Radio, Community and Church Help KTSY Listener

Someone — I will call her Mandy — recently responded by email concerning a recorded spot I aired about not tolerating domestic abuse of any type. Mandy shared how encouraged she was by my words and the music Idaho's KTSY-FM played each day. I hear that from people every day who call for prayer, yet I was about to be amazed in a way I did not think was possible.

I spoke to Mandy, who said she had always listened to the station because it was the one thing that brought comfort to her. Her home has been a drug home for the last 30 years. People were always coming in and out. They buy, sell and do drugs at the same time they listened to KTSY. Thinking about the contrast for a moment I was astonished. That venue did not seem like a place where someone would be listening to positive, uplifting Christian music glorifying God.

Mandy, crying, explained that her husband was in prison for strangling her nearly to death. Upon hearing the spot about domestic abuse, she called asking for help finding a shelter, as her house was not safe and her utilities were shut off as well.

One of the first things I ask a person in this situation is, "Are you still using?" It is important for disclosure and coming out of denial. She said no at first. I told her the importance of being honest if she really needed help and that I, as a pastor, had no expectations from her to be living life perfectly. She then admitted to being a user.

I found her services in the area that could help her get clean from chemical abuse and provide a safe place for her to stay. She asked to come to church, so we have been picking her up to get her to the Experience in Meridian, Idaho. The Experience is a great place for anyone, no matter your background or belief, to find community and feel welcome.

On her first day worshipping at the facility, an offering time came during which we thanked God for all we have time — time, treasures and talents. I watched Mandy as she pulled out a dollar bill. She sat there staring at it for what seemed like 10 minutes. She turned to me and said, "This is my last dollar." She then proceeded to stand up, march to our donation box and give all she had.

She most recently asked to be anointed. Upon learning about Mandy, our junior-division Sabbath School leaders, Tonya Rogers and Isaac Ontiveros, are helping our kids do a service project by helping to clean up Mandy's yard, which is filled with garbage and debris.

We do not know what the future holds for Mandy, but for right now we are encouraged that God is helping her through a collaborative effort with the medium of radio, community partnerships and our own faith community as well as angels and His Spirit.

February 13, 2014 / Idaho Conference
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