Changed Lives

Share your story how Light and Life Chapel has been used by God to touch your life mystory@lightandlifechapel.org

 

StutzmansGod Is On Your Side

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” – Jeremiah 29:11-13

This passage is something I claim as God’s truth. As a young woman, I renewed my confession of Christ as my Lord and Savior but had no idea of the fulfilling relationship I could have with Him.

When our first child was stillborn, I began to question who this God was that I placed my faith in and how He could allow such a tragedy. I was angry and began to search for answers. The emotional loss affected my relationship with my husband. We both needed comfort, expecting each other to fill the void. My husband turned to work for relief. I sulked at home alone.

I began to pray and read my Bible at every down moment, for answers. I took sermon notes and reviewed them, joined an in-depth Bible study, memorized scripture, which was a requirement of the study. God began to transform me from the inside out. The more I sought to find Him the more He revealed Himself to me. His presence began to fill me with joy. He gave me direction and purpose. I could feel peace as I spent time with Him.

My husband began to see that I was a transformed person. He began to question what had changed me. I told him how God was changing me. The next week, he joined the in-depth Bible study and recommitted his life to Christ. Our relationship changed and has grown strong since.

Has my life been a fairy tale? No, but it’s been an adventure that has been rewarding when I allow God to be right there with me, guiding me, comforting me, forgiving me, and blessing me. – Kay Stutzman

 

David and Becky HickernellRediscovering a Love for God and His People

I was burned. I was judged, accused falsely, and deeply wounded. By those in the church.

So, I ran. I ran from those people, ran from the church, and ran from God. My thinking was “God, you have got to be kidding me?! These are the people that you say are supposed to love others and reach out? The ones to be living examples of what it means to love You? Really? I say it’s time to get a new crew. I’m done.”

And with that I shut out God. I chose to wallow in my pain, hurt, anger, and fears. For 4 years I wallowed, ran, seethed, questioned, and nursed my bitter, wounded heart. Bad choices were made in the wallowing, ones which I am still suffering consequences of.

God is truly a wonderful Father though. Sometimes He allows us to be that prodigal son, to make a mess of things and end up in the pig pen…all so we can come back. That is what he did with me.

The beginning of the coming back was when David and I met JJ and Vicki in line for Black Friday. From then on Pastor JJ would come into the store where I worked and invite me to church. Sometimes I would run into an office or to another aisle when I saw him because I didn’t want “church”. “Church” meant hypocrisy and pain. But he kept coming until one day David and I went to the dreaded “church” with full defense shields up!

Surprisingly these people were nice, normal and didn’t glare at me for wearing jeans! However, people can put on a good front, so I watched and waited them out. In the waiting I saw that these are real, broken people who are trying to love God the best they can and be as real as they can be.  They don’t care about what clothes you wear, what Bible you use, or how “together” you seem to have it. I saw that what they care about is your heart and where you are with God. The best part was that during that time, God kept working on my heart and softening it. No longer was I angry at Him or the church, but instead sorrowful of the person I had become and hopeful that things would be different. Since then, I am closer to God than I ever have been, and He has given me a burden for people that I have never had!

I go to a building on Sundays where the Church meets. No false pretenses. We come together with our junk, our baggage, and just love each other. There is room for people to hurt, to get to know God, to grow in God, and to be loved in spite of yourself. I love my church and am so grateful that God brought me here! – Becky Hickernell

 

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From Jersey to Williamsport

When Jackie, my wife, and I moved to Williamsport from New Jersey, one of our first priorities was to find a good church. We were renting in Hughesville at the time. We came from an Assembly of God background so quite naturally we looked at those first. There were a few that may have been chosen but then we bought a house right in Williamsport so we changed gears and started looking a bit closer to this area. We don’t seem to agree on how we came to Light and Life Chapel, but we did agree it was the place for us. The people here are friendly, and the Spirit is present in the worship and the Word. We are all on a spiritual journey and the pastor is on the journey with us. Pastor JJ Shimko is the genuine article. He is a man with passion for the Word and service and compassionate also. We like it here and invite people all the time.—Gary Ginocchio

 

 

Carol EvansA Life of Thanksgiving

Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and into His courts with praise.  Be thankful to Him and bless His name.  For the Lord is good, his mercy is everlasting and His truth endureth to all generations. – Psalms 100:4-5

First of all, I would like to thank God for giving me a Christian husband who loved God with his whole heart and loved his family dearly.  The motto of our home was and still is “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord”.  The desire of our hearts was that our children and grandchildren would know the Lord as their personal Savior and live their lives for him.

God’s timing and a season…My husband became very ill and he and I did not get out to services at our church.  In the meantime, for approximately four years, my grandsons attended Light & Life’s vacation bible school every year which they loved.  The second year my daughter mentioned about attending church here.  However, it wasn’t until their third year there, my daughter once again said about how she would like to go to church here and how friendly the people were.  My husband and I prayed about it and felt if our family would be together and they wanted to go to church, it was to be.

The Sunday after Labor Day in 2011, the Lord woke me up and said, “It is now or never”.  One thing I have learned in my life is, when God speaks to you, you better be obedient. I am so glad I listened to the Lord.  I got up and said who is going to go to church with me today?  (Now you don’t understand, it is hard for me to go somewhere and not really know anybody)  The only person I knew was Michele Crawford.  The kids asked, where are you going and I said, where you went to vacation bible school.  They were all excited and from that day our family has attended Light & Life Chapel.

I did not know what lied ahead for me or my family…A friend I knew informed me they knew Nancy and try to meet her.  A few Sundays later we finally met and God has knit our hearts together from that time.  God brought Nancy and Lynton Perry into our lives not only for friendship but a part of His plan that was ahead.  I thank God for their friendship, their prayers and for caring about my family and me.  They are my “balcony people” and such a blessing to me.

That fall, Lynton started coming to my home and spent time and prayed with my husband Steve who had heart problems and was on dialysis.  Then the unexpected happened, my husband was having problems with his foot and after a couple months he was informed that he had to have his leg amputated.  How awesome God is, if you can see how God worked in our lives.  We had no idea this was going to happen but God did and he used Lynton to be there with my husband through it all and pray and encourage him.

On February 23, 2012, my husband, Stephen Michael Evans, completed his earth’s journey and was escorted to heaven by the angels.  Steve was a true man of God, filled with the Holy Spirit, a man of integrity who loved his wife and family more than anything in this world.  He never complained about his illness and left an awesome testimony to the Dr’s, hospital and those around him.  He never compromised and stood for the things of God and because of that, God honored him.

Through it all…In ALL things, give thanks! I thank God for Light and Light Chapel which is a friendly family church and the people make you feel at home, for Pastor JJ who is truly committed and cares about the people and about reaching and serving the community of Williamsport for Christ, and a special thanks to Vicki for her time she spends in the children’s ministry.

I thank God for my church family and for the new friends he has blessed me with.  I give thanks to all those that cared for us, loved us, prayed for us and provided for us. I thank God for his word and HIS keeping power.  God is my strength, my joy and my peace.  He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I haven’t fully arrived yet at all God wants me to be but I want my life to be a Lighthouse for Him and to see my family and friends all serving the Lord. – Carol Evans