In the quiet dark of the early morning, Donna Oliver was home alone. She felt a burden on her soul that she could not carry anymore. She cried out, “Lord, I have gone my own way for too long. My way is not the best and I need to turn to you.” From the other room, her Google Play speaker went on and said, “that’s what I’m here for.” Donna was shocked and amazed. It was just as if the Lord was speaking directly to her. Next, she heard water raining down from the ceiling. When she went to investigate, there was nothing there. “Living Water,” Donna thought. “Jesus is Living Water.” Donna repented of her sins and turned to the Lord for salvation. From that moment, the Lord completely changed her life around.
First Time Visitor
Two months later, Donna stepped foot into Cape Community Church in Cape May Courthouse, New Jersey for the first time. Her accountant and friend, Carol, had been asking her for a long time to join her at church. After Donna’s encounter with Jesus, Donna was ready to go. When she arrived, Bonnie Lutz was there with open arms. “Can I give you a hug?” Donna accepted the hug and immediately Donna knew she was home.
Cape Community Church was not the first church Donna had been a part of in her life. She grew up going to church and was very involved while raising her own four children. Although she did lots of good things there, she wasn’t there for the right reasons. She wasn’t there for Jesus. This time, with Cape Community, church was different.
After that first visit to Cape Community, Donna regularly picked up her friend Carol and they would drive to church together. Carol used every spare minute of their car ride to mentor Donna in the faith. They would recite the books of the Bible. Carol would read devotional stories to her. The other women in the church, especially those who are part of the women’s group, helped Donna grow in the faith, too. They are like family to one another. They bring each other food when they need it and help each other out. Donna is also part of the Cape Community Church Zoom prayer meeting. Pastor Brad Boyer leads this group at 7:00AM from Monday through Thursday. Donna especially loves the beautiful prayer from one of the ladies. Every morning she prays for the Lord to “encourage us unto love and good deeds.”
Donna has also grown so much through Pastor Brad’s sermons. They are different than the sermons she heard in her church growing up. Those sermons would take bits and pieces of the Bible here and there and comment on current events. Pastor Brad speaks in truth and in the Spirit. Through his preaching of God’s word, Donna is learning so much.
Donna is a good example of love and good deeds. She and many other volunteers from Cape Community Church host the Warming Center. In December they had about 40 homeless people take shelter in their church building. Donna also participates in the Prayer Walks through Cape May area. This is where they see God’s miracles! For example, during one prayer walk, they knocked on the doors of a hotel to ask ,“how can we pray for you?” No one had opened a door yet and there was only one door left. Donna said to Pastor Brad, “Don’t worry. God is saving the best for last!” When they knocked on the last door, a man opened it. He was suffering with scabies and could not get out to get the medication he needed. He also needed clothing. The prayer walk group got him the things he needed and the man was overwhelmed by God’s love.
Unfortunately, Carol, Donna’s mentor and friend, recently passed away. But Donna continues in her walk with the Lord growing closer to Him and serving others in His name with the rest of the Cape Community Church family.
Every person in a church family is key to welcoming others and discipling them in the faith. You don’t need to be a preacher or a teacher to disciple others. Just being in a car together reciting the books of the Bible, giving a hug to a visitor, taking food to a brother or sister, praying together, and serving together helps you and others grow in the Lord to His glory. Praise Jesus!