Deep in Mormon country, Dennis Stoneman is pastor of FBC Burley, Idaho, where Jesus is doing an exciting work. Here's the FAITH story of a lady in his church named Darla, and I'm sure you'll be as blessed as I was by her new-found joy.
We came to Burley, Idaho to build a dairy, but God had more than a dairy in His plans.
The first few months we lived here were filled with adjustments to a new school, new town, and a new business. I didn't understand why God would move us away from our friends and our church, which had been our life for over eight years.
I knew I needed to find a church, so I began to call around. First Baptist took my name which I thought was strange since I hadn't decided if I was going to visit there or not.
One Sunday we were "vegging" on the couch and a young man and some teenagers came to our door. They said they were from the First Baptist's youth group. I was just glad they weren't Mormons so I let them in, and we had milk and cookies and a fun talk. Dave shared the FAITH outline but since we had already received Christ we just visited and enjoyed the time together.
A couple of Sundays later there was another knock at the door — "Oh no, not the Mormons," but it was First Baptist again. This time it was Gayle with some teenagers. We were just sitting down for dessert with our company so we invited them in to join us. One of the teenagers shared the FAITH outline to practice it. We were impressed to see a youth who knew so much about sharing the gospel.
We figured since First Baptist came to visit us, we would go visit them. So Christmas Eve we loaded up our kids, the nieces and nephews, and their parents and went for a visit.
The only thing I remember about that night is looking at the bulletin and seeing all the classes for kids, youth, and adults. One class that stood out was "Overcomers" taught by Mitch and Rita. I didn't know what the class was but I introduced myself to Rita that night.
I had only been in the church once, but I had already met Dave, Gayle, and Rita. Boy, did God have a great plan for our lives.
In January, we started coming to church on Sunday and Wednesday nights. The kids didn't want to go to youth group because it was so different from their other church. I said too bad and made them go. Now they love their leaders and are very involved in the youth activities and our whole summer was filled with youth camp, VBS, and Sonfest. It was such a fun-filled, spiritual summer, but the best part was there was no alcohol. You see, for the past four years of my life we were around a lot of Christians who drank. Alcohol, for me, went from being a social thing to a really big problem. I knew I didn't like the way my life was going, so I began to attend "Overcomers." I had become tired of being tired and I didn't know what this group was about, but I kept going. With the love and support of the group, I quit drinking and began living the abundant life God had planned for me. September of this year was my eighth month of not drinking, and as I look back over these months, I'm amazed by what God started with just one FAITH visit.
You see, FAITH is not just a time to visit the lost; FAITH is a time to bring the disoriented and wandering sheep back to the Shepherd.
God knows we need other people to help us deal with life. I was feeling really lost when I moved to Burley. But God had great plans and great people to help me find my way.
Darla's new-found joy in Christ is a direct result of exactly what she concluded, "God knows we need other people."
No doubt, right now, the Lord is looking for someone who is willing to be trained and equipped for His use. "God knows we need other people," and those people are you and I!