“I did not know how great the need is until I really was the hands and feet. I thought I was involved in church work. I thought I was serving the Lord. But there is such a great need out there, and I know it’s everywhere.”
So many Arkansas Baptists can identify with these words spoken by Susie Everett. Like Susie, we actively serve in our local churches, and that feels like enough. But the Lord had more in store for Susie.
It all started with an introduction to Christian Women’s Job Corps (CWJC).
CWJC is a ministry of Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) that provides opportunities to women stuck in cycles of economic despair. Through financial and job skills training, life skills development, and, most importantly, biblical mentoring, women are lifted from despair to a place of self-sufficiency. In the process, they find a Christ-centered community where spiritual healing equips mental, emotional, and physical healing.
After learning about CWJC from a friend, Susie felt the nudge to start a site in Benton. For several years, she resisted the Spirit’s nudge, claiming to be too busy. Finally, the desire to be obedient to God’s call overcame her fears and excuses, and she began the process of establishing a local CWJC site.
Summer is just one of the many women impacted by CWJC in Benton. With a life rooted in abuse, addiction, and deep anger, Summer never knew love or companionship. CWJC was a major factor in her journey to sobriety and peace.
In her testimony, Summer talks about the joy of being able to secure a job and get married. She shares how she learned practical skills such as budgeting and learning to use a planner which helped her buy her first car and start her own business. The true turning point in Summer’s life was discovering that God loves her and is her true Father.
Addictive behaviors were the outward manifestation of Summer’s real shackle: anger. Her turning point came when she realized that freedom from addiction would never be satisfied with setting aside the drugs and holding down a job. It would only be complete when her anger was conquered by love.
That’s where the mentoring and relationships of CWJC made all the difference. As Susie stepped out in obedience to establish CWJC in Benton, the Holy Spirit guided her to be present for Summer. In the process, Summer felt heard, seen, and ultimately loved.
The turning point for Summer was also a turning point for Susie. Summer felt loved, but Susie felt God’s power overcoming her fears as He worked through her.
This is the beauty of Dixie Jackson Arkansas Missions. Thanks to Dixie Jackson, four Arkansas CWJC sites, as well as one Christian Men’s Job Corps site, make resources available to help people like Summer. As more Arkansas Baptists respond to God’s nudges like Susie did, more men and women throughout the state will experience the beautiful turning points that both Susie and Summer have celebrated in their lives.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is one of four stories of how God is creating turning points in the lives of Arkansans through ministries supported by the Dixie Jackson Arkansas Missions Offering. Every dollar given to the Dixie Jackson Arkansas Missions Offering helps resource and mobilize Arkansas Baptists to serve and reach people with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Learn more at absc.org/dj.