Do You Really Believe It? (with Greg Nettle, Don Hamilton, and Andrea Hamilton)
“Something that our parents did a really great job with was raising our family with a culture of making the best out of every possible situation, in a lot of different ways.” (Andrea Hamilton)
“She had always said as an NP, if there was any kind of cancer I would never want to get, it would be pancreatic cancer… So yeah, it was dire. It was about as dire as it could get.” (Don Hamilton)
“What if we give this opportunity of this crappy platform that you have, but a platform nonetheless, and this could be a place where you use this time to help raise funds and awareness for these women in South Asia who are church planters?” (Andrea Hamilton)
“In one of the sessions, all of these women had a photo of my mom and starting waving it in the air while we were praying for her. That was probably one of the most powerful times on the trip.” (Andrea Hamilton)
Don Hamilton Bio
Don Hamilton (DMin) has been the Senior Pastor of Vibrant A Christian Church in Mechanicsburg, PA for the past thirty-eight years. Don was married to his wonderful wife, Gail, for thirty-eight years. After a two-year battle with Pancreatic Cancer, Gail passed on to be with the Lord in the fall of 2018. Gail was a Nurse Practitioner working with eating disorder patients at the Hershey Medical Center. She served as the Vibrant Worship Director for nearly thirty-years. Don and Gail have four daughters, all of whom love Jesus and serve in various ministry capacities in local churches and para-church organizations. Don also has four awesome grandchildren.
Vibrant Church has grown steadily throughout the past thirty-eight years from attendance of thirty to over 1,100. Children’s Ministry is “top shelf” at Vibrant. Vibrant totally resonates with the Stadia moto: “Until every child has a church!” Vibrant has been a pioneer in the development of community outreach and involvement. One campus of the church is a fifty-three-acre community park with multi-use facilities where over fifty community groups utilize the campus. Don has a deep love for the local church, church planting and international ministries. Vibrant has partnered with church-planting organizations to plant over twenty churches during his ministry.
Don will retire from Vibrant in the coming few months having conducted a successful transition plan for his succession. In the next chapter Don expects to continue to serve local churches and work with church planting and international mission organizations.
Andrea Hamilton Bio
Passionate about the church and the people she’s been called to serve, Andrea has spent the entirety of her professional career in ministry. As a director at Mosaic Christian Church, she built the missions program and developed the Kids Ministry in a new church plant. From leading trips across the world to leading pre-k volunteers, Andrea has seen the very real impact of the local church on a given community, and it has only stoked her passion to see God’s lost children come home. In addition to her role at Stadia as Global Director, she helps lead Gail’s Girls and volunteers at her church. You can often find her at hip coffee shops working, at a spin studio, exploring Baltimore’s freshest restaurants, traveling, or spending the day with her family or friends.
Want to Learn More About Gail Hamilton and Gail’s Girls?
“God has taken this really, really crappy situation and has done what He does best, and out of the depths of this misery in the past couple years, here is a whole group of women who have come to Christ and are going to be out there planting churches because Gail was willing to sacrifice herself. Thousands upon thousands of people will be in heaven because of that. I’m not sure how much better it can get than that, even though it was a crappy road.” (Don Hamilton)
“We in the U.S. have so much more than these church planters in South Asia – and in the end, they collected an offering and sent it home with us to help us plant churches in the U.S. You can never outgive the poor.” (Greg Nettle)
“You want to be there for your mom in her worst moment. I’m standing in the hallway in the hospital crying and saying, ‘God I want to be able to take care of my mom, but the only way I can do that right now is if you fix this thing in me that can’t handle this kind of stuff.’ And God immediately took all of that from me and He allowed me to be able to handle that. God can do miraculous things. He can give me what I need for the situation that I’m in. You read that and you know it, but then you experience it and go, ‘No, He really can do this.'” (Andrea Hamilton)
“When I tap into that pain, which is not a great experience, obviously, but it helps me to care for other people and to understand them better and to have more grace for people than I used to. Pain produces fruit.” (Andrea Hamilton)
“Jesus had a greater purpose than Himself. I felt like for me, I can pretty self-centered. And yet, when it all comes down, you need to have a purpose that’s greater than yourself. I preached all those years about pain and suffering and helped other people through… and then you get news like that and all of a sudden, “Do I really believe this?’ Fortunately God gave Gail and I enough grace to do that.” (Don Hamilton)
“I needed to take the second seat. My job was to be the very best husband for her that I could possibly be and the very best father for my children, and to represent all that stuff I had preached all those years. Does this guy really believe this?” (Don Hamilton)
“My wife went through a lot, but it’s a speck on the map compared to eternity. I wouldn’t want to do it again! But I sure learned a lot from it.” (Don Hamilton)
“There’s a sixth stage of grief – meaning. The best way you can do it is if you have Jesus. He makes beauty out of everything else you go through.” (Andrea Hamilton)