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Jodi Carlson admits that her life seems to have two layers. One is the “show worthy” layer and the other is unseen. “I’ve kept the other layer of my life hidden because shame tells me to,” she says, “ But it’s here that the Lord has done His deepest work, and it’s here He continues to meet me.” As Jodi faces two disabilities that have become a thorn in her side, she has learned to lean into Jesus in raw, authentic ways. Again and again, Jesus has powerfully met Jodi.

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With a passion to see the next generation truly experience who Jesus is, Aaron Schrader stepped out of the walls of the church where he had served as a youth pastor, to brave the halls of a local high school as a teacher. Aaron is committed to reaching kids who would never step foot into at church setting. He chooses to be present in the lives of his students and brings his faith into the sometimes volatile world of the public school setting with subtle, yet life-impacting steadiness. His students and their families experience authentic care and God’s love in some of their most challenging moments through Aaron and his committed approach.

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Equipped with nursing skills and a willing heart, Heather Morehouse expected life to unfold with somewhat normal simplicity. Little did she know that God has purposes beyond her expectations. Called to serve as a nurse and bring God’s presence to the frontlines of disaster relief areas and war zones, Heather has seen more devastation and pain then she could have imagined. But she has also seen her compassionate, powerful-working God who is present amidst suffering. With eyes wide-opened to the desperation and suffering in the world, Heather will continue to go where God’s called her, empowered by His love.

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Amidst the rough and rugged waters of Lake Victoria are distant shores teeming with people. These isolated islands are the very places that missionaries, Brent and Virginia Earwicker, are called to go. Compelled by a compassionate love for the lost and unreached people groups even further beyond, they bravely board boats and sail these unpredictable waters alongside their Bold Ventures Ministry team.

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Facing tragedy more than once in his life, Trey Anderson has encountered God in tangible ways through the community that God placed around him. Community isn’t always easy, but it is a powerful agent of change in a hurting world. Through God’s people and the power of worship, Trey has walked through loss as well as miracles that have shaped who he is and how he sees God.

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Love came down. This is why we gathered this Christmas season. We are a thankful people overwhelmed by the amazing work of God in our lives. Christmas at Westside is a reflection of the life we now know because of that love. We gather and watch as God makes His presence evident among us. We long to honor Him and see Him with fresh eyes this time of year.

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Already facing the heartache and weariness of brokenness in his family, Eddie Torres was faced with a devastating phone call that shook his faith. God’s response to his trust has made all of the difference for Eddie and those that he inspires with His faith walk.

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With a desire to grow their family, Shanda and Ross Ackerman believed that God would be faithful to His promises. For years their journey was filled with pain, waiting, and loss as they faced infertility and complications. But God is faithful. The last 7 years shaped them deeply and ultimately has left them amazed and humbled at the grace and power of Jesus.

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Stirred by missions adventure on the islands of Lake Victoria, Uganda, Peri Gregory returned home with a call to become a nurse; caring for both the physical and spiritual. In the thick of nursing school Peri faced intense opposition, exhaustion, and extreme doubts of her calling. But God was there all along. He pursued, steadied, and empowered her to grow.