Back when it was blistering hot outside, a couple of my friends invited me to attend service with them at this tiny little church on the corner of Bell and Telephone in the Newburgh/Chandler area called The Refuge. I went, not really expecting it to be any different from my previous 36 years of church experiences. Oh boy, was I wrong.

I had met the pastor and his wife at a wedding but aside from his long red beard, he didn't seem much different from other pastors. Oh boy, was I wrong.

And I even knew a good deal of the people who attended there, the expectation of my Sunday going like any other Sunday was oh so very wrong.

From the moment I walked into this tiny church, I felt like I was home. And not one moment has gone by that I haven't felt like the people in this church are not 100% committed to live out what they believe it means to follow Jesus. One way they serve the local community is the Love the 812 initiative. A group of people from the church actively seek out ways to improve the community. Over the Christmas season, people from the church have been donating to the 'Swiping Christmas' event. Over $3200 was collected and members from the church swarmed the East side Walmart armed with $100 gift cards.

We asked God to lead to us to who needed a little Christmas miracle. We went around the store and paid for unsuspecting peoples' Christmases with no strings attached. There were tears, hugs, and lots of smiles. We chronicled the day with this video.

My favorite part of the experience was the girl who says, "I don't deserve this blessing. Pass it to someone else." Pastor Brian DeTalente told her, God says you deserve it." He told her that we don't just meet on Sundays. And it's true.

If you are looking for a church home where you can have amazing experiences like this, consider The Refuge Christian Church. Pastors Brian and Chad DeTalente are unlike any pastor you'll ever have the pleasure of knowing. They are heartfelt, down home, and hilarious. And if someone tells you it's Overalls Day at the church - they mean it. Get out your best set and wear them proudly! #LittleChurchBigLove

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