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Making and Multiplying Growing Disciples

Making and Multiplying Growing Disciples

Hey there! I'm Christie Williams, and our family has been at Cornerstone for seven years. My husband, Shane, and I have four students here now, but that's soon to change. Our oldest, Owen, graduates this year! Charis (10th), Duncan (7th), and Selah (5th) love the flexibility of the University Model®. It has allowed each of our children to pursue interests outside of school. Charis can often be found reading novels or designing outfits at the Georgia Ballet in the costume department on her home days.  Duncan and Selah are able to spend time outside riding scooters, tending a chicken flock, or playing airsoft in the neighborhood. We are thankful for a school model that allows our kids time to "be kids" and develop as people outside of academics. This year, Mr. Williams joined Cornertstone's school faculty. He teaches 10th & 11th grade Bible, 12th-grade physics, and both middle and high school engineering electives. We are deeply invested in the heart of this school and hope to see many more years of the next generation growing to love and follow Jesus.

Shane and Christie Williams along with their children, Owen, Duncan, Charis, and Selah.


Following His Call 

As a rising 8th grader at church camp 32 years ago, God spoke clearly to me.  He said, "You will go into the world and share my Name." Last summer, God directed my path to connect with Lydia Circle Ministries through a friend of our family, Melinda Dykstra.  Melinda has been traveling to Africa for almost 20 years and has made the journey over 60 times through countries like Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, and Tanzania. She is the founder of Lydia Circle whose mission is to "train women in spiritual discipleship and evangelism." By presenting foundational Christian beliefs that are easy to understand and remember through the use of visual aids, Lydia Circle equips women in Africa to share Jesus with those in their villages. Since 2010, when Melinda founded Lydia Circle, over 14,000 people have come to Christ. She and I spent 2 weeks in Malawi during IMPACT and Spring Break. Together with several Lydia Circle Malawi leaders, we hosted three 2-day conferences of about 50 ladies each in different parts of the country. 


Sharing the Good News!

We spent several nights in a village on the Malawi/Zambia border. This village, whose nickname the pastor told me is "Sodom," has a small church of about 40 members. Witchcraft and demonic activity is high in this area. As a new village connection for Lydia Circle, we led a foundational conference on core biblical teachings and how to share Christ with others. Each lady received not only a Bible to take home for her own study (many times an entire church shares one Bible) but a sharing tool, lovingly called an "evangi-cloth." It facilitates a discussion about different human heart conditions and scripture to show what a new heart surrendered to Jesus looks like. We taught the ladies to use the cloth, and they practiced on each other sharing the Good News!


Surrendering All 

One afternoon, we went out in small groups of 2-3 for about 2 hours to share the Gospel with locals. Using the evangi-cloths, we collectively shared with almost 100 people, and over 60 had first-time professions of faith! I was with the pastor of the church sharing in a market area. Above is a photo of Mercy and her teenage daughter who, with tears and smiles, both surrendered their lives to follow Jesus- the One who transforms hearts and gives freedom.

Rejoicing For Miracles

The Gospel is spreading in Africa! The Holy Spirit is moving in power! The Church is on fire, but the darkness is great. Because of thousands of years of animal worship, ancestor worship, witchcraft and using witch doctors, many spiritual doors have been opened for darkness. Melinda and I had the opportunity to pray one on one over many who came to a church service one Sunday. The Spirit moved, and we saw healings and deliverances from demons for several people.  

Aseri, a lady I had come to call my friend, brought her sick 2.5 year old son to me in the service. He runs fevers often, looks like a 6 month old baby, is failing to grow or develop, and has never pulled up or taken a step. She asked for healing prayers and expressed fear that her son would die. In that moment, I wanted to cry and say, "This is over my pay grade. I can't help you. I'm just me! You need some super-Christian to pray over him."  As I stood there feeling quite inadequate, God's words from 2 Corinthians 12 came to my mind, "my power is made perfect in weakness." The verse James 5:14 "Is any sick among you? Call for the elders of the church and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord" came to me. I had put a bottle of myrrh in my bag that morning. As I put the myrrh on the little one's head and feet, I prayed, "God, you have a plan for healing. We're coming in obedience to your instructions. You're our only hope. I ask that you honor my friend's request and heal her son's body. We ask this in faith in Jesus, believing that you are both able and willing."  

As we boarded the plane several days later, she messaged me to tell me that God had chosen to give her family a miracle! She said that her little one had started pulling up the day after we prayed over him and had even taken a couple steps on his own.  Melinda and I rejoiced in the airport together! 

I am reminded of the power of Christ in each of us. None of us brings something special to the table. There are no "super Christians" like I wished were present that day. God chooses to work through us- ordinary and prone-to-wander as we are- to accomplish His purposes. There is none but God who could receive glory for the many freedoms that happened in that church that day. I've never understood more clearly Paul's words at the end of that verse in 2 Corinthians 12:9, "Therefore I will boast all the most gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."     

I'm so thankful for all the prayers and texts while I was gone - and for sure for the meals for Shane and the kids!! Cornerstone Family, you have loved us well.  

Melinda and Christie return to Malawi for the month of June. They will be meeting with pastors for Bible training and hosting more Lydia Circle conferences with many days of outreach and evangelism. Please pray for the harvest to be plentiful! 

The mission field isn’t only in a far-off village across the ocean. We often miss the mission field right under our nose. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of praying and looking for ways in which we might share the Gospel in our local community- like a grocery store, restaurant, or with a neighbor. Paul writes, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

There is never a shortage of hurting people with real needs that you can meet right where you are, with exactly what the Lord has given you today!


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In Other News

Welcome, Joy Hart, our new Family Ministries Outreach Coordinator

Cornerstone recently had the opportunity to welcome Joy Hart as our school’s new Family Ministry Outreach Coordinator. Charged with the mission to support Cornerstone families in times of need, her undertaking will play an integral role in easing difficulties among our school family. 
With this in mind, we thought you would like to get to know a bit more about her story, her heart, and her genuine desire to help. 

Read More about Welcome, Joy Hart, our new Family Ministries Outreach Coordinator