Meet Charlie and Lisa
Charlie and Lisa have been married since July 2011. They are members of Finch Baptist Church in Paragould, Arkansas. They have five children, Zac(wife Natalie), Emily, Porter, Paxton, and Parker. Charlie is a graduate of Fort Smith Southside. Lisa is a graduate of Greene County Tech High School. She is also a graduate of Arkansas State University with BSE in Early Childhood, Elementary Education and Mildly Handicapped K-12. Lisa is a Kindergarten teacher at Greene County Tech School District since 1987.
In 2006, at age of 36 I had a pastor come to my house and share a story that changed my life. That pastor introduced me to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. After sharing the story, the pastor led me in a sinner's prayer. It went something like this:
Dear Jesus, I admit that I am a sinner. I ask you to come into my heart. Forgive me of my sins. I make You the boss of my life. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
After I prayed to receive Christ, there was only one thing I wanted to do; tell someone about what I had done. I have never stopped.
In 2008, my life took some dramatic changes. I went through a divorce that I did not want. As a young Christian I could not understand why God was allowing this to happen. I was heartbroken. After my divorce, I had a pastor ask me if I wanted to go on an international mission trip. At first I did not want to go simply because I felt people around me, in my home town, needed to hear about Jesus more than anywhere else. After much persuasion from the pastor I finally gave in and went to Nicaragua. My life got "MESSED UP!" God began a new work in my life showing me that I had a calling in my life. After several trips over the next few years I surrendered to the mission field. It was not easy. Everywhere I turned I was told that I could not serve because of my divorce. Again I was heartbroken, but the calling was there and it would not go away.
In 2012, I was brought onto staff with a ministry that I had been working with for the past 4 years through various trips. During that time I was able to mature into a team leader and the responsibility of being a part of seeing North Americans have life changing experiences, and having their hearts opened. About the same time that I was feeling a real sense of fulfillment, God did something else that is amazing! After such a horrible time going through my divorce, suddenly I had a purpose in ministry and God brought someone new into my life in my wife Lisa. The great thing about Lisa is she loves God more than she loves me. In July of 2011 we were married and our blended family has 5 children and a daughter in law. We are so blessed and we give God all the glory.
In the fall of 2014, the director of the ministry that I was working for was diagnosed with cancer. At this time I began to see God open my heart in a different direction. My desire is to see lives change through the POWER of the Gospel and to see hearts opened. Open Hearts Ministries was created and opened in August of 2015.
In 1985 I was attending church with a friend in Paragould, Arkansas. I remember leaving the church with God convicting my heart. Later that night the pastor came over and explained to me again how Jesus Christ died on the cross for my sins. After he finished he ask me if I wanted Jesus to be my Savior. I said, "Yes." I got down on my knees and put my hands together. He lead me in a prayer where I ask God to come in my heart and to forgive me of my sins.
In 2009 I had to go through a divorce. I didn't know what was going to happen in my life but I knew that God would see me through it. I knew without a doubt that God had a plan for me. He reviled to me that I needed to be sharing the Gospel with people. I began to get involved in mission work.
In July of 2011, Charlie and I married. I went on my first international mission trip with Charlie to Nicaragua that November. I have been teaching Kindergarten for years so when I arrived in Nicaragua, I heard that the schools were encouraging North American people to come in and share about Jesus with their teachers and students, I was so excited. I had a desire in my heart to visit the schools in Nicaragua to share the Gospel. I was given the opportunity to share the Gospel in the schools. After I shared I had tears rolling down my cheeks because I saw students and teachers accept Christ into their heart. I knew without a doubt that this was what God had planned for me to do. That experience has made me who I am today.
I saw that the people of Nicaragua had very little worldly items but they worshipped God with so much passion. Their passion for learning more about God impacted my life forever. My heart was changed!