How a single mom’s joy went through the roof because of #ForSC Dollar Day
Katie Turnbull’s NewSpring family was rallying support for critical home repairs, and the campaign made it possible.
Katie Turnbull doesn’t see a house. She sees promises kept.
The 100-year-old farm hand’s home in the country isn’t much — a weathered wooden box that put a roof over her head.
When the single mother of two rented the house, she had been living in a Spartanburg homeless shelter.
When she was able to buy it, she thought God had given her a little palace, even if the rain sometimes leaked in.
Now, thanks to God’s people, that little palace has a new roof, a lick of paint, and other improvements to come.
“This house is my answered prayer for a safe, warm place for my kids to lay their head at night,” says Katie, whose daughter, Grace is 14, and son, CJ, is 3. “This happening is literally blowing my mind.”
An Overwhelming Blessing
Katie’s NewSpring Group had already begun fundraising for the roof and other repairs, and money from #ForSC Dollar Day helped make more possible.
Every NewSpring attender was invited to bring a dollar to church to show that when everyone gives a little, God can do a lot.
Campus Pastor David Hall surprised Katie with the news during one of the group’s bi-weekly meetings just before Thanksgiving.
“You guys have been no ordinary family,” David told them. “We’re proud of you. We’re excited to come alongside you.”
But Katie wasn’t surprised that God came through.
“I had so much faith. I knew God would do it,” Katie says. “In my quiet time, He kept showing me what He had for me — a home and a future; being able to take care of my kids.”
Carla Richardson, Katie’s group leader, says seeing the way God moved would be printed forever in everyone’s minds.
It took only 24 hours to raise more than $3,000, from friends in the group, an online campaign, and paper fliers.
That money, along with the labor already pledged by volunteers, will now go toward whatever projects remain. There’s plenty to do: insulation, floors, bathroom repairs.
“The heart of the church stepping in to make a bold move with compassion ... It meant a lot to Katie, and it meat a lot to our small group that was trying to help her,” Carla says. “We had all spent a lot of time in prayer. It was an amazing moment to see happen.”
Katie says seeing everyone coming together to help, including people she didn’t know, was overwhelming.
Carla says people love Katie as soon as they meet her.
Katie volunteers at both morning services in the VIP Room, where Carla is a team leader
Katie also leads a bi-weekly recovery group and participates in a boxing group at the campus on Sunday afternoons.
“She’s very genuine when she talks to people, and they love that about her. She can connect with people really easy,” Carla says. “Every #ForSC Day, she’s the first one out there. If someone needs help, she’s there.”
Road to Recovery
Katie got connected to NewSpring Spartanburg when it was still meeting in a hotel downtown.
At the time, she and her husband were in a Christian recovery program at Miracle Hill Ministries.
Every week, Katie walked the blocks from her transitional housing to the Spartanburg Campus.
She also walked two miles to and from her work at a local farm, and to her second job at night as a server.
When the campus moved to its permanent location, she’d walk or get a ride until she’d saved enough for a moped, then a car.
Despite juggling the demands of two children and multiple part-time jobs, she was there every Sunday.
Katie’s faith took off. She had made a decision to follow Jesus as a teenager, but she asked Jesus to take complete control of her life at NewSpring. Now she was reading the Bible and serving as much as she could.
“My relationship with Jesus was fireworks,” she says. “That’s when I was really getting into the Word.”
God at Work
When Katie’s husband left suddenly in the spring of 2016, her NewSpring family was by her side.
They offered support, prayer, and encouragement. They also stepped in with grocery cards and more than $700 — the same amount she discovered missing from her savings.
“We’re all family. We all sit together at church. Most of us serve together,” Katie says. “This is the group … if I were to call any of them at 2 in the morning, or anything I would need, they would be there.”
With no child support, it was hard.
For a year, Katie prayed desperately for a full-time job. Then, one of the women she met at church, now one of her best friends, said God told her she’d be perfect for an opening as an office manager at a local chiropractor. And she was right.
Katie got the job — and kept working at the farm and selling products for a network marketing company.
“The doctor and the patients know me and love me, and it’s amazing,” Katie says.
In 2017, Katie saw God’s hand at work when she got to buy her home for $20,000. She took over her landlord’s loan payments for the remaining 5 years. No credit checks. No banks. No sky-high interest.
She discovered later the roof was so bad she couldn’t get the house insured.
But she knew God would make a way.
“There’s never a doubt in my mind that He hears me and answers every prayer,” Katie says. “God wants to show people what he can do; what He will do.”