The name of the ministry is self-descriptive. Jesus Christ works in the hearts of people so they do good works that stem from faith in Him. So as much as we are able, we are involved in practical and spiritual helps for others – especially disadvantaged people. Part of our function is encouraging other believers to do the same things and assisting other ministries that have similar purposes. We either perform the helps or encourage and assist other believers in their helps to others. Unlike many ministries, this one is home-based, so what we do is an extension of home. There are a few volunteers who help our volunteer effort, but there is no paid staff, no separate office, and no career path. We devote most of our time to providing training or providing courses to others. We generally do not provide financial assistance unless we have a long-standing relationship with a group. If the organization ceased to exist tomorrow, we would be doing nearly the same things. Having a ministry organization is helpful, however, because it facilitates many tasks and opens the way for other people to be involved.
In largest terms the ministry’s aim is to build the Kingdom of God – the same Kingdom that Christ came to proclaim and exemplify. Any ministry activity is no more or less obedience to Christ, since he said that we should walk as he did. He was always mindful of heart issues but also the practical outworking of faith in his followers. By God’s grace we try not to separate heart issues from practical helps because both are almost always needed. So preaching and teaching are good. We do them. But this cannot be done without addressing practical needs of disadvantaged peoples. As needs arise in our sphere of influence, we presume that God wants us to consider how we might address them. Our emphasis has been to economically disadvantaged groups of people and parents or children with educational needs.
Since we are a small group of volunteers, we prayerfully make choices about where, when, and how to render assistance. We know we cannot address all the needs that we hear about. Our direction also changes as the needs change around us. In the end we want confidence that the Spirit of God has led us to address a particular set of needs. As you read our history and look at our active projects, you will see how needs have changed over time. In the end, the results we expect are the same: strengthening and encouraging others in Christ, which includes practical training as we are able to provide it.
CHRISTWORKS MINISTRIES was founded and continues to function because of the good news of Jesus Christ. We firmly believe that he is the solution to heart issues – who we are, how we know God, and how we can be changed to be like him. There is no apology for this biblical foundation. It is written into our constitution and by-laws. The Kingdom of God is meant to consist of people who have believed by faith that Jesus Christ is the Son of God – God’s answer to our sinful condition or situation. Practical works or the outworking of faith comes out of this foundation. Our helps take different forms and may assist believers or unbelievers, but the message is the same: God loves us, cares for our needs, and wants us to increasingly relate to him. Whether we help a farm in Uganda, assist a single mom in the US, provide a seminar in Haiti, provide food for the poor, or teach teachers how to teach children, the motivation is the same: help people know Christ and become like him. We have an excellent reference text, guidebook and manual (so to speak), which is the Bible. We consult it and use it regularly to help us and others. It also provides us an absolutely perfect guide with respect to conduct.
The Story and History in Brief
Like most ministries, this one began very small. Roland and Linda were given to hospitality early in their marriage and Christian walk. They began a food ministry and a home school support group. After about two decades, their personal work and life style became the basis for CHRISTWORKS MINISTRIES to be birthed. The work continued and expanded through the 1990s.
Faylene and Gene Lawson, who were also given to helping others and hospitality, met the Beard’s in Virginia around 1996. Each couple and household had different paths but their similar roles in hospitality and ministry to people brought them together. The Lawsons helped the Beards for a ten-year period. The two households also met together in a home group at the Lawsons on a regular basis. The Lawson children and the Beards developed a special bond during those ten years. Eventually, the Lawsons moved to Indiana to continue their service of helps.
Roland and Linda continued their work from their Virginia home base, but the work increasingly moved overseas after 2005 — first to Uganda and then to the Philippines. Linda continued ministry while enduring episodes of high stage cancer.
Gene died suddenly in 2011. Even during an intense adjustment period, Faylene expanded a ministry to widows in Indiana. Roland and Linda continued to work in the Philippines at the Institute of Foundational Learning. Linda had two more bouts of cancer and died in 2016.
Roland and Faylene renewed their friendship in late 2016. Both were determined to continue works of faith and to be in the mission field. Roland was headed back to the Philippines. Faylene was headed to Africa. Neither one had any intention to be married.
The leading of the Spirit, however, was not in that direction toward separate continents as single people but to birth a covenant of marriage between these two to serve overseas together. They both serve in the mission field together, primarily in the Philippines, and work with children, IFL staff, pastors, and teachers.
CHRISTWORKS MINISTRIES now has an organizational base outside Charlottesville VA, within miles of two faithful board members. Faylene and Roland moved in 2019 to a cabin in Huttonsville WV but spend most of their time in San Isidro, Cabuyao, Laguna, Philippines. The work continues…