Connie's story

As many of you may or may not know, Bob and I have been in what we call the bad lands for several months.

Last August the retina in Bob's eye tore what was suppose to be one surgery turned into three and time off work for healing

During this time I went to the Dr. and was diagnosed with cancer. While all this was happening we had one part time income coming in we were struggling to make our house payment with all of our financial options exhausted we weren't sure what to do so we prayed, two days later there was a check in the mail to help us with our house payment with a note that said stay faithful to God and I promise he will see you through this we knew this could only happen through our God. 

Not only has he helped us financially he has showed his love and support through our awesome church family and friends to whom we are so grateful for. 

God has also opened a couple doors for us as well while on this journey. Through prayer, God has made it possible for Bob to go back too school to become what his heart has been calling him to. A "Registered Nurse". 

God also knew how much I've wanted to lead a small group for sometime now but it never seemed to be the right time until while having chemo did he give me the courage to ask a couple nurses if I could pray for them, it was then that I realized he had just given me my small group. 

What a wonderful relationship we have with God. He gives us hope every day. If you are seeking a relationship with God it's never to late. He will bring hope to you as well.


gail's story

I was hoping that on the day I was baptized that my son would come to church. I was hoping we would be able to reconcile our differences. Unfortunately he missed church and had no idea I was being baptized.

However, this afternoon he showed up out of the blue. He said he had a flat tire this morning and was unable to make church. Matt had sent me an email of what was going to be said at my baptism and I printed it out. I read it to my son and daughter. It deeply touched both of them. We hugged and decided it was time to just put the past in the past and be a family again. 

I wish I had put my life in Jesus's hands a long time ago. I got the blessing that I had prayed so hard for after 3 years of silence in my family. Just wanted to share this with you.

God truly is an awesome God.



I have the privilege of attending men's group on Monday nights.  One night after arriving at the church, a few of the men attending group were engaged in a conversation with a young woman who worked for Meijer at the corner of Helmer and Columbia.  Out of desperation, the woman had stopped looking for help for a young man and his grandmother.  They had been stranded since the previous Saturday with a blown tire and no money to fix it.  They'd been living out of their car since.  When hearing this, our leaders (Bob Sweet & Jack Turner) went into action. 

They arrived to access the situation and got an idea to call another First Wes attender that works at a local dealership.  Even though it was late in the evening, they still caught him while he was at work. Jack shared the details of the car and it being an older model.  Yet sure enough... Tim (at the dealership) said they had the very tire and rim they needed.  Jack ran to pick it up.  When he arrived, Tim told him that he'd had that tire sitting around the shop for 3 years.  He'd thought of throwing it out but a small voice would nudge him to keep it.  God had it waiting for them all along!  They returned to Meijer, fixed the tire, and sent the family on their way.  

Think of the chain of events that had to be arranged to make this possible... only God!

We serve a loving God and He is using First Wes to change lives around our community!


Martin's story

At 6am on Friday Dec 3rd, I received a call from my boss while taking my kids to school. My first reaction was why would my boss be calling me this early. It has to be an emergency of some kind, and it was, but just in the wrong way. My boss asked if I was busy and alone, and I stated I was taking my kids into school, and I’m free to talk if you would like. In an emotional tone, he said to me “Don’t go to work today.” In shock, I was about to get the biggest disappointment for the holidays. My boss said that we have to lay you off as we have outsourced your position. Going through this for the third time, and the second during the holidays I was at the point of what do I do now. I immediately called my wife and prayed that God would give me strength and healing during this time of what the next step was, and my wife and I agreed that no matter what God is in control. With my talks with family, friends, and church family, God was affirming to me that he had me in his hands and everything would work out for the best.

The weekend went by and I decided to look at my past employers and see what options there were and I called my loyal employer that I worked with seven years prior to my former job. I emailed and told them my situation and requested to see if there was any jobs available. Within a day, and by the grace of God I received a note saying yes we have an opening, please review the job description and let us know. I looked at it, and I thought to myself do I want to be in the same position I was before as a contractor and potentially be laid off again. Or do I accept to have some income for my family. So with much prayer and thought, I sent a note back and said I would be interested. Not an hour later, I get an e-mail with an offer letter with a note saying “No interview necessary, please accept offer at your leisure.” My last layoff was three months, and Lord you just did this in two weeks? So, over the weekend I prayed and accepted the offer the following Monday.

As I step into this new position, there can be some anxiety about taking another contract job that could potentially lead me into the same situation. It is an unknown, but I KNOW that God has me and I trust him. Each of us think that we can control things ourselves, but it is by prayer and letting go that will give us the next step. Currently, I’m in the stages of pre-employment screening and look to start the first of the year.

My wife and children got to see a fresh husband and father as this burden has been lifted by the grace and faith of the Lord.


rob & jess' story

In late July/early August of 2015, our marriage was so broken that we separated. It was so difficult. We dealt with multiple issues, including mental health issues. The kids were so torn and confused. We ended up back together by mid-August but we were still so lost and broken. We fought all the time. Our kids were suffering more than we were and we were reaching for the answers—and for God. We both knew this was the missing piece and the starting point for us to get on track to get to where we wanted our family and marriage to be. The search for our “home” church started.

In late 2015, we started our search and ended up at First Wes due to the fact that there was already some family attending there. The first sermon was about communication and it just spoke to us. Around this time we also put our home on the market.

Throughout the entire year of 2016, we started noticing little changes. We worked on our lives piece by piece. It started with a simple goal of attending church each Sunday. Then, we noticed we’d try to pick one thing out of each week’s sermon and apply it in everyday life. We slowly let go of the anger and bitterness and resentment. We learned to put God first and to trust Him fully. Even though it was stressful to try to sell our house that just didn’t seem to sell, we were still more at peace than we ever had been to that point. We prayed. A LOT. We reminded each other with the simple words “God’s timing is perfect.” We sold our home and moved practically next to the church. This is when 2016 changed our lives.

New home, new life. We decided to look at our new home as God’s gift to us and a chance to “reset” how our family operates. We both started serving and joined small groups. We started to read from the bible and praying everyday at dinnertime as a family. We put God first in every aspect of our lives. Thank you, First Wes. If it wasn’t for your guidance in our spiritual journey, we have learned so much by the staff and our peers at church. We have developed so many meaningful relationships here but the most important one is with God.

Rob and Jess

Angena's story

My husband and I had been trying to have a baby since we got married in December 2014. We both always wanted a child, but did not want to have a child past 40 because of all the complications that can happen as we get older. We were trying for a short time before we started going to a fertility clinic to assist. We were told that because of our age, I was almost 40 at the time, we needed to be aggressive in treatment if we wanted to have a child before we turned 40. We started with a couple different treatments. After the third time of one of the treatments, it was discussed with our doctor that we should think about In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) as they only recommend three to four times of our current treatment. As we researched IVF, there were a lot of ethical questions that we had. So we decided to make an appointment with Pastor Shannon to discuss our concerns and the Christian view. This meeting fell on a Wednesday where we discussed our concerns and made a plan to pray for each outcome to see what the best path was for us. Pastor Shannon prayed for us and we were on our way with our plan. The very next day we found out we were pregnant. We never had to make the decision about IVF and we became pregnant 11 days before I turned 40. God is so good and faithful and we thank him every day for the gift we have been given. Because of this, we now have a beautiful 7 week old baby boy. Praise the Lord!