Years of Rock Collecting
Hi, my name is Sherry. Rocks and Alters have always had a special place in my walk with the Lord. Many years ago at a women’s retreat, I came to grips with the fact that I needed to forgive my father, and when I did the Lord told me to pick up a rock as a reminder of the work He had done in me that day……….
I’ve been collecting stones of remembrance ever since! I was in wonderment when I attended the Women’s Encounter and found out it was about alters!
The Presence of the Lord was so real and so precious that night. The word spoken was so relevant to my heart! Not only was the Lord confirming that Soma was now my new church home, but Tyler is where we are supposed to be!
The area that I was struggling with was our living situation ( I had felt like I was enduring being in our apartment) and I was finding myself beginning to grumble about the situation, sad day, but the Lord, in His mercy, spoke to me about it and reminded me to be content in the situation…that He was in it…I was able to lay it down and pick up a stone of remembrance!! Thank you Jesus!! He knew that I needed that stone to look at every day! I’m forever grateful that whatever I’m going through… He cares!
Hi, my name is Amy. The night of the Women’s Encounter, I wrote down the date on my stone. Later, I found out a miracle in my family occurred. My cousin who had been in a coma for a few months, and not expected to EVER come out of it (the Doctors said) opened his eyes – woke up that day! Of course, we had all been praying for that miracle, so that stone will always remind me of what God did on that day.
Not letting my past dictate my future.
Hi, my name is Crista. I’ve been a covenant member of Soma for almost seven years.
One of the most significant testimonies of my personal freedom happened in & because of Soma church.
We had been attending for a little two years. I was volunteering in littleSoma. I was showing up to services but felt empty, alone, and invisible. Each week I struggled to get from the car to the building because I felt like I was walking into a family I was not a part of. It wasn’t that people were not kind; Soma people were so nice. They were more than nice; they genuinely cared. People knew my name & chatted with me. Yet, my beliefs about myself and negative feelings convinced me that I was an outsider.
Eventually, like all feelings that are unchecked by truth & self-control, they convinced me to make the choice to stop going to church all together.
Thankfully, that isn’t the end of the story. After a few months of not attending, someone reached out from the church to check on us. They called us family and said they were fighting for us. They expressed concern and care for us.
While my fear & feeling like an outsider had not changed, this moment presented an opportunity to try to believe something new. The truth was, no one at church had done anything wrong! I was hurting from past wounds at different churches. I was scared by intimacy. I had grown up in an unhealthy family and did not know what to expect from God’s family.
So, I recommitted to showing up but determined this time, I would engage. I entered a Lifegroup, something I had not done before at Soma. Before I walked into the first meeting, I committed to showing up to every class no matter how I felt. I committed to being vulnerable and teachable. I committed to letting people know me, even the messy parts of me. I committed to invite God to heal me. I committed to learning what God’s family is like.
Soma is a great example of God’s family. And ladies, it’s been almost five years of miracles. Five years of God making all things new. Five years of restoration. Five years of Him replacing the lies I believed with Everlasting Truth.
I don’t know what’s holding you back from committing to the church community. Maybe business, laziness, weariness, stubbornness, or perhaps it’s grief, shame, or fear of rejection.
Those are real.
They have stolen your past…don’t let them steal the present. Commit not to let them steal the future God has for you.
Determine to show up & and be vulnerable.
God loves you! He has so much in store for you!
Faithful for generations.
Hi, my name is Tina, and a recent time when I was overwhelmed by God’s goodness and faithfulness was last November while being led in worship by my oldest son Eric, singing Brandon Lake’s “Gratitude” at the Samaritans Purse Thanksgiving dinner. I had no idea he led worship at dinner every night for his coworkers and volunteers.
I saw the fulfillment of so many prayers I had prayed for Eric. God answered my prayers exceedingly, abundantly, beyond all I could ask or think. (Eph 3:20) and gave him a job far better than I ever dreamed for him (using his love for missions, helping others, and construction, working for Samaritans Purse doing disaster relief), and surrounded him by coworkers that are like family to him. And to top it all off, he was leading worship – something I had envisioned him doing since he was young.
One of my greatest desires has been to see my boys become passionate Jesus followers. I’ve spent hours praying for them, often fighting worry and feeling discouraged by what I saw happening in their lives.
What a blessing we have, knowing that we have a faithful and loving God who hears all of our prayers and can trust Him completely and walk in peace as we lay our burdens before him.
Peace instead of fear.
When I was 6 months pregnant with our first baby, my husband, Christopher, and I were missionaries in South Sudan. We had committed to help lead a YWAM school and were supposed to remain in South Sudan for another month before returning to the US.
The political climate between North & South Sudan was very intense. One day one of the other “mzungu” (white person) missionaries pulled my husband aside and asked him when he was going to get me out of the country because things were starting to escalate. We wanted to trust God and follow His will for us and for the school, but also didn’t want to be unrealistic in the safety of the current situation.
We went back to our compound and prayed that the Lord would make it very clear to us if we were to leave or if we should remain for the last month of school. We had no sooner said Amen when we heard an airplane flying over our small city. (Side note: A month prior an airplane had crashed on the ONLY runway of the local airport and they still hadn’t cleaned up the debris so no planes were flying anywhere near our city.)
As we walked outside and watched this plane flying we asked one of our co-YWAM leaders what kind of plane that was and why it was flying when the airport was closed. He quickly replied that that was the Antonov plane, the bomber plane. He said they do flyovers during the daylight so they can see where to bomb after dark.
We knew this was God’s sign that it was time for us to leave. So we began preparing for our return to America, but this in and of itself was no small task. As I mentioned the airport was closed, so there were no flights out of our city. I was 6 months pregnant, and traveling by road in Africa is very, very rough, and the 12-hour trip to the next big city would have surely put me into pre-term labor.
So our only option was to take a UN Helicopter out of Sudan. They would not fly pregnant women, so I wore my husband’s shirt and carried a backpack in front of me to try and conceal our sweet babe. We had to put our names on the list and wait to see if they would have room on the helicopter for us because the UN officials always got first precedence. It was almost 2 weeks from the day that the Antonov flew overhead until we actually got on the UN helicopter. We slept with shoes on and go bags ready just in case, and we prayed for God’s protection.
Thinking back on the situation now, I don’t understand how I wasn’t completely terrified; to be 6 months pregnant with no way to leave the country and not knowing what was going to happen, but God. God gave us such a peace, a peace that truly surpasses all understanding. A peace in knowing that we were sitting in the middle of God’s will for our lives and that was the safest place for us. We finally made it out of South Sudan and back to America completely safe and sound and had our precious baby girl a few months later, but I will never forget the faithfulness of the Father in that season. He not only loved and protected and provided for us, but He gave us a peace when nothing should have been peaceful. He completely enveloped us in His arms and carried us home.