Vangie integrates faith-building into her sons’ education
As a home-schooling mom, Vangie often tries to supplement her son’s studies with educational Christian material. When she discovered Focus on the Family’s free World Explorers activity kit, she was
grateful for this teaching tool that combined geography and social studies with pertinent Bible verses and prayers for each country.
Adventures in Odyssey has also been a huge part of her family’s faith-building library. “I’ll say to my son ‘Where did you learn that?’ and he’ll say ‘Mom, it’s from Adventures in Odyssey! You know!’” she recalls. “I’ve been amazed at the biblical and life truths that my children have been able to glean from these stories.”
Vangie first learned about Focus’ teachings from her own mother as a child. “Because I was home-schooled, I was often in the kitchen listening to what my mom was listening to,” Vangie recalls. “Around suppertime the Focus on the Family broadcast would come on and I remember my mom often saying to me ‘Please don’t interrupt me right now. The things I am learning from Focus are so important.’ Even as a young girl, I knew my mom was being encouraged and learning from the radio program. Hearing it played every day in our home I realized what a practical spiritual encouragement these broadcasts from Focus were to my mom.”
Focus on the Family has always been a reliable place for Vangie to find resources that not only encourage her in her own faith journey, but also equip her to share her faith with those around her. “My given name is Evangeline, and my parents chose the name because it means, ‘Girl who brings good news.’ They prayed, from the day I was born, that I would be an evangelist and share the gospel. Knowing this, as I became an adult I would pray, ‘Lord, help me know how to live up to this calling and give me the tools to do it.’ I believe that there are many people who are looking for truth and hope, but they won’t necessarily step foot inside a church for whatever reason – maybe they have issues with the church or feel like they won’t fit in,” she notes. That’s why it’s crucial for us as Christ-followers to live out our faith and share God’s hope with those around us – especially the hope that holds us through hard times.
This is something Vangie knows first-hand.
“Our daughter died eight years ago, but I have hope because I know the Lord and he has comforted us,” she explains. In the midst of her grief, she also discovered Focus on the Family Canada’s free prayer and
“I would say that the biggest impact Focus has had on me personally is through the counseling they provide. Shortly after our daughter died, I was phoning Focus to give a donation and the woman I was talking to said, ‘If you have any prayer requests, we love to pray for our families and we will specifically pray for your request.’ So I told her about the grief our family was experiencing with our daughter’s recent death. She then told me about a free counselling session opportunity, and a few days later a counsellor phoned me. At the time I was struggling with how to understand the promises of the Bible and feeling pressure to be spiritually strong because of our many unsaved neighbours who, I felt, were evaluating the reality of our faith and how it would hold up in the midst of our tragedy. I wrongly believed that if I didn’t appear like I had it all together, then this would reflect poorly on God; thinking that in some way God’s reputation rested on me being strong.
“The wonderful counselor I spoke with gently reminded me of the truth from God’s Word which says, ‘When I am weak then he (God) is strong.’ Knowing that God could show his strength through my weakness took a huge burden off of me. She offered many illustrations that enabled me to authentically live out my faith in the midst of grief and sorrow. I am grateful for the numerous opportunities I have had to share these truths with others.”
Thanks to the guidance she received from Focus on the Family Canada’s counselling team, Vangie has felt empowered and equipped to reach out to those who are walking the same road. “When I receive the tragic news that someone’s child has died, I reach out to them. God has given our family many opportunities to know him and his comfort through our loss. And because of this I am convinced that God has called me to specifically share hope with people suffering a similar tragic loss,” she explains. “I consider it to be a God-ordained privilege to openly share my story with others – specifically how God has guided, comforted and carried me through these past eight years.”
Vangie is thankful for all the ways Focus on the Family Canada helps meet the needs of families. “I have been blessed by Focus’ ministry and it is clear to me that God blesses your work. I know God is in it,” she says. “I have such gratitude for people like my parents who are huge supporters of Focus on the Family. I have thanked them for introducing our children to Adventures in Odyssey, and through their financial giving, enabling me to receive helpful, godly counsel, as well as many truths I have learned through Focus’ magazines and emails. As I see it, Focus on the Family Canada fills a critical niche in their efforts to protect and preserve the family. The families of Canada need to hear that marriage and family matter. As Christians we are called to advance God’s kingdom here on earth, and Focus on the Family is doing that in many important ways.”
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