Our wonderful Board Member Jeff Rebenstorf had the opportunity to share about Wings of God with his church, Lighthouse Community Church, during their Mission Month of May. We are thrilled to be able to share his interview – we are so blessed to have Jeff serve our mission and the loving support of Lighthouse Community Chuch!
Lighthouse Community Church: What does the organization that you work with do?
Jeff Rebenstorf: Wings of God Transition Home is a place where women who desire to become contributing members of society can come and be guided and loved. The primary focus is to show the women, who we call Pearls, the love of Jesus Christ. Many of the women we help come from homes where love has not been well expressed and often times Jesus is not shared.
Lighthouse Community Church: How did I get connected with them?
Jeff Rebenstorf: Wings of God started as a home in 2012 but prior to opening the home three awesome women had the vision for the home and started fundraising and searching for the right house. I got involved during this fundraising stage by providing financial support. Later I helped a little with the home in terms of minor house repairs.
Lighthouse Community Church: What do you think are the benefits of being involved with local missions?
Jeff Rebenstorf: Whenever I’m asked this question, or something similar, two things immediately come to mind. First is to be the hands and feet of Jesus. We are commanded to GO and make disciples. So sharing Jesus with people who don’t really know Him is not a suggestion, it is something I must do as a believer in Jesus Christ. The people are the same as you and I and need a foundation from which they live their lives. When they come to know Jesus and accept Him as their Savior they change and seek to live their lives in a manner pleasing to Him. The result is people filled with peace and joy where there used to be confusion, anger, and hopelessness. Society as a whole then benefits because believers in Jesus want to please Him and as a result become contributing members, perhaps even becoming people who desire to make disciples of others. Some of our graduated Pearls have done just that.
That brings me to the second reason I like to be involved and that is the awesome sense of joy I get when I see people turn from drugs, sex, violence, or whatever has them trapped and find their strength in Jesus. Many times I’ve felt that this reason is selfish because the growth I have experienced through helping others is tremendous. We all have issues that tend to drag us away from the path Jesus wants us to take. But when I help others search for this path and guide them to Jesus who will help them stay on that path, I am reminded of my own needs and I grow too.
Lighthouse Community Church: What has been the most impactful thing for you? Has there been a particular moment or experience that has really impacted you?
Jeff Rebenstorf: I think the biggest impact has been the realization that I get back more than I give. Many times I have made the analogy between serving others with the love of Jesus as the living water that wells up inside you and never ends. I don’t always feel like serving but then I start to prepare for what I want to share and the desire to be clear and helpful takes over and I become energized with His living water. As I look back over times of interaction I can say that any help has not come from me but from Him who lives within me. As an example and as a particularly meaningful time involving the Pearls it happened during a session of Morning Muscle, a time when I share a scripture or some faith-building reading with the Pearls. I only do this twice a month and sessions are only 30 minutes so it is hard to fully express an issue. But one time as we were finishing up one of the Pearls blurted out “I love you”. Because of gender differences, men need to be sensitive to how to respond to such a comment. But it instantly became a Holy Spirit moment in that I was not at all rattled or concerned about the comment but expressed the fact that I loved her and all the Pearls as well. That session ran over the 30-minute limit a bit because the door had been opened to discuss love as human emotion and that it is a command that Jesus gave us, “Love one another”. I felt genuinely used by God to share with them that love is more than a physical thing or an attraction between two people but instead is a genuine interest in the other person and wanting to help them be the person God created them to be. What an awesome opportunity I was given to share about the fundamental principle of being a follower of Jesus Christ. But I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised because we serve an awesome God!