Our choir is singing this weekend. When we rehearsed on Wednesday, I couldn’t help but gaze at our little group and marvel at the transformed lives that stood on that stage, singing and playing their hearts out.

There’s the guy who lost his family several years ago – killed by a drunk driver. The pain of it nearly killed him. Since giving his life to Christ, he has a supernatural peace, even on the anniversaries of his wife and son’s death.

There’s the woman who came to church pregnant, single and very unhappy, and now sings with her ten-year old son standing at her side.

There’s the man who came to Victory Home after a failed suicide attempt, and felt that, at age 59, there was no hope for him to have a life worth living. He’s now 61, has learned a new instrument on his own, and leads an addiction recovery meeting.

There’s the girl who contacted Victory Home to try to get help for her addicted husband and ended up having a life-changing encounter with Christ herself. Now both she and her husband are part of the music program, and their two children play on the front pew while we practice.

There’s the woman who lived a futile life of drug and alcohol abuse and failed relationships, but has now lived for Christ for nearly 10 years without looking back.

And then there’s this young man, who was baptized a few weeks ago:

In his testimony he said: “There was a void in me, an absence. I did not know what was missing, I just knew something was missing.

As a result of my lifestyle I had many hardships, run-ins with the law, financial strife, homelessness, fatigue, pain, near-death experiences, depression and loneliness.

Little did I know that all these things taking place was God drawing me. He kept me alive through all this to bring me to a point where only He could help me.

When I got here, I was tired, lonely…broken. I learned about the cost of following Jesus Christ. I learned that in order to follow Jesus, I had to forsake everything. This came fairly easy to me because I had already forsaken everything for drugs and for my selfish, sinful lifestyle.

I repented of my sins and gave my life to Jesus Christ right here in this sanctuary.

Since that moment God has been continually working on me. I see the changes that have taken place. I have an optimistic outlook on life. I can see myself as more than just a hopeless individual. I see myself growing and learning God’s will for me.

I am now a willing and obedient servant to God and a faithful follower of Jesus. I am beginning to bear fruit as a Christian. I play music that praises and glorifies God. I read and study my Bible daily. I pray constantly and ask God to continue His work in me. I have been reunited with my family.

Every aspect of my life has been touched by God because of my belief in Jesus Christ. I no longer feel fearful or empty. Jesus Christ has filled the void that I was unable to fill for so long.”

The men and women in the pews this weekend will see 16 beautifully changed lives. Who will be next: the New Yorker who’s attempting to raise his 6-year old son while checked into Victory Home? the man who came to us from the hospital, with 5 gunshot wounds? the woman from down the street whose wheelchair sports a faded American flag?

I can’t wait to see.


Modemom said...

Melanie, this brought tears to my eyes and so beautifully written by you. Praise the Savior for His unfailing grace! We thank Him for this ministry your family has in this needy world. Love and hugs to you all.

BBC said...

It must be so awesome to be right in the middle of God changing lives. I know it never gets old!

readmama said...

Wonderful, inspiring post, Melanie. You and Mike are such a team; the Lord is really using you both to make a huge difference for His Kingdom!


modemom said...

I hope you've read Bethany's post on her blog celebrating your and Mike's 23rd wedding anniversary.

So very well written. She's taking after her momma! Her comments aren't working right now, but I'll catch her later.

Hope you found time to enjoy some special time together over the weekend. oooooxxxxx