LIVES TRANSFORMED S H A R I N G
F A I T H
J O U R N E Y S
JODY CAMPBELL PAIGE
Let your life be transformed. Have faith, be joyful, worship and trust God. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lordâ€™s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. â€”2 Corinthians 3:18
There is a pattern that runs through the stories you will read in this 10th Edition of Lives Transformed. The lives of Doug, Jody, and Tommy were transformed by the love of Christ, and by sharing their faith journey stories, they hope to impact the lives of others. ii // cc-ob.org
Doug Nelson The Lord’s Prayer has been a central part of Doug Nelson’s life since childhood. “My maternal grandmother taught it to me, and I have prayed it every night since then,” Doug affirms. He and his two brothers grew up in Villa Park, Illinois. “We had wonderful parents, as well as wonderful grandparents.” After graduating from Willowbrook High School, Doug earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing, with a minor in Communications, from Elmhurst College. “I am a licensed real estate broker with Re/Max Enterprises. I also operate a 103-year-old family business started by my uncle in 1915,” says Doug. “We sell wholesale office equipment.” In 1981, Doug met Camille Fiore on a blind date, and recalls his first impressions: “She was beautiful inside and out, she was fun to be with, and she was kind. As our relationship grew, I saw that she has a big heart. We were married in 1990. As an Italian Catholic, Camille was adamant about regular church attendance, so we attended my previous church together. She is truly my helpmate in life. “In the 1990s, we went to a Luis Palau crusade. At the close of the worship service, people were invited to go forward to commit their lives to Jesus Christ. Camille
“I am grateful that the Lord can refine—sometimes in the fire—any sinner and form us into the person He desires us to be.” said to me, ‘I think I need to go down to the front.’ Now, my wife doesn’t like being in crowds, but she had a serene peace that only Christ could have written on her heart that evening. I knew that she had gotten it; that is, that Christ saves us while we are yet sinners — not because of anything we did, but because in His grace He calls to each of us. All we have to do is answer, ‘Yes, Lord.’ His Spirit will grow us.” Lives Transformed // 1
Doug has faced challenges that could have rocked his faith. “About ten years ago, Camille got very ill, and doctors didn’t know what was wrong with her. I was frustrated, and was praying my heart out, saying, ‘Please God, you know how much I love her; please heal her. Then God spoke to me — not audibly — but in my mind, and He said, ‘She was My daughter before I gave her to you as your wife.’ A sense of peace came over me, and I knew that Camille would be all right. God had the situation under control. She has been fine ever since.” The Nelsons started attending Christ Church in 1995. “It was here that I fully committed my life to the Lord. While we were involved in ministries at our previous church, I felt at home here. I joined the usher team, and we both served in the children’s ministry. Later, I focused my attention on Missions, which is my passion. My primary outreach is the food pantry, but all mission activity — global and domestic — fires me up to serve the Lord. I am grateful that the Lord can refine — sometimes in the fire — any sinner and form us into the person He desires us to be. Part of that refining came about through the mentoring of Pastor Ralph Robrahn. “When we joined Christ Church, the domestic mission concept was just being developed, so I got in on the ‘ground floor.’ I was serving at the Northern Illinois Food Bank, so it was natural for me to become part of that aspect of the Domestic Mission Team.” It’s been 14 years since Doug began leading the Christ Church/Salvation Army Food Pantry ministry; Camille has been a vital part, and for 12 years Bruce Buteyn has been the co-leader. Doug is quick to say that, “In 12 years, Bruce has never missed a Saturday serving at the food pantry.” In 2 // cc-ob.org
Doug met Camille Fiore in 1981 and they were married in 1990.
2008, a clothing section, led by Debbie Barker, was added to the ministry. A recent survey revealed that being able to get clean, good quality clothing is what clients most appreciate. “On average,” Doug says, “We serve 120 families monthly.” A team sets up on the second Friday of each month at the Salvation Army gymnasium in Oak Brook Terrace, in preparation for serving needy families the following morning. “In January 2018, we could not do our usual setup, so we had to get up early on Saturday morning to unload multiple truckloads of food and clothing. The temperature was nine degrees with a wind chill of about 15 below zero, and it was dark outside. Yet all the workers who showed up got everything done, so that when the doors opened to clients on Saturday, it looked as well organized as if it had been set up during a Friday session.
“In my businesses, I try to be a witness, and it isn’t necessarily in words. A Christian, by their civil speech, upright actions, and concern for the best interests of customers, can shine the light of Christian character in the world.” God gave each of those who served the fortitude and stamina to help the less fortunate. I am blessed to see the practical application of many pastoral sermons in action every month. Praise God!” Specifically, Doug recalls how one time God demonstrated His faithfulness in a dramatic way: “Bruce and I have statistics of clients served — no names, of course — going back a decade. We try to forecast food amounts that we will need from The Northern Illinois Food Bank, and the local Jewel Foods store. Once, 25 extra families showed up, and we had run out of fresh produce. A man arrived in a pickup truck who said his church had just harvested their garden plot, and asked if we could use fresh produce. It was enough to give to the new families, and we had enough fruit to bake three pies for the folks at the Pacific Garden Mission in Chicago. God is truly good, and He supplies all our needs. One of His Old Testament names is Jehovah-Jireh— God is my provider.” Doug has a down-to-earth philosophy about sharing his faith with others: “In my businesses, I try to be a witness, and it isn’t necessarily in words. A Christian, by their civil speech, upright actions, and concern for the best interests of customers, can shine the light of Christian character in the world.”
Continuing, Doug explains, “I am part of two small groups that focus on the needs of others: the Stephen Ministry that provides a care-giver to a person who needs support, and a group for new believers in Christ. After a large number of clients had invited Christ into their lives, Bruce and I suggested to the church Elders that we mentor them through an introductory Bible study, which has now morphed into the Alpha course, led by Dr. Eric Haskins. We, as followers of Christ, must disciple others. As they become spiritually grounded they, in turn, mentor other new believers. I encourage everyone who is not already serving in a ministry to find one that they may enjoy and try it out. If you find it fun, great! Stay with it. If not, there are plenty of other ministries to choose from in a church our size.” Currently, Doug and Camille are part of the group from Oak Brook helping to establish Christ Church in Downers Grove. Doug particularly loves reading the Gospel of John. He believes that is where a seeker or a new believer in Christ should start when reading the Bible. As to a personal legacy, Doug says, “The greatest compliment anyone could give me would be to say, ‘He loved the Lord and served Him well.’”
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Jody Campbell Paige “My mom was a stay-at-home-mom; she was always there when we got home from school,” explains Jody Campbell Paige. Until that day. “It was scary because she wasn’t there; my grammy said my mom had gone to the hospital for surgery. I was in junior high, and I knew that my mom had breast cancer, but cancer was a word you didn’t say out loud.
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“I remember going into our basement and lying in a big overstuffed chair. I was scared that I’d never see my mom again. We were taught to go to saints to intervene for different things, but I didn’t know which saint to go to. I decided, ‘I’m going to go right to God.’ I was crying and praying and begging Him to save my mom and bring her home to us. Then I had an overwhelming sense of peace. He didn’t say that He would heal my mom, but I knew that it was going to be okay. My tears dried up and I went out to play. It was the first time I felt a personal relationship with Jesus. I experienced it profoundly; it was powerful. And my mom is a survivor of more than 30 years!” Jody and her three sisters grew up in Brookfield. “We had a beautiful neighborhood with children our ages; my sisters and I are close in age and have interests in common. We went around the neighborhood and gathered friends to play baseball on the corner with the sewer caps as the bases; or we’d ride our bikes. I felt safe and happy. We attended St. Louise DeMarillac church in LaGrange Park, and that’s where I went to school. We knew everyone and we looked out for each other.” Life became more complicated for Jody following her high school graduation. “My sisters and I knew that if we went to college, we’d have to pay for it.” Jody’s parents would provide room and board at home, and she would pay tuition and other expenses. “I got a job as an administrative assistant at Horton’s in LaGrange. I loved it; I helped develop their Customer Appreciation program. At night, I went to College of DuPage and completed my prerequisites. Keeping my job, I enrolled in
Columbia College, majoring in journalism.” Jody worked weekends at a store and cleaned municipal buildings late at night. “I had some bitterness because I was working very hard, and didn’t have time to do what my friends were doing. Now, I see that it was a great experience.” Tate Paige entered Jody’s life when they were in high school. “Tate was two years ahead of me, and we were just getting to know each other when he left for college. We dated for eight years before we were married. From the start, we knew we were right for each other.” Tate grew up in a non-denominational Bible church. Nonetheless, when they were planning to be married, he agreed to meet with the priest at Jody’s parish. “It was not a good experience for either of us. The priest finally agreed to marry us in my church, but standing down from the altar.” After their marriage, the couple searched for a Catholic church home without satisfaction. They then made a list of nondenominational churches they wanted to try. First on the list was Christ Church. “We really liked it. We were welcomed; the music spoke to me, and I prayed, ‘Lord, let it be the same for Tate.’ And it was. We’ve been coming to Christ Church for 15 years.” Former pastor, Greg Ogden, encouraged the Paiges to join a young couples group. “We had been married five years and were in our thirties; we didn’t think we’d fit in, but Greg said, ‘Trust me. You’ll fit in.’ We were in that group for years and some very strong friendships were formed there.” Meanwhile, Jody’s career was launched. “My first job in journalism was for Suburban Life newspapers; I worked for a small daily,
then I worked freelance for the Chicago Tribune. I was offered, and accepted, a part-time job at Christ Church.” Eventually, Jody’s work expanded to full-time. “I kept working freelance as well, and when the Tribune asked me to work full-time, I left my position at the church; I worked at the Tribune for ten years.” The couple’s greatest challenge came when their children were born. “We thought we were having twins, and then the doctor surprised us when he said we were having three! It was a huge blessing but an overwhelming surprise.” When the babies — Brett, Jackson, and Peyton — were born, both parents knew that something was different about Brett’s development. “When you have three babies next to each other, you can see that two of them are cooing and moving, and one is stiff as a board. Doctors said it was severe acid reflux. Every night Brett had colic. The hardest part for me was that he didn’t just cry, he screamed for hours. I dreaded the night because nothing consoled him, and it broke my heart. I knew that Brett was in pain; I could feel it. I prayed day and night that God would help him. Finally, I said, ‘God, I cannot do this anymore. This helpless baby is hurting, and I’ve been crying out to You for weeks, but he is still hurting.’ That night I put headphones on to listen to music and the song “All That I Can Say” by David Crowder Band played and these lyrics grabbed my attention: I didn’t notice You were standing here. I didn’t know that was You holding me. I didn’t notice You were cry’n too. I didn’t know that was You washing my feet.
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“We must be intentional in keeping our relationship strong.… We count on each other and share responsibilities.… I don’t know how people go through something like this without faith.” “I had this image of God crying with us. We have an amazing support system of family and friends, but these difficult nights felt so lonely. I thought about the people washing my feet — those who were coming during the day, bringing meals and rocking the boys; I realized that was God, and that He was taking care of us. Finally, a specialist told us that Brett has a leaky gut. We changed formulas three times before finding one that did not upset him. “We knew that there were other problems. Brett could not hold his head up like the others, and at six months, he started having seizures. The eventual diagnosis was spastic quad cerebral palsy. It was not a great shock to us, but our journey through the healthcare system was a very difficult one.” Jody says that having a special needs child adds another layer to their marriage. “We must be intentional in keeping our relationship strong. We can’t call a sitter who is not specially trained; it takes a lot of planning. We count on each other and share responsibilities. We plan at-home dates — time that is just for us. We keep boundaries around those times, which is usually once a month for lunch or dinner. I don’t know how people go through something like this without faith.” Fast-forward to 2018. Jody is again working full-time at Christ Church. Family members care for the children after school. Brett is in a wheelchair; he is learning to speak using a communication device. “Mentally, he is on 6 // cc-ob.org
The Paige family at Rock ‘n’ Canoe Camp.
grade level,” says Jody. “He goes between a multi-needs class and the regular fourth grade classroom with his brothers. Last summer, Brett went to Rock ‘n’ Canoe camp with the other Christ Church kids and did almost everything. He had a blast! He has a powerful connection to God. I tell him that he doesn’t have to say a word. God knows what’s in our hearts.” She continues, “God gave Brett two able-bodied brothers, and they include him as much as possible. Friends invite all three boys to birthday parties and other outings. It can be difficult sometimes when Brett can’t participate in the same way as others, but Jackson and Peyton tell Brett that, ‘Someday, you will be able to run; you won’t need your wheelchair in Heaven!’”
Tommy Ferguson “God is your primary ‘go-to-person’ in everything—not your ‘9-1-1-person’ after you have made a hash of things. Repenting is a daily process; you must be intentional in your faith.” Words of a seasoned Christian of mature years? No. They are the words of 30-year-old Tommy Ferguson. Tommy, his brother and two sisters, grew up in the town of Somonauk, Illinois. “There were no stop lights in our town of 1,300 people. Our family went to a Baptist church, where I was in Sunday School and sang in the youth choir. I was in Awana [a discipleship program for children and youth.] I had a vest with lots of buttons and badges. “By age ten,” Tommy says, “we stopped attending church. When I was 15 years old, a friend invited me to go to her church on Wednesday evenings in Plano, which was ‘down the road a piece,’ from Somonauk. We attended a contemporary worship service. They played drums and guitars.” The contemporary service was a new experience for Tommy, who had played in a garage band. “I thought that a church with this music must be cool, so I kept going and eventually went there for Sunday worship.
“At age 16, I decided that I could not do life without Christ. I understood that I could not save myself; I needed a Savior. That summer, I was baptized by immersion in my non-denominational church, by my youth minister. My new faith in Christ got me through high school and college. “I graduated from Aurora University with a Bachelor of Science degree. It’s a Division III NCAA school; I ran cross country, and track and field. The Lord led me to meet a wonderful girl, Alli Grissom, who also enjoyed running and we worked at the same running shoe store. Her parents were steadfast in their faith, and a great example to me. Alli and I started our marriage by attending Trinity Lutheran Church of Naperville, where her father was the pastor.
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The Lord knows exactly what you need. I got refocused and re-energized, and I got to marry a wonderful woman.” When Tommy proposed, he asked Alli if, “She would run with me forever. That was my wedding ‘tagline.’” The Fergusons have been married for eight years, and have a son, Samuel, who is five months old. “He has been an amazing blessing in our lives. Also, I still race competitively with running and triathlons and am training for the Chicago Marathon this fall. I run with a new purpose — to stay healthy for my family.” In 2012, Tommy earned his MBA in Finance from North Central College in Naperville, and was led to Allstate Insurance in Northbrook. “I work in Product Alli, Samuel, and Tommy Ferguson. Management. I’ve been there six years. I lead a team of analysts who “I enjoy the fresh mercies of God each day. set strategy for helping Allstate I talk to the Lord in conversational prayer, and grow profitability He talks to me in the written pages of the Bible.” by setting risk management guidelines through data analysis. I mentor my staff to help them fell in love with Christ Church in 2014, and it reach their career potential. I treat them as I became our church home. It was because of would like to be treated. I look at the whole people like Pete that confirmed we wanted person, and learn how I can walk alongside to be at Oak Brook. them, rather than be a boss over them.” “Pete urged us to become active in youth After joining Allstate, the couple moved to ministry. I initially resisted because of Elmhurst to facilitate their separate workwork, but when he said he needed adult related commutes. “One Sunday morning, chaperons for a high school ministry trip to we came to Christ Church. Pete Stearns was San Francisco, we agreed to go. Alli and I there and after the worship service, Pete were hooked. The high-schoolers were on rushed over to greet us, introduced himself, the streets witnessing to the homeless and and we instantly connected! There was no presenting the Good News to anyone who doubt it was a leading of the Holy Spirit. We would listen.
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“Alli started working with freshmen girls, and I with middle-school and junior high school boys. I helped with Winter Stampede, the middle school group’s mid-winter outing. This was a good introduction to parenting — little sleep, kids full of energy. A few months ago, we moved to Northbrook, where Allstate’s headquarters are located. For now we are continuing in the Take Root Initiative. We want to see the fruition of this endeavor by our congregation through the workings of the Holy Spirit.” To have a vibrant spiritual life, Tommy believes, “The biggest thing for me to understand is that those mountain-top experiences that you have with God will eventually fade. But God calls us to be with Him every day—not just on Sunday or special days. That means reading the Word regularly. There are times when I miss a day, but instead of fretting about it, I move forward with the devotional reading for the day. The Apostle Paul was always forwardlooking, not gazing backwards. I enjoy the fresh mercies of God each day. I talk to the Lord in conversational prayer, and He talks to me in the written pages of the Bible. Just as we are to give our first fruits financially, so reading God’s Word the first thing in the morning sets our minds on things of the Spirit, not on earthly things. Romans 12:2 is my favorite verse: Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. “That means that we are to think of others. We cannot transform ourselves. We cannot do life perfectly, but we can honor Him by taking actions with God Almighty as our power source. I don’t focus on climbing
“I have purpose being where I am, and that is to be the face of Jesus to other people.” the corporate ladder, or being the fastest runner or cyclist, but rather doing the best I can with the God-given talents I have. Those are all earthly concerns and God calls me to do the best I can in those places, but they don’t define who I am. What has eternal value is being present and available to those around me to form the most important relationships in life, which leads to a better relationship with Jesus. “I can relate to Pastor Dan’s message on the subject of why bad things happen to people. I had questioned God about this with an incident that left me as a carereceiver and my wife as my care-giver for quite a while. I kept asking God why this happened to me. Things happen that upset our routine and cause pain, but we need to reflect on how often we have disturbed the lives of others, by word or deed, that caused them pain. No one is exempt in this fallen world. “One of the most faithful Christians whom I’ve met was a person from the Dominican Republic, who was a 40-year employee with Allstate. She served others, inside and outside the company. She made people, not things, her priority. I have purpose being where I am, and that is to be the face of Jesus to other people. Someday, God may call me into a ministry role but we are all ambassadors for Christ, no matter where we are each day. In this world, we are to be the salt and the light.”
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FROM THE WILL OF PATRICK HENRY
â€œI have now disposed of all my property to my family. There is one more thing I wish I could give them and that is faith in Jesus Christ. If they had that and I had not given them one shilling, they would be rich, and if I had not given them that and I had given them the world, they would be poor indeed.â€?
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WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR YOUR STORY What is the purpose of Lives Transformed?
How do we go about letting our light shine?
The mission of Lives Transformed is to provide opportunities for Christians to share experiences and circumstances that enriched their faith in Jesus Christ with the hope that these stories will encourage others to seek a deeper relationship with Him.
One way is by intentionally sharing our faith journey. We can give others personal snapshots that highlight the people, places, and events that have influenced us and molded us into the person we are today. Perhaps a gracious, caring Christian was a mentor to you. Maybe you are helping to empower others as they explore their own walk with Christ. As a spokesperson for the Christian faith, we can impact our community, our church, our school, or workplace in a way that has eternal value. In small ways or large, we can tell the story of how our faith in Christ has enriched and guided our life.
Is there a scriptural mandate for sharing our stories of faith? The scriptural basis for Lives Transformed is found in Joel 1:3: â€œTell your children about it in the years to come, and let your children tell their children. Pass the story down from generation to generation.â€?
Is Lives Transformed for everyone? As Christians, we have a story to tell that can profoundly change the lives of our family, our friends, our colleagues, or the people next door. Jesus tells us that we are to let our light shine before others that they may see our good work and glorify our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).
No one else can tell your story in the compelling way that you can tell it. It is your story. But it is a story that needs to be shared. And that is what we are doing by sharing Lives Transformed. We are gathering faith stories of the Christ Church community and making them available to the congregation now and to future generations, in response to the call of Jesus.
WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR LEGACY TO EXTEND THE KINGDOM? If you would cherish the opportunity to share your story of how God has faithfully directed you in living the abundant life, please contact us at the ASK Ministry office, 630.321.6770 or 630.654.1882 ext. 301. You can view past issues of this publication at: cc-ob.org/livestransformed.
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DI S C I PLE S H I P P A T H W AY
God can transform the life of someone who chooses to Worship | Grow | Serve Christ Church
provides a PATHWAY
weekly with your church family
by taking intentional STEPs of faith
the church and world with your gifts
Find a worship service that feels right to you and make it a part of your weekly rhythm. When you can’t be here in person, join us through our worship livestream, media library, or TV and radio broadcasts.
Gain clearer sight for where you are and want to go. Start using some of our spiritual training resources. Get the educational equipment you need to make the most of your life. Find some partners for the journey.
Make a strategic financial gift that helps change lives for the good. Serve in a volunteer ministry here at the church or near where you live. Or extend your reach far away where people especially need your gifts.
for discovering a deeper relationship with God and developing your God-given potential. We are committed to helping one another live in this world and love people around us just like Jesus did.
LIVES TRANSFORMED Thank you to the team that helped create this booklet.
• Jeanne Adams • Ann Bradley • Tom Colao • Kelly Frantz
• Jan Huskisson • Eileen Johnson • Steve Johnson • Carol Olsen
May God bless your efforts by helping others see that lives are transformed through the love of Jesus Christ! — Rev. Rick Glyman, Pastoral Advisor
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C W OR SH
TTRACTIVE WI • A TN
Exalting and enjoying God is life’s great purpose and pleasure. LIFE-CHANGING LOVE
Living to draw others to Christ is our personal
extravagantly is the power and priority of God.
S S ER
adventure worth every effort.
A N G
others is how we imitate God.
Becoming like Jesus is an
Giving our gifts to help
GENUINE COMMUNITY Doing life together is how we live the Christian journey.
H • GENU
T H E R E A R E M A N Y WAY S Y O U C A N S TAY CONNECTED TO CHRIST CHURCH
• Attend a Weekend Worship Service at our Oak Brook or Downers Grove locations. • Visit our website at cc-ob/org. • Connect with us on social media. @christchurchoakbrook @christchurchOB christchurchob Christ Church Christ Church of Oak Brook
• View or listen to our broadcast program Love Changes Life. Sundays 5:00 a.m. on WFLD-TV 8:30 a.m. on WPWR-TV 5:30 a.m. on WGN radio • Watch services via LiveStream on Sundays at cc-ob.org/online.
• Visit our Media Library at media.cc-ob.org.
501 Oak Brook Rd. Oak Brook, IL 60523 630.654.1882
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May we pray for you? If you are in need of prayer, please contact Sherry Labate at 630.321.3936.