“To be honest I didn’t know what to expect when Derek, Jess and Josh (the greater) came to stay with us. I had been following their journey on Facebook but still had no idea what was in store or how God was going to use them here in Gillette, WY.
Let me give you some back story: I only knew Derek before they showed up. Derek and I were roommates in college my freshman year. Derek also saw me at my worst in life when I was self-destructive and tried ruining everything around me, including getting kicked out of school. Needless to say, the week they spent here was a lot of catching up and a lot of fun!! I realized I’m not 20 anymore and cannot stay up past midnight multiple nights in a row. Nevertheless, it was an amazing week having these three dudes here.
The week started off with Wednesday night where our Youth Pastor, Anthony, allowed them to have the service and just do what the Holy Spirit was leading them to do and boy did it happen. It was so cool to watch these guys love on our teenagers, not even knowing them, but following the prompting of the Holy Spirit. They were truly a blessing to us all week even when they thought they were doing everyday tasks or just practicing common curtesy like adding more chairs in the sanctuary or saying thank you to someone for all the hard work they put in. Sometimes when someone does something all the time, people can tend to forget to say thank you or acknowledge what they have done. We are all guilty of this, but these three dudes lit up worlds as they just loved on our friends.
Thursday night we had a prayer and Worship night where Derek did an awesome job leading worship to our King. A man named Joey came in and not knowing his past or his present, Jess just showed him the love of Christ all night. We prayed for him and his family and then Jess took him aside and spoke with him for the rest of the night about everything, from him going back to school to the love of Jesus.
Even though that was the end of the services they lead, it wasn’t the end of their ministry that week. We had a packed schedule from leadership training to Celebrate Recovery and three services on Sunday, where they helped us with our kid’s ministry and they shared the power of prayer with the kids. All the kids loved Josh and Jess to the point of begging them to take them to Hawaii with them haha. It didn’t just end there. We had an awesome time with these guys and not just my family and I; they left an impact on everyone they encountered. They were truly being the hands and feet of Jesus to our community.
Friday night they got to meet a man named Charlie at Celebrate Recover, another guy they didn’t know, yet loved him, regardless of his past or present. God gave Derek a word that Jesus wanted to heal someone’s hip and it turned out to be Charlie. After God healed him, he started dancing down the aisle of the sanctuary and hip bumping with Derek. We saw him a few days later and he came running up to Jess and I stating the hip was still healed and he has been able to ride his bike and run around again. God is so good!!
Saturday night was probably my favorite night with these guys as we sat around with some of our church plant leaders and they helped us vision cast for the future. It was an awesome time hearing them talk about things they’ve seen other churches do, while seeing how we could impact our community.
I can’t say enough amazing things about these guys and the impact they left behind. The most amazing part as a dad was watching them just love on our girls, letting little Tenny run them ragged and just snuggling up with Nora when she was tired. It didn’t matter what they wanted to do, they did it. To be honest it was a break for Whitney and I. I know that may sound terrible, but Tenny normally runs us ragged so it was a relief to have someone else around.
If I learned anything from these guys it is that even when we know someone really well, we need to forget everything we know about them and listen to what the Holy Spirit is wanting to do in that moment.”
// Josh Davies