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The Making of Lady of Virtue Ministries
by Janelle Goodwin
5/13/2013 / Testimonies
The Making of Lady of Virtue Ministries
God showed Janelle the vision of her ministry one evening during a youth rally at the BI-LO Center in Greenville, SC. But it wasn't until after graduating from high school and attending Bible College did God birth into her His plan for Lady of Virtue Ministries.
At Lady of Virtue Ministries we believe that without this vision, people will perish. Our vision is to be Ladies of Virtue living a Proverbs 31 life; in a 21st Century. As a Lady of Virtue we know that a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised. Our mission for Lady of Virtue Ministries is to equip and train women to find the Lady of Virtue God created in them. Then in return these Ladies of Virtue will let their lights shine to show the younger generations how to develop virtuous character.
Lady of Virtue Ministries realizes the Proverbs 31 woman is more than an effective homemaker. We know the quality of a Lady of Virtue that puts her value far above rubies is the spiritual life she leads. Her character is what makes her husband trust in her and allows her children to grow up to praise her.
To start Lady of Virtue Ministries you must go back to the basics. Ministries today try to reach the corporation level, but God tells us to build our solid foundation. Lady of Virtue Ministries believes in Salvation for the Soul, Meditation for the Mind, Sanctification for the Heart, and Purification for the Body.
Lady of Virtue Ministries is commissioned to evangelize into all the world teaching these standards. As God opens the doors, Lady of Virtue Ministries will walk through them. Current ministry opportunities include: individual and group Bible studies, self-help books, conference/seminars, and one on one character development. God has begun a good work in Lady of Virtue Ministries and He will complete it to the end.
Stories from the past; Lessons for the present; Hope for the Future.
A woman that feareth the LORD; she shall be praised
To be Ladies of Virtue living a Proverbs 31 life; in the 21st Century.
To equip and train women to find the Lady of Virtue God created in them.
On March 22, 1978, Janelle was born in New Bremen, Oh to Barry and Joyce Mousa. This wonderful arrival came during a huge New Bremen snow storm. Tammy, Janelle's older sister by three years, was excited to finally meet the new baby from mommy's belly. Jeff, Janelle's younger brother, arrived to the Mousa household just 20 short months after Janelle.
Shortly after Janelle was born, Barry's job relocated the family to Roanoke, Va. Barry was Chief Financial Officer at Roanoke Memorial Hospital. Even though Joyce graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing, she did not have to work outside of the home. Joyce had the privilege to stay home to raise their children.
While in Virginia, Janelle's family attended Christian Missionary Alliance Church. Each member of Janelle's family had an active role in this church. Barry was the music director and member of the finance board. Joyce was part of the Women's Ministry and taught one of the Pioneer Girl's classes. And each of the children participated in their age related program and children's choir.
Tammy, Janelle, and Jeff all attended Roanoke Valley Christian Schools. During class one day, Janelle's 1st grade teacher presented the plan of salvation to the class. At snack time, Janelle made the decision to ask Jesus Christ into her heart for forgiveness of her sins and to secure her path to Heaven. This decision for salvation carried Janelle through the many trials she faced in her lifetime.
From the outside looking in, Janelle's family would be classified as a typical, white collar, upper-class family. They lived in a two-story colonial home, which Barry and Joyce had custom built. The hospital Barry worked for provided a family country club membership, an annual private day at the local amusement park as well as many other incentives. Unfortunately, this season of Janelle's life was short and ended abruptly.
During Janelle's third grade year, her parents separated. The divorce was final a year later. Janelle was playing "house" in the basement when her mother had to inform her of the terrible news of their separation. It was at this time that Janelle learned to take shelter from disappointment by tucking her feelings deep down inside and never letting anyone see that she was hurting.
The day came for Barry to move out of the house. Janelle stood on the stairs, Jeff stood in the foyer close to the kitchen, and Tammy stood in front of the door while Joyce watched from a corner in the family room. Tammy and Jeff cried as their Father hugged them and told them good-bye, but Janelle stood tall and firm making sure not to show any emotion. This is how Janelle learned to build walls and pretend that she didn't care when people hurt her. Janelle did not understand why she wasn't crying like her sister and brother. Janelle was determined that she was not going to show defeat. It was at this time that Janelle learned to be strong to carry her through the many disappointing trials in her life.
Then, as Janelle's Father kissed her on the forehead, she forced a tear to roll down her nose because she thought that her Father would be upset with her for not crying. This is where Janelle learned to put the concerns of others above her own concerns just to try to make them love her. Janelle's Father wiped the tear and walked out the door without looking back. Later that night, while they were gathered together watching TV, Jeff laid curled up on his mother's lap and Janelle said, "Don't worry. We're going to be fine". At this time Janelle learned to be strong and carry the burden for the others when they are weak.
Divorce was very uncommon to the friends and family of Barry and Joyce. Many people from the school, and church, as well as close friends all tried their best to console and encourage Joyce and the children during this time, but no one had the right words for the family. It seemed like everyone looked at the broken family in pity and as if they were strangers rather than having been close friends for last 10 years.
The transition to single parenthood was not an easy move for Joyce. Without much of a warning she was thrown into the role of mother and father to three elementary aged children. Coming from a family that had not experienced the pain of divorce, Joyce quickly became overwhelmed in the whirlwind that was trying to destroy her and her children. After 13 years of marriage and partnership, Joyce was left to provide, protect, and support the kids by herself. She knew the Lord was with her and He would give her the strength she needed to continue raising the children she had dedicated back to Him.
Joyce did not want to cause more disruption to her children than what had already taken place. The Lord provided her a job utilizing her nursing skills. Even though this position provided for Joyce and her children, it was not enough to maintain the lifestyle they had grown accustom too. Joyce made the decision to move to Greenville, SC so that she could gain help and strength from her parents.
Joyce, Tammy, Janelle, and Jeff had a hard time adjusting to all the changes that taken place in their lives. Christian school was not an option now. Unfortunately, public school opened a new world to the children. Things that were once not known to the Mousa children were now being introduced to them. Even though they had had been raised under Christian standards, the children still made choices that were not honoring to the Lord. Their life that had once been so secure was now changing rapidly.
Joyce did all that she could do to raise the children, provide for the family, and be the support needed for quickly growing children. There were many job changes, many moves to different houses, and no one faithfully going to church anymore. The children chose to follow people that influenced them into doing things that they knew were against the biblical standards they had been taught. There wasn't anything stable in the children's lives since the time of their parents divorce. Barry was inconsistent regarding the phone calls, gifts and visits. The ever changing situations caused Janelle difficulty to trust the people around her. For there wasn't anyone strong enough to offer her the support she needed.
After many years and much heartache, Joyce found her way back to church. It was a small but strong Independent Baptist Church in Greer, SC. Joyce and the children were soon attending church on a regular basis. Each person soon began to become involved with the activities of the church. The Lord even provided David Kaylor (aka: Butch), to be a husband for Joyce, and step-father to the children.
Butch bravely took on the task of marrying a lady with 3 teenaged children, even though he didn't have children of his own. This was not an easy task for Butch. Little did he know that he would be spending the first six months of their marriage getting Tammy and Janelle out of serious trouble. Butch never backed down from the battle of raising the children. He always showed them that they were worth the fight. It was at this time that Janelle realized that God really did love her. Janelle realized that other people loved her as well. And that she was an important part in the family of God. It amazed Janelle that God cared enough about Joyce and the children that He sent a total stranger to care for them and love them.
Not only did God send Butch, but He also used a variety of men in the church to share their lives with the children. Each man had a special purpose in the molding and making of the children. Each man filled a void that was once left in the children. Filling these voids brought joy back into the household. It was at this time in Janelle's life that she made a total commitment to God. Janelle's dedication to filling her life with the heart of God has carried her and brought her far beyond her thoughts and dreams. Many people could see and even commented on the difference in Janelle's personality from the time of this commitment. This truly was a fresh time for Janelle. She felt much release from the burdens she once carried.
Butch and Joyce thought it would be best to move their family closer to their church. This turned out to be one of the better moves for the family. This gave Janelle the opportunity to have a fresh start. This move required a change of schools which allowed Janelle to leave behind all the people and things that once influenced her into making the wrong choices. Janelle came into the new school with a refreshed outlook on life. Many great changes were in the future for Janelle. She could feel the positive plans God had for her future.
Janelle's last two years of high school brought great joy to her life. In 1993, Janelle made a commitment during a "True Love Waits" rally to God, her parents and her future husband to remain pure so she could enter into a biblical marriage relationship. Following this commitment Janelle studied the scriptures intensely. She began reading and studying the word of God to find out how to be the best lady she could be for Christ. The impact God made on Janelle's life during this time developed her into the God fearing lady she is today.
After high school graduation in May 1996, Janelle's dedication to the Lord and His service brought her to Word of Life Bible Institute (WOLBI) in Schroon Lake, NY. The decision to go to Bible College 14 hours away from her family was not an easy decision for Janelle. In fact, it was not even an option that Janelle allowed to stay in her mind for any length of time. Until one day, while riding in the car with her mom, Janelle confessed that she felt God directing her to WOLBI. Just as Janelle spoke those words to her mom, a peace greater than she had ever felt filled Janelle. At that moment, Janelle knew that it was Gods will for her life to attend WOLBI.
The preparation for WOLBI began the minute Janelle decided to accept God directing her path in that direction. School supplies were gathered. Clothes were packed for a cold upstate New York winter. Everything was planned and Janelle was ready to go. But, no one could have prepared Janelle for the first day of this journey.
Butch, Joyce, Janelle and Jeff rented a van, packed it full of Janelle's belongings and headed north. When they finally arrived to the campus Janelle felt a lump in her throat, her eyes filled with tears and her heart sunk. Everything was dark and gloomy. Nothing was like it was advertised. This was the ugliest place Janelle had seen. Why did God bring her here? Was this really Gods will? Was she making a mistake? Everyone quickly pitched in to help Janelle get settled in her dorm. Butch and Jeff helped carry her belongings to her room while Joyce helped Janelle unpack and arrange her things.
As the day moved on, the family toured the campus, registered Janelle for classes and made their way to the bookstore. Janelle was becoming more comfortable with this decision, until now. While in the bookstore everything became so overwhelming to Janelle. Joyce could tell this was not going to be as easy as they thought. Joyce took Janelle outside to comfort her. They prayed and Janelle once again felt that peace that she knew this was what God wanted her to do.
The end of the day came and it was time for Janelle to separate from her family. Janelle still felt the peace but knew this could be a sad moment. She hugged each person, then quickly turned to go to her room before the tears flowed down her cheeks.
As Janelle woke the next day, she was reminded of the scripture that joy comes in the morning. Janelle walked out the door of the dorm only to see the most beautiful blue sky with the brightest yellow sun in it. There was a lake that reflected all the gorgeous creation of the most awesome creator, God. This truly was a day that the Lord had made and Janelle rejoiced and was glad that she listened and followed God's directing to WOLBI.
At WOLBI, each student is required to participate in an outreach ministry in order to develop their talents to minister to others the way of Jesus Christ. This was not easy for Janelle. She felt as if God had not created her to be talented like she had seen talent in others. Janelle could not sing or play any type of musical instrument. As Janelle struggled with her decision for outreach ministry God was preparing her for exactly what He needed her to do. Finally, the decision was made for Janelle. She had run out of time to choose a ministry so WOLBI automatically placed her in the ministry that had an opening, Open Air Evangelism. This was the ministry that Janelle had been trying to avoid.
This was not what Janelle wanted to do. This ministry scared Janelle. The ministry for Open Air Evangelism was street evangelism in New York City and camp counseling during the teen winter and summer camps. This meant that Janelle had to talk to total strangers about God. She had to approach random people on Wall Street and in the projects of Bronx, NY and Newark, NJ about the saving grace of God and the unselfish sacrifice of Jesus Christ. This was something that made Janelle very uncomfortable and she did not believe that she could make a difference for God.
It was during Open Air Evangelism Ministry (OAE) that Janelle became burdened to see souls saved from eternal condemnation. OAE gave Janelle the experience needed to gain the boldness to tell others about God's amazing love. Janelle had the privilege to witness to all types of people during a week in New York City. The OAE team spent time on Wall Street, in the Bronx, and Newark, NJ doing rope tricks, children's stories, and street ministries all to reach out to those who have not heard of Jesus Christ the Savior of the world. Then during Janelle's snow camp counseling, she was privileged to lead her entire group of teens to salvation within several hours of them arriving to the campus. Janelle's experiences during her short stay in Bible College were enough to begin in her the seed for Lady of Virtue Ministries.
Another aspect of WOLBI was their dedication to the nightly devotions. During the weekdays the entire dorm gathered together as an assigned person share what God lead them to share. Again this was not an easy thing for Janelle. It was very difficult for her to speak in front of others. Janelle's night of devotions was not a time that she was looking forward to. As her night drew closer, Janelle became panicked. She did not feel God directing her to speak in a usual topic as the other girls had done. This was very terrifying to Janelle. It was at this time in Janelle's life that God showed her the value of her testimony. God directed Janelle to share with the girls how He was working in her life. How God had supplied her every need. And most importantly, how God became the number one person in Janelle's life. This started Janelle's ministering opportunity. Janelle realized at this time how she could use the voice of her testimony to touch others for the cause of Christ.
Then another tragedy struck in Janelle's life. During her time at home while on Christmas break Janelle fervently prayed for a miracle. Janelle knew that her financial situation would not allow her to return for the last two semesters to complete her years study at WOLBI. This did not affect Janelle's faith in her ever supplying God. She knew that God always supplies. As she arrived back to campus to gather her belongings, her first stop was straight to her mailbox. She had faith that if it was God's will for her to continue that He would provide the money for her. With all expectations she opened all of her mail, but there was no money. Janelle still wasn't discouraged; her next stop was the business office. Her faith was still strong for Janelle believed with all her heart that her guidance counselor would say that someone has already paid her bill in full. But there again, that was not the case.
By this time Janelle was very saddened, but not destroyed. She did not understand why God would bring her here for such a short time. Why would God make it so clear that this is where she was supposed to be yet not meet the financial need to keep her here? What was happening? What was the next step? Questions such as these just flooded through Janelle's mind. Janelle had fulfilled God's plan for this part of her journey of life. It was now time for God to begin in Janelle a new journey. Janelle and Butch gathered all of Janelle's belongings. Janelle said goodbye to her roommates and they left WOLBI.
Upon returning home from Word of Life Bible Institute, God placed the desire for Lady of Virtue Ministries in Janelle. Janelle began by developing Lady of Virtue Ministries into a program for ladies of all ages based on the example given to us in Proverbs 31. Then after two years of study and prayer, Janelle's dream and ministry began. With testimony and unconditional love, Janelle has been able to reach many with the message that God's word and way remains the absolute truth.
As Janelle began her journey to becoming a Lady of Virtue she read many books regarding women's topics. Books about being a Godly lady, about loving God with all your heart, about organizing your life to make sure God is not lost in the shuffle. Janelle continued by researching the scriptures. Finding out why women were created, what purpose God had for women; and of course, how God wants ladies to live their daily lives. As Janelle absorbed everything God was showing her, she realized that God had already given ladies the four major keys needed to be a Lady of Virtue. Lady of Virtue Ministries equips women to learn how to use these keys.
There are four main parts to Lady of Virtue Ministries: 1) A Lady of Virtue 2) A Helpmate 3) A Mother of Love 4) A Worker in the Field. Being a Lady of Virtue is based on "The Basics". The basics are: salvation for the soul, meditation for the mind, sanctification for the heart and purification for the body. These four things are the key elements to developing the Lady of Virtue that God created in each lady.
The symbol for being a Lady of Virtue is a "key". The reason for the key is simple, the key locks things to keep them safe and unlocks things that are hidden away. As unmarried girls are given the opportunity to commit themselves, not only to abstinence, but also to becoming the Godly lady as presented to us in Proverbs, they are given a silver key to remind them of their commitment. Married ladies involved in mentoring girls in the program are presented with a gold key to remind them of their commitment to be an example to those that are watching their every move.
In January of 2000, on her wedding day, Janelle presented Chad with her silver key. Chad now holds the key to Janelle's heart as well as her body. As a surprise to Janelle and to show their support to Janelle and Lady of Virtue Ministries, Butch and Joyce presented Janelle with her gold key during the unity candle ceremony. Janelle knows that as a virtuous lady, her price is far above rubies. And as a virtuous wife, Janelle is a crown to her husband. Janelle will do Chad good all the days of his life. Being a Lady of Virtue begins with being saved and ends with learning how to present your body as a living sacrifice to God. Janelle has been an example to others and she continues to let her light shine that others may see her good works and that she might bring glory to her Father in Heaven.
One God: Isaiah 44:6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and the last; and beside me there is no God.
One Word: 2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
One Savior: John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
One Way: John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
One Change: 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Lady of Virtue Ministries started as Janelle Goodwin attended Bible College in upstate NY. Janelle became burdened to see souls saved from eternal condemnation. Upon returning home from Bible College, she also became burdened to see women of the world develop characteristics of a Proverbs 31
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