Jeff and Charle’ Fain

This week, Pastor Walton spoke with Jeff and Charle’ Fain about coming to the Lord, meeting each other, their camp experience in 2008, and camp this year.

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Episode transcript:

Chris Harper: Welcome to Harvest Time. My name is Chris Harper, and our host on this program is pastor Gary Walton, the lead pastor at Harvest Baptist Church. Every week, we spend these 25 minutes together telling you the stories of our church by interviewing our members and other friends of the ministry. We’d like to invite you to join us at Harvest Baptist Church this week. We have services during the summer months at 10 AM.

There’s Japanese and Korean translation during that 10 AM service. We hope you can join us then. That’s also when we livestream at hbcguam dotorg, This week, we’re back in 2nd kings, this time in chapter five, God still moves, lessons from the life of Elisha. Let’s begin today’s Harvest Time by welcoming pastor Gary Walton. Hi, pastor.

Gary Walton: Hey. Hafa adai, Chris. We started a summer series. So if you’re listening and you haven’t been to Harvest, at all or haven’t been in a while, we started, you know, each summer we try to do something a little special and we did we’re doing a series on the life of Elisha out of the book of 2nd Kings in the Old Testament. And, we’ve really only got started.

We’ve had two sessions in. This will be the 3rd week, the 3rd message out of 2nd Kings, chapter five, And, it’s going to be a big lesson from the life of Naaman and we’d love for you to come and join us. You’ll be warmly welcomed by the Harvest family. I know that you’re gonna feel like you’re part of the family, you know, when you’re here and we’ll spend some time in God’s word. Well, I’m really glad to have some special guests with us, here this week in Harvest Time.

Good to have Pastor Jeff Fain and his wife, Charle’, back with us on Guam after a while. So welcome, you guys.

Jeff Fain: Glad to be here.

Gary Walton: Pastor Jeff is here for as our primary speaker for camp. We’ve got two weeks of camp. How’s camp going so far?

Jeff Fain: A lot of kids and seems to me from my vantage point, very good. Counselor’s just great, and it seems like the kids really are in tune with God’s word and what he wants to do with them. So fantastic so far.

Gary Walton: You guys were here on Guam 20 years ago, right, in the late 90s, early 2000s?

Jeff Fain: 1998 through 2002. So it’s been about 22 years since we’ve been here, like you said, and always loved to come back, always near and dear to our heart, the island. We pray for it very regularly. Honestly, someone said this to me when we first came. I didn’t fully grasp it at the time, but you can leave Guam, but it doesn’t seem like Guam ever wants to leave you, and that’s a good thing.

So we love the place, love to come back. Got to bring my wife and my daughter, which is a huge, huge blessing this time for me. My daughter was born here.

Gary Walton: So that’s Bree. Bree.

Jeff Fain: Yep. 25 years old. And so we’re just glad that she’s getting to see the place where she was born.

Gary Walton: Well, you guys are loved here. I’ve told you that before, Pastor Jeff. Your family is loved here. People speak of you warmly, And your names come up often, and I know you’ve been back and so there’s been connections over time God’s given you, I think a lasting ministry Emmanuel Baptist Church in Kentucky, Cold Spring, right?

Jeff Fain: Cold Spring, Kentucky. 22 years we left the island, very successful ministry, left with tears. The church ran about 10 people at a time and I felt like God wanted us to pastor. So we’ve been there 22 years. We’ve seen a lot of growth.

Built, built a building. We’ve planted about 11 churches. And so just just grateful for that ministry, but it’s God’s glory, God’s credit, not ours.

Gary Walton: Yeah. Thankful for that. Thankful for what God’s done there. Charle’, your family. You’ve got four kids, right?

Tell us about your family. We have four kids. Jeffrey is our oldest. So when we moved here, Jeffrey and Nicholas were just little going into K3 and K5. Jeffrey is 30 now. He and Nicholas both recently got married over the last few years.

Charle’ Fain: So, they’ve both got children. So, we’re grandparents now. And then we’ve got, Bree, of course, she’s here, and Logan. Logan is our baby. He’s a senior at Boyce Bible College.

Gary Walton: So Jeffrey was here on staff for a couple years, and then Logan was here last summer with the summer ministry team. So it’s been awesome to have other family here at different times or just those two?

Jeff Fain: They’ve all with Bree, they’ve all been back.

Gary Walton: Been back to visit. Yeah.

Jeff Fain: At least once. This is Bree’s first time since 2008 when the whole family came, and that’s when Logan had his accident. And so that was the last time for her. So it’s been a while.

Gary Walton: Okay. Tell us about your story. Growing up, where’d you grow up? Maybe spiritual story for both of you. And Charle’, maybe you can tell us about how you guys have met, and we’ll get all that stuff.

Jeff Fain: Well, to make, a rather long and dull story short, born in Kentucky, raised in Kentucky. My mom was a believer. My dad was not, And so my mom, her grandfather was a Baptist pastor in Kentucky. And so we were always in church, always vacation bible school, camp, everything that happened we were part of. A Christian school was started in our area when I was in the 8th grade.

My mom took another job just so we could be a part of that school, my sisters and myself. And so there are a lot of things that just kind of influenced my life as far as biblically and religiously, and so I knew all the answers. I knew a lot of the Bible stories. I could quote a lot of verses. I even knew that Jesus had died, was buried, and rose again, and I really believe that it was even for me.

But it wasn’t until I was about 14 years old, I was in a camp in Versailles, Indiana, and there for the first time, I think the Lord just kind of arrested my heart and my thinking with conviction that you’re very religious, but there’s a lot of religious people that will not see eternity and don’t have a relationship with me. And so it was on a particular Friday night at camp I gave my heart to Christ. And for a kid that’s a teenager who’s worried about all the wrong things, you know, money or a car or girls, Those things just basically faded in light of, you know, I need Christ as my number one issue in my life. And so I called on him. He was saved.

That night, I sat 10 of my friends down because I knew my friends. They were in the kind of the same boat that I was in. And so I just shared with my I’d never been to an evangelism class. I didn’t know you were supposed to share your faith. I just knew what had happened to me. I wanted for my friends and so I I basically shared what my story of how I made Him number one in my life. And one of the guys that night accepted Christ, one of those 10 guys.

And so just, had a burden, continued, graduated from Christian school. I did well academically, so I was nominated to the Naval Academy, Air Force Academy. I accepted the nomination to Air Force Academy, and June rolled around, had the haircut, had my nomination from Vice President Bush. Everything was set. My dad was excited.

As a lost man, you know, your life is set. And he was every time an airplane, I didn’t care if it was commercial or a Cessna, would fly over, my dad was like, man, that’s a

Gary Walton: It could be you. Yeah.

Jeff Fain: And so came June. I was in a particular service, and God just again, I didn’t hear an audible voice, but boy that still small voice was as loud as it could possibly be that there were people that were dying that needed Christ. I had the gospel, given to me as an act of grace, and man, it’s something that I should share. And I really felt like I need to be trained, not just be the witness. And so I had about 70 scholarship offers outside the academy, the the nomination to the Air Force Academy.

And so I made a decision to go to Liberty where I had to pay the whole bill. My dad is a lost man, was not.

Gary Walton: He’s like, what in the world?

Jeff Fain: Yes. Not happy. He got all my uncles together, and he wanted to have a little powwow, a little huddle. Hey, let’s talk him out of this. My uncles are believers, and one of them said, hey man, after your Four years in the academy, you just then go to Liberty or then you can go into ministry.

And so through some adversity, I ended up going to Liberty and I went as a pre med major. That changed very quickly. My freshman year, I surrendered to, pastoral ministry. And, from there, just, God worked out and opened so many doors, began youth work. Very early on, I worked at the ministry in Liberty, began youth ministry back in my home church, moved from that to another youth pastorate.

Met my wife. I got married, and somebody said, you know, when you get married you’ll have a church. I kept thinking, man, I’m 30 years old. I’ll never get a church. 30 years old.

I’m an old guy. I’d like to be 30 again to be honest with you. But so we got married in October, called. We filled in for a little church, had about six members. They didn’t have anybody, and I had a full time job.

We filled in, and they called us in November. And so what everybody had said was true. Small church of about six. It grew to about a 150, in a no. I’m sorry.

I don’t wanna misquote. The town we lived in had about a 150. We averaged a 104 on Sundays, and so we were there, loved the ministry, just deeply in love with the ministry. Got a phone call from a guy named Dan Pelletier. Dan Pelletier said, hey, my Bible teacher is leaving islands.

It happens sometimes. He’s beloved here. His name was Mr. Abrahamson. Said, I’ve got two more guys lined up. One guy’s a Christian school administrator, another guy’s a principal at a Christian school.

Just pray about coming. So I hung the phone up and I said to my wife, here’s kind of circumstances. I said, I think we’re going. And she’s like, well, there’s two other guys. And I said, yeah.

Yeah. That’s probably true. About a week later, he calls and says, you’re not gonna believe this. I said, those guys didn’t take it. He said, that’s absolutely right.

Man, we came to Guam, stepped off the plane, and I’ll never forget Mrs. Gray said, welcome home. My beautiful bride had never been outside the United States in that kind of a capacity. two kids. She’s seven months pregnant with Bree.

Gary Walton: Yeah.

Jeff Fain: And man, what a whirlwind of an awesome ministry just to be a part of. Changed our lives. So that’s the long story longer than it should have been.

Gary Walton: No, no. It’s awesome. Charle’, where’d you grow up? Tell me about your background.

Charle’ Fain: So I was born and raised in Alexandria, Kentucky. Actually, born into the church we where we pastor now.

Gary Walton: Oh, really?

Charle’ Fain: Yes. So that was a little humbling coming back to a place where people knew me well and watched me in the nursery as a baby.

Gary Walton: That’s interesting.

Charle’ Fain: So, yeah. So we small little church in Dayton at the time, and I remember walking the aisle when I was six with my best friend because sometimes that’s what girl best friends do. And so so, you know, we yes, we wanted Jesus. We wanted to be baptized, and so we did that. And, my parents later went to a church closer to our home, believed closer to where my dad was, and so we went to a youth conference one summer.

I was 13, and, the Lord just really began to deal with me. I got home and realized one night, actually, just the Holy Spirit woke me up and the Lord just began to deal with me that, you know, maybe I didn’t know what what was going on at six. And so it was then that I just really, for the first time, had a real one on one with the Lord and, you know, just gave my my life, my heart to him. I knew that that he, that that I didn’t wanna go any further without him, that he was the only way, for me to live any any sort of life. And so I I trusted in the Lord that night on my living room floor, you know, and then followed him in in real scriptural baptism.

And so surrendered my life to full time ministry. I didn’t know what that would look like. I knew I wanted to marry a preacher and there happened to be one at the church we were attending.

Jeff Fain: But he wasn’t available and she just kind of stuck with me.

Charle’ Fain: So so so, yeah. We met at First Baptist of Alexandria and fell in love there, and my family was the family that never missed, you know, and my dad my dad loved him as a preacher. He was a young preacher at the time, loved him as a preacher, but then he realized that I liked him and so things were a little different. My dad my dad was a marine and so his his he’s pretty hard and his bark is a lot bigger than his bite, but, but the Lord worked through all of that and really, the rest is history. Jeff kind of, kinda shared a little bit of that in in our ministry, but but that’s how we came together.

Gary Walton: I mentioned earlier you guys have had, you know, left a legacy of of influence. Thank you. And I think perhaps maybe everybody, but Guam does leave an imprint, you know, on us as well. Absolutely. And we’ve talked before, You you both have been back a couple of times.

I know, Jeff, you’ve been back a number of times preaching here in the in the islands. But, you had kind of a life shaping event happen again when you were back in 2008. Right? Can you tell us about that?

Charle’ Fain: So we were here for summer camp and his dad actually worked on the airlines at the time. So, we were able to with so Harvest brought two of us out. So Bree and him flew together, and Jeff’s dad was able to fly the rest of us as far as Japan.

Gary Walton: Okay.

Charle’ Fain: And so, because he got those flights for free. So we were all able to come. And so one night, for an activity, they had the big water slide right down here behind what used to be the the chapel building, and it’s really crazy because we’ve always we raised our kids that if mommy says no, you’d best not ask daddy. If daddy says no, you’d best not ask mommy. They knew that, so they wanted to do the slide, and Logan was only five and he had said, No way.

So we come up to chapel, and after chapel, they were all gonna do the slide. And they said, Can we do the slide? And I said, Yeah. So Nicholas took him back and got him dressed, and Logan was coming down the slide. We were still up here in chapel making our way down the hill and we were right about the top of the hill right right outside of the radio station here, and they bring a card up and it’s Logan.

He had come down the slide and a larger kid came and kind of pinned his femur, at the bottom of the the slide there and no big deal, you know, it’s a break. We’ll get him to the hospital, we’ll get it fixed. So Logan and I spent the rest of our trip in the hospital that time, and finally toward the end of the stay, we just kinda checked ourselves out because things were not looking good, and, they they had to they had to, pin his leg back, and right after surgery, his leg was just purple. We knew something was wrong. My husband and I questioned, like, this is not right.

Like, we’re not. We don’t have medical degrees, but we know enough and his his sisters all did and his mom did, and we know enough to know that things should not look purple or blue

Gary Walton: Right.

Charle’ Fain: After something like that, and we just were kind of beside ourselves. Like, all we could pray was, Lord, just get us back. Just get us home. Get us home, and so thankfully, we made the the long trip back to Kentucky. And when we got home, we took him to Children’s where, after a few tests, they determined that, the so what had happened was when they pinned his leg, they included that femoral artery, and when the doctor put the cast on, it act as a a tunicate.

It just killed the rest of his leg from the knee down. It was gone, and so Children’s had to do a mid knee amputation on Logan. He was five at the time. We say all the time that was probably the darkest time of our lives. Nobody wants to see their baby broken like that.

He was just so It was tough. I mean, we had been through death. We had been through tragedies. That was that was the darkest, the hardest. But God, he began to do just a great work in Logan.

I think Jeff shared Sunday, you know, shortly after that happened. Logan was a very shy kid. He was always kind of introverted. He was the kid that if you wanted him to talk to you, he wouldn’t, but if you would just sit next to him, he would talk your leg off, you know, just kinda that kid. So he it took a, you know, it took a lot to to kinda pull out of him his feelings and all of this, but we kinda worked through that with him, went through all several different surgeries.

Shriners was great in Kentucky, Shriners Orthopedics with his prosthetics and stuff. So it was about a year later, we were pulling up to church just, I think, to clean or to go in there for something. We were in the front seat, and Logan said, mom, dad, I need to be saved. I I need to you know and so we just broke because, I mean, it was still so new, everything, just the adjustment, and it was just all still so new. Point point is, I guess, in hindsight, God knew what he was doing

Jeff Fain: That’s right.

Charle’ Fain: With Logan and he was showing us that, that Logan was okay. And, you know him. You’ve met him. Yeah. He is a special kid and and and I’m I’m always very careful to brag on my kids because I know Satan hates them, and I know that he would love nothing more than just to destroy their lives.

But God’s hand has just been on each one of them, and we we see that even in Logan. And I’ve been able multiple times through the years to look back and say, I would so much rather have a a broken physically child than to have a broken spiritually child or I I know I didn’t word that right, but you know what I mean.

Gary Walton: Yep.

Charle’ Fain: Because just of what God has done in him and through him and even being here and and just listening to people say stories of last summer and stuff like that, it’s just, it’s just a blessing again. Like, took a long, long time for me to be able to be thankful for that trial.

Gary Walton: So Logan was here last summer. We mentioned this earlier, but, came on the summer team, so was at camp. And, you’re right, just love for God, love for his word. I think you said he’s a senior at Boyce College studying for ministry. God’s really done an amazing work, in his life and we’re able to see that really was powerful.

He shared the testimony here as well. What about you guys? I mean we see the testimony in Logan’s life. That’s got to be a hard thing for you. I mean did God show you some things personally?

What were the takeaways? That’s a very, very difficult thing for a parent to have to go through. Harder than if we’d experienced it ourselves. Right?

Jeff Fain: I think so. I think for me, someone that’s always taught and believed that God’s sovereign, God’s in control, and he knows what’s best. I think the thing that he taught me was when I can’t see the best, when I can’t understand or even grasp what would be best for someone that’s your your child, especially your youngest child. And even if God hadn’t had you know, if God had not shown us in this life what had happened was what was best for, not just him, for us as a family, to lean on him more and trust him more, and really to stretch my faith, pull me out of a huge I felt like I had been out of comfort zones before, but never to this extent or that depth. And, just to realize how ungrown or immature in my walk that I was and he revealed some weak spots where I needed grace and mercy and he was plentiful in those areas.

So just a lot of things that he taught me. I didn’t realize I needed those lessons. So for me

Charle’ Fain: So I would say for me, it’s it’s funny that you asked what God taught us through that because I feel like God prepared us for that long before.

Gary Walton: Mhmm.

Charle’ Fain: When Logan was 18 months old, from the time he was 18 months to two years old, We were in the emergency room with him six times.

Gary Walton: Mhmm.

Charle’ Fain: The first time was a concussion, and then he had two broken bones. He had stitches twice. Oh, and he had a couple of nurse made elbows. I mean, he was the accident prone. He could not keep his feet on the floor, but the first time I was ever in the ER with him, he had a huge knot on his head, and they needed to they needed to put him under for a CAT scan because, you know, a five year old’s not gonna stay still for that.

And so they gave him a sedative. So I was rocking him in the ER room, and I always sing to all my kids Jesus Loves You. I made it personal. I would just sing Jesus Loves You, This I Know. And so I’m rocking him and I’m singing that song to him.

And as I was singing that, I just feel like the Holy Spirit just kinda, you know, kinda just grabbed me as hard as he could and said, I love him more than you ever could.

Gary Walton: Yeah.

Charle’ Fain: Like, do you really believe what you’re singing there? And so I just broke right there in the emergency room. He was with the other kids, so I was just sitting there, me and Logan, and I just broke. And I was like, you what can you say to that? Like, we could never we can’t fathom the love of God in our own lives, but then you transfer that onto your kids and you know how much you love your kids.

But to know that God almighty loves them far more than we could ever love them. So I can’t tell you how many times that phrase ran over and over in my head over the next few months and then through the whole time that we went through that with Logan, the whole time we were in the hospital here on Guam, that, Lord, I know that you love him more than I ever, ever could. Help me to trust you with that. Yeah. Just just give us the faith that we need to get through this and the strength that we need to get through this.

And God is so faithful. I mean, he never failed us. He he carried us the entire way and Absolutely. You know, it it was a lot of prayer to get over that and to be like I said, it took a long time to be thankful for that trial. But looking back, like like Jeff said, we would have never ordered that.

Gary Walton: Right.

Charle’ Fain: But we’re so thankful for how the Lord worked through that.

Jeff Fain: I don’t wanna take a lot of time. Could I just insert something that Lord kinda laid on my heart? For a long time, I was very very angry and just being honest, this is not a good quality. It’s not a biblical quality. I was angry with the doctor, doctor Cunningham.

And so I I made a promise to the Lord that if I ever had the opportunity and, he may listen to this broadcast on, the day that’s totally forgiving, absolutely have a love for him and I would love to see him come to know Christ as if he doesn’t already know the Lord as a savior. Love to see him have the Lord. If ever I had the chance to sit down with talk to him, I’d love to share my story with them. And so that was a huge one for me. And again, I’m just glad for that opportunity to be able to share that.

Gary Walton: Well, I know God’s gonna use that in the life of somebody listening. There’s never any coincidences in our conversations and somebody listening, you know, either live radio or, podcast later on, you know, it might be exactly the story that you needed to hear, that they needed to hear of God’s goodness even through some hard seasons and, his sovereignty and, fact that he does desire good, for us even in these tragedies that we know that we’ve experienced. Rod time, you guys, thank you for, the time here. Just before we go, just if I can come back to this, Pastor Jeff, you’re you’re here for speaking at camp, teen this week, junior next week. Just tell us real quick burdens that you have for our kids.

We can be praying.

Jeff Fain: Wow. There’s a lot. I’d say the general burden would be that if any kid, and God has this possibility, doesn’t have a relationship with Christ, that the word of God and the Holy Spirit of God would come together in their lives and regenerate. Kids would really see the need to serving better than they ever have before. Those that are serving, and we’ve got some teens that are.

It’s just neat to see that they would be energized by the word, energized by the the friendship and the counselors and Ken, Keith, and Noah, everybody that’s involved, that God would do a work in every one of our lives, including mine. And so only he could do that. Only God can do that kind of work.

Gary Walton: Alright. Well, we’ve been praying for you guys together as you minister, praying for the word this week. Thank you for being willing to come. Glad to have you back. Thank you for your investment in Guam and in Harvest over the years.

Praying that God would just continue to multiply that ministry.

Charle’ Fain: Thank you.

Jeff Fain: Thanks for having us.

Chris Harper: And thank you for listening to Harvest Time. Of course, at this point in the program, we always wanna invite you again to services this weekend at Harvest Baptist Church. We have a 10 AM service on Sunday morning. We’d love to see you at that service. That service is also broadcast live here on 88.1 FM and We do hope to see you this Sunday. Thanks again for listening to Harvest Time.

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