September 9 at 10 AM
Join us for our Fall Kickoff with an outdoor service when the entire church body can gather together! Care will be offered for children birth through kindergarten.
SPREAD THE WORD!
STORIES OF TRANSFORMATION
Emily, 28, attending Fox Valley since 2016
I was baptized as a baby and grew up in the church believing that I was a good enough person to find favor with God. My faith was a tremendous source of pride for me. I studied the Bible, memorized scripture, listened to all the up-and-coming pastors, and loved having the right answer. But 1 John 1:8 says “if we claim to be without sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” I couldn’t see how much I was deceiving myself.
That deception reached an all-time high in college, when I thought my efforts would be enough to bring me happiness. But the Holy Spirit showed me how desperately I needed freedom — and how that freedom is found in surrendering to Jesus Christ instead of working to maintain his favor. I remember walking across my college campus and feeling a physical freeing from the bondage of control I thought I had over my life. I experienced Jesus as a liberator, truly as a Savior.
Over the years I have thought about being baptized as an adult but was never willing to take that step of obedience. God has used this past year at Fox Valley to show me how surrendering to Jesus is more than just relinquishing my control; it’s about walking in obedience to all that Jesus has commanded, not by my own strength but by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Although I acknowledged my need for a Savior almost a decade ago I am choosing to get baptized today because I believe Jesus when He says following Him fully, in deep surrender and quick obedience, is truly the best way to live.
Carlos, 25, attending Fox Valley since 2017
When I think of my journey to follow Christ, the word gray comes to mind. Gray is a combination of black and white, or in my case, a combination of good and evil and right and wrong.
I grew up in the church. Since I was four years old, I attended a Sunday school, had Christ loving parents, and had all of the things I needed to have Christ-centered life. However, when I was eighteen, I became attracted to the world. I left friendships which cultivated my relationship with Christ, stopped reading scripture, and followed a superficial view of Christianity. On Sundays, I would be attentive to the sermon, went into my week and applied the teachings to my life, but I only used the things that made me look good. Of course, this did not last and quickly I fell into the traps that had been laid out for me.
I began to drink, I began to slander, and I made friends that were not Christ followers. I found that this was a trap. With everything, bad company corrupts good morals and I slowly began to adopt many of the behaviors that were destructive.
Looking back, I realize that these behaviors did not fully consume me, but they were hurting my relationship with Christ. God used my sin to realize that my life was not the one I wanted. I hurt the person I cared most about and that destroyed me. It led me to face my wrongs and seek the peace that was beyond human understanding. I faced my sin, and Christ carried me through.
I have been redeemed, Christ is my comfort; my guilt and sin have been cleansed. Christ gives me something which I had not found in friendships, money or things of this world.
James, 35, attending Fox Valley since 2014
I grew up in a Christian home but as a teenager I fell into the wrong crowd. Growing up on the South Side of Chicago my friends and I had a lot of negative influences around us and we all ended up at some point in trouble with the law. From 18 to 22 years old my world was on fire. I dropped out of community college and everyone around me was headed down a path of complete self-destruction. Tragically I could name many kids from high school, and the surrounding neighborhoods, that were killed senselessly. It was a dreadful place to grow up.
I didn’t understand what was going on and why all of this happened. I really didn’t want to continue on in life and I didn’t really have many friends left. Everyone was headed for jail or an early grave. But that is when God called me to go back to school and leave everything behind. His message was very clear: if I didn’t leave I would end up dead or in jail. He was yelling it loud and clear. I went back to school and graduated with honors. It was also at this time that I really committed myself back to Christ and got connected to a church where I met a few close friends who helped me to know God more intimately.
I moved to Lake in the Hills a few years ago with my wife who grew up in Crystal Lake. I had looked at several churches before coming to Fox Valley, but when I attended my first service something felt really right. I joined Ray Veilleux’s Life Group and I have wisdom from him and all of the gentlemen in his group. During this time God has also really changed my heart. I have truly been able to let go of the anger and fear that held me down for such a long time. I can truly say that I forgive the people that killed my friends.
I have seen more death than I would want anyone to see for a lifetime. But it is well with my soul and for the trials I will endure in the future and the inevitable death that I face I have been given a gift that I will be able to tell others about. It is well with my soul and I am joyful that I will be in the presence of my creator the Lord God Almighty one day regardless of what is to come.
Joan, attending Fox Valley since 2011
Before I knew Christ, I was a fearful, insecure, and an unhappy person. I made decisions based on feelings and impulses, and had many regrets to show for it. I felt worthless and stupid and was certain that I was a huge disappointment to God.
Once I had children, I searched for a way to keep them from feeling the same sense of fear I had, and decided to take them to church so they could get grounded early on in some kind of faith. While they came to know Him, I learned that Christ loved me — He valued me and had a purpose for my life. I could have a new identity in Him — with all my bad decisions and regrets wiped away. I accepted Him as the Lord of my life 21 years ago, and can honestly say the fear is gone. I rely on His Word for decisions and have great joy and security knowing that I am the daughter of the Most High King.
Neveah, 8, attending Fox Valley since 2014
I thought going to church was boring when my mom first started having us go. But, as we kept going I started to love it, especially going to Journey Land. I started to love hearing all about Jesus and his stories. I never really prayed much because I wasn’t sure who I was actually talking to.
The more I went to Journey Land the more I started to BELIEVE. One Sunday in Journey Land I accepted Jesus into my heart, because I wanted to know him better and to get closer to him. My Sunday school teacher was so excited for me. After I accepted Him I started to pray more and realized that I wasn’t just talking to myself anymore but that I was talking to someone real who was actually listening to my prayers.
One day my mommy told me about a little boy named Jase who is her friend’s cousin. She said he had been in an accident and drowned. I prayed for him and so did my whole family and the church prayer team. I prayed every day and by the 3rd day Jase was all better like nothing had ever happened to him. I know in my heart that was God answering all of the prayers about Jase and I know that was a big miracle that I helped make happen by praying to God and asking him for his help. I will always pray and know that God is real.