Striving to Live a Life of Adventure, Excellence, and Faith.

IYM........We Lost One Of Our Own!

After college and working a little in DC, I headed back "home" to figure my life out.  I was a 23 year-old who was stuck between Big-City ambition and loving the security of my hometown.  I ended up staying "home" for nearly four (4) years until Matt and I got married and I moved to Knoxville. 

 2005/2006 - Drama Team 

To say that those four years changed the path of my life is an understatement.  I met a group of people who loved me, supported me, and challenged me in a way that only the Lord could have orchestrated.  I developed a real relationship with Christ and grew more in my faith than I could have imagined.  And, a lot of that growth came from serving the Lord with a group called "IYM," or Impact Youth Ministries.  Our focus was not on being a cool "youth group" with typical "youth" activities.  Our focus was to be living and active vessels for the Lord.  Serving the hurting, the lost, and the needy.  We prayed with expectation, we experienced miracles, and saw numerous lives restored as God reconciled many relationships and tough situations.  

Yup, I fit right in!!

As part of IYM, there were 15-20 adult leaders who became more like family than just "youth volunteers."  Since we spent 2-4 nights a week together, year after year, this team became my safe haven.  No mater what was going on in our lives, our "IYM family" was always there.  In good times, in hard times, in impossible times, in all times they were there.  And, the Lord truly called us to serve together for "Such a Time as This!"

 James, Tif, and I - Drama Ministry Leaders

And, even though I left "home" seven years ago, I still know that my "IYM Family" is still there for me and vice versa.  I would drop anything to be there for any one of those precious friends. And, that is why over the holidays when I heard about the passing of one of our own that my heart just broke. All the amazing memories just flooded back to my mind as someone from our "team" was gone.

My prayers and thoughts are with the Dunford Family during this time of loss.  Our "IYM" family truly lost a true friend and amazing soul. Mike Dunford truly touched the lives of so many people through his amazing heart to help and serve others. My heart rejoices that He is with Jesus, but my heart also aches for his amazing wife Kent and his family who are facing this sudden loss. My prayers and love to this sweet, precious family.

What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived” — the things God has prepared for those who love him.— (1 Corinthians 2:9 NIV)

  "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith." 
2 Timothy 4:7

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