Extreme Healing

This post was written by Liza Akley.  She is a member of the Chets Women Unleash team and they would like to invite you to join them for Impact Jax, a church wide day of service on Saturday, September 26th. The unleash team will be serving at Kidz Extreme by teaching the love of Christ to disadvantaged children through songs, activities, and other creative ways.
Register by Sunday, September 20th: http://hodges.chetscreek.com/impact-jax.
Contact Michelle Arguello for more information.

I spent more than a year trying to figure out where I should serve. I never felt adequate or “spiritual” enough to serve in any capacity. At the beginning of the year, I decided to fight through my feelings of inadequacy, roll-up my sleeves, and get involved. Most people who know me, including my three kids, would agree that I was not the best candidate to work with children. But I decided to volunteer with Kidz Extreme in Northwest Jacksonville. I figured it would give me something to do until I gained more “Bible knowledge” and then I could switch to a ministry better suited for my skills.

BUT GOD. He had a totally different plan as to how He would use this ministry in my life. God knew that the little girl inside of me was still broken from childhood abuse. Even though I had forgiven my abuser years ago and earnestly prayed to God for His salvation, the restoration process in this area of my life had not yet been attained. The first Saturday that I volunteered with Kidz Extreme, I helped organize chairs, setup tables, sweep the floor, and pack over 150 lunches to give to the children. These tasks were definitely in my comfort zone but it falsely gave me the impression there would be nothing else required of me. I brought my 11-year-old daughter to serve with me the following week. As Eddie Hatcher led our volunteer prayer time that morning, he told us that we must see every child in the image of God. That our purpose was to love, encourage, and SEE them. I was filled with fear and negative thoughts. There was no way I could do this. I struggled most of my life to show my own children love and encouragement. I was now in an inward battle of emotions and confusion. To make matters worse, Eddie then asked if my daughter and I would minister to the 2 to 4 year olds.

Over 20 children participated in our group that day. As I took a deep breath to hold my tears back, I asked God to help me endure those 50 minutes. The majority of the children were poorly groomed and dirty. Some had an overwhelming odor of urine on their clothes. Some were so heartbreakingly hungry they wouldn’t stop begging for a snack during the story time. The kids fought for our attention, all wanted to sit on our laps, and sought for verbal recognition for the work on their crafts. We sang, danced, jumped, and acted silly. As I shared that Jesus loved them, the dirt on their faces vanished, the smell went away, and I saw these precious children as God created them. My heart was filled with joy and compassion.

Kidz Extreme

Liza’s daughter Ilana sharing God’s love with the children at Kidz Extreme

As my daughter and I have joined God on mission, I’ve seen her develop a boldness to pray with and for her friends. She has had the opportunity to lead friends to Christ and provides encouragement to other students. After seven months of serving through Kidz Extreme, now I look forward to seeing the kids on Saturdays. As I have shown God’s love to these children, He has in turn changed, restored, and revived my heart.


{This post was written by Liza Akley. She has been a member of Chets for 3 years and currently serves on the Unleash Team, Hosea’s Love and Kidz Extreme. Liza has been married for almost 13 years to her husband Nick and they serve as a mentor couple for the Third Option marriage class. Liza has 3 amazing children (Anthony, 24, Jasmine, 21, and Ilana, 11). She enjoys running, catering lunches and volunteering with Seniors on a Mission and Heartland Hospice. She loves her Chets family and is seeking to grow in spiritual knowledge to work for the Lord full time.}

8 thoughts on “Extreme Healing

  1. Awesome story, Liza! You are so amazing and we all love you so very much. Cannot imagine how many people you manage to bless every single day of your life! God is using you for amazing things!

  2. Liza, I am blessed to be able to watch the transformation I’ve seen in your life over this past year. God is so awesome in the ways he changes us. I am doubly blessed to hear that you’ve taken Ilana with you on your journey. That’s the best gift a parent could ever give their children….A heart for ministry and service. Thank you for being an example to all of us! May God get the Glory!

  3. Liza,
    It’s been an honor it see God transform you and your family over the past year. You have become a strong woman of faith and a fearless prayer warrior and a blessing h to us.
    The children are truly blessed to have you as part of the team. It’s amazing how God heals through these little children and in turn you are blessing them.
    Praise God for His mercy, healing and love may He have the glory!

  4. Amazing! God wants to fight our battles for us, and your testimony exhibits just how powerful He is when we surrender ourself to Him. Expect and know God has more in-store for YOU!
    I am proud to call you a friend, and love you! I will continue to pray for you and your family. Thanks for sharing.

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