Stories

Stories from Men

Divine Appointment: One Piece of a Bigger Puzzle

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God uses people in unexpected and mind-blowing ways. People all over Long Hollow are experiencing stories like this, where God puts together all the pieces to prepare the way for something bigger than ourselves.

“Some friends and I decided to try and get together for lunch.

We all have crazy lives and it’s difficult to get together. It had been about a year since we were all able to see each other.  

Everything worked out for us to get together one day. While getting ready, I felt like there was something different about this time. Experiencing God says to look for where God is at work and join him there…

I kept feeling like God was saying this was a divine appointment.

We met and while we were talking Africa came up. My friend said that God was giving her a vision for a new ministry in Africa. She said that she had not planned on talking about this just yet, but every time God brought this vision to her, Gene and I always came to her mind.

She said that there are many women and children dying daily in Africa because of the way the women give birth today due to lack of medical care. She said that ultrasound was the key.

So I took all this in and shared with Gene. He said, “You know I don’t want to go to Africa again right??” I didn’t want to go back either. 

I suggested he needed to call a guy that offered to buy our business 3 years ago that had the smartphone ultrasound devices. Gene said, “I am not calling him. I haven’t talked to him in three years, and he still owes me money. That would be awkward, and who knows what he did with them or if he still has them.”  That was  on a Sunday night.

On Monday morning, Gene text me and said, “You are not going to believe this, but the guy called me asking about respiratory therapist and was about to hang up when I asked him what he ever did with those devices.”

Well he said that they were up in his attic collecting dust. Gene told him that there was a possible new ministry about to begin in Africa that needed ultrasound. And he said absolutely! He had two grandchildren adopted from Africa and that he would be happy to help anyway he could. 

So he brought Gene the device, and Gene asked him for how much he would sell the machine. He said that he would donate all 10 if we needed them! That’s between $80,000-100,000!

We are expected God to do something huge next!”

-Gene and Stacey Spain

July 28, 2015

Gallatin’s Lake Baptisms

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The Long Hollow Gallatin campus celebrated life-change once again at the annual Lake Baptism service in Old Hickory Lake on Highway 109 South.  Nine people, ranging from second grade to 43 years-old, were baptized with a huge crowd of supporters looking on. Three of those baptized were a mom, dad and daughter. An entire family stepped out in obedience to go public with their faith. In fact, adding the 9 people baptized at the lake to the 6 folks who were baptized on the Gallatin campus earlier in the morning, that day became LH Gallatin’s largest baptism day in the 10 year history. Praise the Lord for it all!! 

July 14, 2015

Experiencing God in Bold Moves

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We are rejoicing constantly at the Work the Lord is doing at Long Hollow. He has equipped us to move and reach people far from Him. Jeff Armstrong, our Springfield Campus Pastor, recently shared a story about an experience he had praying, stepping out in faith, and boldly going where he was needed. Here’s what he had to say: 

I started going to the jail after Kelvin Penuel, one of our deacons, encouraged me to go. He has been going for years, and we both attended an orientation to be able to go and lead Bible studies in the different prison pods. 

It took me a few weeks to go, because I was somewhat apprehensive about being locked up in a pod with prisoners. However, I had been going through the Experiencing God study, and the day I decided to go, the lesson was on praying, allowing God to work, and then watching Him work. 

I went, and decided to go to the pod that houses the sex offenders, because a guard told me those guys always need to talk to people. I walked in, and asked if anyone would like to do a bible study. Four of the men came and I did a DBS study with them. Towards the end of the study, I shared what I had learned through my Experiencing God workbook. One of the guys mentioned he had read some of those devotionals before, and had always wanted to do that study. I was moved to ask them if they would like me to lead them in the study. I couldn’t promise anything, because there are restrictions on what the prisoners can have. 

In His faithfulness, God worked it out. Week after week, the group would grow, and other men asked if they could also join the study. Today, there are nine to ten guys in the study each week, with one other guy who just sits and listens. What God is doing in their hearts through this study is nothing short of incredible. And what God has taught me about boldness through this step of faith is amazing. 

June 25, 2015

At Home in Hillcrest

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“We needed to just go.”

Our Hillcrest Campus has been out and about in their community for weeks. They have a passion to reach their community and drive to go when called. About six weeks ago, they started to hit the streets surrounding their campus to greet their neighbors with meals each week and simply invite them to church. Their prayer was simple: “God, open doors.”

After their outreach strategy had moved from Wednesday nights to Sunday nights, over twenty people found themselves holding their weekly evening service in the home of one of those neighbors. God answered their prayer in a huge way.

The family’s home, that they were welcomed into, has experienced much heartache in the last few weeks. With a diagnosis of cancer for the father and a car wreck that left the mother bedridden, the whole family was ready for hope to enter their home.

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Hillcrest members had brought them meals for a few weeks, and they wanted to come to church, but due to their circumstances, weren’t able to leave their house. The people of Hillcrest rallied around this family by moving worship, the message and fellowship all to their house so they could attend. It was a beautiful picture of how God answers prayer and the obedience of some willing hearts to reach people for His glory.  Thank you, Lord, for opening doors!

June 22, 2015

Rescued & Redeemed: Jane’s Story

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On Friday, March 20, a Metro sting operation netted a repeat sex trafficking offender that ultimately provided freedom to a beautiful young lady, who we will call, Jane.  Rescue1 Global, a partner of Long Hollow, was called to intervene on Jane’s  behalf.

Jane is Korean, speaks very little English, and reads even less. Unaware of where she was, Rescue1 and Long Hollow worked tirelessly to develop communication with Jane in an effort to help her heal. They fell in love with Jane from the get-go, and she with them.  Through tools Long Hollow uses for Small Groups and discipleship (Discovery Bible Study), they learned that she had been taken as a 12-year-old girl from a small farming community. They also learned the story of hope and redemption that Jesus placed in her heart before she was taken.

Jane was a Buddhist. She learned about Jesus in a local church in Korea.  Her brother threatened to break her legs if she kept going to church.  She continued to go despite his increasing threats to take her life. When telling her story, she tearfully and joyfully recalled a moment in church when she was at choir rehearsal .

As the choir was practicing, a gentleman’s voice broke through from the back.  They all turned in shock to see that the man was in fact Jane’s brother!  She attributes his conversion to the mighty prayers of the church.  Today, Jane’s brother is a pastor and is in the process of building a Christian church in Korea. 

In the weeks following the sting operation, Jane was surrounded by friends who displayed the love of Christ to her everyday as she began healing, growing and learning what it meant to walk in freedom.  When Jane decided to stay in Tennessee for a a little while longer,  a Long Hollow family immediately offered financial support and even opened up their home to Jane.  She celebrated and danced with her new friends for weeks to come. Through the help of some amazing Long Hollow members, Jane found a Korean church in Nashville to attend. Jane’s zest for life was encouragement to everyone around her despite her past circumstances. 

When the day came for Jane’s trafficker to stand before a judge, Jane showed bravery and strength by agreeing to testify. We are happy to report that on March 30th, Jane’s previous trafficker pleaded guilty and was charged!

With the help of Long Hollow and Rescue1, Jane was able to reconnect with her family in the northeast. Jane continues to communicate with her Nashville friends daily, and is even taking a stand to go through training to rescue other victims for sex trafficking. We praise Jesus for the redemption in Jane’s life! 

April 22, 2015

LH Men at The Gift

Last Saturday was my third year to serve at The Gift for Single Moms. I was cold & tired. I really didn’t want to come, but I jumped in my truck and headed to Long Hollow. As we vacuumed so many cars that really needed work, I realized the blessing we were giving someone else was worth it. I imaged how good it would feel to have someone clean my car. I love the joy that I got as each car was completed. Some of those students did car after car and never complained. I made a few of them go warm up because they wouldn’t quit. It was just awesome to be able to bless others and to know that God will bless us. I can’t wait ’til next year.

Kurt Riley | Hendersonville
December 11, 2013