CCHO is celebrating 50 years of ministry! Throughout 2019, we will be sharing stories of the lives that have been forever changed by the work God has done through our family of ministries (CCHO, Encourage Foster Care and Encompass Christian Counseling). Today’s story reminds us that, in all things, God is in control, and His plans are always better than anything we could dream up for ourselves. Bryndi Pfeiffer, Operational Manager in CCHO’s residential program, shares about her own career journey and the incredible way God led her to CCHO 10 years ago in story #24 of our 50 Stories for 50 Years of Ministry series.
I’d like to take you on a trip back to 2008. I had just earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Malone College and was applying for nursing jobs close to home. One Sunday morning, Gary Porter, CCHO’s longtime Executive Director, spoke at my church about the mission, growth and needs of Christian Children’s Home of Ohio (CCHO). I had never heard of CCHO but I felt a tugging in my spirit that day.
The thought of working for a Christian agency and being able to help kids who were abused, neglected and forgotten about seemed like something I was supposed to do. I prayed about my future career, that God would clearly guide my path. I felt led to apply at CCHO but I also applied to local hospitals and doctors’ offices. Calls and emails started coming in for interviews, including one with CCHO.
When I pulled onto the campus of CCHO, I felt an overwhelming peace and comfort that I cannot explain. My interview felt so comfortable and natural, like I had known these people forever. You could sense the Holy Spirit in the room as we discussed the demands of the job and if I was sure I could handle being cussed at, targeted, assaulted and pushed away. As alarming as that sounded, I knew that God would give me what I needed if this is where I was supposed to be. I was offered a job before I left but explained that I had some other interviews lined up before making a decision. I left feeling excited and energized as I headed to my next interview at the hospital.
This interview went very differently. As the HR representative asked basic questions, I felt anxious and almost queasy. She stopped asking work-related questions and explained that she was a God-fearing woman who was perceptive to the Holy Spirit. She asked me if I had other job opportunities to consider. I explained that I had literally just come from my CCHO interview.
She observed that my demeanor and presence lit up when I started talking about CCHO. She explained that this spiritual tension had never shown up in an interview before but that she felt like God needed me in the mental health field at CCHO. She prayed with me and told me that she would hire me in a heartbeat if I wanted to work at the hospital, but she wanted me to prayerfully consider this decision.
I left there in disbelief. Did that just happen? I prayed that whole weekend about what to do. Over and over God confirmed that I needed to stop questioning Him and join the mission field at CCHO. It wasn’t a popular decision among family and friends. They didn’t understand why I would “waste” my nursing degree and take a job at a much lower starting wage. I ignored the criticism and accepted the direct care position at CCHO.
From the first time I set foot in a cottage and met some of the kids, my heart was at home. For the last 10 years, I have had a front row seat to watching miracles happen. Some of the most depressed, isolated, closed off children and teenagers have learned to see their value, believe they are loved, and develop the capacity to love and trust others – all because their difficult journey in life brought them to CCHO.
The kids I have met and with whom I have connected over the years have left a lasting imprint on my heart. I keep in touch with many of them who are now graduates, employees, mothers, fathers, home owners and more! Their success is confirmation of God’s plan for this agency. It’s why I stay.
My CCHO coworkers are truly the hands and feet of Christ – loving and serving the outcasts from society. My teammates have pushed me to be a better person, a faithful Christian, a loving mother and a true friend. As I have moved through CCHO, holding seven different positions, the peace in my soul has not wavered. I know that through the times of growth, miracles, joy or struggle, disappointment and stress, that GOD IS IN CONTROL.
God brings us the right kids and right staff at the right time. It has been an absolute honor to serve with this agency for 10 of its 50 years, a hidden treasure in Wayne County Ohio that is changing so many lives and giving children the best gift of all by introducing them to Jesus.
Bryndi shared her story at our 50th Anniversary Benefit Dinner on June 8, 2019. Afterward, we played a video that took attendees on a journey through the history and experiences of one of our residents while describing their fears, abuse and trauma in detail. If you missed story 18 in our series, watch this powerful video for a deeper understanding of the pain many of our young residents carry into their time at CCHO. And catch up on our anniversary activities by reading our 50th Weekend Recap.