Who's a part of Reliance Wednesday! Let's meet Michael Johnson!
At the moment, I am a long-distance member of Reliance Church... I will remain in Lynchburg, Virginia (where I had the joy of meeting and growing close to the entire team) while I finish my last year at Liberty School of Law. I eagerly await moving down to St. Pete; joining the team in ministry and meeting those who God has brought to Reliance Church.
I was very blessed to grow up in a Christian home with two loving parents and three amazing younger siblings that have made my life extremely enjoyable! Their love and company still brings me great joy as experiencing life with them is full of blessings...the wisdom of my dad, the care and comfort of my mom, the companionship of my siblings, and the unconditional love of all. I certainly wouldn't be who I am today without them. And that will be the most difficult part of making the move to Florida... it is about as far away as you can get from California. But I am blessed with their full support and encouragement as I am certain the Lord is leading me to St. Pete.
My degree in political science; pursuit of a law degree; work for a state assemblyman; and involvement with various nonprofit organizations are all a result of my passion for justice. Scripture reveals that God is just, merciful, and compassionate... it is that character that I seek to exemplify in my life. Faith without works is dead and I desire to put my faith in action by actively engaging our culture as a voice for those who have none. It is my faith which gives me this desire, passion, and purpose in life.
I'm a native Texan who lived half of my life in California before moving to Virginia for law school. These various opportunities have allowed me to meet and interact with very different groups of people. Just as each place has a unique beauty in its landscape (the flat prairie land and brilliant blue skies of Texas, beautiful mountains of Southern California, and forested land of Virginia), each place has a uniqueness of the people that make up its population and culture. I look forward to discovering the uniqueness of St. Pete's population and culture that creates its beauty.
I do not know the exact details of what the future holds and have learned that God often only reveals the next step or two of the journey we are on. If we knew what He had in store for our lives, we probably wouldn't believe it was possible, but he reveals pieces of the puzzle as we are able to accept them. I am excited to be surrounded by wonderful and godly friends in Reliance Church as we embark on this journey again! I'm also very excited to see who God brings into our lives as he calls others to join us in this journey for Him!
For now, I will be a part of the ministry of Reliance Church through prayer, encouragement, coordinating the prayer ministry, and making periodic trips to join y'all on the ground as I am able. God Bless!
Liberty School of Law
Juris Doctor Candidate 2014
I must tell this story to give God all the glory.......
We decided to move all our stuff in a caravan down to Florida. So we rented two large Penske trucks to get the job done. The night we pick up the Penske truck, it breaks down. But they sent someone out immediately to fix it and they worked on it. The next day the next truck wasn't ready until midday which put us a little behind but nothing major. Learning to be flexible I would say and trust. The trip down was a pretty normal trip and very thankful for traveling mercies.
I cannot remember all the states, but each place we stopped someone would ask us for help...
The first man approached Joel and Bethany for food or money for lunch in North Carolina.... we took him to lunch with us and shared a meal with him.......
The second was an elderly lady in South Carolina who approached Danny for money for gas as we were at a Rest Area....Danny gave her money also
The third was a Hindu lady who approached me, she was kind, humble and asked me to fill up her gas can at the gas pump as she was traveling to see her sister and out of money and I put gas in the kind woman's conatainer.....
We all were in awe.... is this a test? is the world really this desperate? And they say we are coming out of a recession. I have never seen as much desperation as this. Maybe it was meant for us to see only and realize the need out there. God knows what he is doing and all things happen for a reason. As we were all unloading trucks in the rain for the next two days, we know God is in control, he is on the throne and he is equipping us and has equipped us for his service !!
Thank you God for the opportunity to serve.
Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Hebrews 13:1-2
It's time for Who's a part of Reliance Wednesday! Lets get to know Vickie Hemphill!
Hi! My name is Vickie Hemphill, and I am originally from Columbus, MS, but now reside in St. Petersburg, FL. God led me to Lynchburg, VA, to attend Liberty University, and that is how I became involved with Reliance! While I grew up in church, there was an approximate 10-year period in my life where I embraced the world and had no desire for church whatsoever, yet God never left my side. He walked with me, and protected me while I experimented with many different substances – some of which I came to abuse, and endured both sexual abuse and domestic violence at the hands of both my ex-husband and ex-fiancé. Tired of my life, I finally turned back to God, and because of His love, mercy, and grace, He forgave me and renewed my life.