“… for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
(Philippians 2:13)


God at work in the life of Chris Rose

“ Be anxious for nothing . . .present your requests to God ”

A brand new baby girl. A firstborn entering the world. Mia.

Baby Mia Rose

With the indescribable joy and awe of a new father, Chris asked the delivery nurse if she could stamp Mia’s tiny foot into a pristine new baby book. But with a quick shake of the head, the nurse replied, “Sorry. She’s fighting for her life.” A helmet-like contraption was placed on Mia’s head, making her look like a minuscule scuba diver, as doctors worked to fix her collapsed lung.
In an instant, celebration turned to confusion and concern. Both Chris and Tracey began to pray for their daughter. It just so happened that Pastor Marty and Laurie were at the same hospital, at the same time, awaiting the arrival of their grandchild, Jimmy, thus allowing them to pray with Chris and Tracey. This seeming coincidence was yet another example to Chris of how God works in the details of his life.

Growing up, Chris was “a total nonbeliever.” Raised by his mom, he never knew his father until the age of sixteen, when out of curiosity, he searched for him. After they met, curiosity satisfied, Chris decided he didn’t want much to do with his dad. As a young man, like many, Chris drank, did some drugs, and dated a lot of women. In the fall of 2001, when the terror of 9/11 struck, he just happened to be dating Tracey, a young gal with a Christian background who had wandered away from the Lord for several years. That event shook up both of them.

“We felt we were wasting our lives. I realized that the belief that I was in control of my own life was false, and I needed to change my life before my life ended.”

After 9/11, Chris and Tracey returned to church. Chris began reading the Bible; they joined a small group. Chris asked Jesus into his heart and knew his life had been changed. “In one year, my life moved from zero to ten in the faith, from no belief in God to full time ministry at a homeless shelter in Philadelphia, and from single life to committed, married life with Tracey.

Mia competing in a 4-H jumping competition

Mia survived her time in the neonatal unit, but at the age of three, catastrophe struck the family. Late one night, Tracey just happened to walk into Mia’s bedroom. She saw that her daughter had turned blue, eyes staring open, surrounded by vomit. When Chris picked her up, Mia’s head fell back, she let out a slight gurgle and her body went limp.

Looking down at her small frame, “I knew she was dead.” In that moment, “I felt shattered. It surprised me how deeply I loved her, how inadequate I felt as a father. I had accepted the Lord. I believed He existed. I knew of His grace, but my life still clung to self-reliance and, in all honesty, was still pretty self-focused.” Chris had to put all of his trust in his heavenly father once more.

“That night, God deepened my heart and shifted my way of seeing the world, to become more focused on others.”

Two paramedics arrived that night, one from outside the township, which is not unusual but not frequent, either. That paramedic overruled the other one who was trying to decide what medical dosage to give a small child. Later, Chris was told that the “outside” paramedic probably saved his daughter’s life. In the details, God was showing Chris that not only does God exist, but He cares for his own.

One of Chris’ favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11: “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”

Before Mia’s unexpected seizure, the family, including new daughter, Cali, had moved from their small home in Lumberton to a larger, rental home in Maple Shade. Chris and Tracey had just put an offer on a home in Cherry Hill when Mia’s startling condition postponed any house decisions. Mia was sent home with medication and a monitoring device, but periodically, episodes flared up where Mia would sweat profusely, soaking the bed, turning pale, going limp and then having a seizure. No one could give them answers about the cause or prognosis. Months later, they were about to purchase another home, but again, on the night of the proposed offer, Mia had another seizure.

“Maybe we should stay put,” Chris and Tracey thought. “We were in a holding pattern for about a year, renting month to month.” Packed boxes lined some of the rooms in the house. Chris often felt that Tracey was consumed with fear for her daughter; Tracey often felt that Chris was rather naïve, ignoring the situation. These different approaches to childcare could have pulled them apart, but through prayer and support, the two learned to help each other instead and to respect their strengths as parents. Chris believes God was teaching him to honor a mother’s intuition and to become a better father.

When the family moved to Medford, both Chris and Tracey prayed, “Lord, we don’t want any more seizures!” Yet, another one hit Mia, now four years old. After Pastor Marty preached a sermon from Philippians 4, “Be anxious for nothing . . .present your requests to God,” Chris and Tracey asked him again to pray with them for Mia’s health. Mia has had no more seizures since. None. Two years later, doctors discovered she had SVT, a heart condition where an electrical pulse is firing out of sync. The doctor speculated that the earlier seizures could well have been caused by the heart problem, which was remedied after laser surgery.

Rose Family

Then, it just so happened that a farmhouse was on the market, a fixer-upper in Tabernacle, a house which would have been out of their financial reach earlier. Tracey loves horses so the opportunity to own a farm was a thrill. When they bought the house, the yard was strewn with beer cans, garbage, and drug paraphernalia.

“That’s how God probably saw me—a mess that needed to be cleaned up. God redeemed me. God redeems us. He sees our value.” Chris was reminded of a job interview years earlier, where the prospective employer told him he would have to work on Sundays. Chris said he would not work on Sunday as that was a day for worshiping God. The interviewer replied, “Then tell God to pay your bills.” Chris believed God would, and God has.

Today, Chris works as an administrative director at FAC, assisting Brian Snyder in operations, finances, and human resources at the church. Tracey runs the farm. Mia, Cali, and son Easton get to ride horses and help with the chickens and goats. Chris
now has a good relationship with his earthly father, but even more so, he knows that God, his Heavenly Father, is a good, good Father. God has surely been in the details of his life.

“God took me from believing He is, to believing He rewards those who seek Him. His promise in Jeremiah has come to pass for me.” Chris knows that his life, while not perfect, is fuller and richer because God is working and God cares for him and his family.
“And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” (Hebrews 11: 6). •

Cali and Mia Rose

Cali, Mia, and Easton Rose