Gina Markley

HIGH SCHOOL COUNSELOR

I pray this verse for all our students: Psalm 71:17 Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.

When I was three years old, my mother died of cancer. My grandmother came to live with us to help my dad take care of me. I heard and knew very little about God until some neighbors invited me to go to a vacation bible school at the church down the street. I listened as a man who made me laugh with his puppet, told me about Jesus. I responded to God’s offer of forgiveness and eternal life. The Holy Spirit came to live inside me and He has never left me.

I am married. My husband and I have two sons, two daughters-in-law and four grandchildren. God called my husband into full-time youth ministry after we were married. I served alongside him in youth ministry and later when he became the lead pastor.

Looking back, I can see how God has always watched over me. I want everyone to know how much God loves them.

The Testimony of Gina Markley

When I was three years old, my mother died. My grandmother came to live with us to help my dad take care of me. I heard and knew very little about God until, when I was about six years old, some neighbors invited me to go to a vacation bible school at the church down the street. I listened as a man who made me laugh with his puppet told me about Jesus. I responded to God’s offer of forgiveness and eternal life. The Holy Spirit came to live inside me and He has never left me.

Since no one in my family was a Christian, I didn’t have anyone to tell me more about God. My Dad got remarried when I was ten years old. I remember praying that my parents would go to church so they could hear about God too. One Saturday, they told me that we would be going to church the next day. We began to go to church regularly. I had the blessing of being baptized the same day as my dad. My new mom re-dedicated her life to Christ. Later, my Grandmother got saved. I have been amazed at how God has answered my prayers for my family.

When I was nineteen years old, we had a 6.5 earthquake in our town. I was working at a store during the earthquake. We had experienced smaller earthquakes in our town and I was always taught to get under something during an earthquake. This earthquake was different. It was so loud. It sounded like a freight train was driving through the building. I wanted out! I ran to the side door of the building to escape. As I arrived at the door, Frank, the UPS driver, was coming in with his hands full of packages. Because he had opened the door, I was able to get out quickly. Just as I stepped out the door, the awning that was over the sidewalk and part of the upper story fell. The building was made of bricks. I was covered with bricks, breathed in dust, and couldn’t move. While I was trapped under the debris, I had the thought that everyone in my family was probably dead. I prayed that God would take me quickly so I wouldn’t have to suffer for long. Shortly after my prayer, I heard Frank say, “Oh my God, Gina!”. Someone began removing the bricks that covered me. Soon, I was able to sit up, but there was a beam across my legs. One of the people that had stopped to help had a hand saw in the back of his truck. They used it to cut the beam in half so they could get me out. The man with the saw gave me a ride to the hospital. The UPS truck and my co-worker’s car were smashed. I came out with a broken finger, a cut and bruised leg and a lot of dirt. It was a miracle!

I knew that if I had died that day, I had a home and a future in heaven. But, I also knew that I was not living the life that God had called me to live. I began to seek God to help me change. It has been a slow process. His Word is true. He is patient. As I have changed and grown, I have realized that there is an abundant life with God. It’s not a boring life with Him. He is full of surprises. He challenges me. He gives me peace.

God called my husband into full-time youth ministry after we were married. I served alongside him in youth ministry and later when he became the lead pastor. Looking back, I can see how God has always watched over me. I want everyone to know how much God loves them.

I pray this verse for all of our students: Psalm 71:17, “Since my youth, God, you have
taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.”