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Stories


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Stories


STORIES AND TESTIMONIES

These are just a handful of the many ways we have seen the Lord at work in Huntington Green. We hope they encourage you and excite you about how God might use you and your time, talents, and treasure.


APPLICATION OF LESSONS TAUGHT:

I took three boys swimming who had never been in a pool before though they had an idea of what it was like from television. They all wanted to do a huge cannonball and make a big splash. Two of the boys were courageous and did it with much excitement. One boy, however, was not able to conquer his fear. He would run over and stop dead in his tracks, too scared to jump. He finally thought of a way to help himself and he ran over, stopped, looked up to heaven and said a prayer. Still, he was too scared. He tried this a few times and then in desperation he stopped, prayed, looked at me and said, “You pray too Miss Anne.” I did; and finally, he sailed into the water and into my arms.  I don’t know who was happier, him or me.  It is great to see our kids applying what we teach them about prayer and dependence on our heavenly Father. We all need to be reminded of this lesson.

-Anne Crawford, Ministry Director


AN EXPANDED FAMILIA:

I have the honor of spending my Tuesday evenings each week with one of our middle schoolers and his family. I first met this student in the fall of 2014, just a few weeks after he arrived to the United States. He didn't speak any English at that point and his demeanor revealed his fear and discomfort. I helped him with his homework at tutoring, but he had clearly built walls to protect himself and I sometimes wondered if he'd ever let me in.

But last night, as I sat on his living room floor with him, his little sister, and his newborn baby sister, the four of us taking ridiculously goofy selfies together, with his mama a few feet away cooking us dinner, I couldn't help but thank the Lord for His faithfulness. You see, over the past year, this family has become an extended familia to me. This year has included: helping to interpret between Spanish and English, Cookout milkshakes, late nights in their living room finishing science projects, his family praying over mine as we grieved the loss of my grandfather, me visiting their newborn daughter in the hospital just hours after she was born, learning to eat Mexican food with my hands, advocating for the student and the broader ELL program in the local middle school, funny texts back and forth with his mama, birthday parties and movie nights with his family.

What a beautiful picture of the Church it is when we are able to join together as a Family in Christ!

-Blair Carpenter, Youth Coordinator


WHO DOES JESUS LOVE:

I teach the Bible story portion of our preschool class. This fall, I was trying to get an idea of how much or how little our kids knew about God. I would ask them "Who does Jesus love?" and at first, the kids just looked at me with blank stares. After a couple weeks of talking about God's love for us, the kids started to really get it. Now, when I ask, "Who does Jesus love?" the kids will one at a time go down the row, throwing their hands up in the air and then pointing at themselves "ME!!"

It doesn't get much better than that. We all need to know that the answer to "Who does Jesus love?" is "ME!"

-Cherri Johnson, Children's Programming Coordinator


A FAMILY TORN APART:

Soon after I started ministering in Huntington Green, I shared a touching experience with seven of the sweetest kids you could hope to meet. When I first met this family, I fell in love with them. The mom was the sweetest and best mom around, but she was very ill. I had known them for a while when the mom came down with swine flu and was hospitalized. I sat with her drinking chocolate milkshakes just days before she went home to the Lord. She loved the Lord and instilled a love for Him in her children. The kids went to school on Monday, found out their mom died on Tuesday, had a funeral on Thursday and were in new homes by the weekend. Almost all the kids had different dads, so not only did they lose their mom, they also ended up separated from their siblings. 


I spent that week doing things with them I wish I had gotten to do when my own mom passed away. I helped the young kids make pictures to put in the casket and the older kids write letters saying goodbye to their mom. I got everyone cozy blankets to snuggle with when the tears came. I took all the pictures they had, made copies and put them in albums. God used this experience to minister to these sweet kids and also to me. I rocked the three-year-old, while he sobbed for his mom and it helped me to heal a little from the experience of losing my own mother at three years old. Five years later, the oldest daughter graduated from high school. She still writes on Facebook how much she misses her mom. I am happy to continue encouraging her to this day. The kids live all over, but they keep in touch and I know their mom is looking down from heaven, very proud of each of her children.

-Anne Crawford, Ministry Director


SAYING YES:

I co-lead our middle school girls small group where we share dinner, fun and Bible lessons on Wednesday nights. I've been with these girls for years, and this fall 8 of our girls have already said “YES” to inviting Jesus into their lives!

-Lorie Lee, Executive Director


SPIRITUAL WARFARE:

I had been teaching a group of children about salvation for a couple of months and at one point invited the kids to accept Christ. A few children made that exciting decision. I saw one boy the next day and told him how excited I was that he had become a child of God. He said that his mom told him that he couldn't be a child of God because he was a child of Satan. I was stunned and responded that nothing could take him out of God's hand. For a long time the kids would cover their ears loudly saying, “la la la” anytime we read from the Bible or did a Bible lesson trying to drown out God’s word. I am happy to say that after years of prayer, these kids now come to our programs and the spirit of depression over them has lifted. This year one of the children even made a picture saying how much she loved Jesus!

-Anne Crawford, Ministry Director


STICKING WITH IT:

When I first arrived at Huntington Green I met a family with whom I have had many ups and downs. I ministered to the kids at first, and over time got to know the mom as well. I drove by their home one day and everything was on the front lawn. I mean everything! The stove, refrigerator and everything else they owned was outside. The mom said she was having a yard sale to get rent money so they could stay in their trailer. I was able to help her secure rent money and she was safe from homelessness for a while. Money remained scarce, however, and she eventually had to leave the trailer. She lived in her car with the three kids until my church stepped in. They paid for a hotel room and then moved her and the kids into a house owned by the church until she could get on her feet. They were appreciative, but did not follow the rules set by the church and had to move out. The mom was under a lot of stress and expressed to me that she was going to hurt herself. A neighbor was with us and called the police. The mom got so mad that she called me every name in the book. She didn't speak to me again for years. God didn't let me give up on her even though she didn't want anything to do with me. I brought food to her occasionally and Christmas gifts for the kids. Despite my feelings of frustration, God wanted me to show her unconditional love and I tried to be obedient. Eventually God healed our relationship. I was able to help her get a truck and she paid me back what we agreed to. She is doing well and keeping her family going. I give her credit for the way she has survived and taken care of her kids. She is drawn to God and will acknowledge that she sees Him working through us to show her His love. Sometimes the most important part of ministry is hanging in there through tough times. We all need to learn about God’s unconditional love for us. 

-Anne Crawford, Ministry Director