Blessed To Be A Blessing
The young couple came through the doors to the checkout line with a mound of gifts for their family, thanks to the people of Prestonwood Baptist Church and a volunteer ministry called The Christmas Store.
For more than 20 years, this from-the-heart outreach has enabled shoppers to buy presents at a steep discount—75 percent off retail prices—making the holiday bright while giving shoppers the warm feeling of coming home with gifts they purchased for their families.
The couple was just one of hundreds who first sat in a class to hear a presentation of the Gospel message of salvation, were provided an opportunity to shop, and were given a meal to take home.
Children in Chinese Orphanage Find “Forever Families” from Prestonwood
We were blessed to celebrate Stand Sunday recently, and as National Adoption Awareness Month comes to a close, we’re grateful for the heart of our church family to raise awareness for foster care and adoption. Along with millions of orphans around the world, hundreds await in our own backyard for a “forever family.” Many families at Prestonwood have experienced the joy of adoption, and each have a wonderful story to tell. The story of how the Clary and Sykes families became connected forever through adoption is just one of them.
Prestonwood Member Gains “Sons” on Other Side of the World
It began with a shoebox and a small stack of gifts for a boy who might have never received a present before.
As she placed the items in the box for Operation Christmas Child, praying for the child who would receive it, Yvonne Valasek added a letter with some Scriptures and her address in Texas. She brought the shoebox back to Prestonwood Baptist Church, placed it on the growing stack and said a final prayer that this gift would carry God’s love to someone who desperately needed it.
Six months later, out of the blue, she found a letter from Uganda in the mailbox, from a Christian ministry there called African Hearts.
“Songs birthed in the heart of this church”
The songs grew from a single conversation, a shared vision.
Michael Neale had just arrived from Florida late last summer when he sat down with Pastor Jack Graham for a forward-looking conversation about the worship ministry at Prestonwood.
“I asked Pastor what God was putting on his heart. ‘Where do you want this to go?’ He wanted the music to be new. He really wanted to push us forward,” said Neale, Lead Worship Pastor. “We were talking about new songs that lift up out of the stories of the people of Prestonwood, bringing the songs from the platform to the people so their songs are being sung.”
Prestonwood Member Translates Bible for Two People Groups
The seeds of Ron Metzger’s conversion came during his daily commute to college, and it completely, utterly transformed his life.
Raised in the Methodist Church in Annapolis, Maryland, Ron and his family believed that being “good” was good enough to get to heaven.
But then his older brother, Richard, began dating a Southern Baptist girl and attending church with her family, and he learned the Bible said something much different. During their daily commute to the University of Maryland in College Park, a trip that lasted about an hour each way, Richard “had me as a private audience,” Ron said. And he heard plenty.
Salim Brothers Leave Their Mark at PCA and Prestonwood
The Salim triplets became a part of Prestonwood Baptist Church almost as soon as they were born. But they didn’t wait even that long to enroll at Prestonwood Christian Academy.
The triplets—Jacob, Joshua and Jordan—were PCA Lions even before birth.
“We’ve literally been there for life,” Joshua said.
Their mom, Laurie Salim, remembers hearing Pastor Jack Graham talk about the planned school, “and I think we had just found out we were pregnant … and we made the decision to go ahead and prepay even before they were born.”