Ratcliff, James and Ashley

Submitted May 2019 by Ashley Ratcliff

What are we Going to do?

My husband and I started off as what you would call bedside Baptist. Although raised in church, we never went because we never felt like we found one that really fit us. I’m sure some of you can relate. We had fallen on hard times and early one day in October 2018, my husband lost his job. We were a one income family with a small child and a newborn baby. I thought, “Oh Lord, what are we going to do?” My husband told us all not to worry and that God had a plan for us.

mysterious Television Channel

Suddenly our antenna TV started playing this strange church programming called 3ABN. First my husband was glued to the TV, then I too was hooked on 3ABN. I went next door and across the street to my neighbors to tell them to check out this new channel we’re getting, but nobody else had a signal to get this channel that was coming into our house. We live about 30 miles out of range to even get a signal from the 3ABN tower , we just didn’t know that at the time. Christmas passed, no job, rent two months behind, but we were in good spirits because of 3ABN and my husband convinced me to try a Seventh-day Adventist church. I protested at first, saying things like “don’t they eat all those vegetables? They’ll judge us.” He said “that’s why I printed a list of all the Seventh-day Adventist churches around.” I nervously agreed to go.

The Ratcliff family in December 2018

Shreveport First SDA Church

That week we finally received our income tax return that had been on hold for eight weeks. It was two thousand dollars more than we expected. That Sabbath we immediately went to the Shreveport First SDA to tithe 10% of our income tax return. What I thought would be a one stop shop changed our lives forever. The message touched both of our hearts in a way that we knew this was our church, and when I heard Mr. Tom make his announcement for potluck and smile at me I felt right at home.

All Things Work Together for Good

That afternoon my husband got a call about a job he had applied for almost a year earlier. It’s working for immigration and apparently they were doing a top secret security clearance that took all those months. It pays far better than his previous job. The church’s health message has inspired me to lose over 75 pounds in a year. We’ve been baptized; my husband has become a deacon; I’ve gone back to nursing school. Most importantly we couldn’t have done any of this without God’s grace and the loving support of our church family. I’ve truly never met a more special group of people. One last thing—as soon as we became full church members we lost our signal to 3ABN. We’ve bought expensive antennas, moved them to different windows in the house, and nothing works. Maybe God can send us something as small as a TV program to change our entire life when we need it most.

Ashley and James Ratcliff with their daughters