Immersed in the Spirit

Immersed in the Holy Spirit

Immersed in the Spirit
This month I want to introduce Debbie Salyer and share her story of how the Lord helped her overcome a difficult divorce and how the Lord gave her not only a new relationship, but a new ministry as well. These are Debbie’s words:
“It was 2009 when I faced the fact that my 28-year marriage was finally over. During that time, I was attending a very small church ironically called “New Beginnings” where everyone had grown very close and they were so supportive of me during that dark time that I am not sure how I would have gotten through it all without them.
During the time I was alone, I went to work, to church, walked my dogs, I read a lot and I made a conscious effort to only read books written by Christian authors. I also refused to let any of my well-meaning friends “fix me up” with someone. My prayer was that God would show me where and how He wanted me to serve him and I thanked him for allowing me to be on my own, but it got lonely sometimes so I asked God if he had someone in mind for me, would he send him to me in a way that I would know that he was from Him. Debbie's Gideon Bible
A good friend of mine at church was Arlene Salyer and she was a member of the Gideon’s Auxiliary, which are wives of Gideons. She gave me a special Gideon’s Bible that I still carry to this day. I didn’t know anything about the Auxiliary and not much about the Gideons, but I knew I wanted to immerse myself in the Holy Spirit.
I first met Arlene many years earlier when she worked at Ukrops where I shopped. Later, I started attending Powhatan Community Church and she attended there also. When Arlene’s son became the pastor of New Beginnings, I started going there too and was part of a group that had dinner together most Wednesday evenings before Bible Study.
Well, God does work in mysterious ways and in 2011 my dear friend Arlene passed away. Everyone at New Beginnings was heartbroken. I really didn’t know Arlene’s husband, Curtis very well, but after Arlene’s death I got to know him better during those Wednesday night dinners. In fact, it was on one of those Wednesday nights when I asked Curtis to come to Bethel because a group of us from New Beginnings (which had recently closed) were now attending church there. He came the next Sunday and we started talking more and more and became good friends.
When he asked me for our first date, something he said reminded me of my prayer for God to “send him to me.” You see, I lived (and we live there now) in western Powhatan and there isn’t much around. I remember looking around and thinking, “no one is going to come way out here!” When Curtis asked if I would like to get dinner on a Saturday, I said “I’d love to, where do you want me to meet you?” He said, “I don’t want you to meet me, I want to pick you up.”
I remember asking God, “Are you sending me Curtis?” I really didn’t know if we would be compatible, but I quickly realized that we were. In fact, by the time he brought me home that evening, I knew that we would spend the rest of our lives together. We were married just 4 months later and I had no idea how great marriage could be. We have had some challenges, especially with health issues, but I know that God brought us together, we are blessed beyond measure and our faith is unwavering.
Shortly after we were married, Curtis asked me to attend a Gideon/Auxiliary meeting. I didn’t hesitate and it wasn’t long before I knew this was where God wanted me to serve. I also realized that both of my prayers were answered simultaneously: God had someone for me and sent him to me and He showed me where He wanted me to serve.”
God certainly answered Debbie’s prayers! One thing I want to point out is the diligence with which Debbie sought the Lord. Notice from her story that she was committed to listening to the Lord and really sought Him through prayer, worship, reading her Bible, and reading other Christian authors. She said she, “Immersed herself in the Holy Spirit.” I wonder how different our lives might be if we each prayed daily to be “Immersed in the Holy Spirit?” Additionally, Debbie’s story is yet another example of how God can work through the difficult circumstances of our lives for our good and God’s glory. God worked through the pain of Debbie’s divorce and the heartbreak of Curtis’ loss to birth a new relationship and now their relationship is bearing fruit through their Gideon Ministry.
If you’d like to learn more about the Gideon ministry, please mark your calendars for August 11th for Gideon Sunday at Bethel. We’ve invited a special speaker and I understand his testimony is dynamic and I believe you’ll be blessed by it. Please note we will receive a special offering for the Gideon’s that day. I’m grateful for Debbie and Curtis and thank them for sharing their story. May God bless Debbie and Curtis Salyer, may God bless the good work of the Gideons, and may God bless Bethel Church.
With love,