“In January of 2020, I relocated from Mississippi to St. Louis to start over after a traumatic divorce and being laid off from Mississippi State University. In the days and weeks following my move I had a series of injuries and illnesses that plagued me for more than a year. During this time, I cried out to God, asking why I was placed in St. Louis? With the answer still unclear, on April 1, 2021, I started this radical thing. I began jumping rope and uploading the videos to social media as a form of accountability. Initially, I could barely do 25 jumps because COVID wreaked havoc on my body, but over time I got better and made it to approximately 550 jumps a day! People commented on my posts that I was challenging them to GET UP. Connections Pastor Dave Merrill reached out to me and said, “I see you jumping and it is inspiring. I think you have gifts that can be used in online worship!” Little did he know that in March when I was battling COVID, I had written a journal entry asking God to show me a new way to serve at The Gathering that would help me find my voice and discern if I should pursue a career in ministry. Initially, I was shocked, nervous, and baffled that someone I had never met saw me and my potential because I felt like I didn’ have much to offer. However, serving as a host has restored my confidence, taught me to own my voice, and provided a community in which I feel I belong. I sense God doing a new thing in my life, shaping me as I BECOME a woman in ministry to others. I offer you a word of encouragement - be open to trying something different, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable. Who knows where it will lead!”
-- Brittany Radford