Tracey and Jeff Olson were living a good life.
With a look around, anyone could see everything was in place. Jeff had a job as a correctional officer that he enjoyed. Tracey successfully created the home she always wanted. They had two beautiful daughters and a lovely house.
Even though they were not religious, they enrolled their girls in a Christian school. They liked it. Their daughters did too. Yup, everything was going along nicely. Moved and impressed by the loving people at the school, Jeff and Tracey received Christ and began to attend the Rock.
Their lives as they knew it were about to change.
God placed on Tracey's heart that she should be a part of the Rock's Altar Call Ministry. Of course, this appeared to be a ridiculous notion. And why wouldn't it? She didn't know much about the Bible, and she didn't know the right words to say to people in need of so much guidance. After all, she was a very young Christian herself.
But, Tracey had the feeling she should battle the ridiculousness. Finally, she obeyed. That's when she learned something life-changing. When the profit Jeremiah protested God's call on his life, God's words to him applied to Tracey as well.
"Alas, Sovereign LORD," I said, "I do not know how to speak; I am too young." But the LORD said to me, "Do not say, 'I am too young.' You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you," declares the LORD.
God was true to His Word, allowing Tracey to know just what to say. There were even times when God asked her to say nothing at all. Early on, a woman with a debilitating addiction came up to her, desperate for answers and help. Tracey had no idea how to answer her. She sent the briefest of prayers to God, "help." There in the awkward silence, another woman, who had been dealing with the very same problem, came up to her and offered the woman exactly what she needed. It was confirmation that God was in control. It began a fantastic ride of entering into the unsafe waters of serving God and trusting Him for the results.
Meanwhile, Jeff's daily go-to-work-and-come-home-and-relax regimen was being obliterated by an intense desire to serve God with every spare moment. He couldn't get enough. He began to orchestrate his day around serving God.
It was as if his gratitude to God caused him to want to serve, but the service increased his joy so much that it only made him want to serve more.
Since 2000, the Olson's have served in the Production, Security, Altar Call and Lay Counseling Ministries, Events and Fundraisers, Rock Financial Life and more.
Today, they are the backbone of the Rock Academy Volunteer effort—coaching, fundraising, coordinating volunteers, transportation, organizing staff appreciations and serving as the parent reps to the Rock Academy School Board.
The people they touch and bless each week number into the several hundreds.
They once had happy, little lives. Today, their lives are marked by joy and extraordinary impact.
Says Tracey and Jeff, "We are philanthropists. We may not have any money, but what we have to give is God's grace, love and joy in abundance."