It Started With A Prophecy
Grow Churches celebrates 10 years this May! It started with a prophecy in 2001. Since it is our ten year anniversary, I want to share this story with you.
In 2001, we were living in a second-story (third floor) flat facing the Irish Sea in Southport, England. I was a busy missionary woman - homeschooling our daughters, writing curriculum, teaching in a Bible school, heading up the children's ministry and assisting Jerry with the youth ministry. The Lord tugged on my heart, asking for some time alone with me. I asked Jerry to take the girls so I would have time to pray. I remember watching him leading the girls to the door of our flat, and I remember the Holy Spirit rushing in as soon as they closed the door behind them.
I walked over to the window and began to sing in the Spirit as I looked over the sea. The song He gave me in the spirit was strong. It had a definite beginning and end. I asked Him for the interpretation. And I sang the interpretation. I won't go into the detail, but I remember Him sharing His disappointment when the Gospel was merchandised.
I continued to pray, and the Lord began to speak distinctly, conveying His heart for people of the world to know Him. I remember feeling His big heart for people and urgency to work hard for His Kingdom cause.
Then He told me what He wanted me to do. He told me it would be international. He was clear that I was to follow His leading in writing about His truth as the Holy Spirit instructed me.
Then He said I was to share the teaching at no charge. He said that as long as I did not charge for the things He would give me, He would continue to anoint me to write. One scripture that the Lord put on my heart was Isaiah 55:1.
“Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come buy wine and milk without money and without price.”
The other scripture was Matthew 10:8 "Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give."
I started writing on topics as the Spirit of God led me. At times, His presence was so near and the anointing so strong, I remember feeling I could barely keep up with Him, typing as quickly as it came to me.
My husband and I were traveling teachers visiting nations in Europe, Africa, and South America. The desire to reach the nations has always been strong within us; however, in 2004, God led Jerry and I to return home to the States and start a church in North Carolina. With the development of that church, the Lord gave us insight on resources that would be helpful to the formation and the operation of a church.
During this time, I was working for the graphic designer who designed the first logo for the Association of Related Churches. My job included talking with ARC leaders, including some of the first church planters. When we decided to start a church, Pastor Dino Rizzo sponsored us as ARC's 17th church plant. We took a year to prepare and launched in the fall of 2005. It was a tremendous learning experience.
In 2008, the Lord told my husband that we were going to be moving again. In 2009, we turned our church over and moved back home to Ohio. In 2009, my heart was stirred to share the writings and resources. We were in transition for several months, and in that time, I started the nonprofit, purchased the domain growchurches.com and developed the website. I edited the resources I had been writing and prepared them for the website. We launched Grow Churches in May of 2010 out of Cincinnati, Ohio.
To me, this is a testimony of what the Lord started, established and continues to anoint. This is His plan and I consider it an honor to serve Him. He has taken these free resources and used them to help people in nations across the globe. I am so appreciative of the people that have helped with editing, posting, connecting, developing, giving and inviting us over the past ten years. Let's keep making Jesus famous!