Monday, July 14, 2014

My Story

My name is Janet Helms and this is my story. 

It is pretty simple when I look back on it.  God spoke to me and I listened.  Yes, it sounds crazy that God spoke to me, an at-the-time 49 year old sitting in my office in my home in Edmond, Oklahoma.  There was no loud booming voice, no flashes of light, no speaking in tongues.  I was simply overcome with the most profound feeling.  It was so strong that it felt physical to me, like a rush of wind blowing through my office (no, the door was not open).  I became so emotional that I immediately started to cry (and I still do cry every time I speak of this moment).  To some this could be a “gut” feeling,  an intense thought, the universe calling out, your subconscious coming to the surface of consciousness.  For me it was all of those things AND clearly my God through the Holy Spirit speaking directly to me.  All of this over some video of some Oklahoma guys hand drilling water wells!

Yep, hand drilling water wells to provide clean water.  My life completely changed at that moment.  I knew in that instant that I wasn’t going to take my family on a cruise for my 50th birthday, we were going to go on a mission trip to drill wells to provide clean water.  I knew in that instant that this was going to be what I would do with the rest of my life.  I knew in that instant that my life had just changed.  It was amazing and frightening all at the same time.  I think that must be how it is all the time with us, when we sit still long enough and listen to the voice of God, amazing and frightening! 

So in this hectic life of mine working 3 jobs, mothering my children and grandchildren, taking care of my father, taking care of my brother, I embarked on this life changing journey.  And every time I want to walk away and say this is just too much for me God reels me back in! 
Over a year later we now have an organization like no other.  My church congregation is so full of love that they immediately embraced this calling to serve others across the world.  The guys at Water4 didn’t think me crazy when I walked in and said “Not sure why I am here but I know this is where I’m supposed to be”.   The Disciples of Christ Global Ministries organization has been our rock of support as soon as they heard our story.  This partnership came together in such a way that we couldn’t have choreographed it ourselves.  It was apparent from the beginning that something much bigger than us was at work.

There are many cool stories that have happened along the way.  One such joy was finding out my friend and singer Sandi Patty had just gotten involved with Water4.  Then, Chris Shorow, our Senior Pastor, caught me one day telling my story and said that he had just the night before prayed that God would put someone in his path to do an adult mission trip, if in fact that is what God wanted for our church.  Next, my friends, Frank Gresh and Steve Hanson, immediately jumped in before they really knew what they were getting into. On a particularly bad day for me one of my friends from my Bible study group gave me a painting that a lifelong church member and missionary in Africa, Edna Poole, had painted while she was in the Congo (in the very place that we are going!).  The painting was of a beautiful sunset in Africa.  How God has been here every step of the way is amazing! 

So, I say….let’s make this your story too.  This is not about me, it’s about God’s crazy decision to choose me.  This is not about our church, it is about the global Church being the hands and feet of Christ.  This is about saving lives and loving like only Christ can love.  This is our story…..this is God’s story!”

If you want to be a part of the story follow us on this blob to hear other stories such as mine.  Like us on Facebook.  Share with your friends.  We can all have the same story…..that we helped save lives by solving the water crisis in Africa!!