Hello, I am Teri Geer from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA. I have been married to my best friend Brock for 10 years. We own a ballroom dancing studio and are called to dance ministry. We have two adopted children, age 17 and 14, and two biological children, age 3 and 5. I have an Associate’s degree in business and am a certified Ballroom Dance Teacher. With being called to dance ministry, I am studying at the Christian Leaders Institute (Learn more about online Bible courses, Click Here).
I grew up in a non-Christian home. My mother was a drug addict, and my father was an alcoholic. I had two much older half-sisters of the same age but two different mothers and a 3-year older full brother. Seeing my older siblings struggle with drugs and watching my brother put in shackles and shipped off to prison profoundly affected my childhood. I remember this overwhelming feeling of wanting to get out.
When I was 12, I went to a church with a family friend and decided to do an introductory class. On the first day I was to attend that class, my mother tried to kill herself. I remember the screams of pain coming from her bedroom. She had written a note and taken a bottle of pills the night before. My father found the note and decided to let her die. When I realized what was happening, my father screamed at me and said it was all my fault and just to let her die. I ran to a friend’s home and called 911.
The family friend that I attended church with came to take me to the introductory class. I said I did not want to go. I wanted to go to the hospital to see my mom. But I was made to go to the class anyways. As I sat in that class, I decided I would never set foot in a church again, but as you will see, God had different plans.
New Hope and Struggles
At the age of 16, I started dating my husband. He became my rock, and I became his. For the first time in both our lives, we felt hope for a future. We got a place together after my first year of college and started planning a wedding. Well, Brock proposed, and I started planning the wedding. I got a dress and found a venue. Everything was going great.
However, one day out of the blue, Brock said he did not want to get married. I tried to figure out what was wrong. He said it was not me. It was him. But, he did not want to talk about it and did not want to get married. I know now that he was scared because his mother had been married five times and marriage in his family always ends badly. He really was worried that marriage would ruin our relationship. But I did not know that then.
I decided to stay, hoping his feeling would pass and we would start planning our wedding soon. We moved into a home that Brock got a loan for and started building our lives, not married. As the years ticked on, I started to become a bitter and resentful woman. I would seize any opportunity to tell others of the man that called off our wedding and still would not marry me after six years. Although I was not nice, I thought our relationship was still great.
Then one day, Brock said he could not stand me and wanted to break up. I was devastated. He was my rock. I found myself without anywhere to live and nowhere to go. I decided to stay at “our” home until I could find another place. Then, I began to drink excessively and sank into a deep depression. I thought drunk people did things they wanted to do, but I did things I did not want to. Soon, I was a person I did not like, and I did not know how to stop.
Slowly, Brock and I started to heal our relationship little by little. Yet, deep scars were still there. Finally, we married. Two months after the wedding, our two nieces moved in since their parents lost all parental rights. We adopted our two nieces and became instant parents to an 8 and 5-year-old.
My Conversion Journey
A little after this time, odd things started to happen. One day, Christian music began playing in my car. I would get in my car and think this is dumb and change the station. Then one morning, I was lying in bed, and my alarm began to play a song called “I am Redeemed.” It was very odd as my alarm does not play music but beeps.
At that moment, something began to change in me. I got a Bible and began to read it. I started in the New Testament. The first thing I noticed was I did not know what many of the words meant. Then I learned that there are different translations. I would sit on my bed with multiple Bibles around me, learning about who Jesus is. I learned he was and is not at all what I thought. God started stirring my husband around the same time. So, we started to go to a church. I tried to learn to be a good Christina, but I still had depression. I remember reading Romans 7:19, “For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.” I prayed that God would not give up on me.
Then one morning, I woke up and just wanted to die. So, 7 years ago, I got in my car and seriously debated running into a tree. I stopped at a store, and when I came out, there was a CD of a book called 30 Minutes in Heaven sitting on my driver’s seat. As I listened to the book in my car, I cried and cried. I knew that God was real and that He loved me. I could not keep thinking all the things that were happening to me were just a coincidence.
At the end of that book, there was a time to give your life to Jesus. Alone in my room, I fully surrendered my heart to Jesus and have never been the same. I no longer have any depression or drinking issues. I am complete and completely changed. My life has hope and a purpose. Jesus is my love and my everything. I still face troubles, but now I have the Holy Spirit as my rock.
Called to Dance Ministry and Further Kingdom Service
A few years back, I was at a local church and heard Lisa Bevere preach. At the time, I did know women could even do such a thing. Then just before the woman took the stage, I felt the Holy Spirt whisper, “You will do this.” I thought, “Hmm, what will I do?” Then I saw a woman preach.
I am not sure what my next step will be or the complete picture of what God is calling me to. But, I know part of it is I am called to Dance Ministry, where I help others know Christ better through dance. I wrote a marriage curriculum that my husband and I teach. In this group series, couples are introduced to biblical principles through learning to dance together. Our intention with the dance ministry program is to serve the body of Christ through unifying marriages using dance.
God is also calling us to further service for Him. Christian Leaders Institute can help prepare me for what God has for me in the future. I am also interested in the bachelor’s degree program as finishing school has been something I have wanted to do. But with four children, owning a business, and my finances, it has not been something that was accessible for me. I am very excited that Christian Leaders Institute and Christian Leaders College can help me fulfill a lifetime goal and equip me to serve Christ better.
About my Dancing
I started dancing when I was 13 and was not a natural. Most would have called me a “Klutz.” However, through hard work and determination, I began to excel. As a teenager, I was awarded the title of Miss Teen Dance. I started teaching others to pay for my dancing lessons. In teaching, I found a love for helping people realize their true potential and sharing the benefit of dance. I have enjoyed competing in both professional and pro-am dance events. In 2013, I was honored as one of the top ten ballroom dance teachers in the United States.
I am excited that God has called me to dance ministry and further kingdom service!
My name is Fernando Yutuc from the Philippines. The tuition free minister training at the Christian Leaders Institute is what I need to fulfill my spiritual dream (Learn more about online Bible courses, Click Here).
My Early Years
I was born in 1967. I am the fourth child of seven siblings. When I was 10 years old, my father died, and my mother did not re-marry after that. Because of my father’s death, my mother and my oldest brother, at a young age, raised the rest of us. My family had to move to Manila, a densely populated city, to survive financially. When I was in my teenage years, I got involved in bad things because of the environment where we were living. I smoked, drank alcohol, and worst of all, took illegal drugs. I joined gangs and was involved in street fights and gang wars as well.
Changes Toward God
My family and I were Catholics, as well as our family line. It was in my early adult years when God gave grace to my mother. At first, we thought my mother was going insane when we saw her destroying all the idols we worshiped. My older sister even cried upon seeing what our mother did. Then a weekly Bible study started in our house. During these days, I used to go out of the house or lock myself in our room so I wouldn’t hear the Gospel message. It was foolishness to me.
Then one day, after months of Bible studies in our house, I accidentally heard the pastor sharing about idols. By God’s grace, I felt interested and listened while in hiding. Thereafter, I understood why my mother broke all of our idols. Things changed from that day on. After that, every time there was a Bible study in the house, I listened in secret. Finally, after a few months of listening, I went with my mother to a Sunday worship.
True Change In Christ
My early Christian life was cold. I don’t know if I could be considered a Christian during those years. Still smoking, drinking alcohol, and womanizing, I was involved in worldly things. For many years, my life was like that until I was at the age of 40.
I was a seafarer as my profession. In the cabin where I stayed, I found a book with biblical teachings. Every night before bed, I read this book. I started to feel hungry for God’s Word. Whenever I was at home on vacation, I joined cell and discipleship groups. I did activities that would help me know more about God. Since then, my life has changed. I became very active in our local church until I was appointed a Deacon.
Tuition Free Minister Training at CLI
My spiritual dream does not stop there. I dreamed of being a pastor and asked myself how? Thank God I found the Christian Leaders Institute. I thank CLI because I can pursue my dream for free and during my available time. CLI is such a blessing for people like me who want to serve God and minister to others. I pray that God bless CLI more and provide all it needs. Glory and praise to God! May He bless us all!