Read stories and listen to testimonials of how God is transforming lives at FAC.


In the Life of Carole Yates Herndon

"No more repeating the request. Now her prayer would be all about praising a wonderful God!"

“Don’t ask questions. We’re being listened to.” The caution about phone calls came from Carole’s son Jake, a member of the USN Joint Command Special Forces, before he left for one of his assignments overseas. Whether deployed in Somalia or sent to undisclosed locations in the Middle East, Carole’s youngest son contacts her if and when he can, giving updates and also requests for prayer, especially before precarious missions. Within the past year, Jake texted his mother from Germany: “Jumping tomorrow. Please pray for a safe and clear landing.” As has happened many times before, Carole forwards his messages to his brothers ― Joe, Jon and James ― as well as to other family members so that everyone can pray.

Previous discussions about parachuting had taught Carole what could possibly go wrong: tangled lines, bad weather, harsh jet blast, the hundred pounds of packed cargo wrenching his back, the enemy. For this mission, Carole also knew that Jake’s “forward command” position meant he would be one of the first to jump through the night sky over the Ukraine.

On the day of the jump, about to pray for Jake’s safety and protection once more, Carole found that “I was sick of hearing myself pray for the same things.” That’s when a new focus on prayer came to her mind. Instead of praying for the request, she would just praise God whenever the need to pray surfaced. No more repeating the request. Now her prayer would be all about praising a wonderful God!

Since becoming a Believer thirty-one years ago, prayer has always been important to Carole. Although she grew up with a loving family who attended Catholic Church, she always thought there must be something more to faith. “I wanted to understand the spiritual connection.” A friend of her sister shared the Gospel with her when both were young mothers. “I’m practical-minded. It made sense. It was that clear to me.” Another friend gave her a little book of prayer and praise, which she still marks up and uses today.

Carole has learned that God hears our requests and answers prayer, often in surprising and quick ways. She remembers one time when son Jon fell from a chair at the age of a year and a half, and X-rays showed he had a broken femur. Heartsick, Carole prayed fervently that Jon’s leg was not broken. “I was a young mom, a new Christian, and I had read and learned the verse that all I needed was the faith of a mustard seed.” (Matthew 17:20) After she prayed, believing God could change the outcome, the doctor returned to announce that he had a new machine that was supposed to be more accurate than the older one and said, “Let’s try that.” When the new X-ray came back, it showed the femur was not broken. “As I sat in the chair in the office with Jonathan on my lap, the doctor looked down at me like he was surprised because the previous X-ray looked exactly like you would see on television! It was a clear break. I just looked up at him and said, ‘I prayed.’ We both were caught in a moment. We just looked at each other in silence. The doctor went on to say that Jonathan would have a bad bruise very soon and sure enough he did, but I have two sets of X-rays that say so much more from that day!”

“No more repeating the request. Now her prayer would be all about praising a wonderful God!”

On another occasion, Carole prayed for clarity about which church to attend. When two women, each in different circumstances, said they attended FAC, she knew that God had answered her prayer.

Now, she was about to pray again for Jake as he embarked on another dangerous mission. But Carole felt something needed to change. She decided at 5:00 a.m. to praise God every hour, all day long, until the hour of the jump. She marked pages in her little praise book and took it to work, discreetly reading it sometime every hour. “By 10:00 a.m., I realized that I felt better with no more anxiety about the details of the jump. When I was praising Him and praying for Jake, God gave me the peace that He promises in His Word.” Jake’s favorite verse came to mind when she experienced the peace:

“Do not be anxious for anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7, NIV)

Carole's son, Jake

Carole’s son, Jake

The jump was scheduled for 4:00 p.m. (EST) so Carole pulled her car into a parking lot at 3:56 p.m. to pray. She remembers closing her eyes and praising God as she had all day. Whether or not a time change for the jump had occurred, she trusted that “I was praying for the exact moment Jake jumped. It was like I had a contract with God that no matter what time the jump really was, I was using 4:00 p.m. as the time. Then, all of a sudden, I had a wave of ‘it’s all good.’ I opened my eyes, and my phone read, 4:04 p.m.” Carole believed that the jump had to be over because if it had taken more than four minutes, then something had gone wrong. “I just praised God in thankfulness, knowing my son was safe and on his way.”

Later that same day, Carole was going to a podiatrist’s appointment to have stitches removed from her toe. Usually, she could dismiss any discomfort or hurt, but this time the pain was excruciating. “So I looked out the window and decided to praise God again and not think about the stitches. What felt like seconds later, the doctor said, ‘You’re all done.’” Carole was amazed because there were a lot of stitches! She then realized that on this day, God had given her an epiphany ― what felt like a bonk on the head: See? When you don’t focus on the problem and you focus on me instead, the pain is diminished; the task is completed. “I will give you peace. I will answer you.”

Praising God is now part of what Carole shares about prayer with her sons, family, and friends. “In moments of need and concern, pray in detail about the issue. Then let it go! When the need comes up again, just start praising God and let him do what He does so well. God will give you peace and take care of your concern.”
Carole feels overwhelmed, blessed, and grateful that her sons know the Lord and that “we are a family of prayer.” Even after thirty-one years, Carole is “so glad that God doesn’t stop enlightening us.” So whether her concern becomes the foreign night skies or tedious surgery on an injured toe, Carole knows that God is in command, and her part is to pray and to praise God continually for who He is, what He has done, and what He will do.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6).

Jake and his brothers

Jake and his brothers