Artesian Ministries exists to equip disciples to share Jesus by becoming biblically literate.
My Journey From Unchurched to Becoming a Multi-Published Author and Sought-After Speaker
During my childhood, our family always prayed a simple prayer before dinner: “God is great, God is good, let us thank Him for our food. Amen.” But that was it. I didn’t know why we prayed. Even though my parents grew up going to church, my dad’s job in real estate tied up his weekends. Church was not a priority, so I didn’t think it was either.
Even though we always lived within the same 50 miles, we moved around a lot thanks to ups and downs in the Texas real estate market. When times were good, we lived grand. When they weren’t, we sometimes went without electricity over a weekend.
Rejecting God and Church
Every now and then, mom would get me and my three sisters ready and take us to a local church on Sunday. But it only lasted a few weeks each time because we gave her so much grief about having to get up early during the weekend. And I never felt comfortable in church. I was always the “new kid” who didn’t know any of the Bible stories and tried to melt into the wallpaper.
As a teenager, I remember telling mom that I was done with ruining a perfectly good Sunday by getting dressed up to go to a church where I didn’t know anyone and didn’t understand the big deal. Of course, the tele-evangelist scandals of the 1980s only reinforced my thought that church was not a priority.
I believed that there was a God, but I didn’t know who Jesus was. I remember one pastor saying that Jesus was God’s Son, but I didn’t recall that God was married so it did not make any sense whatsoever.
The Debt Paralysis
In my early 20s, I landed a job as a legal secretary in a prestigious downtown Houston law firm. And even though I made good money, I wanted to “fit in” with that world who always had plenty of money — unlike me.
I lived far beyond my means and eventually began writing bad checks to cover stupid credit card debt. And yes, credit card debt is stupid. I wasn’t paying rent or electricity, I was buying clothes and going out to fancy restaurants. Stupid, completely avoidable debt.
The Bottom of the Barrel
Eventually, my car was repossessed and I moved back home to begin digging my way out of debt. When the police showed up at my parents’ home to investigate those bad checks, I realized just how out of control my life had become.
I was not arrested, but my dad took me to court to work out a payment system with the judge for the bad checks I had written. I was completely embarrassed and humiliated that my ruse of living life large had been exposed for the sham it was. I kept working at the firm, and secured a second job to start paying off my debts.
At age 23, I was working two jobs and had no time or money for anything social. One Saturday night, my friends showed up impromptu to take me out to a bar and dancing just to get me out of the house. I had never been a fan of going to bars, so I was not enthused to say the least. I was tired from working long hours and mad that they disregarded my protests, so I went kicking, screaming, and dressed in sweatpants. I sat in the corner sipping on soft drinks in protest.
One Night God Changed Everything
In that hole-in-the-wall Houston bar that night God brought a man into my life who changed everything. He literally saw me across the dance floor and asked me to dance. We danced into the wee hours and I knew that I wanted to see him again. The next day was Sunday, so I suggested making a picnic basket so that we could meet at a local park over lunch and become better acquainted.
He looked me square in the eye and said, “I go to church on Sundays.” My jaw hit the floor. A Christian? Since I really liked him, I agreed to go with him to church the next day. Six months later, I was baptized on Palm Sunday in 1991 and joined the church where I still attend today. Five years later, we were married.
Baptized and Studying the Bible
No, my life did not become better overnight. Yes, I had a lot of questions about God, Jesus, church, and what a Christian life was supposed to look like. But there was one huge difference: I was no longer fighting through life in my own strength. By faith alone, God gave me His armor and eternal security. Over time, God did nothing less than a miraculous work in my soul, heart, and mind. He instilled in me an insatiable passion to know Him through His Word.
As a teacher, my husband routinely woke up about 5:00 a.m. Even though I didn’t have to be to work until 8:30, I would get up with him to make coffee and breakfast. When he left for work, I would settle into my armchair with my Bible and notepad to study Scripture for an hour before getting ready to drive downtown to work.
When I got home from work, after dinner with my husband and catching up on our day, I would grab my Bible and notepad to settle in for more Bible study time. I simply could not get enough of God’s life-changing Word.
Writing and Teaching Bible Studies
At church, I became involved with the Lutheran Women in Mission, who loved working on mission projects and loved Bible study. I was elected to a state-wide position that required me to provide spiritual resources to the women of Texas. So I began writing Bible studies, which began spreading beyond Texas. Eventually, churches began inviting me to teach them at live events.
I finally knew why God created me. Have you ever experienced that? It’s an indescribable joy to write and teach from Scripture. I knew in that moment that learning Scripture and writing Bible studies was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
The Hurricane of Divorce
On December 1, 2009, my life changed forever. I discovered that my husband was having multiple affairs. Three months later, I stood in a Houston courtroom, signed divorce papers, and stumbled out. Dazed, heartbroken, and single.
Four months later, God orchestrated for me to take a trip to the Holy Land with a group of women. As I knelt in the Garden of Gethsemane in May of 2010, my tears making muddy puddles in the desert sand, I asked God to fill my time with Him. And He has honored that desperate prayer beautifully.
It took a solid year of Christian counseling to surrender to the Lord all of my anger, hurt, and unforgiveness I had experienced because of the divorce. By His grace alone, He healed my heart and restored my passion for Bible study. I began Artesian Ministries as an LLC while still working full-time at the law firm.
After thirty years in corporate America’s legal field, God paved the way for me to live my dream of full-time ministry to write Bible studies and teach them across the globe. In June 2021, the law firm offered me early retirement and I have not looked back.
Artesian Ministries is now a nonprofit, charitable organization with the sole purpose of providing resources to get people into God’s Word. God literally pulled me out of the pit, put my feet on His rock, and has never let me go.
When I knelt in the Garden of Gethsemane over a dozen years ago, I knew that one day I would return. I have not only been back once, but several times, and now lead tours for others to experience Jesus in the place where He walked. He met me in that Garden. He has saved my life.
I still pinch myself at how God has completely changed my life to serve Him full-time with every bit of my energy and time. If, like me, you didn’t grow up knowing God or going to church, the truth is this: He sent His Son to sacrifice His life so that by faith you can live with Him into eternity. He loves you more than you can possibly imagine.
I love Jesus and His Word in the depths of my soul. I never take lightly the privilege He has given me to learn, study, write, and teach people about Him. I want you to know that we are a living testimony that with God… all things are possible!
I would greatly appreciate it if you took a quick moment to subscribe to my blog (newsletter) so that we can stay in touch and learn more about Jesus together. Please go to my home page to follow/subscribe here.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my story. Walking with Jesus is the greatest adventure in all of life. I pray that the story of your life is being filled with God’s faith, hope, and love.
Artesian Ministries is focused on providing resources to nurture a strong, vibrant faith in Jesus Christ. We focus on the expository teaching of God’s Word paired with the practical application of His life-giving truths. We are committed to being a resource for biblical literacy.
What We Do
Through the calling and gifts that God has given to Donna, Artesian Ministries is dedicated to sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Nothing less. Through Bible studies, devotions, blog posts, live events, media platforms, and this website, we focus on God’s life-changing message of love and forgiveness for all.
Who We Are
Artesian Ministries is a Christ-centered, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt, non-profit organization supported through grants and contributions from friends and ministry partners.
What We Believe
- The Bible is the only Word of God, inspired, trustworthy and true, without error. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
- There is only one God who exists eternally in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. (Matthew 28:19)
- Jesus Christ is God: in His virgin birth, in His sinless life, in His miracles, in His death that paid for our sin through His shed blood, in His bodily resurrection, in His ascension/rising up to the right hand of the Father and in His personal return in power and glory. (John 1:1; Matthew 1:18,25; Hebrews 4:15; Hebrews 9:15-22; 1 Corinthians 15:1-8; Acts 1:9-11; Hebrews 9:27-28)
- The Holy Spirit brings people to faith and lives within and guides Christians so they are enabled to live godly lives. (John 14:15-26; John 16:5-16; Ephesians 1:13-14)
- God wants all people to live with Him forever in a restored and perfect world. God desires eternal death for no one. (1 Timothy 2:4; John 3:16-18; Ezekiel 33:11)
- Eternal life in Heaven is offered by the grace of God in Jesus Christ and the renewing work of the Holy Spirit and is the only path to salvation for a lost and broken mankind. (John 3:16; John 5:24; Titus 3:3-7)
- By rejecting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, we receive eternal suffering in hell. (Matthew 25:31-46; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
- Adam and Eve were created in the image of God with an immortal soul to reflect His character to the world, to manage and care for God’s creation so all benefit and prosper and to bring glory to His name. (Genesis 2:7; Genesis 1:26-28) Adam and Eve brought sin and evil into the world through their disobedience. All mankind is therefore guilty before God and in need of forgiveness. (Romans 5:12) Adam and Eve were given the promise of forgiveness and redemption through Jesus even as they experienced the consequences of their sin. (Genesis 3:15-16)
- The spiritual unity of believers in our Lord Jesus Christ means that all believers are members of His body, the Church. (Philippians 2:1-4)
- The Church is called by Christ to proclaim salvation in His name and be His presence on Earth as we await His return. (Matthew 28:18-20)
Board of Directors
- Donna Snow, Founder and CEO
- Rev. Michael Mattil, President
- Rev. Wayne Graumann, Vice-President
- Rev. John Heckmann, Director
- Sheri Jarratt, Treasurer
- Belinda Burmeister, Secretary