorite is when someone shares a smile.

So I definitely need some help. And I'm okay with asking for it cause I know God didn't create us to be independent superpowered little whatevers. It's beautiful when we rely on Him, and that's what I want to do.

I pray for strength and wisdom, because sometimes I just know, this one's gonna be a rollercoaster like none-other.




Campus Crusade for Christ

Cru (for short) is a nationwide ministry that reaches college students for Christ!

This year my school got connected back with this ministry. I'd never been to a Bible study on a secular campus, even though I'd tried to start one back in Florida, and now in my new state. I could barely wait to go the week I learned about the first meeting!

There were just a few of us this past Spring semester. One guy, and two girls off and on, plus me, and a girl who went to the three day Leadership Conference, but between class and work couldn't make it to regular meetings. She did come to our planning meeting near the end of the semester!

This summer one student is on a 10 weeks mission project from our school! It is a big thing to be able to send someone, because it costs around $2,000. But God provides and we just have to have the faith! All the way down in Clearwater, FL, there's a team of students from all over the place that has gone there to work in that community for Christ all summer.

Back here at home, there's a summer Bible study going down! We are doing Galatians, and so far we've had 7 different people be a part of it. Also, there's been an email sent to about 300 students that go to Greenville tech, and at least 35 of them want to be a part of the Fall Bible study!

Speaking of that, there are many events planned for this Fall on campus. The first two weeks may be crazy but we are all excited about what God will be doing in our lives and on our campus! Cru has a mission statement of, "Every student reached for Christ." That may seem huge for a campus that has several thousand students...but then again, our God is so much bigger than those mountains!

Haha, and I was worried because I was going to be the only one left on campus...that sure didn't happen!

~by Hillary Beth~


Lauren's Testimony


So, I was raised in the Catholic faith. But, being Catholic...and I am in no way putting Catholics down, but am only stating what I experienced...there is nothing taught about having a personal relationship with God. You basically go to church on Sundays, sit there for an hour, and you can't make a noise unless you’re singing hymns from books. And even that is nothing at all like the kind of worship that God deserves. Unfortunately, at the time, I didn't know that.


It got to the point where I would dread going to church. It was the most boring hour of my life. As Sundays passed and passed I got to where I basically started searching for a new faith. Because that want to believe in something was always inside of me, but it was as though that want was a seed, and the seed had been planted, but there was no water to help that seed grow.


So I basically wanted to leave Christianity all together. I started looking into all different religions, Buddhism, Hinduism, Hare Krishna, etc. a lot of eastern religions.


Then one day, about 2 months ago, my grandma told me about a youth group at her church every Wednesday night that was for kids 7-12 grade. She told me the kids were very accepting and friendly, and that the group focused on basically making loving God fun. At first I didn't want to go at all, but thankfully, my grandma was persistent. After she’d asked me to come about 3 times, I finally decided to go once just so she would stop bugging me about it.


So I showed up, and my grandma, who at the time was working in the kitchen every Wednesday night, was very happy to see me. She immediately introduced me to a bunch of kids, who, as she has said they would be, were very, very friendly. To sum up a long night, I ended up leaving there that night with some really cool new friends. That night we had gone to give coats and other winter supplies to the homeless, and I had really bonded with some of the people who had been in my group. They ended up asking me if I was going to come to church on Sunday, and I decided to go, really just to see them.


So I spent the night at my grandma's house on Saturday, and went to church with her in the morning. Let’s just say, I never expected that day to change the rest of my life. 


When I went, it was amazing. I saw God being presented and worshipped in a way I had never seen before. My eyes couldn't believe what they were seeing, and my heart couldn't believe what it was feeling. I immediately loved it. I sat that Sunday and listened to the pastor give his sermon. The thing was, I really listened. It all just really hit home. It finally made sense; it was like that seed inside of me that had been planted so long ago, was finally be watered, after years and years of thirst. 

The next week at church, I gave my heart to the Lord. I asked Jesus into my heart and life, and He came. Ever since then my life has been 20 times better. I just have so much joy in my heart, and even though the negative things around me haven't necessarily changed, I now have someone to get through them with. Before, I felt so alone, and now I know that God is always there. Just thinking about that makes me so happy I just want to shout! And I often do lol.


Not only has He made me an all around happier person, but He has given me sooo much else to be thankful for. I now have really amazing friends who I met at the youth group. One of them has become my best friend. It's great because they're all just as on fire for God as I am, and they love talking about Him just as much as I do!


So there is my story about how I was saved :) and for those of you that are close to being saved, but haven't yet taken that final step of asking Him into your heart, I fully recommend it, because I tell you truthfully, it is the best decision I have ever made. Remember, that's coming from someone who at one point almost left Christianity. God works great miracles every day, and I'd like to think that my finding Him is one of those great miracles. It can be the same way for you too.


Just remember, God loves each and every one of you! I'm sure you all know that anyways, but I just love reminding people of that :)


Thank you for reading all of this!
May God bless each and every one of you!


A Test Of Faith

by Ashley

"What do you mean you think she has throat cancer!" I could still hear my mom yelling at the doctor, I quickly tried to shake the memory from my head. I had to stay focused on getting ready to sing. I just had to. As I was about to go on to the stadium all the memories started to flood back. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get rid of them. I had been getting severe sore throats and I couldn't sing like I had wanted. I sounded like a frog who was drowning the second I opened my mouth. At first I thought it was just some kind of Strep throat, that been going around school, but after awhile the medication I was being treated with didn't work and the throat pain became worse and worse, until it had become unbearable. I wasn't able to sing, much less talk at all. My mom had taken me to the doctor and I ran through a series of poking and jabbing of needles. I had done so many different sorts of tests, including a throat biopsy. I remember the day the doctor told me how she "thought" I had throat cancer. "It is the only possible explanation for the results of all these tests!" "And a lot of the tests from the throat biopsy came back abnormal" Dr. Lobon was trying to explain all the lab work and X- rays to my mother. My mom and little sister cried, but I was more of in shock. I guess I wanted to "act" like everything was all right, I wanted to be strong. It was mainly the way the doctor had said it that had got my attention. She said it so... so... intensely, as though she knew I was going to get better, but there was some kind of a "catch". The doctor had prescribed me with some medicine to help me with the pain. That way I could sing like I had before. Unfortunately the medication only lasted a few hours before the pain was back. It never really had dawned on me that I could have cancer. It was real now wasn't it, the one gift that I had that made me feel real, whole and complete, was now turning into just a dream, why? I felt numb.


"Are you ready?" my sister, Miya, was calling me from across the dark hallway. "Uhh.... sure, but where's mom?". "Oh... hmm.... I think she went to go get your meds." As my mom rushed through from the back bleachers with my blue pill box she gave me a smile that made me want to cry. I knew her so well, and I could see right through her. She wanted to be strong for me, and she was trying to hide her pain. My mom and I were close, we could spend hours talking about anything and everything especially my singing career. I remember the first time she heard me sing, she was so shocked and amazed when she heard my voice that she cried. She has been my biggest support ever since.


Now we both knew that every time I sang my throat was becoming more and more damaged, yet it felt right. It was an unexplainable sensation I would get every time I would sing, and that was the only reason I knew she was still letting me sing and perform. As I ran across to the fifty yard line to perform, with the neon lights that I loved so much in my face, and my favorite Dallas Cowboys jersey on, I tried to not think about the future because I knew if I did I would never be able to get through my performance. All I could end up thinking about what was going to happen to my voice. I had always loved to sing. It was just something that felt right. Yet, why was this happening to me? It made NO sense at all. Still it was happening. There was nothing I could do about it. As I sang the Star Spangled Banner across the large, bright green football stadium, all my worries just drifted away. I felt like I was on top of the world and nothing could stop me. The crowd roared so loudly after I was done singing I got "goose bumps" on the back of my neck and the floor of the stadium vibrated. I felt like I had just run a mile without stopping. I was on an incredible high that I couldn¢t get off of. As I breathed in the smell of fresh cut grass, I couldn¢t help but have a huge smile on my face. I quickly bowed and said "Thank You" then I ran into the hallway in the back, behind the stadium to catch a breath when I heard my mom on the phone. "Okay, is there anything else that we need to prep for the surgery?" As soon as my mom had said that, I thought my life was over. I knew she was talking about me and I knew I was going to be sick. I ran to the bathroom and I knew my mom had heard me because she started to run after me. I kicked the pale pink bathroom door and ran behind it and started to cry, something I hadn't done in weeks.


My mom had I a long talk about the procedure and what was going to happen. First they would have to take out the tumor or tumors. They were not sure how bad the cancer was until they opened me up. What they could tell was that my voice box was showing cancer cells, and after removing what they could, there would still be chemotherapy and possibly radiation treatments to deal with. The reality that after having the surgery was that I would not be able to sing. The doctor was very honest and up front with me, "You may never talk again" he said "The chance of your voice returning is extremely small." I felt like my life was over, and then something inside reminded me that even though this had to be the lowest point for me, my life was beautiful. I had to say this to myself over and over again just as I had said it so many times to myself when things were great, I could still say it now.


I went in to see Dr. Lobon the next day for another examination, and this time she added markings with a special marker around my neck. She sat me down and using the white table paper she drew an alien type picture of my neck and what she planned to do. She told me that a small lab with a microscope was set up in the operating room for tissue samples to be looked at as she worked to take as much "bad cells" as she could during the surgery. She talked and talked, and after a while, her voice faded out. For some reason when it came to things I didn't want to hear, I had a very, very short attention span. I began to drift, every time Dr. Lobon would open her mouth to say something. I drifted farther and farther away.... the mention of the surgery date brought me back, in exactly 39 hours 15 minutes from now I would no longer be able to sing. I kept on looking at my cell phone, that I had set to count down. That had to be what was bothering me the most. I was tired and weak. I could not wait for the visit with Dr. Lobon to be over.


New kinds of medications were given to me to try and slow the cancer down. The doctor said that this type of cancer could spread fast but that the medicines could contain it for a little while. I guess that was why she was going to do the surgery. The medicines were not working.


As soon as my mom and I walked out of the Dr. Lobon's office we went to get something to eat at a little fast food burger place. We sat at a booth in the back corner. We didn't say anything, not even when the waitress came to order our food. The silence was deafening. She knew I was mad at her. And I knew she was upset at me for being mad at her. We both knew it wasn¢t our fault. I guess we wanted to blame it on something so bad, just so we wouldn't feel the pain. Mom finally broke the silence " It could be a lot worse you know." I was too stubborn to say anything. I knew my mom was trying extremely hard to make me feel better but we both knew nothing she could say would help the situation. I looked down at the wooden table and began to smile remembering the time I had ordered a coke when I had a cold and I had sneezed drinking it. The coke had come out of my nose and on Miya's face. We had been at the exact same booth when it had happened, the only booth with shiny leather seats. That was the one. I began laughing so hard at the memory I saw other people staring at me. Even my mom was giving me a weird look. I guess she thought that I was laughing at her. As I explained the reason for my laughter, I saw my mom laugh for the first time since the diagnoses. It had been so long since I had seen my mommy laugh that I almost forgot how she laughed. Her mouth opened really big into an enormous smile, and she would tilt her head back. Her laugh sounded like a new born baby's chirp. I just sat there, in astonishment, admiring her laugh.


Time seemed to fly by quickly now, faster than usual. As I thought about it more and more, I was no longer worried about the operation. I was worried about the outcome. Every day I would look in the mirror and see how my neck was getting more and more swollen. I never had cared about what people had thought of me, but I enjoyed looking my best. In a way it was a personal goal for me. The night before the operation Mom, Miya, and I stayed up til two in the morning. We watched movies, played these DVD games, and a ton of old board games. My mom had surprised Miya and me with presents. We even did karaoke. I had SOOO much fun, I wished the night would never end. I wanted to keep all the wonderful memories in a box. My life was beautiful!


I woke up that morning to find the house a mess. The day of my surgery had finally arrived and it seemed that time was in slow motion. My surgery was scheduled at eleven thirty. It was 3 hours till. I didn't really want to sit around. My mom and sister had fallen asleep on the couch. Miya¢s hands were on top of mom's neck. It looked as though Miya wasn't going to let Mom out of her sight, and was keeping her hostage. It was such a funny sight that I couldn¢t help but laugh. I took out my cell phone and took a picture. Careful not to wake anybody up, I opened the back door and ran as fast as I could to the park. I climbed the tall wired fence. I didn¢t stop running till I had made it to the swings. I sat down and put my hands together, bowed my head and prayed. I prayed for everyone and everything, including the surgery.


My cell phone woke me from my thoughts. The caller ID said "home". I answered the phone and told my mom that I was on my way. I started for home looking up at the blue cloudy sky. I kept thinking to myself how beautiful the day was. I wasn't in a hurry to get home at all. I climbed the gate again and nearly tore my jeans off. I started to laugh. As soon as I got home I changed into the most comfortable clothes I owned, which turned out to be some big sweat pants and a comfy worn out shirt. It was the perfect clothes for the cool weather in Texas.


We arrived at the Hospital. Mom filled out all the paper work and I was asked about 100 questions. I started getting agitated when the lady who gave my mom the papers kept on asking me if I had eaten... she must have asked me 20 times before she was satisfied. It made me feel like she thought I had gained a pound or something. Then a plastic band with a metal clasp was placed around my wrist, my name, my doctors name and my allergies were written on it. A second band was placed around my wrist with my blood type. I tried to push away all of the doubts and fears of the actual surgery, but all those complications that were written on the consent form that my mother had to sign, just about anything could go wrong, and I guess that was the purpose for the second band, just in case I needed a blood transfusion. I realized then that there was no turning back, I had no choice but to have this surgery that was ultimately going to destroy my dreams, and could possibly kill me with complications, but for the most part might keep my body alive, until something else decides to come along and either challenge me again, or .... I could actually feel my heart pounding up to my head, my ears were ringing. I hummed and hummed. I needed to think about something else and at the same time I wanted to make the most out of my voice.


The waiting room was cold and I wondered what it would be like if my mom would let me keep my room as cold as this place...heaven. Mom always kept the house warm, always worried about me catching a cold. I heard my name, it was one of the nurses calling me, she took me into a back room where she took all of my vital signs, like my temperature, pulse and blood pressure. She was a really nice lady with blond curly hair. She told me that she was going to go get the IV and she walked out the room. My mom and Miya were smiling. I was shaking and nervous. The nurse came back with a little box in her right hand. The nurse opened the box and took out a bag with lines, and hooked it to a long skinny narrow blue - greenish tube, she put two syringes filled with some sort of liquid into the bag She hooked the bag full of clear liquid to a long silver rod. She smiled at me and said "Are you ready for me to start the IV? It will probably be cold going in" I nodded my head and smiled. She took my hand, opened her box again,and inserted a needle into the vein near my nuckles, then she hooked the needle up to the tubing. I remember changing into a cloth gown and being wheeled to a big blue room. So this is what an operating room looks like. The table that I laid down on was narrow and cold. Dr. Lobon came in the room, gave me an overly polite smile, touched my shoulder and I was out.


"Can you hear me? We're all done." I squinted my eyes to find myself looking directly into Dr. Lobon's eyes. She had this big smile on her face as though she had just been told she was a millionaire. I couldn¢t figure out what to smile about! My throat felt horrible! I couldn't talk. The pain was worse now then it was before. I blinked my eyes to indicate yes since tubes were coming out of my throat and I couldn't move to nod. Despite everything that had happened I couldn't help but have a huge smile on my face. I felt happy knowing that I was alive. I was here. As I looked around the room, it didn't matter that I couldn't sing. Heck, it didn¢t matter if I couldn't ever talk again. What mattered was that I was now cancer free, and no one could take that away from me. I had finally got it, the reason for Dr. Lobons's smiling. That day I realized if I were to die, I would be happy with my life. I would be the most thankful person in the world. I had a family, I had love, I had God. I didn't look at it like a door closing, but as if a million doors were opening. It wasn't a sad ending, it was a brand new beautiful beginning.



Ukraine Missions Trip 2007 

By Oksana H.

  I am just amazed at what God did during the two weeks while I was on the mission trip in Nezhyn, Ukraine.

The first day I was there, I started to speak Russian with the translators. We did street evangelism and everywhere I went, I met some one new and told my testimony in Russian. A few days later, my ability to speak the Russian language came back and I would occasionally translate when there was not a translator available.
As we were preparing for the trip we thought we would have enough time to build 50 beds for one of the orphanages in two days with all the work supplies we were going to bring but our goal was to build 130 beds. Praise God, when we got there, other workers told our missionary, Paul, that they were going to bring all the wood already cut, like headboards with rails and foot boards. When the beds arrived we started to build them. It was amazing to see the team unity and hard work. The beds were built in the gym, and then they were taken outside, sanded, and painted with red paint. As I was doing all this, I didn’t have work clothes, so I got red paint all over myself. As I was painting, I thought of Jesus’ blood, He got His hands pierced for me. Why should I care if I got some red paint all over myself when He shed His blood for me? On the 2nd day, as were wrapping things up, we didn’t have enough paint left to paint the rest of the beds, and that got me a little worried. Then God spoke to my heart, telling me to trust in Him and reminding me of a story when Jesus fed 5,000 people. The boy had only 2 fish and 3 loaves of bread, but it fed many when He gave it up all to Jesus. When we gave it all to Him, He blessed us even more than what we expected. We built all 130 beds not by might, not by power, but by the Spirit of God in 2 days!
The other amazing thing that happened over in that orphanage was that I started to speak in Russian with some of the girls and they showed me where they slept, it brought me so much memories of when I was in the orphanage over in Russia and what God did and is still doing right now in my life. Also while we were at the orphanage, my partner, and I did a chalk drawing to show how the work of the cross brings us to God while others taught and many testimonies were told.
The awesome thing that someone shared with me, I’d like to share with you. Most of you know that I speak Russian, but my other team members didn’t. The only way they could communicate was by talking through a translator. The people who only spoke English might try to do it by their own will, but it might not be as clear or understandable. It is the same way as Jesus Christ; He is the way, the truth and the life. We cannot speak to God with clear understanding, we need Jesus to be our translator, for He had said, “No one comes to the Father except through Me.” For there’s one God and one mediator between God and men, the man is Christ Jesus.
We also went to an Invalid Center, where handicapped children live. That was my favorite orphanage. The kids had so much passion for Christ and huge smiles on their faces. We got to love on them and encourage them. I told my testimony when God told me to. It was just amazing how God had drawn me closer to Him and had shown many things through this whole trip in Nizhyn, Ukraine.
             Hopefully I will be going back someday as a fulltime missionary. I just want to thank you so much for your support and prayers. Our God is an awesome God!

Deaf for a Weekend

By Hillary Beth

This is what I wrote about my experience of wearing earplugs for a weekend for my sign language class at Brevard Community College. Thought I'd share it just because.

I wore earplugs for the Labor Day weekend. From the start, I noticed how I had to depend more on other senses than I usually do; I noticed how dependent I usually am on sounds. I don’t usually look at objects to see if I sat them on the table if I can hear that I sat them down! But while I had the plugs in, I had to make myself look at things as I did them. Even though it cut down on my multi-tasking, I seemed to get more done for other reasons.

For one thing, I didn’t have as many interruptions. I don’t live in a quiet house, but with the plugs in I didn’t hear half as much of my little sister, the TV, people cleaning or in the kitchen, my parakeets, or my dogs (a miracle!). Also, everyone left me alone more since they didn’t have the convenience of just calling my name and having me come running all the time.

I couldn’t tell what other people were doing in my house without going out of my room and seeing them, or at least that the light was on in the bathroom or bedroom so I knew they were in there.

My sister thought this whole thing was really great, and made me either read her lips (she didn’t make a sound on purpose in case I could hear her despite my earplugs), or watch her fingerspell. I kept up pretty well considering my former attempts in life to fingerspell with her. Must be that I never really needed to before, and I’m sure taking sign in a classroom has helped.

Sunday was really interesting – that was when I first saw people out of my home. It was hard to keep up with the sermon sometimes, and though watching the pastor talking helped, sometimes the tall people in front of me would move and I couldn’t see him. During a missions video clip, I realized that when someone’s deaf and there’s no subtitles, and the camera’s not showing the person who is talking, there’s no way to know what is being said. It’s like looking at unlabeled pictures in a magazine.

I didn’t bow my head at church – or else I couldn’t tell what was going on or what the pastor was saying! Everyone else had their eyes closed/head bowed, so it made me be singled out and different. I felt funny because the pastor didn’t seem to like it that I didn’t do as he’d asked everyone to do.

In the youth meeting at church, some of my friends were really patient when I didn’t understand them, but others gave up and acted like it was pointless to converse with me. Some were fascinated and others uncomfortable. Some didn’t know that I couldn’t hear them well, and kept talking away, oblivious. Some teased me (nicely) and asked sincere questions. Some got really annoyed that I didn’t hear them say hello.

I found I didn’t know how softly or loudly I was talking, so sometimes people would ask me to speak up, or they’d cock their head toward me and cup their ear. Or, if I was too loud, I’d get funny expressions, but no one said much, so I’d sometimes ask, and found out why they reacted that way. My mother said I sounded like I had a stuffy nose or something. I found myself leaving syllables and words out here and there, too – don’t know why.

My friends said I didn’t sing too badly at church with my earplugs in. I couldn’t clap very well, though.

I almost got in trouble at home a few times for not answering my parents. I usually answer them when I can hear! They excused me after they remembered my assignment.

I bumped into people while I was turning around a few times because I didn’t see them (or hear them). That was a little embarrassing.

I couldn’t practice piano or singing, which I usually do a lot! Television got boring for me because I couldn’t figure out what people were saying. We didn’t have subtitles turned on, but that would have helped!

I never realized before that deaf people have no use for alarm clocks that just make noise. My dogs wake up early, though, and I could hear them barking, besides clawing at my bed to wake me up. I was still late going places, though, because I accidentally slept in after letting them outside. Maybe I should have opened my blinds and used light to tell me what time it was!

When I rode my bike, I figured it would be hard to tell when a car was coming up behind me. My little sister always said when there was one I didn’t see. So I kind of depended on her to tell me about things I could not hear.

Love in Christ,
               Hillary Beth


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