Faith on Fire
Before Parishe and Anderson Miller started attending New Song, they were “good” people. Back home in Chicago, they went to church most Sundays but had little involvement outside of attending services. As Parishe puts it, there was “no opportunity for growth.” Though Jesus was somewhere in the mix, the Millers’ relationship with him remained stagnant. Church was just a box they checked off their to-do list.
But God had greater plans for the Millers.
When Anderson was stationed in Oceanside, the Millers moved out west with the intent to try a couple churches and see where they fit in. They desired to join a church that could help them “figure this whole thing out,” Parishe says, because “without God, life is pretty crazy.”
Parishe made a list of churches to try out, but God knew exactly where they were supposed to be. The Millers heard about New Song’s Kids Unleashed program and enrolled their children in the classes. As they sat in the church service during Kids Unleashed, they quickly realized that New Song was the church for them. They were impressed that Pastor Jim Britts learned their names after only a couple of services. According to Parishe, “Everybody made it their business to get to know us.” The Millers immediately felt a sense of belonging and community like they’d never felt before. “Everybody has a role,” says Anderson.
The Millers got plugged in helping out in the church right away. Although working in Promiseland was not Parishe’s idea, it became clear that God wanted her there—and she’s flourishing in that position. Parishe’s heart for children has grown immensely through this experience. She has a passion for kids to become disciples of Jesus, saying “We need to catch them before the enemy does.” Parishe is not sure where God will lead her next, but “I’m sure it’s major,” she says.
Anderson is also taking ownership of New Song. As a teenager, he attended church with his friends mostly to stay out of trouble and get a free meal every so often. “It was not fulfilling,” he says. But at New Song, Anderson’s desire to read and understand God’s word has grown into a love of sharing it with others. He wants to be able to know the Bible so well that he can one day teach it to others. While he’s deployed next year, he plans to focus his extra time on studying God’s word so that, when he returns, he can jump back into helping out the church.