Sometimes you have to step out of your comfort zone to see God work. He sometimes asks us to do things we see as impossible but he makes them possible.
Over 6 years ago, John asked me if I would help him start a group for people with disabilities at our church, Calvary Chapel Melbourne. It was a desire and vision that God put in his heart to help encourage and support those with physical disabilities, chronic pain and illness.
So it started, we did our research and found help and ideas for the ministry at Joni Eareckson Tada’s website joniandfriends.org. They had many resources for us to use and learn from. We put together a binder with many of the resources we found and ideas we wanted to explore. The group name was something the Lord gave us when we were working on the binder in the summer of 2013. John’s favorite verse is Romans 8:28 and the verse was exactly what we wanted Finding His Purpose group to be. To seek the Lord in all things even during the really hard times in life. Continue to look beyond the problems to see his ultimate purpose in the circumstances. To know God still has a plan and a purpose for us even with our limitations.
We also looked for other support groups in our area that had a similar focus to see how it worked. God led us to a very active group called “Choosing Joy ” held at Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale. We found their group description online and contacted the leader, Andrea Goff. Andrea was so kind to correspond with us by email to answer lots of questions we had. The group had been meeting in their church for four years already.
We met with many of the Calvary Chapel Melbourne pastors and shared our desire to start the group. Our first pastor leader was Eric Ward and we all made arrangements to go to Fort Lauderdale to meet Andrea and her pastor leader, Joel Sonnenberg.
Our meeting was so informative and we really felt like we could start this group. So on Thursday January 23, 2014 we had our first meeting. It has been 5 years now and we are still learning and leaning on the Lord for our direction and support. God has blessed us so much. We have met many inspiring people along the way. Members who keep going even when the times are tough, and pain takes it’s toll on their lives. Pastors who encouraged us to move forward. Family and friends who share our vision and prayed for us as we serve.
As we move forward we hope the future will bring many more inspiring stories to share and victories of changed lives. We want to thank Calvary Chapel Melbourne and the pastors for believing in us and allowing us to serve. We thank Pastor Eric Ward for helping us get off to a great start. Thank you to Andrea Goff and Pastor Joel Sonnenberg for encouraging us to begin. We thank our first co-leaders Susan and Gerry Lachapelle for helping us and supporting us in prayer.
A special thank you to our current pastor leader, Pastor Dave Barnes who gives us encouragement, direction and is always there to help. Thank you to our current co-leaders Melissa and David Valentine for serving along with us, praying and helping us move forward.
Thank you to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ for guiding us and directing our path along the way. May we always remember that this ministry is yours and we are just caretakers of it. We seek to honor you in all we do at Finding His Purpose.
John and Cynthia Miller
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His Purpose.”