Do you love hearing stories of positive life transformation? I do! And that is why I want to share the testimony of Matt and Nancy Bennett with you. I had the privilege of meeting Matt and Nancy this summer when they attended The RESCUE Church. I was not aware of all that was going on in their lives that first Sunday they joined us for our weekend worship service, but God knew and He was getting ready to lead Matt and Nancy and their children on an amazing journey of life transformation. I received their Christmas card a few weeks ago in which they openly shared their testimony of all that God has done in their lives in the past year. And now, with their permission, I am sharing their story with you…
As I sit here reflecting back at the last year, one word comes to my mind, and that word is MIRACLE! Christmas is the time to remember God’s miracle, given to us freely through His gift of Jesus Christ, our Savior. This past year our family has come to know Jesus and all the miracles He has blessed us with.
Last February Lexie started to go to a different church, The RESCUE Church, in Flandreau. Lex would come home from church so excited and wanting to share the message with us. We were happy for her enthusiasm but no way were we going there! She continued to go The RESCUE Church and we carried on with the “normal” routines of our lives.
This summer Matt and I split up for a few weeks. We had many problems that we had never dealt with and all had come to a head – alcohol, financial difficulties, no communication and no faith. It seemed as though nothing would ever be right again, and everything was beyond “fixing”. We were always angry, our kids were angry and life was unmanageable and definitely NOT fun!
After a couple of weeks of being apart, Matt convinced me that we should go to marriage counseling. Thank God he did and thank God I listened. Counseling helped us individually and as a couple. While Matt and I were apart, I had been staying with Katie (my niece), Chris and their son, Choen. I am so grateful to them for opening their home to me! During that time, I leaned on my brothers, sisters and their families. Thank you so much for everything! I love you all! But I still felt so alone and that there was definitely something missing in my life. I moved back home and tried to figure that out. That next Sunday our family went to The RESCUE Church with Lexie. It was that day in church that we discovered what was missing in our lives – GOD! During that service it seemed as though Pastor Jon saw a big “D” (dysfunction) painted on our foreheads and was talking to us throughout his sermon. He didn’t even know us, but I kept wondering, “OK, who tipped him off to all of our problems? And why is he only speaking to us?” It didn’t take us long to understand that it was God’s plan to have us go to church that day and Pastor Jon’s sermon was God’s way to let us know that we are not alone! If we trust in Him and accept His Son into our lives we will be saved from all the misery were going through! Oh, how very, very true that turned out to be for us! The RESCUE Church has a motto that is very fitting for us…”This church is not a memorial for saints, but a hospital for sinners”. Through church we have all gained so many new friendships and have become involved in Bible studies that have helped us in so many aspects of our lives. August 14th is a day that our family will always remember as the day each of us officially accepted Jesus Christ into our lives as our Lord and Savior! We were all baptized that day and from that day forward our lives have been changed. We are excited the The RESCUE Church is expanding to Colman. The church purchased the Colman Methodist Church building this summer. This is the church Matt grew up in and I have to believe that Matt’s mom, Verna, is looking down from heaven and is very proud of her son and his family. Matt and I are on the Leadership Team for this new campus and are staying very busy with the plans and renovating the building for the first service on February 26, 2012. We pray that people will come and experience, first hand, all the miracles and blessing God as to offer all of us!
During our struggles this summer, Matt and I decided that our drinking has become a huge problem in our marriage, relationships with everyone and most of all, our kids. Matt quit drinking first and at the time of this letter has 193 says of sobriety. It took me a little longer to take the first step but now I have 114 days of sobriety! What a miracle that is! We both attend AA meetings weekly and have come to love our new friends through AA. It’s a wonderful feeling to have the support and love of people that know exactly what we’re going through. Most importantly though, we now have the opportunity to serve other people and help them with their struggles with alcohol.
Praise God for Matt and Nancy’s story! And RESCUE Church family, THIS IS WHY WE DO WHAT WE DO! We exist to help bring broken and needy people into a right relationship with Jesus Christ. He is the only hope for true life transformation! May God bless us with countless more stories like this one in 2012.