IN OUR SPOTLIGHT THIS MONTH IS Denise Trio

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Faith

 

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Tell us your FAITH story.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve gone to church. I have fuzzy memories of being in the church nursery and learning about the Bible characters with felt boards (pun intended). I was a shy, quiet, and submissive middle child to two parents who loved me dearly. I followed in the shadow of my older, “more perfect” sister, and cast my own shadow on my younger brother. My mom always told us, “Follow Jesus!” One Easter Sunday, my pastor gave an altar call and I felt the Holy Spirit stir in my heart for the first time, prompting me to respond and commit my life to Him. I rose my shaking, little, 10-year-old hand and accepted Jesus into my heart that morning.

Little did I know that would begin an adventure of following Jesus. It has taken me to places I never could have imagined.

I was always the good little girl, who rarely got in trouble and always did as she was told. I was active in the girls’ ministry and youth group through adolescence. However, my faith did not become my own until I went to college. In the homesick misery of my second month, I lay prostrate on the floor as the tears soaked the carpet in my single room. It was dinnertime, and I had no one to eat with once again. I cried out to God, and asked if He was real, if He really cared, would He send someone to eat with me. Shortly thereafter, I heard a knock on my door. That night I enjoyed the company of one of my first college friends over dinner that night. “Ok, Jesus,” I thought. “You really do care. I’m Yours.” 

Since then, it’s been a love relationship that has had more ups than downs and I can’t imagine living a day without Him.

By nature, I’m a planner, a list-maker, an organizer, and expert worrier. I constantly remind myself of Matthew 6:33, But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.  All we’re called to do is seek first the Kingdom and righteousness, and God will take care of everything else!

Life

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What does LIFE look like for you?

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Following Jesus has led me from the Jersey Shore to a suburb of Fort Lauderdale.

As my sister was about to begin her new life as a Navy wife, I found myself at a crossroads. Knowing that it was time to follow the call of God on my life, I said goodbye to my parents, brother, and miniature poodle. I accepted a job as the Minister of Music, Media and Creative Arts, at a small Baptist church in South Florida. I also serve as the Female Residence Director and an adjunct staff member for Ocean’s Edge School of Worship.

I spend most of my time leading worship, designing promotional materials, running rehearsals, practicing guitar or piano, counseling students, lesson planning, leading a small group, or solving roommate arguments. When not doing these things, I can be found sunbathing on a towel with a book in my hands, sand on my feet, and saltwater in my hair.

As a single girl in her twenties, I’m preparing for marriage and motherhood through compulsive planning, exercising, cooking, and couponing.

I’m great at time management, working on budgeting, and enjoy anything crafty or creative. I’m thankful for airplanes that keep my family close, FaceTime that keeps them closer, and friends who fill the Jersey-shaped void in my heart.

Community

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How does community inspire your life?

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I have two communities that foster my faith. As a full-time minister, I consider myself blessed to work in an environment that is designed to foster faith. While most times, I am part of the team that ministers to others, I find that as I give to others, they give to me in return.

My faith is built when I see spiritual growth, passionate worship, and answered prayers in the lives of my peers, my team, and my congregants. I am also fortunate to be a part of the community at Ocean’s Edge (OE) and Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale. Most of my closest friends are employed by OE or at Calvary. The OE community is unlike any that I’ve experienced elsewhere and it has become my South Floridian family. They are a group of people who love the Lord and are led by His Spirit. The OE community allows me to unplug from work. I like to attend the young adults service at Calvary, called Eikon, because I find refreshment there and it gives me what I need to continue serving in ministry.

I am involved in multiple small groups because I lead two, facilitate another, and am a group member of still another. Small groups are where relationships are built and intimacy is cultivated.

Small groups teach me how to lead multifaceted groups of people who are older and younger than me. They give me the opportunity to pray corporately, and I am fed spiritually and relationally.

Between the activities with my church and my friends, I always have opportunities to pray and play with others. I’m thankful for community, but as an introvert, I also cherish my alone time.

Intersect

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Where and how does the above all come together for you?

Many people have prayed over and prophesied about my ministry of music. I am thrilled to now be living out those prophecies and prayers. I have a heart to counsel others and help bring restoration to broken relationships between people, families, and God. I have been able to do that through small groups and my time at OE.

I moved to Florida, away from my family and all of the comforts of home, in faith. I have seen the Lord pour out His favor on my ministry. There has been so much growth this past year, in my church and in the lives of the college-aged students I’ve counseled at Ocean’s Edge. It continues to build my faith and reassure me of my 1200-mile move!

I’m not satisfied with the status-quo, mundane, easy life of Sunday-morning Christianity.

There is more to relationship with Christ. I want my life to be filled with stories of overcoming difficult situations because of obedience to the Holy Spirit. I want to lead others into the fullness of that understanding and celebrate with them as they follow Jesus.

I am so excited to be joining Eikon, the Young Adults ministry at Calvary on their trip to the Bahamas in August.

This is my first mission trip outside of the country. I’ll be working with children, spreading the Gospel through the science of creation at a summer camp! I am looking forward to heading to the islands for five days to see how they do life in a country outside of America.

Next Round

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Tell us what’s next for you and how we can align with you in prayer.

Right now I am praying, preparing, and fundraising for my missions trip.

You can join me in praying for my team and the lives of the children that we encounter. Please pray about making a donation for my trip!  If you feel led to contribute to the mission trip, you do so at www.myeikon.com/2013trips.

Additionally, life in ministry as a single girl in her twenties is not always the easiest. I would love prayer for the lonely days to become less frequent, the frustrating days to become less exhausting, and the joyful days to become recurrent.

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