July 29, 2017
Brignole Park & Center
11:00 AM -4:00 PM
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October 5 - 8, 2017
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October 12 - 15, 2017
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'Philip N Stacey' Goggin
When you become Facebook friends with Philip or Stacey Goggin, my sense is that you automatically become friends with both of them. Their identification is 'Philip N Stacey Goggin' and this unity is reflected in the ways that they've chosen to serve God and bless other people.
We first met Philip and Stacey when they attended St. Louis Tres Dias #31 this past Spring. Seemingly wasting no time at getting involved in this ministry, the Goggins led worship at the Spring Secuela in Creve Coeur Park just last month. It was there that many of us first learned of Philip and Stacey's special love and service for children through their involvement in 'respite care' for foster kids. One of these special-needs children was with them at the Secuela - and received prayer from everybody in attendance.
Both Philip and Stacey are trained paramedics - although Stacey now stays home with their three children. We chatted with Philip and Stacey about their lives and calling to this special ministry.
Describe your involvement in foster care. How did that get started? How long have you been doing this?
Stacey: I got introduced by a long time friend. She had talked about needing a respite provider. So after many discussions and questions we got licensed through the State of Missouri last summer to start providing respite care in the area. This week, after lots of prayer and many family conversations, we just got approved to do Kinship for two kids that we have had three times in less than a year. They had been moved so much. We couldn't bare to have them move again. So we officially are taking them on until God tells us otherwise.
Philip: I LOVE KIDS!! So this was kind of a no-brainer for me, but I really let Stacey take the lead on this and support her as much as possible. She is the most amazing mom I have ever met. She may be part superhero, but I cannot prove that.....yet!
Describe your church upbringing - and at what age did you both become believers? Did your family or others lead you to the Lord?
I started going to church at ten years old on a invite from my cousin. My parents didn't take me. I accepted Christ quickly for the first time knowing I was loved and wanted by those in the church involved with youth ministry.
Philip: I actually grew up in church and to be honest, I cannot remember a time in my life of not being in church. I was raised by my grandfather who was a deacon and very active in church. It wasn't until I was around twelve or thirteen that I became saved one night at church camp. While my family didn't directly lead me to Christ, they guided my path and it was my pastor's son who lead me in the prayer of salvation one night at the back of his car after the evening invitation.
Describe yourselves with regards to how you met, how long have you been married, how many children, careers, etc.
Stacey: We met in EMT school. He was an arrogant jerk; nothing has changed ;) I like him now (sometimes). Two
we were reintroduced by a mutual friend. A year through paramedic school and we were married.
Philip: Stacey is spot on with regards to how we met. I was pretty cocky, but I had to learn quickly to get that under control. It was a whirlwind relationship. We were engaged within about six months of dating and married literally one year to the date of our first date. We now have three amazing children and two foster children. They range in age from ten down to two-years-old. I am a full time paramedic and am blessed to have a full time stay-at-home mom who not only raises the children but also home-schools them as well. Stacey was a paramedic, but she felt as if God was calling her to be home more and so we have made that work.
How did you first hear about Tres Dias and who asked you to attend?
Philip: The Hafner family in the Summer of 2016.
Were you resistant to attend at first - or did you say 'yes' pretty
Stacey: I said yes right away. Philip was a little more hesitant.
Philip: Yes, I was very hesitant....(!)
What was your life like prior to your weekend (individually and as a
Stacey: Busy, My dad had recently been put on hospice and just weeks prior to the weekend, he passed away. I was a 'hot mess' that weekend. Already pretty sensitive. I normally am not a crier but I think I cried every time I turned around. I had internalized a lot of the previous two years and I think the weekend 'broke' me. That it was ok - and I didn't have to bare all of it. And I certainly didn't have to do it alone. I had kept in a lot as well from Philip because he worked so much and I felt as if I was keeping from adding to his burden.
Philip: I think like every marriage, we have had great times and bad times. Having come from a home where my mother and father were never married and moved from house to house, I was always determined to never give up. I literally took staying together as a challenge and each day we stayed together was an accomplish that I hoped was pleasing in God's eyes. For me, like everyone else, struggled with many demons and felt like I was the only one who did. While I hated to see others struggle with the same demons, it was nice to know I could go to others and relate and work together with God's help to overcome them
What did you initially expect a Tres Dias weekend to be like? How did it match your expectations or what do you think you got out of your weekend?
Stacey: I'm not sure really. I was told it was great by my friends, so I trusted that and went with it. I was told to not have expectations - which was hard, but, really, I was a blank page. The weekend for me showed me that same love that drew me to Christ as a ten-year-old girl. I thought really that type of Christlike love was really lost in the culture. I had become so protective of myself and of getting hurt from others I had really put up a wall. And really I was keeping out the "bad" but I was keeping out the good as well.
Philip: My initial thoughts were this is going to be boring and uncomfortable. Growing up I had very few 'guy' friends so I was not using to being around men on a regular basis. Plus the idea of Bible Study for three days straight did not sound fun. I remember Mark Hafner telling me very little about the weekend which really didn't put me at ease only because I hate going into something without knowing about it.
In regards to expectations versus outcomes - what a world of difference. I dont break very easily, but that weekend tore down a lot of walls and really opened my eyes and while I wanted to leave and go home just a few hours in to it, I'm so thankful the Holy Spirit worked on me and said, 'stay'.
Describe how your life has changed since you attended your Tres Dias weekend. What are some specifics? In your case, of course, it's been a pretty short time.
Stacey: I think for me my perspective has changed. I no longer look for how someone is going to disappoint me or think automatically think some one means the worst by their actions or words. I 'knew" grace - but now I KNOW GRACE. And not only allow myself to give it but receive it.
I dont think I can describe how my life has changed in such a short time, but I will try! I find myself surrounded by a family of believers in a way that I never knew existed. I find myself using things I learned to grow my relationship with God. I believe my marriage is stronger and I feel God is always reminding me he is there even when I feel lost. Finally, I have always felt the need to serve others, personally. I hate being served because the moment someone serves me, I feel like I now owe them in return. It was tough but a great lesson in allowing others to serve you as it showed me God's heart in a personal way.
|We hope you enjoyed this interview with the Goggins. Please let me know if you have a testimony to share with the rest of the St. Louis Tres Dias community - or could recommend another person or couple who has attended a Tres Dias weekend.
The Fall Tres Dias weekends are currently being planned. Be thinking about who
would like to sponsor for the October Tres Dias weekends.
Southeast Tennessee Tres Dias #9
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