Laura stood before the congregation in our morning worship today and made a public profession of her faith. Before this emotional little segment of the service, pastor Nate Visker told an amazing story of how God works...actually, how things got started toward making a change in Laura's life. And that was 40 years ago. Here's how the sequence went:
1970s, Doug Tjapkes founded a group of singers called HIS MEN, and this male chorus chose prisons as one of its venues to present music.
1995, as a result of this interest in prisons, Doug chose to assist a prisoner named Maurice Carter who was wrongly convicted.
2001, at the encouragement of his friend Maurice, Doug formed an organization originally named INNOCENT, now doing business as HUMANITY FOR PRISONERS.
2010, former prisoner Ron Ross, aided in his release by HFP, fell in love with a local woman, and they were married in our church...it was the only church Ron new, and people here were kind to him.
Later that year, unable to shake some terrible demons, Ron tragically ended his own life...leaving a bride and a young son. It was heart-breaking.
The same congregation that had befriended Maurice and befriended Ron now adopted Dawn and her child, helping them in many ways, including housing and transportation.
In the same housing complex Dawn met Laura, told her of the loving people here, and over time persuaded her to visit Ferrysburg Community Church.
Happily, Dawn remarried and moved to another area. But Laura stayed, and has been worshiping here ever since.
Today we witnessed the most recent chapter in this God story.
SOLI DEO GLORIA!