Maxine is a wonderful mother of 7 beautiful children. Nearly 5 years ago, we came into contact with her and her children at our soccer camp in the Hill. At that time in her life, 'Max' was discouraged by the prospect of raising 7 kids alone, trying to workout a key relationship, and longing for a stronger spiritual reality in her life. As her kids were taking part in the camp and fellowshipping with our counselors, she began to ask herself, "why are these counselors loving me and my kids so much?" After the camp, the question continued to come to her mind as this 'nosey pastor' kept coming around to hang, play, and share with the kids. It wasn't long before she and the Pastor began to talk about life, God, family, and many other significant issues themselves.
As time passed by, God continued to work in Maxine a desire to see what was the 'life' that was working behind all this 'love.' When a small group bible study, consisting of folks from the soccer camp, Maxine and her boyfriend were the very first ones to jump into the group. What a day that was!!! When asked why she decided to come, Maxine simply stated that her family was simply in need of change and they had nothing to lose by checking out this support group and bible study. Thus began our adventure as friends and fellow followers of the Lord Jesus.
However, this journey was not without its questions, confusion, and fears. Maxine, who is one of 14 kids, was raised in a nominally Muslim home. As you can imagine, the questions abounded about her family's faith and how that related to trusting in Jesus for her salvation. Even so, she was an eager and teachable person, who was willing to keep an open mind and continue the dialogue. Overtime, via various bible studies, conversations, relationships, and experiencing the love of Christ through His body, Maxine came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
The impact of Jesus upon both her and her family's life has been nothing short of amazing! Having become members of the church, the Harris family threw themselves into the life of Christ at CPC in the Hill and the impact has been amazing! First, we saw an amazing impact upon the lives of her children; 3 of her children re-enrolled into college after a lay off, one of her son's has become a Jr. Naval Cadet with distinction, her youngest son has seen vast improvement in his educational progress, and the list goes on and on. But the real treat has been that Maxine became the administrative assistant of that 'nosy pastor.' By far, Maxine has been by greatest tutor and guide into learning about the neighborhood, its people, what they need, and where I need to be careful; without her, I, the 'nosy pastor', would have blown this ministry up a long time ago. She has become an amazing friend, encourager, leader, and gather to her church, family, and city! This is all possible because the Gospel gripped her heart and her family, and led them into a path of growth, blessing, and service! They are a testimony to the glory and power of God in Jesus Christ, working in, through, and around His Church to change lives!