Rodney being disabled and wheelchair bound, and Ana being a widow with four fatherless children, both know first hand the pain and circumstances out of their control to relate to the very people they have a heart to minister.
They both with one accord can say together as stated in Scripture: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God."
(2 Corinthians 1:3-4)
Both Rodney and Ana jointly conclude both circumstances desperatly needed a savior and a relationship with God as the achor through their storms as they trusted Jesus. It was in His strenth they were able to overcome and navigate through such adversities. As a part of Gods plan, months after Ana being widowed, Rodney and Ana were introduced to each other by Gods grace at church and over the next few years their lives were slowly knit together. As they married (see video of wedding below) and in the newness of life, they have never been more in love with Christ and with each other. As an outpour of Gods redemtion in thier lives they seek to pour into lives of others in similar circumstances. Through the local nursing home mission trips the kindess of Christ of thier lives is being revealed to others as the Gospel is shared.
The Ministry as an Organization
AVOWED is a mission partner outreach-visitation program to those who are the confined and convalescent in Assisted Living Facilities, Nursing Homes, Health and Rehabilitation facilities, hospice and related care centers. This ministry gives legs to our Christian faith, by going to places where opportunities for witnessing and fellowship abound. This is a good example of the church going to the people. This is not something we could have done on our own; any success we experience is the Lord's work.
Our mission partner programs are based on an audience participation music ministry at the facilities. We produce our own songbooks for the residents to use in a sing-along environment that creates a relaxed and informal environment. The programs usually last one hour and provide the opportunity to worship, fellowship, and minister with the lonely, and sometimes forgotten, members of our community.
The music-type program activities will usually attract Christians and residents who enjoy socializing. The opportunities abound for the Christian who recognizes that these "Fields are white unto harvest..." and for many residents this may be their last chance to hear the Gospel message and have an opportunity to respond.
AVOWED is also:
A Church Planter: as we establish regular worship services in care centers and provide many forms of spiritual care;
A Street Evangelist: as we explain the Gospel to the unreached among the corridors, halls, rooms, and outside courtyards of care centers;
A Hospice Chaplain: as we hold hands of the dying, as we sing songs, read Scripture, pray and tell them they are loved. Listen and comfort widows, the grieving and lend a shoulder to weep on;
An Encourager, Equipter and Facilitater to others to engage in similar compassionate activity.
We actively visit the lonely and forgotten, ministering to their emotional and spiritual needs, and to encourage, equip and facilitate others to engage in this compassionate activity.
AVOWED was established in July, 2011 by Rodney Pitzer to formalize the approach to family ministry in the begining of his 30 years in ministy work and training.
In 1984, Rodney Pitzer at the age of 16 was in a motor vehicle accident that left him paralyzed from the belly button down. Through God’s Divine intervention, that “accident” of fate, redefined his life as he trusted Jesus Christ for eternal salvation. After trusting Jesus as his Savior and Lord, Rodney had the passion for compassion ministry and desired to get started before he was fully out of his back brace. He enrolled in Stephen Ministries, learning one-to-one Christian care to individuals experiencing a life crisis which was followed by traing in Hospice end of life care and various ministry opportunities. At the very beginning AVOWED started out with regular hospital visitation, one-on-one ministry to those that were disabled, and minors that were incarcerated and in trouble with the law.
In 2008, Rodney met Doug and Sharon Gilbert. Doug and Sharon where trying to get a church-based, worship and care center visitation ministry started. Rodney volunteered and began a new level of commitment that extended to at least one formal worship program each week. It then began to increasingly expand to as many as 33 programs a month as new requests spiraled out of that volunteer ministry. Doug and Sharon were key mentors to Rodney. Doug and Sharon have been trusted confidential counselors, guides, coaches and friends. They have passed on experiences, provided loving feedback, and have been encouragers.
Statement of Faith
AVOWED believes and trusts in God and the Bible.
We want to let everyone know that God loves you and we love you!
Scripture convicts us to lovingly carry out compassionate ministry to others.
We strongly believe that this ministry bridges the gap of various group divisions and serves as a point of connection.
What We Believe
1. We believe in truth, namely:
a. Truth about reality is knowable.
b. The opposite of true is false.
c. It is true that the theistic God exists.
d. If God exists, then miracles are possible.
e. Miracles can be used to confirm a message from God (i.e., as an act of God to confirm a word from God).
f. The New Testament is historically reliable.
g. The New Testament says Jesus claimed to be God.
h. Jesus’ claim to be God was miraculously confirmed by:
i. His fulfillment of many prophecies about Himself;
ii. His sinless and miraculous life;
iii. His prediction and accomplishment of His resurrection.
i. Therefore, Jesus is God.
j. Whatever Jesus (who is God) teaches is true.
k. Jesus taught that the Bible is the Word of God.
l. Therefore, it is true that the Bible is the Word of God (and anything opposed to it is false).
2. We believe that the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments is inspired by God, inerrant, and that it is of supreme and final authority in faith and life.
3. We believe that there is only one God, eternally existent in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
a. We acknowledge the Creator – God as our heavenly Father, infinitely perfect, and intimately acquainted with all our ways.
b. We claim Jesus Christ as Lord – the very God who came in human flesh – the object of our worship and the subject of our praise.
c. We recognize the Holy Spirit as the third member of the Godhead, incessantly at work convicting, convincing, comforting; and regenerates with divine life and personally indwells the believer upon his faith in Christ for salvation.
4. We believe in creation, not evolution; that man was created by the direct act of God and in the image of God.
5. We believe that Adam and Eve, in yielding to the temptation of Satan, became fallen creatures.
6. We believe that all men are born in sin. Adam's fall into sin left humanity without the hope of heaven apart from a new birth, made possible by the Savior's death and bodily resurrection.
7. We believe in the incarnation, the Virgin Birth, and the Deity of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
8. We believe in the vicarious and substitutionary atonement for the sins of mankind by the shedding of Jesus’ blood on the cross.
9. We believe in the resurrection of His body from the tomb, His ascension to Heaven, and that He is now our Advocate before God.
10. We believe in His power to save men from sin.
11. We believe the offer of salvation is God's love-gift to all. Those who accept it by faith, apart from works, become new creatures in Christ. Salvation is by grace through faith, plus nothing, minus nothing, in the atoning blood of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
12. We believe that anyone who trusts in Christ by faith is a new creation in Him – clothed in His righteousness and fully loved and accepted by God.
13. We believe that a person once born-again is always saved. He can never be lost, for he is born of an incorruptible seed. He is given everlasting life, is sealed unto the day of redemption, and his life is hid with Christ in God. There is neither condemnation nor separation from God.
14. We believe that God expects our lives to reflect that we belong to Him and that we are pursuing a holy life.
15. We believe that the true Church is composed of all persons who are regenerated by the Holy Spirit through the saving faith in Jesus Christ; that they are united together in the body of Christ of which He is Lord and Head; and are commissioned for the God-given tasks of worshiping, fellowshipping, teaching, evangelizing and exercising the spiritual gifts.
16. We believe that Satan, under the sovereign permission of God, tries to destroy the faith of believers and that drawing near to God is the only way to resist him.
17. We believe that as new creations in Christ we will continue to wrestle with our sin nature. We will, however, continue to grow in grace and become more like Jesus. Ultimate perfection and freedom from sin, however, will only come when we finally stand in the presence of the Lord.
18. We believe that, having embraced Jesus Christ by faith, we are to make Him known to non-Christians in our sphere of influence.
19. We believe and anticipate in the bodily, personal, visible, pre-millennial and imminent return of Jesus Christ. This will be accomplished in two stages:
a. The Rapture – Christ’s coming for His saints – when Christ will descend into the air to catch away His waiting bride, the Church.
b. Christ’s descending with His saints to establish the long promised kingdom and to reign upon the earth for a thousand years.
Between these two stages the great tribulation judgments (7 years) are visited upon the apostate and rebellious world.
20. We believe in judgments:
a. We believe that the believer’s sins are judged in Christ on the cross and that his works will be judged for rewards at the Judgment Seat of Christ at the time of His coming.
b. We believe that those not trusting Jesus for eternal salvation will be raised at the Second Resurrection of the dead to stand in judgment before the Great White Throne of God. This takes place after the thousand year reign of Christ (Millennium). These will be sent to the Lake of fire (Hell), there to suffer torment forever together with the Devil, Antichrist, and False prophet. We believe the souls of the impenitent dead are now in a state of conscious suffering in Hades awaiting the second resurrection.
21. We believe that after all God’s enemies are consigned to their place of eternal punishment (Hell), the present order of things will be dissolved and the new heaven and the new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness, shall be brought in as a final state in which the righteous shall dwell forever.