Crystal was born in Cherokee, Iowa. Her family moved to Connecticut when she was a toddler. While there, The Salvation Army came to the complex to let them know of church services they were offering. Her and her 3 siblings began to attend church on a regular basis.
Quite a few years later Crystal’s family moved back to Iowa. However, the unrest within the family did not end. Alcohol-induced quarrels were a constant in her life. When moving back, the family could not find a church they felt welcomed in.
After graduating high school, Crystal moved in with her friend. Unfortunately, due to the restrictions of her friends “low income” housing agreement, she was forced to move out. She began searching for a new place to live.
Luckily for Crystal, The Gospel Mission was the first place on the list appearing for shelters when searching! Crystal decided to move into The Gospel Mission Women’s Shelter. From the start, the staff at The Women’s Shelter were helpful. They helped her in every single area of her life. She had always wanted to go to college, and they urged her to do so. They were the biggest advocates for her! She is the first person in her family to attend college, and she will be the first person to graduate from college! She is studying Robotic Ammunition, and Computer Technologies at WIT.
The Women at the Shelter are required to attend a church outside of The Mission. They all attend Elevate, possibly because of their location and the convenience. But I have a feeling there is more to the attraction of that church!
Crystal says Elevate Church has always been so welcoming to all the women from the shelter. They treat them so respectfully. They go out of their way to make them feel like they belong. They invite them to all the outings and seem to organize outings to fit these women’s needs.
Crystal was being led astray before she entered The Gospel Mission. Caroline teaches them to recognize who they are. All of the staff at The Women’s Shelter are helping the women to live a life in God’s perfect image.
Crystal was baptized in late April, 2023 at Elevate Church by Pastor Chris Ver Steeg. This baptism helped change her way of living. She now realizes certain things in life happen for a reason. God has a perfect plan in everything He does. She catches herself not doing things she used to do, because she knows they will not honor God.
Her family fully supported her decision to get baptized. They are very proud of her. They can all see the change in Crystal. They could see her change before the baptism just in her coming to The Women’s Shelter. She prays for salvation for her family. She now feels strong enough to speak The Gospel to those around her.
She continues to attend Elevate Church with another student from WIT.
Crystal's baptism at Elevate Church in April 2023