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4865 cdd Enduring Freedom
Cyber Daily Devotion
Volume 20 Number 114
Today’s Author: Pastor Bill
Scripture: Job 36:16
“God is gently calling you from the jaws of trouble to an open place of freedom where he has set your table full of the best food” NCV
Hello, we are Vickie and Richard Kight from Enduring Freedom Ministry in Shumway, Illinois. This is our Cross testimony of how the Lord looked beyond our broken past and chose us for Kingdom work in ways we could have never imagined.
I am Vickie and I was born in Beardstown, Illinois about 250 miles south west of Chicago. I was the oldest of four children. My dad was a high school math teacher and our mom was a bank auditor. Growing up we were a Christian family as my grandfather was a Pastor. My life was very normal in every way possible. 10 years old, when I was in the fifth grade, on my bed, I received Jesus Christ as Lord of my life. I was all in for Christ.
My life continued in a blessed manor until I was 16. One instant, one second and everything changed. I was driving along on the highway when I struck and killed a girl who was literally running away from home on the highway. She was killed instantly.
When I finished with the police and all the formal inquiries, and I was not in jail, my life went on. But the accident rocked me out of my perfect life. Guilt, fear of retribution and emotional pain overwhelmed me. The next 25 years of my life saw a failed marriage, three children and a life as an exotic dancer, hooker and substance abuser.
It wasn’t until I was 40 years old that I came to my senses. Alone, abandoned and fully broken I reached out for Jesus and the Holy Spirit took control of my life.
I realized what I had been doing was wrong and it was time to straighten things out. I picked up a phone book and looked under churches. I ran my finger over the pages and stopped at one. The next day was Sunday and I walked into that church. It had been 25 years since I had been in a church!
When I walked in the door of the church I saw the preacher in the pulpit and a man playing a guitar. That is all I remember until I was leaving the church as the service was over. I have no recollection of that service. What I do remember is Angels singing — it was beautiful. Beyond description. And as I was listening in awe, I heard the Father speak to me. He said, “I have seen you dance in bars and now you will dance for Me.” That was it. Jesus was there and He smiled. Then I was back at the church and everyone was leaving. I was covered in tears. All my clothing was wet.
At the time I was a Fed Ex driver. My language, demeanor and character were despicable. Within days everyone told me they had seen a radical change in me. The Holy Spirit was shinning through me and others could see it! Daily I was eager to read my Bible and pray. During my prayer time I started a Personal Prayer Journal.
In my Personal Prayer Journal, I would write short phrases that the Lord would reveal to me. One here, one there. They became messages as I learned that the phrases became reality over time. I told no one about my Personal Prayer Journal. Then one day I received a call from a man in our church. I knew him but we weren’t what you would call friends. This man called and asked me to bring my Personal Prayer Journal to a meeting? I was shocked! How did he know I had a Personal Prayer Journal? I hesitated. Didn’t know what to say. I prayed about it and it seemed like the right thing to do.
We met and he asked me to read a few items from my Personal Prayer Journal. Again, I hesitated. Then I read one out loud. Then another. Two more and he said, “That’s enough!” He handed me a piece of paper with a list. Each of the items I read was on the list. His list matched my Personal Prayer Journal. The Holy Spirit was reading him my mail!
From that encounter Enduring Freedom Ministry was born. We began leading short-term mission trips together. Miracles, signs and wonders followed us wherever we went. Six years later Richard and I married.
Hello, my name is Richard Kight. I grew up just a few miles west of here in the small town of Beecher City, Illinois. I was child number 13 of 15. My dad was a building contractor and you can only imagine how busy my mom was at home with every one of us. Growing up our family never went to church.
I started drinking at a very early age and by the time I was twelve I was an alcoholic. It was a rare occasion when my siblings saw me sober. I was smart. In high school my teachers gave me college study books to keep me from being bored. I was always light years ahead of my class — no matter what subject.
I graduated high school and joined the Navy. I passed all their tests with scores they seldom see.
The Navy wanted my smarts and assigned me as a Nuclear Power Plant Operator on an ocean going cruiser. For six years I was drunk 24/7 operating a nuclear power plant on the ocean!
After the Navy I became a lonely drunk. At least on the ship I had hundreds of drinking buddies.
I married and alcohol destroyed any opportunity we had to build a relationship.
I became depressed and decided suicide was the only option for me. I decided to go on a tour and say farewell to everyone. They didn’t know it — they thought I was just visiting. When my farewell tour ended, I secured a gun and made preparations. Just before it was time to pull the trigger Jesus spoke, “I’m here it’s going to be OK.”
I put the gun down and never had a drink of alcohol since. I had no withdrawals save shaky hands for two yeas. I met up with my sister a few weeks later and she immediately said, “What happened to you? Your not drunk.”
I went to church and the Lord had a special mentor just for me. I paid attention and learned all the Bible had to offer as I built my relationship with Jesus. I was baptized and my walk with the Lord was just beginning.
Two years later I met Vickie at church. Then the Holy Spirit began telling me small phrases about Vickie. Over time they would come true. I called her with a list and now you know the rest of the story!
Individually and together we have experienced some incredible miracles from the Lord.
I was on a short-term mission trip to Pakistan and everyone in our group got seriously ill — but not me. So, I went out witnessing on the street. A man with an AK-47 threatened me. The Lord protected me and I walked away unharmed.
I witnessed about Christ to my 85-year-old mom. She received Jesus and a month later went to be with the Lord.
A year later I witnessed to my dad and He received Christ.
I received a Gift from the Lord. I’ve never had a lick of computer training yet I’m able to program computers with the best. I’ve won computing awards and developed programs with my Gift.
I developed worship dance just as the Father said. Teaching young girls how to praise the Lord and worship while dancing. The groups started small and grew steadily. When we ventured out with short term missionary teams the worship dancers were an integral part of our team.
On a short-term mission trip in Texas Pastor Willy worked with us. He brought us to a home where the husband did not know the Lord and the Lady was dying of stage four cancer. Pastor Willy went into the house and the Lord spoke to me and said, “Don’t go in.” We did as He said, and we walked around the home while Pastor Willy ministered inside. We walked around the house seven times. Pastor Willy came out and we left. Two months later Pastor Willy reported that the Lady was 100% healed of her cancer and her husband came to the Lord.
On a short-term missionary trip to Pennsylvania we met a man at his house. They could not afford electricity. He met us at the door with a mining hat on with the light in front. His wife was dying of stage four cancer. We were there to help anyway we could and did some work on his house. We invited him to our concert that night. He didn’t come but we continued to pray for him and his wife. A month later the local Pastor said his wife was healed of cancer and he received Jesus Christ as Lord.
As a Fed Ex driver I was headed down the main road on my way to Shumway, Illinois. I passed a school building. I heard the Lord speak, “That building is going to be a food and clothing pantry for the community.” My first reaction was, “no way, that building is in use.” I drove past it and headed for the local Post Office. I asked about the school building. I was told it was no longer a school but was owned by a local farmer who stores equipment in there. The Postmaster gave me the address of the farmer. I drove down the road and knocked on his door. His teenage son answered the door. I told him my story of how the Lord said this school building was to be a local food and clothing pantry for the community. He loved the Lord and asked me in.
I met his dad who listened to me explain how this building would be used in the community. He was a bit skeptical about the building but said I could use the parking lot for distribution. We began the next week.
Over the next 18 months our distribution grew, and the farmer began to relinquish one room at a time to us. A few months ago, he gave us the keys and the deed to the school. Enduring Freedom Ministry is currently the largest distribution for food and clothing in Illinois outside of Chicago. We serve more than 1,400 people per month.
We are now using every square inch of the facility to distribute food and clothing to the needy. I’m no longer a Fed Ex driver and together with Richard we are training our volunteers as we grow.
Our favorite Bible verse is 1 John 3:16 “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” NKJV
The Cross to us means, if we were the only two people on earth, Jesus would still have given His life so we could live with Him for all eternity.
Prayer: Father thank you for restoring lives for your Kingdom purposes. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
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