Hello! My name is Alysa VanderWeerd and I live in California. I have a heart to pray and to encourage many to not give up on praying for that specific loved one. Right now I am getting my Doctorate in Education in Community Care and Counseling: Family and Marriage from Liberty University. All I can say is that God is faithful and He has definitely taken me on a 180 in life. I love how God moves. His life stories are never boring! No eye has seen, no ear has heard and no mind has imagined the journey God has planned for them- 1 Corinthians 2:9.

Proverbs 19:21 says, “You can make many plans but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.” And it is so true! I received my B.A. in History with a minor in English from the University of California- Irvine, where I rowed for the women’s crew. I wanted to be an Archivist for a Presidential Library, so I went on to get my Masters in History from the University of California- Riverside.

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While I was getting my Masters, I got injured and went to a physical therapy clinic. I was working full time while getting my Masters, and so I joined the gym that the physical therapy clinic was set in. My stress reliever before class! About 10 months later the physical therapy clinic offered me a job. “You don’t want me,” I told the Physical Therapist as I proceeded to tell him physical therapy was not my field. The following month I regretted telling him no and I remember writing in my prayer journal one day, “Lord, I wish I would have just taken that job.” No joke, the next day the physical therapy clinic called me and offered me the job again. They had hired another girl, who quit the day before she was supposed to start. Totally the Lord. I took the job. My intention was to work there until I finished my Masters and then try and find a job at a Presidential Library. But God. As I was completing my Masters the Lord was burdening my heart to stay at the Physical therapy clinic and not pursue archives. So I did. And I do not regret it. I worked in physical therapy for 9 1/2 years where I got to help injured patients in their rehabilitation. Everyday I had a first hand look at someone in pain. Someone needing help and guidance. What I noticed through the years, it was not just physical pain people were struggling with, but emotional and spiritual. I had many opportunities to reach out to them with the love of Jesus Christ, sharing the gospel, showing them specific verses in the Word of God, praying for them and most importantly pointing them to Jesus Christ–the Great Healer. These were some of the best conversations. So many people are hurting and they need to know there is hope.

I have gone to Harvest Christian Fellowship for 26 years, serving in the youth ministries, crusades, prayer, and Follow-Up Counseling. Just as I witnessed people in physical therapy whom we gave specific therapeutic exercises to, to correct abnormal movement patterns and address functional deficits, recover due to correct modalities; so too, for those that are struggling with issues in life, I have seen how the ability to not only guide them to the Word of God but exhort them to live it, has helped them thrive through pain as they set their eyes on heaven. And this changed the course of my journey again, as I decided to pursue my doctorate in counseling. People need to know there is hope. They need Jesus Christ! And we Christians need one another, uniting in prayer!

Will you join me in praying?