By Lisa K., Texas
It was the dead of night and I woke to hear my mother yelling and crying. Running to the living room with my little sister following me, I could tell Mom had taken a hard hit to her face and my father was holding her down. She screamed, “Lisa, call the cops!” “You do and I’ll kill you,” was my dad’s quick reply. Paralyzed with fear I cried and watched as they argued and fought for what seemed like hours.
The next morning my dad came to wake me for school and sat on my bed looking down at me. As I peered through my swollen eyes, he said to me, “Lisa, do you remember when we were wrestling and playing last night?” I had no idea what he was talking about, that was not what I remembered. “You know, when I threw you over my shoulder and YOU kicked Momma in the eye?” I knew in that moment this was their story to explain her black eye and what had happened became a part of our secret world.
That was the first of many, hundreds, of nights of fighting. It wasn’t just my father. My mother was just as abusive. They would kick, punch, hit, shove, and throw a pot of stew or a cup of coffee. My siblings and I never discussed it, no one knew. We had a happy family we presented to the world and an ugly one when we were alone.
I would go to my closet and cry out to God. I didn’t know Him very well, as we didn’t go to church. I learned about God at a house across the street from my school in the first grade. They would tell us stories on a board and I remember the day I accepted Christ as my Savior. I remember skipping all the way home that day! Oh how excited I was. I knew my life was different. I knew He was there. I didn’t know much but I knew that.
The fighting never stopped. The drinking never stopped. Deep in my soul I knew that there was a better way, I just didn’t know how to find it. Dad worked for the government so we moved a lot. That little bit of teaching I got about the Lord was brief and it was all I had to go by.
At the age of sixteen I could get into any bar in Denver, I had learned well what my parents had taught me. The lure of alcohol and drugs was very strong. I tried desperately to fill the ache in my soul for love. I awoke one morning naked and alone in a house after being raped by three men. I remember thinking, Jesus could never love me now. I had learned to live in secret so this just became part of my dark hidden world. My soul was crying out but I didn’t understand it and I married the first man that would take me away from my circumstances thinking that was the answer. A year later I had twin baby boys and a husband that was as abusive as my father. I knew there was a better way and I left.
Several years later I married a man that had been a good friend to me. He was a man that knew God, but they didn’t have a close relationship. We moved to Texas and for the first time in my life I was away from family and had two little boys entering school. They came home one day very excited because there was a lady that was going to start a Good News Club®. I had no idea what this club was but they were so excited so I said, “sure”. Each week as I came to pick them up I found myself arriving earlier and earlier each week so I could hear the whole story that was told. The boys begged me to go to church, so we did. Two years later the three of us were baptized together on Easter Sunday!
My life was changed. I found the love in my soul that I had been searching for! I have spent the last thirty years pursuing Jesus as my Lord. My family has been on the journey with me. One day in the midst of my thoughts I realized that my own salvation experience was very much like the Good News Club that my children attended. I wondered if it had been CEF® affiliated. With the internet capabilities at hand, I began to search. The little town that I lived in when I was six years old was in Washington State, and I found a pastor there and spoke with him. He remembered the little ladies that taught out of their home, and confirmed to me that, it was CEF and a Good News Club all those years ago that had help save my soul. This amazing tool the Lord used to transform my family was the same one He used to save me!
In my office that day, God assured me the ladies who led that Good News Club had prayed for me. During all those dark years of my life, He had been faithful and answered their prayers. He promised to never leave me and He did not. His Holy Spirit, continually drew me back to Him and away from the life I so easily could have chosen.
We moved away from Washington not long after that. Those ladies never heard from me nor did they ever know what ever happened to me. The prayers they offered and the hours of work they put in may have appeared fruitless to them, I don’t know. If they could see the reality of what they did for me, my entire family and community it would have shattered their imaginations. They gave me Jesus! He carried me through years of turmoil and hardship. There is no better gift!
That little Good News Club in a small Texas community is where my daughter attended all through school and now my four grandchildren attend the same Good News Club! Praise God for the servants He raised up to teach lost children. Praise God for the hands that play the piano to make music for them to sing. Praise God for the ones who make snacks for the kids who only come because they don’t eat at home and they know they will at club, and yet their soul is fed and they don’t even know! Praise God for the ones who pray for these children to accept Jesus as their Savior! Praise God for the church family that supports the ministry and provides for this event to take place in the little places of the world.
I have four adult children with spouses, nine grandchildren and counting! My husband and I have been ministering in our church for years and hopefully we are making an impact to our community! I know all things are possible with Christ and I am certain He has begun a good work in me through the ministry of CEF!
When your servants are weary and don’t feel like they are making any difference in this world, remind them they are changing whole families and communities but never know the full impact! Remind them they are giving the greatest gift of all and it may be a gift that keeps giving to many generations.