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Churches & Non-Profits

It would be difficult to exaggerate the degree to which we are influenced by those we influence.

~ Eric Hoffer


We are a world of broken people. As a church you have both the gift and responsibility of guiding broken people to healing through relationship… with Christ, with family, and with community. Relationships are what saved me; I tell my story of a journey through a dark childhood, troubled teen years, and ultimately an incarcerated time as a young adult. It was a lack of understanding my identity outside the notoriety of my father and the cultivation of the wrong relationships that led me to poor choices and eventually jail. It was by the grace of God that I was led to people who set new expectations that empowered me to harness the internal ability and desire I embody to live differently. It was through these new relationships I discovered who I was and how I was going to impact the world—through service to others.

I speak my story with honesty and transparency in hopes that those who are navigating dark waters in their own lives are inspired to see the innate power they have to change direction simply by evaluating their self-identity and the relationships surrounding their lives.


The story of my personal journey, as outlined above, is applicable to all communities. As a keynote speaker for your fundraiser or community event, I tailor my story to flow with the theme of your message. As the core of my story is anchored in relationships, I use examples from my experiences to relate to and with your donors, cultivating a personal connection between them and your organization’s efforts.


Testimonial regarding keynote speaking for a banquet fundraiser:

Good afternoon, El,

We so appreciate your service to God and your sharing at the GSM Banquet. We have heard from our group that others attending thought it to be the most powerful Christian event they have ever attended.

Those moments when I can feel the Holy Spirit speaking through someone ARE the memorable ones that can change lives.

I NEVER felt that a person could experience the kind of childhood you had, and be able to resist the gang influence / the influence to work against the rest of society, authority, educational system …………

Your expression of how Samaritans shared God’s love with you, even in juvenile detention, encouraged the inner you, the presence of Jesus’ love in you, to have a purpose, and a self-worth to build upon, helped me understand that overcoming obstacles such as lack of parents or gang influence cannot win out where the Kingdom is lived out.

I expect more from myself in striving to understand your story, as well as others like the George Fox University Player whose parents were not focused on their family or their son, the family in Sierra Leone who needs training in farming to feed their village and Bettie’s “radical hospitality” for Jesus’ work in the person of James Opiyo.

God knows what He has planned for you and I. Let’s let Him do the work through us.


Susan Gilmore,
Executive Administrator
Good Samaritan Ministries 

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