People of the Ridge: Lisa

People of the Ridge: Lisa

When I was 18 and fresh out of high school, I joined the Army. I come from a family of servicemen, so it seemed like a next step to take in my life. I enlisted in 1999… I was a young woman who was excited to share the gospel in a way I hadn’t before—by being a light in a tough environment. I was a happy person, so even in the midst of basic training when some of my buddies were having a hard time, I was the girl laughing and trying to make the best of things. I was different because of God, and it showed.

Unfortunately, just three months in, I experienced a traumatic, life-changing event that left me questioning why God had left me alone in my darkest hour. I grew up in a church where I was focused on a checklist, and in my mind, I had been doing all the right things: daily devotionals, prayer, helping others, and leading others to Christ, including three of my Army friends… Why didn’t God protect me when I needed Him most? I was so mad at Him, and for a few years, I didn’t want to be anywhere near Him.

Thankfully, a couple of years later and after taking many hard steps towards forgiving my offenders, I found my way back to God through forgiveness, which changed me forever. In time, my joy also returned. During that dark time, I missed opportunities to share Jesus with others—especially with one of my good Army buddies who was killed in a car accident shortly after coming home from deployment. I felt so much guilt over her death, and it was hard.

It’s part of my motivation to reach unbelievers for Christ. It’s also one of the reasons why I spent the last nearly 10 years leading Starting Point groups at CRC—the program that really transformed my relationship with Jesus into what it is today. During many of those 10 years, I also had the pleasure of working at The Ridge and sharing the gospel with countless people. And now that I work outside the church in a new career, I have even more access to unbelievers. Day in and day out, I’m in the midst of hurting and curious people, and I hear so many stories of how people are suffering. I feel so honored and blessed that I can be a light in this broken world and tell people about the only One who can make it better.

Lisa

People of the Ridge: Tokunbo

I grew up in Nigeria, and after college, I got my master’s in Sweden, and then my Ph.d. in statistics at WVU, where I’ll be a visiting assistant professor this fall. Growing up in Nigeria, my family was Muslim, but religion didn’t really play a role in our home. I...

People of the Ridge: Liz

When my husband and I received Christ as our Savior in 1987, we were in a difficult financial situation. Even though we weren't aware of it, the Holy Spirit led us to a church where tithing was preached. These are times when our eyes roll in our heads and we thought...

People of the Ridge: Steve

I was recommended The Ridge about two and half years ago by my tattoo artist, Patty. I was attending a church in Masontown where I was the young guy. I came here for the first time on a Saturday night and suddenly I'm the old guy. I love listening to K-LOVE on the...

People of the Ridge: Sara

In 2010, I graduated from college. I got a job almost immediately but was really unhappy with it and where my life was going. I attended church off and on my entire life. One Sunday, I decided to go to Chestnut Ridge. I was lonely. I needed something, I needed...

People of the Ridge: Justin

HOPE...that is what kept me going when things looked bleak. In January 2015, I noticed my neck started to swell. I went to MedExpress and was referred to an ENT. In February, the ENT conducted a biopsy that came back diagnosing me with Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma. A...

People of the Ridge: The Hernandez’s

New to town from Colorado, we started attending Chestnut Ridge Church in August 2014. Last year, we became small group leaders. In November, our group threw us a “sprinkle” or baby shower for Clara at our home. That evening, at 38-weeks, my water broke during Bible...

People of the Ridge: Maria

People of the Ridge: Maria

When I was a young girl, my parents often took me to the Catholic church I grew up in. I knew God, but I didn’t have a strong personal relationship with Him. I never really felt a spiritual presence…

In middle school, I was happy when we started going to Chestnut Ridge, a church that was bigger and seemed to have more for me. But I was an intimidated 11-year-old, too afraid to get involved. I kept seeing ads for a middle school group, though, and kids my age hanging together in the lobby. Eventually, my curiosity and desire for connection overtook my fear, and I decided to check out dv8 [Deviate]. It’s turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I met some of my very best friends there, including the guy who later became my boyfriend. I was so lucky to have some amazing leaders who pushed me to go deep in my faith and encouraged me to serve. That push to serve really opened my eyes to see that even a kid like me could make a big difference in growing a church. As a result, for most of the time I’ve been here, I have served in some capacity—from kids ministry all the way through college. And now I’m even co-leading my own Wired small group [high school]. I have been fortunate to see, both from my parents and my small group leaders, a clear image of how important it is to give back and to support your church family. With the season I’m in, I can’t really give a lot financially…I’m a broke college student. But I can give my time. And I believe that is, sometimes, the most valuable.
Maria

People of the Ridge: Tokunbo

I grew up in Nigeria, and after college, I got my master’s in Sweden, and then my Ph.d. in statistics at WVU, where I’ll be a visiting assistant professor this fall. Growing up in Nigeria, my family was Muslim, but religion didn’t really play a role in our home. I...

People of the Ridge: Liz

When my husband and I received Christ as our Savior in 1987, we were in a difficult financial situation. Even though we weren't aware of it, the Holy Spirit led us to a church where tithing was preached. These are times when our eyes roll in our heads and we thought...

People of the Ridge: Steve

I was recommended The Ridge about two and half years ago by my tattoo artist, Patty. I was attending a church in Masontown where I was the young guy. I came here for the first time on a Saturday night and suddenly I'm the old guy. I love listening to K-LOVE on the...

People of the Ridge: Sara

In 2010, I graduated from college. I got a job almost immediately but was really unhappy with it and where my life was going. I attended church off and on my entire life. One Sunday, I decided to go to Chestnut Ridge. I was lonely. I needed something, I needed...

People of the Ridge: Justin

HOPE...that is what kept me going when things looked bleak. In January 2015, I noticed my neck started to swell. I went to MedExpress and was referred to an ENT. In February, the ENT conducted a biopsy that came back diagnosing me with Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma. A...

People of the Ridge: The Hernandez’s

New to town from Colorado, we started attending Chestnut Ridge Church in August 2014. Last year, we became small group leaders. In November, our group threw us a “sprinkle” or baby shower for Clara at our home. That evening, at 38-weeks, my water broke during Bible...

People of the Ridge: Frank & Yadira

People of the Ridge: Frank & Yadira

Yadira: I was raised in a loving, Catholic home and received Jesus when I had my first communion. He was the center of my life until I got married. My husband became my everything, instead of Jesus, and my life became a roller coaster. After 10 hard years, we separated. That’s when I opened a Bible for the first time, and “the Lord turned my darkness to light” (Psalm 18:28).

Frank: Yes. Whatever she says. We’ve had an incredible peace and harmony…90.5% of the time.

_______________________

God brought us through many trials, but through it all, we grew stronger in our faith and love for one another and God. We are a living testimony of God’s faithfulness, infinite love and amazing grace. Last year we renewed our vows and celebrated our 45th wedding anniversary here at The Ridge—a place we’ve called home for 19 years—and we are thrilled to be enjoying the fruit of every sacrifice we have made along the way.

Frank & Yadira

People of the Ridge: Tokunbo

I grew up in Nigeria, and after college, I got my master’s in Sweden, and then my Ph.d. in statistics at WVU, where I’ll be a visiting assistant professor this fall. Growing up in Nigeria, my family was Muslim, but religion didn’t really play a role in our home. I...

People of the Ridge: Liz

When my husband and I received Christ as our Savior in 1987, we were in a difficult financial situation. Even though we weren't aware of it, the Holy Spirit led us to a church where tithing was preached. These are times when our eyes roll in our heads and we thought...

People of the Ridge: Steve

I was recommended The Ridge about two and half years ago by my tattoo artist, Patty. I was attending a church in Masontown where I was the young guy. I came here for the first time on a Saturday night and suddenly I'm the old guy. I love listening to K-LOVE on the...

People of the Ridge: Sara

In 2010, I graduated from college. I got a job almost immediately but was really unhappy with it and where my life was going. I attended church off and on my entire life. One Sunday, I decided to go to Chestnut Ridge. I was lonely. I needed something, I needed...

People of the Ridge: Justin

HOPE...that is what kept me going when things looked bleak. In January 2015, I noticed my neck started to swell. I went to MedExpress and was referred to an ENT. In February, the ENT conducted a biopsy that came back diagnosing me with Diffuse Large B-cell Lymphoma. A...

People of the Ridge: The Hernandez’s

New to town from Colorado, we started attending Chestnut Ridge Church in August 2014. Last year, we became small group leaders. In November, our group threw us a “sprinkle” or baby shower for Clara at our home. That evening, at 38-weeks, my water broke during Bible...