about the staff...
I am originally from Memphis, TN, where I resided for the first eleven years of my life. I grew up going to church every Sunday with my sisters and my Mom, who had to drag my Dad there every week! I really didn’t enjoy going to church because I felt like everyone was sooo fake, and I hated wearing dresses and I was made to wear one EVERY Sunday! My Mom was a great role model, she prayed constantly and read her Bible every night, and I can only think of a couple times I ever heard her swear, once it was my fault. My parents’ marriage was not picture perfect. My Dad was a gambler, a womanizer, and a speed addict. I remember times when my Dad had spent all of our grocery or bill money on his habits and my Mom had to get money out of our piggy banks just to buy food or keep the water turned on. When I was nine my Mom was diagnosed with lung cancer, which later spread to her brain, she battled for two years before she died at the young age of 41. This was a learning experience to say the least, she never lost her faith in God or what He was capable of, I got to witness true faith and outreach from the church for the first time ever! This made me want to go to church.
Soon after my Mom died (like 3 months after), my Dad began dating and got married to my first Step-mom. We moved to Southaven, MS and I had to leave all of my friends and everyone I had ever known, this included my sisters. I began going to church with a friend I made in my new neighborhood, life was going ok. My Dad always had a temper, but my Mom somehow was able to keep me guarded from it. Needless to say my Dad’s temper became worse and he took it out on me. My Step-mom made me into a modern day Cinderella and began trying to turn me against my Dad, so my Dad divorced her. During this time I leaned harder than ever on God to help me through this increasingly difficult time and gave my life to the Lord when I was thirteen.
His divorce left us homeless, so we stayed in different hotels for a couple of months before we moved in with, who I now believe was his drug supplier, for about a month until he remarried. My new Step-mom was into tarot cards and psychics and hated that I went to church. My Dad’s rages of anger grew fiercer and I reaped the bruises from his tirades. My Step-mom never once tried to stop him, she just watched. I was too scared to tell anyone other than my best friend, so I lived in fear and shame of someone finding out. I still loved my Dad, and people at church began asking questions, so I stopped serving and going to church. I still had a relationship with Jesus though. When I was sixteen, my Dad had to have open heart surgery, his organs began to fail and he was put on life support. I prayed and pleaded with God not to let him die, he was all I had left. I told God that if He let him die then I would never speak to Him again. My Step-mom made legal arrangements for me to have to be the person to sign the papers to pull the plug on the life support for my Dad, which I eventually did; so I stopped talking to God for many years…My Step-mom allowed me to continue living with her, but I was made to pay rent and clean her house, along with paying for all of my own clothing, school stuff, or anything else I may need other than food just to be able to stay there. I worked three jobs and finished High School, then joined the Navy.
I got stationed in San Diego, CA. Soon after I got there, I got engaged to a man, who later got kicked out of the Navy for stalking and beating me while I was pregnant. I later became a single parent struggling to make ends meet. Then I got married to my husband and got out of the Navy. I decided that I would go to Nursing School and specialize in Infectious Disease, since this was the medical field job I liked most out of the ones I did in the Navy. We had some struggles in our marriage and my husband was having issues at work, so he decided we should start going to church. I did not want to go, I gave up on God and did not want to go back, but I didn’t want to keep him from knowing God, so we went. I began serving in Kids’ Ministry a few months after attending there regularly and had began reading and praying regularly again, but still did not feel the connection with God that I once had. My husband decided he had to come clean with me about some things he had done in our marriage, I did not want to forgive him and for the first time in years I got that connection with God again and my marriage has amazingly gotten better than it ever was before. We’ve grown stronger together as a family and with God.
Things were going great, I had one semester left in Nursing school and I got this overwhelming feeling that I wasn’t supposed to be a Nurse anymore,
I was supposed to be a Children’s Minister! I prayed about it and told only my husband, I really felt led to change my major, so I did. My husband asked me what my perfect job would be and I told him, “It hasn’t been created yet. It would be something to do with Children’s Ministry and people with AIDS.” Two days later, we had breakfast with a couple who told us about a vision for a church for people just like I used to be, people who had given up on church and God or were far from Him. They told me that they wanted me to be their Children’s Minister and that one of their outreaches would be Orphaned Kids with AIDS. I instantly knew God had created this job just for me, but I had to be extra sure, so I took some time and prayed about it long and hard. Although I am not fond of cold weather, I followed God’s calling to join His love story and move to the Lehigh Valley to join Legacy on its journey to reach those who are willing to give His love story a try, so what are you waiting for, start your story now!