Faith Stories

Since starting PreVision Partnership a number of neighbors, friends, and others who came to Christ when our paths crossed have been in touch with me. I am always very encouraged by what they share! Pray for these people and be encouraged, if you too are praying for someone! I have asked a few of them to share the stories of how they came to faith for your encouragement. Most recently our daughter, Fiona, shared that she felt God was leading her to missions and to study at Moody Bible Institute. I asked her to share here too...and I'm sure you'll understand why this is my favorite story on this page! I'm so very glad to have her on board at PreVision Partnership! Peter Grant

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"I had an overwhelming sense of God speaking to me..." by Fiona Grant

"This amazing journey started when I was four years old. After talking with my parents, I prayed to put my faith in Jesus Christ. Although I was very young, I was fully aware of the decision I was making. As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to understand even more fully the depth of God’s love for me and how to grow in my walk with Christ. In middle school, while attending a youth summer camp, I began to realize that being a Christian didn’t mean just going to church or trying to be a good person; it was about having a true and deep relationship with God and realizing how much He loved me, despite my failures. My parents have also played a huge role in my Christian walk and seeing the way they center their lives around God, especially in ministry, has been a huge blessing.

Ever since I was a little girl I have always had a heart for missions and wanted to help people in need particularly in Africa and China. Yet, despite being raised in a pastors home by parents who both went to Christian colleges, I never saw Bible college in my future. However, at a church youth camp in the summer of 2011 I had an overwhelming sense of God speaking to me during a very passionate worship time. I felt like God was saying I should be open to attending Moody Bible Institute. In response to this, I started to learn more about the school and visited it in September 2011. During a student-led worship event, I experienced a great sense of Gods peace and then I knew that any worries about attending would be taken care of by Him...all I needed to do was trust His plan for me! After that amazing visit at Moody in September I spent the next few months praying about the decision. As I sought prayer and advice from family and friends they gave me lots of affirmation, support and encouragement to pursue studies at Moody. After applying in December 2011, I was accepted to begin studies in August 2012 for a four year degree as an Urban Ministries Major.

As of now, I truly believe His will for my life is to work with children. God has given me an incredible passion and heart for children who are socially deprived. Along with this, I also have a strong interest in Africa. These passions that God has laid on my heart can go hand in hand. The Urban Ministries Major is the major that best fits my passion and my mission studies will best prepare me for ministry in Africa and/or urban areas. Since I will be interacting with many different social and racial groups, it will be important to learn how to express the gospel to people of all backgrounds. While attending Moody I will also be a Missions Intern with PreVision Partnership. During my internship I will be involved in mission trips overseas during my college breaks. This internship will give me experience on the mission field in ministry while I’m also being prepared through my studies at Moody.
Two verses that have helped me in my decision were Proverbs 16:9 and 1 Peter 3:15. Proverbs 16:9 (“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps”) is a great reminder that God's plan for me is the one I need to follow. Attending Moody is not an easy choice but I feel it is God’s plan for me and I need to trust His will for my life. 1 Peter 3:15, says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect”. This verse helped me in preparing to share my testimony for my first mission trip to South Africa and Greece with my father in 2010. It stresses how important it is as Christians to always be ready to express to people the love God has for them. The education, training, spiritual growth and fellowship I will gain at Moody will prepare me in giving people the answer to the hope that I have as I share Gods unfailing love with them.

Ultimately I want to serve the Lord wherever I can and follow His will. Francis Chan once wrote, “True faith means holding nothing back; it bets everything on the hope of eternity”. This is my goal in preparing for missions at Moody Bible Institute and with PreVision Partnership. This summer I will be serving with PreVision in Africa (orphanages in South Africa and Mozambique) and Greece (Operation Joshua 5) before beginning studies at Moody in August. 

 

 

UPDATE: Fiona graduated from Moody in May of 2015. Since then, she has been living and serving in inner-city Chicago with By The Hand, "Helping children who live in high-risk, inner-city neighborhoods have abundant life."

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"I was a fiery atheist when I first heard you speaking..." by Michael Simpson

"Peter, thank you for showing me that a Christian can not only be intelligent and think for himself but can also make other people think and help them come to their own decisions and to their own life-changing faith.

I was a fiery atheist when I first walked into Buckhead Community Church and heard you speaking. I remember one day I was so convicted that what you were saying was true, but I was so conflicted within myself that I still wanted to rebel, but I couldn't come up with an argument to do it. So I waited until everyone left the church, and I walked down---you'll probably remember---and said, "I just wanted to tell you that I did NOT pray that prayer of salvation." It was one of the last moments of defiance that I had. You were so kind and said, "That's okay. You can do that when you're ready."

It was that type of attitude---of helping people face truth and bringing them to Jesus and allowing them to take that last step yet never pressuring them---that inspired me to not only come to Christ but to live that way and, since then, to help other people through teaching, life example, and writing two books on the subject of faith and sharing your faith.* Now I am a part of The Navigators organization, living in Saint Petersburg, Russia, married to the woman who first introduced me to Christ and encouraged me to visit your church in Atlanta.

Peter, on behalf of all the people here in Russia who are hearing the gospel and responding to the gospel, I want to thank you because God used you to reach them 7,000 miles away from Atlanta, Georgia. Your legacy is not just spanning the globe, but it is spanning generations. We are already three generations deep with people here not only coming to Christ but leading others to Christ and discipling them to help them do the same for yet others still. Your legacy and how God has used you in the lives of others will carry on long after you and I are no longer on this earth!

I want to thank you and tell you that you are much loved and much appreciated. God bless you!"

Michael Simpson is the author of several books including Permission Evangelism: When to Talk and When to Walk, a Gold Medallion Book Club Winner on the subject of sharing your faith, and I Believe, Now What?, a book designed for new and immature believers who have never been formally or properly discipled. He has also contributed to books on Knowledge Management (KM), Identity/Networking, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM). His work experience includes sixteen years of success in roles as a corporate strategist and marketing executive. He is also an executive advisor and coach with Trove, Inc . His other passions are writing, photography, cycling, backpacking, and designing the perfect truffle.

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"It started with a question..." by Mac Scheidegger

"In 1999, I met Peter Grant, and his family. They were looking to buy a home and I was showing them one of my listings. I asked him what he did for a living; he told me "I'm a pastor---but other than that I'm perfectly normal!" After a brief conversation, Peter asked me, "So Mac, do you go to church?" That question began a discussion that led to a process that developed into a friendship that continues to this day. At the time, the question seemed to come out of nowhere -- but I now know the question came from somewhere! A simple question, but for me a life-changing one. A question that would lead me to the most important decision of my life. A question I had been avoiding for twenty years.

For some reason, even though I had just met the man, I started to explain myself, perhaps even to defend myself. "Do I go to church? No; not since college" I answered, "Look, I grew up going to church. In fact, when I was in high school, I seriously thought about becoming a pastor, so I met with the pastor at my church. He actually discouraged me! Said it was stressful; not a lot of money. Then I went off to college and eventually stopped going to church." "Why?" Peter asked "Because I could no longer honestly, comfortably say that I believed in Jesus Christ as the Son of God." I continued explaining my uncertainty and ambivalence toward Jesus Christ. "Don't get me wrong; I'm not saying I don't believe in Jesus Christ, I'm just saying I don't know. What I do know is that I believe in God, and I try to be a good person." "So Mac, you believe in God?" Peter asked. "Absolutely, no doubts, Peter ---the sun and the moon and the stars, the rivers, the oceans, the birds and bees, the flowers, the trees. Absolutely there is a God." "Okay, Mac, I suggest that you to pray to God. And I want you to ask HIM to clear up any uncertainty about Jesus Christ for you."
Peter then explained that Jesus Christ is the issue and that everyone needs to answer the question, "Who is Jesus Christ?" He encouraged me to pray to God, read the Bible and a Christian book he gave me, attend church and talk to others. The next morning, I prayed, "Dear God, please help me with this Jesus Christ issue, please help me to come to some resolution, some comfort level. If Jesus Christ is your Son, your one and only Son, please help me to know that, please help me to be at peace with that. And if Jesus Christ is not your Son, please help me to know that and be at peace with that. And God, I'm not a Bible reader. I need a sign, please give me a sign."
I'm not so sure that asking God for a sign to prove Himself is the right thing to do, but it worked for me! Over the next few months, three signs encouraged me in my search. First, Peter invited me to the grand opening service of Cumberland Community Church's new facility, and I went. Peter did not know I was there but he did a Q&A at the end of the service and out of hundreds of written questions submitted, mine was the last one of ten to twelve answered! My question was, "Even if God exists and did create the world, how can I know Him?" Second, while meeting for coffee one morning I said, "Peter, you know, it would be helpful for someone like me, someone who is seeking, for you to teach on how other religions view Jesus Christ. Who do they say Jesus Christ is or was?" Peter said he would and he encouraged me to keep asking God Himself to show me the answer. A few hours later, I was home for lunch and I went out to our mailbox to find a Newsweek magazine. On the cover was a picture of Jesus Christ with a caption that basically said, "How Other Religions View Jesus Christ." During this time, it seemed as if every new person I met was a Christian! I would share with them how I was seeking and the prayer I was praying. They would say things like "God has a hold off your heart" or "The Holy Spirit is working within you." One lady told me about the Trinity, the three-in-one, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. She used the analogy of water which is one substance --- but can be in the form of solid (ice), liquid (water) and gas (steam). A few mornings later, I was in our backyard, standing by the birdbath, looking at the woods, talking to God, still trying to figure this all out. I looked at my hand -- my fingers were touching a thin layer of ice, which was floating in water, and there was steam coming off the water in the birdbath!
Several months later, I attended a Christmas service at Peter's church. He asked how my search was going. I told him, "I believe everything but the bit about Jesus being my Savior." Peter replied, "Great! Christmas is the best possible season to explore the Jesus bit!" We met several more times and Peter explained the Gospel again --- that knowing that God loves us, that we are sinners and His Son came to die for us and live within us---requires a response of repentance and faith, not just church-going or mental assent. Early in the following year, through a simple prayer of heartfelt trust, I put my faith totally in Jesus as my Lord and Savior!
Before coming to know Jesus Christ, I was basically a good person, but I wasn't fulfilled. I felt empty -- my life lacked purpose. Now that I have a personal relationship with Christ, I'm at peace, content, fulfilled. I live life more abundantly. I feel so loved -- I know God loves me so much. My eyes are more open to see opportunities to help others. That is why today, I am glad to serve on the Advisory Board of PreVision Partnership. As Christians, God wants us to help others to come to know His Son, Jesus Christ. How can we do that? By loving others, through our words, actions, and prayers. May I suggest that we follow Peter's example 1) Ask a simple question e.g. "Do you go to church?" 2) Direct them to Jesus Christ through something to read and invite them to church 3) Pray for them until they come to know Him. It worked with me!"

(Mac Scheidegger is a successful realtor in the Atlanta area and serves on the Board of Advisors of PreVision Partnership. He and his wife, Judi, and daughter, Laura, make their home in Mableton, GA)

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"I Came to Hear About Greece But Heard About Christ!" by Costa Anasthasiou

"Coming to know Christ in February 2007 has had a profound effect on my life and on the lives of my wife and my two teenage daughters. We're now so much stronger as a family and I just know that there is an awesome power and love in the universe and He is working in our lives. I wouldn't change it for anything.
It wasn't always like that. We came to America from England as a family trying to make a new life for ourselves and we've been blessed. But there was anxiety and uncertainty that started to play on my mind for a while; I became very anxious and in the end I became depressed. I also became a very nasty person to live with; I know that my wife and daughters could only deal with the person I had become because they knew God's strength.
When they joined Lincroft Bible Church, I could see that they had strength and it was amazing. I wanted a part of that; I wanted to know what the secret was; but I couldn't make that step because there were a lot of things I couldn't believe. I had a lot of science and a lot of engineering in my background, and that mixed with a lifetime of skepticism made it impossible for me to have faith. But I really was intrigued by the peace of mind and the inner strength I saw in my wife and children, so God was at work even then. Eventually my wife persuaded me, in her own gentle way, to come to church and I met the pastor and some great people. My whole outlook on what faith was all about began to change. My eldest daughter began singing with the praise band; I came to see her every two weeks, which I wanted to do because I was a proud dad. At church I met many wonderful people and heard good teaching....during this time I went from being a nonbeliever to somebody who was willing to believe. I began to realize I had to have a childlike faith and perhaps I wasn't going to get answers to all of my questions.
One evening we were visiting friends to attend a reception about Greece and I got into conversation with a guest named Peter Grant. I got talking to him about religion and about why I wasn't a believer. The more I spoke to him the more I realized that my excuses were lame and it was time for me to give it up. He shared the main message of the Bible with me -- that Christ died for my sins so that I could receive the gift of eternal life through a relationship with Him. It came upon me like an avalanche; from walking into that house with no intention of accepting the Lord on that day, I just knew that I wanted to pray and wanted to pray so fast and so hard. We went into a room in the basement with a gymnasium in it and we sat down and I prayed to accept the Lord there and then. After praying, we went upstairs and I told my family and we hugged and prayed and cried together; it was wonderful --- I'll never ever, ever forget that. experience.
I'm a new creation and I feel that way! I'm learning all the time and there's still so much more to learn. It's so wonderful knowing that you're fighting for the winning side. I'm so humbled and so thankful for my wife and family and for all the people who prayed for me --- some who I didn't even know and hadn't even met but were friends fo my family! The power and love of Jesus Christ is just so so amazing; He can pour his love on us from any direction and from anywhere!"

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I came to the Lord through a D.W.I. in Buckhead! by Justin Cole

“The time must have been around 1994 in Atlanta. I was your typical single man in his late twenties. The job I had was good pay, the free time on my hands was exceptional, and most of my friends lived for the weekend activities, which consisted of bars, bands and dates! It seemed like a normal existence for most young single men at the time. But, the more I look back on it, the more it seems so trivial. When you’re caught up in immediate gratification, seeking pleasure, or selfish desires, you are truly in need of a compass of some kind. It's almost like you’re a "mouse on the tread wheel", "a frantic squirrel trying to cross a busy street", or in my case, "like Tiger Woods without a golf club". When you’re living just for yourself, you are eventually going to burn out, have a horrible experience, or never get the chance to develop into the potential God has in store for you. 


I came to the Lord through the means of a D.W.I. (Driving While Intoxicated) one night in Buckhead. How is this possible? Well, for my sentence, I needed to register about 40 hours of community service for the State. So what better plan, than to work with Buckhead Community Church, where I was a casual attender. I called the office and the task assigned to me was to arrange Peter's Library in alphabetical order, so he could locate his books faster for foot notes.* During this time, I had some interesting conversations in his office about my feelings towards God and my purposes in life. My personal faith at the time was based upon simple principles: "Hey I'm a nice guy. Religion is OK for some folks , but I'll make my way through this world on my own terms." This faith was coming to a end, thanks to a life altering conversation with Peter that day in his office. Peter explained the Gospel to me and took me through a prayer that helped free up my soul and open honestly to God. I prayed and a waterfall of emotion poured out of me....It was a feeling, very similar to when my baby girl was born 4/6/06…Suddenly, on my knees there was this "image" of Jesus that was behind me looking at both of us praying on the floor. It was as if, I was watching Jesus look at me from the backside.. In other words, I had a third person experience with Jesus...I was completely startled! This kind of thing only happens to other people or religious nuts...But on that day in Peter's office, I left in tears, and had seen the image of Jesus in his office " looking at me ". I tell you he was there! As if he was listening to my confession...

So, am I a perfect choir boy today in my life? No... but, on that day I took to a different direction in my life Journey. I took a path that was truly heading towards God. From that moment in time, my life was different. That experience I had was over 12 years ago. I now live in metro New York City, with a loving wife, an 11month old little girl named Lydia, and I’m an active Elder in Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church! I'm convinced that the moment I spent with Jesus, was like someone handing me a compass for life. Now my journey continues, but I'm no longer so scared or intimidated of the challenges ahead! I look at it this way. If you’re on a Journey with God, what more can a Christian want! Just keep walkin....”

*Peter Grant's comment: This was very quick thinking on the part of my administrative assistant; she got that strange call from someone she didn't know and figured out a way to put Justin and I together for a few hours!

(Justin Cole now serves on the Board of Advisors of PreVision Partnership and runs a family business in the New York area. He and his family live in New Jersey.)

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