Monthly Archives: February 2022

when god changed his mind

New Redemption Press book shares mother’s inspiring story of faith through son’s medical trauma

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – A brain arteriovenous malformation (AVM) is a tangle of abnormal blood vessels connecting arteries and veins in the brain.

Thirteen-year-old Isaiah Custodio was a victim, though not a casualty, of the most rare type of AVM, caused when a tangle of blood vessels rupture in the brain. An arteriovenous malformation can develop anywhere in your body but occurs most often in the brain or spine. Even so, brain AVMs are rare and affect less than 1 percent of the population. *

“Life changed for our family after I received a call that Isaiah had a headache,” said Christina Custodio, Isaiah’s mom. “Things deteriorated very quickly after that, and doctors determined Isaiah’s brain was filled with blood from a severe brain hemorrhage.”

Christina documents the emotional journey of mother and son in her new book, When God Changed His Mind. By her son’s side for the entire six-week hospital and rehab stay and during his subsequent recovery, Christina shares of the ups and downs of the exceedingly trying season.

“It was an extremely difficult time, yet it had many beautiful moments—bonding with my son, feeling the love of our community, trusting God, and experiencing joy in the midst of hardship.”

Readers will be moved by Christina’s dedication to her son and by her steadfast faith in God despite uncertain outcomes. She wrote When God Changed His Mind to inspire others to see Jesus and glorify Him in their own hardships and stories.

“Throughout the initial uncertainty for Isaiah’s life and then the ensuing challenges with his recovery, I had an amazing peace from God and trusted Him to provide what we needed,” Christina said. “If we look through the lens of Jesus, we can find joy in any circumstance.”

* › brain-avm › syc-20350260

Christina Custodio is a gifted writer and speaker. With a degree in psychology and Christian counseling, she pursues many passions, including motivational speaking, blogging, photography, and teaching. She and her husband, Ozzy, live in South Carolina and are parents to Abrianna, Isaiah, and Olivia. For review copies and media interviews, contact:

Christina Custodio

United World Mission Appoints New Leader of the Overseas Council Ministry

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – February 22, 2022 – United World Mission has selected Josué Fernández to become the next leader of the Overseas Council ministry. Josué will succeed Scott Cunningham, who will be transitioning to a part-time role after 14 years of serving the Overseas Council ministry. The leadership transition will take effect July 1, 2022.

Born in Argentina, Josué Fernández began serving with Overseas Council in 2007 as Regional Director for Latin America & the Caribbean. Josué has extensive pastoral experience in churches in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Queens, New York. While serving as a pastor, he developed a rehab program for young drug addicts, created feeding programs for street children, and established discipleship and young leaders’ training programs. Josué and his wife, Liliana, live in Cordoba, Argentina, and have five adult children.

“It’s a great joy and privilege to see one of Overseas Council’s own Regional Directors take on this important leadership role,” said John Bernard, President of United World Mission. “Josué has tremendous experience and giftedness that has served the Overseas Council ministry so well over the last 14 years. I’m confident that under Josué’s leadership the ministry will thrive.”

“I am thankful for the team’s confidence in me, and I am looking forward to working with other leaders as we walk with the global church and prepare their leaders to meet the unique challenges in their region,” Fernández said. “It’s exhilarating to dream about the possibility of seeing communities transformed by the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and I’m excited to be a part of it.”

The Overseas Council ministry is committed to confronting the Global Leadership Challenge in which ministry leaders all around the world confront the tremendous challenges for the gospel in their context. In the Majority World, research indicates that 9 out of 10 churches are led by church leaders with little to no ministry formation. In “post-Christian” areas, many pastors struggle to lead their churches to engage their rapidly changing culture. As the next leader of the Overseas Council ministry, Josué Fernández will oversee nine Regional Directors who leverage their deep experiences, insights and trusted relationships to support seminaries and churches as they prepare the next generation leaders of the church for faithful service.

Scott Cunningham will continue to support the ministry in a new, part-time role. “I want to express my thanks for Scott not only for his 14 years of excellent leadership but also through the merger of the Overseas Council into UWM,” said John Bernard. “Scott has worked so hard to integrate our two organizations so well.”


About United World Mission

Founded in 1946, United World Mission (UWM) is an interdenominational, evangelical mission organization. Our global staff of over 400 serves with national partners in over 50 countries. Our vision is to “see a flourishing church, led by well-equipped leaders, serving every city and neighborhood.” We seek to accomplish this vision by outfitting present and future leaders while engaging with them in Jesus’ mission to the world. Learn more at

Press Contact
Jordyn Chambers

lost animals

New Children’s Picture Book a Family Affair in Feeding Children’s imaginations

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – Davin Chia didn’t set out to become a children’s picture book author, but months of COVID lockdown changed all that.

Whilst working on a novel, Davin wanted his children to have a project that would feed their imaginations and fill the countless hours of lockdown mundanity. His children loved reading, but Davin noticed that many of the books they read were fun and silly, yet didn’t really add value to their lives.

So, he asked his 6 and 9-year-old sons, Luke and James, to share stories with him while he carefully curated them into what would become their first published children’s story.

‘The Lost Animals’ features their pet rabbit ‘Mr Chompers’. The boys had always wanted a dog, so they ‘imagined’ a little sausage dog ‘Jeff’ into the story. A game of ‘chasey’ leads Chomp and Jeff into a bamboo forest where they meet some pandas, helpful characters who were inspired by Luke’s favourite toy.

Sadly, Mr Chompers passed away before the book was launched, so Davin and the boys lovingly dedicated the story to him.

The creative drawings in ‘The Lost Animals’ are the work of an exceptionally talented high school student from Davin’s church.

‘Mate Who Skates’ is Davin’s most recently released book and is a story about friendship, finding the courage to try new things and learning from mistakes.

Through these stories, Davin shares Christian values like stewardship, courage, loyalty, generosity and kindness. Although he chose not to use overtly Christian language, making the books accessible to kids from a variety of family belief systems, his Christian beliefs are at the core of his books.

Davin Chia was born in Singapore, where he developed a love for stories, but never dabbled in creative writing. Then he came to Australia to study and that’s where he met and married his wife. They now live in the ACT with their two sons.

Writing for Government departments is where Davin developed his writing skills and his passion for creative writing.

“I create art with words. That’s my passion, and writing for a living is a true privilege,” Davin said.

“Writing children’s picture books is my favourite type of writing. It allows me to be a child again and let my imagination run wild. In which profession does a person get to do that and cut loose? In what job can one entertain and hopefully educate the young minds?

“When it comes to writing, we, the authors, are in control of the purpose of the book and its characters.

“We decide what we are writing about and who we are writing to. That’s how we start and base the structure upon that. Who is the writing for? What do we want it to achieve? These are the questions we have to ask ourselves before we start planning or writing.

“I looked into what makes a good children’s story first. I looked at other children’s stories I liked to read to my kids. I saw the repetition and structure. As an author, it’s up to me to give my writing structure to help my readers get the message.

Hebrews 12:2 tells us that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith. So, if you want to understand the purpose and meaning of your life, look at how God has structured and guided you.”

God structures things, therefore, we need to as well.

‘The Lost Animals’ and ‘Mate Who Skates’ published by Ark House, are now available globally.


best christian workplaces

Newly Certified Best Christian Workplaces Organizations Honored for Creating Healthy Workplace Cultures in 2021 Amid the Great Resignation

FAITH NEWS SERVICE – Throughout 2021, record numbers of Americans resigned from their jobs.

These skyrocketing resignation rates—and the resulting hiring and retention crisis—show why workplace culture matters so much. To hold on to great employees, organizations need to create an environment so engaging that people won’t want to leave. These environments provide meaningful work, promote career growth, build trust-based relationships, and emphasize healthy work-life balance—all issues, which if ignored, lead workers to look elsewhere. “We celebrate this year’s Certified workplaces. They are evidence a flourishing culture is an effective antidote to the Great Resignation,” says Al Lopus, CEO and Co-founder of BCWI.

Each ministry, church, and business that made the 2021 list of Certified Best Christian Workplaces has done just that. In spite of the Great Resignation, these organizations have engaged their employees, nurtured healthy teams, and inspired their staff to do great work. These results are based on exemplary ratings provided by employees who completed BCWI’s Employee Engagement Survey.

About Best Christian Workplaces Institute

BCWI is an international non-profit, research-based, workplace culture consulting firm. BCWI’s mission is to equip and inspire Christian leaders to build a flourishing workplace.

For more information, visit Best Christian Workplaces Institute online: Benefit from the proven, practical wisdom from top Christian leaders on the BCWI Blog and the Flourishing Culture Podcast.

Here are the organizations that made the 2021 list of Certified Best Christian Workplaces:


Center for Christian Growth – T Bar M Camps – New Braunfels, TX

Cho-Yeh Camp and Conference Center  – Livingston, TX

Eagle Lake Camps – Colorado Springs, CO

Glen Eyrie Conference Center – Colorado Springs, CO

New Life Ranch – Colcord, OK

SAMBICA Camps & Retreats – Bellevue, WA

Summit Ministries – Manitou Springs, CO

Warm Beach Camp Ministries – Stanwood, WA



Calvary Christian Academy — Fort Lauderdale, FL

Calvary Christian School – Bellefontaine, OH

Cherry Hills Christian School – Highlands Ranch, CO

Colegio Cristiano Nicolás – Ixil, Nebaj, Guatemala

Crossings Christian School – Oklahoma City, OK

Donvale Christian College – Donvale, VIC Australia

First Baptist Academy – Naples, FL

The Geneva School of Manhattan – New York, NY

Harvest Christian Academy – Elgin, IL

Knox Christian School – Bowmanville, ON, Canada

Lincoln Christian School – Tulsa, OK

Linfield Christian School – Temecula, CA

Lionheart Children’s Academy – Euless, TX

Mitchell Road Christian Academy – Greenville, SC

North Valley Christian Academy – Phoenix, AZ

St. Paul Christian Academy – Nashville, TN

Toledo Christian Schools – Toledo, OH

Trinity Academy – Wichita, KS


ACR Supply Company – Durham, NC

BETA Fueling Systems, LLC – Reidsville, NC

C12 Group  – San Antonio, TX

CapinCrouse LLP – Indianapolis, IN

Dow Smith Company, Inc.  – Smyrna, TN

ECM Development – Arlington, TX

EGW – Carrollton, TX

The FOCUS Group – St. Augustine, FL

For Garden’s Sake – Durham, NC

Gibson Oil & Gas Co., Inc. – Laurel Hill, NC

Hafer – Evansville, IN

Harris Beverages – Durham, NC

Long Island Lumber – Long Island, VA

LuGreg Trucking – Kingfisher, OK

The Nehemiah Company – Arlington, TX

Outreach  – Colorado Springs, CO

Physical Therapy Center, LLC – Monroe, NC

Premier Physical Therapy – Cape Girardeau, MO

Qualis Management – Rocky Mount, NC

Remodel Health – Indianapolis, IN

Spiars Engineering and Surveying – Plano, TX

StorPlace Self-Storage – Nashville, TN

Texas Security Bank – Farmers Branch, TX



2|42 Community Church – Brighton, MI

Ada Bible Church – Ada, MI

BattleCreek Church – Broken Arrow, OK

Bayside – Bradenton, FL

Beulah Alliance Church – Edmonton, AB Canada

Calvary Baptist Church of Winston-Salem – Winston-Salem, NC

Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale – Fort Lauderdale, FL

Canyon View Vineyard Church  —  Grand Junction, CO

Carey Baptist Church – Canning Vale, WA Australia

Central Community Church – Wichita, KS

The Chapel – Baton Rouge, LA

Christ Church – Lake Forest, IL

Christ Fellowship Miami – Miami, FL

Christ Presbyterian Church – Edina, MN

Christ’s Church of the Valley – Peoria, AZ

Christian Life Assembly – Langley, BC Canada

Church on the Move – Tulsa, OK

City Changers Movement/Doxa Deo – Pretoria, South Africa

The Creek – Indianapolis, IN

Doxa Deo Churches – Pretoria, South Africa

Eastside Christian Church – Anaheim, CA

Engedi Church – Holland, MI

Fairhaven Church – Dayton, OH

Faith Promise Church – Knoxville, TN

Fearless Churches – Holland, MI

First Baptist Orlando – Orlando, FL

First Christian Church of Johnson City – Johnson City, TN

First Cutlerville Christian Reformed Church – Byron Center, MI

Floris United Methodist Church/Restoration Church – Herndon, VA

Grant Memorial Baptist Church – Winnipeg, MB Canada

Harvest Church – Billings, MT

Highlands Church – Toowoomba, QLD Australia

Hour of Power & Shepherd’s Grove – Irvine, CA

Irving Bible Church – Irving, TX

Journey Church – Bozeman, MT

Kamloops Alliance Church – Kamloops, BC Canada

Kingsway Christian Church – Avon, IN

Life Church – Meridian, ID

LowCountry Community Church – Bluffton, SC

Miracle Life Family Church – Lusaka, Zambia

Mission Hills Church – Littleton, CO

Montgomery Community Church – Cincinnati, OH

New Vision – Murfreesboro, TN

Newlife Church – Robin, QLD Australia

NewSpring Church – Anderson, SC

Northridge Church – Rochester, NY

Oak Hills Church – San Antonio, TX

OHC Westside Fellowship – San Antonio, TX

Outer West Community Church – San Antonio, TX

Pantano Christian Church – Tucson, AZ

The Peoples Church – Toronto, ON Canada

Pinelake Church – Brandon, MS

River Pointe Church – Richmond, TX

Riverwood Church Community – Winnipeg, MB Canada

Seacoast Church – Mount Pleasant, SC

Soul City Church – Chicago, IL

Southridge Community Church  — St. Catharines, ON Canada

Summit Church – Durham, NC

Traders Point Christian Church – Indianapolis, IN

Trinity Church  — Lansing, MI

Venture Christian Church – Carmel, IN

The Village Church – Flower Mound, TX

Vineyard Cincinnati – Cincinnati, OH

West Side Presbyterian Church – Ridgewood, NJ

WestGate Church  — San Jose, CA

Whittier Area Community Church – Whittier, CA


4KIDS  — Fort Lauderdale, FL

BsideU for Life – Louisville, KY

Care Net  — Lansdowne, VA

CarePortal  – Kansas City, MO

Christian Children’s Home of Ohio  – Wooster, OH

Christian Community Action  – Lewisville, TX

Christian Family Care – Phoenix, AZ

Circle of Care – Oklahoma City, OK

Compass – Kearney, NE

Cookson Hills – Kansas, OK

FaithBridge Foster Care – Alpharetta, GA

HopeWorks, Inc. – Memphis, TN

Human Coalition – Plano, TX

Josiah White’s – Wabash, IN

Redeemer Counseling Services – New York, NY


Bethlehem College & Seminary – Minneapolis, MN

Colorado Christian University – Lakewood, CO

Columbia Bible College – Abbotsford, BC Canada

Highlands College – Birmingham, AL

Los Angeles Pacific University – San Dimas, CA

Master’s College and Seminary – Peterborough, ON Canada

Olivet Nazarene University – Bourbonnais, IL

Prairie College – Three Hills, AB Canada


InterVarsity Press – Westmont, IL

Living on the Edge – Suwanee, GA

PositiveMedia – Mitcham, VIC Australia

Precept – Chattanooga, TN

Redemption Press – Enumclaw, WA

Rhema Media – Auckland, NSW New Zealand

RightNow Media  — McKinney, TX

WGTS 91.9 – Rockville, MD



Administer Justice – Elgin, IL

Alpha USA – Naperville, IL

Apartment Life – Euless, TX

BMA America  — Conway, AR

Bethesda – Colorado Springs, CO

Bible League International  — Crete, IL

CARE for AIDS – Atlanta, GA

Catholic Christian Outreach – Ottawa, ON Canada

Christian Medical & Dental Associations – Bristol, TN

DiscipleMakers  – State College, PA

Edify – San Diego, CA

Family Policy Alliance – Colorado Springs, CO

Fellowship of Christian Athletes/Rockies Region – Colorado Springs, CO

Focus on the Family Canada  — Langley, BC Canada

Generous Giving – Orlando, FL

The Gideons International – Nashville, TN

The Global Orphan Project – Kansas City, MO

HOPE International – Lancaster, PA

International Fellowship of Evangelical Students – Oxford, England UK

Jewish Voice Ministries International – Phoenix, AZ

Jews for Jesus – San Francisco, CA

Joni and Friends – Agoura Hills, CA

Lifeshape – Atlanta, GA

Love Justice International – Lincoln, NE

The Mentoring Alliance – Tyler, TX

Miracle Hill Ministries – Greenville, SC

Mission Training International – Palmer Lake, CO

The Navigators – Colorado Springs, CO

The Salvation Army of Saint Joseph County – South Bend, IN

Sports Friends – Fort Mill, SC

Stadia Church Planting – Uniontown, OH

UCCF: The Christian Unions – Oxford, England UK

Water Mission – North Charleston, SC

WinShape Foundation, Inc. – Mt. Berry, GA

Word of Life Fellowship, Inc. – Schroon Lake, NY

World Gospel Mission – Marion, IN

World Impact – Wichita, KS

YWAM Battambang – Battambang, Cambodia



Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability

Connect Ministries – Watkinsville, GA

PCA Retirement and Benefits – Lawrenceville, GA

Samaritan Ministries International – Peoria, IL

Vala Secure – Plano, TX


Charlotte Rescue Mission – Charlotte, NC

Knox Are Rescue Ministries – Knoxville, TN

Light of Life Ministries – Pittsburgh, PA

The Mustard Seed – Calgary, AB Canada

Nashville Rescue Mission – Nashville, TN

Outreach – Indianapolis, IN

Phoenix Rescue Mission – Phoenix, AZ

Portland Rescue Mission – Portland, OR

Ruth and Naomi’s Mission – Chilliwack, BC Canada

Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission – Seattle, WA

St. Matthew’s House – Naples, FL

Sunday Breakfast Rescue Mission – Philadelphia, PA

Union Gospel Mission – Vancouver, BC Canada

Water Street Mission – Lancaster, PA

Yakima Gospel Mission – Yakima, WA