As promised, we wanted to share a handful of stories we heard from you as a result of the December giveaway.
We were so encouraged by them - especially when we started hearing back immediately after we announced this thing. We honestly couldn't believe how many of you took the time to write us and share what God was doing. (And we're still hearing new stories!) As Ben mentioned, watching God work out the details through his people all around the world to make this happen was pretty incredible.
Thanks again for being a part of this - we really couldn't have done it without you.
From JD Dirks, Pastor at Calvary Chapel Maryville:
Today we sent your link to our sister church in the Ukraine. The fellowship was located in Lugansk but was dispersed due to the conflict. With separatist anti-aircraft sites on the buildings surrounding them the pastor thought it safest/best.
Hours before you sent the offer to us the pastor of that dispersed flock sent us an update on his ministry and expressed an interest in beginning web worship services for the scattered sheep of his fellowship and for those who cannot assemble due to war.
Then I received your email informing us of your offer to give away sites! God's timing is always perfect! Thank you, Clover. Have no doubt, the decision you made was a Spirit-led decision.
From Jeff Atherstone:
Great idea! I loved the website give-a-way and just passed on the code to my friends Dan and Loring Morris.
They moved to Uganda as missionaries 6 years ago to minister in the slums of Wabigalo near the industrial park in Kampala and started Sojourn Uganda (http://www.sojournuganda.org). Dan’s a bit crazy but you need to be a bit crazy to be a great missionary. And the Morris Family are great missionaries in my book. What do I mean by “crazy?”
First, Dan started doing MMA, cage fighting and boxing in the slums because he realized it would reach the young men in his community. He even fought in a national boxing tournament… and lost… but he’s a winner in my book because any missionary willing to get his brains smashed in for the gospel deserves some major credit.
Second, he has lived in the slums with his wife and three kids… when they moved here the Aiden, Hannah and Ben were 7, 5 and 3 years old… that is a serious calling!
Third, they have planted two churches in 6 years… one in the heart of the slums and one on the hill above… both gospel-centered, focused on life-on-life discipleship and committed to serving the poor.
Fourth, they started cleaning up the slums… with their own hands… when they convinced their church members to join them picking up the filth and waste in their communities in one of the most amazing displays of humility and service I have seen in Uganda.
Finally, this last year I saw first hand the impact of Sojourn when Dan and Loring student 3 young girls from their church to study at Africa Renewal University (www.africarenewaluniversity.org). I’ve come across countless students at ARU who were cared for by missionaries in some way but these are the first three students I’ve come across who see the missionaries as their family.
Dan and Loring have overcome countless obstacles, trials and frustrations in Uganda but they are faithful to their calling, faithful to their church, and most importantly faithful to their Savior. Passing on a website to such an amazing couple is an honor. Thanks Clover for all you are doing to support God’s Work around the world!
From Kayla Dozier, Administrative Assistant, First Baptist Church of Rocky Mount:
Clover, thank you! This gift of a website was very timely and an answer to prayer. Our church is involved with a program called ABRO, American Belarus Relief Organization. They bring children here to the US for six weeks over the summer to get relief from residual radiation from the Chernobyl accident. For every six weeks a child is out of the radioactive environment, it increases their life expectancy up to two years. The children are hosted in homes by families in local churches. While the children are here, they are taken to Doctors and dentist, and they get to have a carefree summer with their host families doing fun things kids love doing during their break from school. The children travel with 3 interpreters who provide support to the host families and children, they also have bible study twice a week in their own language. With the suppression of Christianity in Belarus, this is a great blessing to them, to be able to gather and learn about God, some of them for the first time.
Recently the local ABRO board (this is a national organization) had been asking our opinion on websites and asking for recommendations for something they could use to expand fundraising and get additional support. We absolutely wholeheartedly recommended Clover to them, because of its ease of use and design. They looked into it and determined they could not afford the $1,000.00 set up –that is ¼ the amount needed to bring a child here, and they couldn’t justify spending the money when it could be used to bring a child to the US that desperately needed to come. It was a week later that I received your email about you giving us a website to give away. We didn’t have to think very hard about who we would give this to. They are excited to begin designing their website and getting more people educated about ABRO.
Thank you, for your gracious and timely gift. The Lord is good to answer prayers and we are thankful to him and you for this answer to prayer.
From Elmer Cummings - Pastor, New Hope Baptist Church:
I have a good friend who serves as an evangelist -- David Crain, New Life Ministries. His current website is nice enough but it's difficult to get changes/updates made to the site. So, I've been telling him for some time he should switch over to Clover. I was with him this summer and once again showed him the ease of a Clover site and he seemed interested. In fact, I think he's already worked with one of your demos.
The reason this gift is so special is that David's wife was diagnosed with breast cancer about a year ago. Their insurance proved not to be worth much. Their medical bills have been a huge burden on them. In fact, they have had to sell a lot of possessions in order to pay for treatments, surgeries, medications, etc. Not only have they done that without complaint but they have often talked about how grateful they were that God had blessed them with the things to sell.
These are just wonderful people who have been used by God to minister to thousands of people and getting a gift like this is not only helpful to them but timely!
From James Witmyer - Communications & Media Minister at Little Flock Baptist Church
First off, I want to thank you for everything you guys do. I greatly appreciate the designs you create, the products you release, and the mission you follow. The church I work for has greatly benefited from your work.
Secondly, I am greatly pleased with this promo thing that you guys are doing to give away websites. I think this proves what you guys have been saying about how you are all about equipping the local church.
Third, I have shared the special link with someone and I would like to share the story.
I have been using Cloversites for a few years now and love it. I have been telling everyone that cares about it how amazing it is to create and manage our church website. We are a medium size church in Louisville, KY. Well, one of our staff members, Jon, is a part time Associate Minister of Young Families and Discipleship. He was actually recently called to be the Senior Pastor at a small church near his home town in Michigan. That church has a very basic and dare I say "horrible" website currently.
I was telling him about Cloversites and I gave him a basic demo of how I manage our current website and he loved it. He was completely prepping to go to his church when he got there to propose getting a Cloversites website. However, he was afraid they would be immediately turned off by the up-front $1000 fee. Of course, we both think that is completely reasonable... Anyways, a week later, I received your email that I could give away a website. I thought about how I could use this. After a lot of thought, I realized that my church had a great opportunity to bless this new Pastor and his church with this website promo. I talked to my Senior Pastor about this plan and he was all for it. Therefore, we have given Jon the link. He was absolutely stoked. We have been blessed by your generosity.
From Jeff Burton, Freelance Video Producer:
From Connie Wren - New Life Fellowship: