More in Our Work
This is Praise Harvest
Our Work Video
May 30

This is Praise Harvest

In Evansville, IN, People of Praise members have turned vacant lots into an urban farm that produces thousands of pounds of vegetables each year for their neighborhood.

More in Video
This is Praise Harvest
Our Work Video
May 30

This is Praise Harvest

In Evansville, IN, People of Praise members have turned vacant lots into an urban farm that produces thousands of pounds of vegetables each year for their neighborhood.

March through the Valley #8: South Bend

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Gretchen Connolly:
I grew up here in Servant Branch and went to Trinity School back when it was at Gethsemane Episcopal Church in Minneapolis. I came underway when I was in college and moved to South Bend in 1999, where I taught at Trinity School at Greenlawn for five years. Then I moved down to Shreveport and helped with mission work in Allendale for three years. Sean had already been in Shreveport for a year, so we overlapped for a couple of years. After those three years I moved back to South Bend to work for the People of Praise in communications, and that’s when Sean and I started dating. We were married in 2009.

Sean Connolly:
And we have a little girl named Gloria and one on the way, a boy. You might have noticed at Justin and Cathy Walters’s wedding yesterday that he and I have something in common. We’re both corn-fed Indiana boys who married Minnesota girls!

I want to tell you a story about how the Lord has taken care of Gretchen and me. While we were living in Allendale, we were both in households that were financially in common. We were putting a lot of our extra money toward the mission work we were doing, so when we got married we didn’t have a lot of extra change. Our plan was to live on the campus of Trinity School at Greenlawn, in an apartment that’s known as the “launching pad,” because a lot of young married couples have lived there for year or two just after getting married. We were all set to do that too, but a month before our wedding a house came up for sale on Greenlawn Avenue, right across the street from the community’s property. Gretchen and I were very interested in it, because quite a few young singles and some married couples--many of whom work for the community--live either on the property or in houses nearby, so we knew it would be awesome if we could land there. We looked at the house and loved it, and we made an offer, which I admit was pretty low. The couple who were selling the house looked us in the eye and said, “No, thanks.”

So we let it go. We got married and went on our honeymoon. A couple of weeks after that the gentleman who was selling the house called me out of the blue and said, “Another person wants to make an offer on the house, but we like you, and if you want to pay us some more money, we would be glad to sell the house to you.” We knew that if we were going to do it we had to work fast, so I talked to Gretchen and I talked to my head, Paul DeCelles, who works in the same building as I do--which is convenient. Remember, I said we didn’t have much money before we got married, but when we got married brothers and sisters gave us money. In fact, we had a lot more money than I thought we were ever going to have. So, basically in the course of a week we decided that, yes, we could really do this.

Long story short, we got the house, and it has been a blessing to us. Cathy got to live with us in household for the three months before her wedding, and Justin and Cathy are moving into a house whose back yard is literally right behind us. That house is owned by the Sisterhood and they’re renting it to them, and we’re just tickled about that.

We’re just so grateful to all our brothers and sisters in the Lord for taking care of us.


  1. Anne Brewer says:

    Praise for His generous provision in our lives!!!

  2. Chris Ubanski says:

    Wouldn't you know, the Lord was in the details!
    Chris Urbanski

  3. Cheryl Schmitt says:

    What a delightful and refreshing story. The Lord never seems to disappoint, does He?

  4. Mary Durand says:

    I just love that story. We have experienced similar though it has, of course, looked different for us. We received more in gifts than I ever could have imagined. Now I am able to stay home with our daughter full time and we have everything we need for our apartment, plus some leftover. Additionally, we have had numerous and overwhelming medical expenses over the past year, but due to the fact that we were living with other families in community, we have been able to pay all of those in full without going into a bit of debt. It's just amazing what the Lord can do for you when you say yes to him.

  5. Mary Durand says:

    I meant to thank you both for sharing! Thank you! And congrats on the new life in your family!

  6. Carmen Fraga says:

    I'm not surprised! It's so like the Lord to not only provide but to also help us in our preferences. We're looking forward to seeing your growing family! Blessings!

  7. Kate Record says:

    What a great story -thank you so much for sharing with us all. It's an inspiration to me and I'm sure many other young newly married couples... you never know how and when the Lord will provide, but He always does!

  8. Bruce Wansart says:

    What i see in this house deal, is a special principle that anyone can practice.

    When the house deal fell through, both of you said to the Lord---We will let the house go.

    It appears that the Lord changed hearts and the house became yours

    Congraduations on your wedding and all your good fortunes.

  9. Donald Busekrus says:

    Sean and Gretchen,
    This story sounds so familiar. Alana and I share a similar story that happened in late 2007. Against all odds, we now own a house that was not for sale, too far out of our price range, and thirdly, a home that has become an Oahu branch gathering place. The Lord knows the desires of our hearts and he always provides the best for his people. Glory to him forever!!!!

  10. Frances Gauthier says:

    I'm so happy for you both! You deserve good things. God bless you and your growing family!

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