Hi, my name is Cheryl Shields and my favorite Psalm is 37:4-7. Take delight in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust in him and he will do this. He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn. Your vindication like the noonday sun. And be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.
I attended Peninsula United Methodist Church as a child. I grew up there until probably about the age of 14. I was in the MYF, did Sunday school, did children’s choir. But I never heard how I was going to get to heaven. I’d heard about heaven, and I’d heard all the good things that we were going to do in heaven.
It never sunk in that all I had to do to get to heaven was to accept Christ as my personal savior.
As I got a little bit older and had my wild years as a Hippie. I started going to Christian Missionary Alliance church. That is where I found that I had to accept Christ as my personal savior. And I did that one night on my living room floor. I felt the rush of the Spirit come in me. That night was a Sunday; so then I went to church and confessed to. the congregation that I had accepted Christ as my Savior.
I was very fortunate to have two grandmothers who took me to church, and my uncle Zay, who was very involved in church; so I always was churched as a child. When I was a teen, my parents went through a divorce and I decided to stay with my mom because if I went with my dad, there would be rules. Needless to say I was a wild child. I loved music and dancing and became a hippie from age 17 to 19. As I look back on those times, I know God watched over me time and time again.
As a young adult, I started working at Atlas Chemical Company and again God watched over me. I bought my first house at age 26. I experienced a break in and was almost raped. And again, God’s hand was on me. Even though I strayed away from God, He was always there to take me back.
At age 29, I met my husband Bill, and we moved to Saudi Arabia, where there was a totally different lifestyle. We had churches there, but they had to be done in secret.
You were not allowed to publicly wear a cross. I had a cartouche made, which is an Egyptian letter necklace. I had made it to say, “Jesus”. I knew it said Jesus, but other people did not.
We did have to watch our faith there and how we had our churches. If any Saudi happened to walk into the room where we were holding church, right away it would change into a lecture or an educational program until they left and we could get back to the church business. I was in the fellowship for the five years we were in Saudi Arabia.
Bill and I were very fortunate to travel all over the world. During that time we traveled mostly on motorcycle, and again, God was always there to protect us and get us from one place to the next.
In 1988, when I came home, the church I was attending wanted to make money for a mission trip to send kids to the Appalachian Work Project. I said, “Let’s do a play.” We did The Witness. Now, the funny thing about The Witness is that I had dragged that play around for five years in Saudi Arabia trying to perform it. But every time we’d start to do it or start learning the music, someone would get transferred, or someone would leave and we never got to do the show.
In 1988 we did the show to raise the money for the mission trip. We took about ten to twelve kids to the Appalachian work project. That led to starting God’s Power and Light Company, a nonprofit Christian theater company that I founded. We are still going strong and we still do several shows a year. The goal is to spread the Word of God. Some of our shows are now Broadway musicals that we have broken out to, but we try to preach the saving grace of Jesus.
God opened the doors again for me. For thirty-three years I’ve worked for Towle Institute, a Christian home school group. I do not have children of my own, but I have many children.
At the Everett Theater in Middletown, DE I touch many children’s lives. That’s just been a blessing to me. I hope I’ve made an impact there. I try on a regular basis to let the people know at the Everett that I am a Christian. I hope someday it will make sense to them.
I’ve been abundantly blessed over the years growing up on my father’s boatyard on the weekends. I’ve had the privilege of owning a wonderful horse named Temptation for 23 years. I’ve flown over the Delaware River in the L-29 trainer jet, which very few women have ever done. Wonderful vacations in Europe. Friends all over the world. Seeing the majority of the United States.
In my older years now I do a sailing vessel up in Maine every year. I’ve enjoyed having lots of cat friends for over forty years. God has richly blessed me and my husband, and I really, I thank my church family. They’re a joy to me. We have a wonderful choir and drama troupe at Church. I also love running the hospitality part of church. Every month we have an event to keep our church family close together.
That is why I love Jesus.
More Faith Stories
We built the first church with great difficulty. We went back to the States and the board asked us to become mission staff with the Outreach Foundation. That was 25 years ago, just about, and we’ve gotten more involved with Kenya as days and years went on.
I am a chef by profession. I’m happy because I do what I love. Now I work at Villadise Tours and Safaris, where I meet so many different people coming from far. Being helpful is just a blessing to other people.
Then God started tugging on my heart. There was a church sermon series that was about taking your God-given dream off the shelf. I was like, “I don’t know what my dream is. God, if you have a dream for me you’re going to have to tell me what it is.”
We attended church but maintained a passive religious life. Our family had been going to church and proclaiming, “Jesus is our Savior and Lord,” with our mouths only. It seemed that my heart was gradually drifting away from God.
So, I just put my faith in Jesus. I trust him and it is my prayer that my children and the entire community will know Jesus because of my faith. Our salvation should not be only our own. We should encourage other people.
I’m no longer worried because I have come to learn that God’s timing is the best. You cannot hurry God. These days, all I do is wait, no matter what, I just wait. I know my time will come and that time is God’s time. So, I keep on waiting for God to do for me wonders.