As far back as I can remember I’ve had the desire to know Jesus. My aunt introduced me as a young child to church - I loved it! My teen years were rough and full of struggles with my parents, chemical dependency, and other “hurts, habits, and hang-ups.” God provided me with numerous resources and people to help me in my healing and recovery journey. I often held onto Psalm 27:10, “When my father and mother forsake me, then the Lord will take care of me.”
In my mid-twenties I joyfully began volunteering at a church where I discovered a caring, church family who welcomed me in, being estranged from my own. Over the next 20 years, I assisted in nearly every area of church ministry and soon realized God had given me His heart for people.
For most of my professional career, I thrived as I worked for a fast-paced, global company in Human Resources. Tired of city life one day we packed up and moved our family to a charming, little mountain town still in Southern California. Soon after, I became a real estate agent and had the pleasure of selling mountain homes. We became the legal guardians of an amazing 14-year-old boy, whose father had been abusive. In the years that followed, we provided foster care for nine other children. God still had another surprise for us…a tiny red- headed five-month-old baby girl. We fell in love with her and God lovingly allowed us to become her parents.
We came to Texas at the end of 2013 when my husband, Gordon, accepted a construction position. This job was for his friend, Brad DeGennaro, who had recently moved to Texas. We loved the people of Lindale and felt the Lord leading us to stay. We did a DTS and SOE with YWAM Tyler and served in ministry to the Lakota people in South Dakota for one year. Upon returning to Lindale, I accepted a position on staff at a local church for 5 ½ years overseeing the younger children’s ministry department.
In 2020, my husband was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer and died shortly after that. Trusting in God and completely relying on Him for everything, I sought healing in the scriptures, GriefShare, meetings with widows, and reading numerous Christian books on widowhood. I especially loved a book entitled, “The Undistracted Widow” by Carol Cornish. I held on to numerous Bible verses such as 2 Corinthians 4: 8-10, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies.”
The following year God brought into my life a steadfast, gentle, extremely loving, Christ-centered man named Brad DeGennaro. I fell head over heels in love like a teenage girl! We were married in December 2021 and a new chapter in our walk with our Lord began – together! As only God could have orchestrated, I previously knew Brad and his beautiful wife Teresa who had a long, serious illness and passed away several years prior. God has always held me in the palm of His right hand and that is where I long to be for the rest of my life. Thank you for allowing me to serve at TCOGV. My husband Brad and I look forward to growing closer to each one of you, our forever family!