My name is Debbie McCann, and for the last 11 years, I have had the privilege of seeing God work in my community. I came to know the Lord when I was nine years old, and I really began seeking after Him as a young teenager. As a young adult, the Lord led me to my husband Randy, and we lived in many different cities throughout the years and were involved in ministry wherever we went. We lived in Florida for several years, and I was on staff at the church we attended. While on staff, I got my masters in Christian education, and right after I finished my degree, we moved to Winston-Salem, NC. I was so excited for our new adventure and I could not wait to see how I could use my newly earned master’s degree to serve the Lord. The pastor from our old church recommended that we visit Calvary because he had been an intern there years prior, so this was the first church we visited, and we knew it was where we were to serve. We were led to work with preschoolers, which was a great joy, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that the Lord was leading me to do more.
Despite our differences, we are one community growing together and studying the Word of God.
God had everything planned even down to the Brookberry Farm neighborhood we would call home, along with its location across from the clubhouse where many activities were held, including a coffee where the women could start friendships. Being new, I decided to go to one of these coffees, so I could meet people, and all I had to do was walk across the street! I met several women and, upon learning my background, they asked if I had any interest in teaching a neighborhood Bible study. I immediately agreed and made it my goal to mentor everyone who attended and to lead them beyond just attending their churches, but also connecting and serving within them. Eleven years ago, we started with 9 women, and now we have 28. Our group is very diverse, representing backgrounds from the Baptist, Methodist, Catholic, Moravian, Lutheran, Presbyterian, and non-denominational churches. Despite our differences, we are one community growing together and studying the Word of God. We have rejoiced with each other in the good times and supported and encouraged each other through the challenging ones. We have grown exponentially as a result. We meet every Thursday at the neighborhood clubhouse and we are about to finish up reading through the entire Bible after 6 years of study.
I have often been reminded of the story of Eunice and Lois in the New Testament through my time with these women because their love of the Lord and His Word have impacted so many people beyond themselves. Our group has grown beyond the confines of Brookberry, so now women from other neighborhoods study with us. We have reached out and served the community by being a part of various service projects through Calvary and other churches and organizations. We have even spoken at the funeral of one of our sister’s in Christ, which was a great opportunity to speak joy into a sad situation. Our group is unique in that it is an open circle, so new women are always welcomed and included. To be honest, I had a totally different plan in how I would serve when I came here, but through the years the Lord has affirmed over and over again that He knows BEST!
Now, as our group nears the end of the Bible, I am nearing the end of my time here in North Carolina. The Lord is calling us into a new season of life as we are preparing to move back to Florida to be near our children. I will fiercely miss the community of Winston-Salem, especially the ladies in my Bible study. What a blessing it has been to see lives transformed and to see the Lord work through such a wonderful group of women. There really is something about being obedient when you’re not sure what God is doing with you. You don’t have to understand it, but if you just take one day and watch His grace, love, and mercy unfold, you start to catch glimpses of the path of where He wants you to go. As time goes on, it gets easier and easier to stay on that path. The burden of “figuring it out” is lifted, and you begin to see the fruit of your labor, and the blessings come pouring in from there. I will never forget at the beginning of this adventure eleven years ago, I told God, “Ok Lord, I will do my part. But You have to do Yours.” And He did. And I know that wherever He takes us in our next adventure, we can trust that He will do great things.
If you’re interested in connecting with others in community, check out calvarynow.com/discipleship.