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by Gloria Fernandez
December 18, 2015

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We were homeless. We were churchless. But we were never without God's grace and protection.

When the economy crashed several years ago, my family and I were living in a 3,500+ square foot home in a new subdivision. Whether it was a good idea or perhaps his only option (I do not know), my husband took a one-day “business trip” and never came back. I was left with three children ages 6, 7 and 12 and a home in foreclosure. Soon enough, we were homeless.

We had a three-year struggle, but I’ll skip to the moment when we were saved.

I was always in prayer. I had no one else to talk to, and I knew that God was listening. One morning, just as I was at my breaking point, I was driving through downtown Naperville. I was drawn to a little white church on Benton Street. (This was when my life began to change for the better.) I was greeted and offered help from a kind person named Iris. No questions asked. I was blessed with more than just food and clothing; I received prayer—from strangers, nonetheless! That was all I needed: someone in my corner to pray with me and to intercede on my behalf. After feeling so unwelcome in so many places for so long, I was being invited to a place where I could belong!

It turns out that this little white church was Calvary’s Food & Clothing Pantry. And it just happened to be the day of the week when they open their doors to minister to the community.

On my next visit to the Food Pantry, Fred Gloff (a prayer counselor) prayed for me. Through his prayers, I felt the power of the Holy Spirit fill me. I felt His love wash over me and heal me. Each time I visited the Food Pantry, I gained strength to make it through another day and was reminded that I had the Lord to lean on.

My children and I have found our home at Calvary Church. My children found Jesus Christ through the Sports Ministry and the NXT youth programs. The youth basketball program brought healing and joy to their hearts (and mine, too). We were part of a team again. Coach Robbie and Coach Rein led everyone in prayer and inspired the kids before every game. We made new friends and were provided opportunities to serve and laugh. 

Since receiving Jesus Christ among such wonderful people in the little white church, my children and I have been blessed with so many miracles. Not only are my children in school, but they are thriving in school! My oldest girl is on the honor roll and on the high school basketball team. They all eagerly anticipate Wednesday and Sunday NXT services at Calvary to hear God's message presented in a relevant way.

As for me, I have the opportunity to serve beside those wonderful people who blessed me with their kindness and prayer. Now I get to share God's love and serve in the name of Jesus. There is just no end to our story. And although I am a single mom, I know that I am not alone. I can't wait to see what else God has planned for me.

God is not done with me yet.

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