East Texas Ministry Makes Worldwide Impact

"I just cried out to the Lord, I said God I have got to find my destiny, my purpose, what is the call you have on my life," says Joan Gaudet, founder of Living Stones.

Two years ago, Joan Gaudet believes God directed her to an old friend in Colorado, who had built a ministry on carving scripture into wood. Choosing tile as her backdrop, Gaudet began her own ministry.

"We were just doing it for gifts and just special things, we didn't know God had a special purpose for it or a plan for it," says Gaudet.

The days of carving Bible scripture into tiles by hand have now been replaced with computers, special machines and a staff of five. Two years ago, 10 to 15 finished tiles would have been a good day. Today they are into the hundreds and growing. It all began with a prayer.

"I think God has a call on each one of our lives, and we need to pursue god and search each one of our own heart to see what that call is god has for us," says Gaudet. "In that time the "Prayer of Jabez" came out, and we began to pray that prayer, and God began to open doors here and open doors there, but it was just incredible. I didn't realize what God had in store for us as we prayed that prayer of faith."

Until that prayer, Living Stones, as Joan calls her product, were mostly found at trade shows and craft fairs. But just a few weeks ago, while at a convention, the James Robinson ministry spotted their unique way of illustrating scripture. In just a few days Robinson had ordered more Living Stones than Gaudet had made since her ministry began. They will be used by Robinson as gifts for those who make donations for food assistance in countries around the world.

Looking back today, the Gaudet's can see God's timing was with them all along.

"We made a lot of mistakes, and our product has improved, but a lot of the things...had God moved earlier, we wouldn't have been ready, we wouldn't have had the experience, we wouldn't have had the knowledge to handle things," says Mack Gaudet.

Also discovered over those years, the impact of God's word. And the power of prayer and faith when a life is dedicated to finding God's will and purpose.

"Little did I know he would take a hobby and turn it into such a mega ministry and that is what is so exciting," says Gaudet, "that he took something out of nothing and made something that is so incredible for us. Our mission statement came out of 1 Peter 2:4, he said, "...we are to become as living stones, rejected by men but chosen and precious by God..." and that sums it up right there that's my whole life story in one verse. And that we are to become that living stone. And the Word of God is to be imprinted on our heart. And we are just hoping that God will take us to wherever he wants to, were ready."

***Living Stones are available at "Flowers by the Stem" in Longview. Joan Gaudet can also customize your own "Living Stone." She can be contacted at 903-986-3740 or you can e-mail her at joangaudet@aol.com.***