Hi! Laura Diehl, here, and I am happy to share with you who we are, which includes a bit of the history of what led up to the ministry of GPS Hope.
My first ministry passion was actually for children to come into the fullness of God at a young age. For the first twenty years of my adult life, I was either involved with or led many facets of ministry to children in my local church. During much of that time, I was also a home school teacher for my own children. By the time our youngest was the only child still at home, he had started attending a local private Christian school. I became a certified Preschool teacher and was hired by the same school, but found myself stepping down after three years, because of how much I was beginning to travel for Kids in Ministry International (KIMI).
I spent ten years with KIMI. During that time I became an ordained minister and was part of the leadership team under the founder, Becky Fischer, as well as being an instructor and the first administrator for the KIMI School of Supernatural Children’s Ministry, overseeing and mentoring the students for three years. I was also the Director of KIMI Wisconsin.
It’s a good thing that traveling is one of my favorite things to do, because during those ten years I had the blessing and fun of traveling around the U.S. and into well over a dozen countries, teaching, preaching, holding trainings, and ministering directly to both children and adults (usually to establish KIMI PowerClubs). I loved all those years spent serving people of all ages, encouraging them to discover the awesome things God has put inside of them, and doing what I could to equip them to be all that God has called them to be.
When Becca died, I continued on autopilot for a while. But as the full weight of the loss began to settle on me, I could no longer function in the capacity needed for Kids in Ministry International. With many tears, I stepped out of that ministry to try to heal physically, emotionally and spiritually.
While I was with KIMI Dave and I had started Crown of Glory Ministries, mostly to be my 501c3 for ministry travel. But as I began to get to a functioning level again, we were led by God to step out fully as Crown of Glory Ministries and I did some international ministry as such.
During that time, God began to stir in me the desire to write a book to help other parents navigate through the blackness I was coming out of (which turned into five books written within thirteen months)! And also during that time, people who had lost children started turning to us for hope, as we were just a little bit on the path ahead of them, and Grieving Parents Sharing Hope (GPS Hope) was birthed.
It became too difficult and overwhelming to “be” two ministries, and it became more and more obvious God was closing the door on my ministry to children, and the momentum and anointing was getting stronger very quickly for ministering to bereaved parents. So, in the fall of 2016, we made the decision to phase out Crown of Glory Ministries, and start putting our time and focus on GPS Hope.
I still love to travel to faraway places (especially if a warm beach is involved) and to go on cruises with my wonderfully supportive and loving husband. And just about anything colorful, shiny or fun easily gets my attention. In other words, I am easily “squirreled!”
And speaking of my husband, he is definitely my rock, and he tries to keep me focused; a very challenging job for sure!
Dave has a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and was in this field in the corporate world for 33 years. (Now he works for me!) Dave enjoys worshiping on his saxophones (tenor and soprano) but doesn’t get to play them as much now since we are on the road full-time as he did being on a worship team. He has been in a “behind-the-scenes” support role in many areas for both people and organizations. Dave was the anchor for Crown of Glory Ministries, including coming up with the name, way back at the beginning of our marriage over 30 years ago. He is an ordained minister and his passion is supporting me and all God has called me to do, in any way he can. (Yes, I am extremely blessed with a very rare man, indeed!)
Remember how I said I love to travel? In 2019, God provided a motor home in an amazing way, leading us to sell our house and live on the road full-time in the “Hope Mobile”, traveling the nation to provide support and resources to grieving parents.
Dave and I have five children, including our daughter who has gone ahead of us to her eternal home, and a growing legacy of grandchildren. Most of them live in south central Wisconsin, which is still our home base, and it is an added blessing to have them all close by when we head back that way.
As an author, ordained minister, and co-founder of GPS Hope, I am available to speak at conferences and churches, bringing a message of hope for bereaved parents, and also to share with those who want to know how to be a help and support to those who have lost a child. We are also looking for people or churches who would like to host a GPS Hope & Healing Conference or weekend retreat. If you are interested in having us come to you for any of these, please email us through our contact form.
Of course, at the time I didn’t realize how prophetic my nickname for her was; but as God continued to move her forward in her calling, it was obvious to me what the name of her ministry should be. Not only because of our little love story, but, more importantly, because of her heart – for ALL generations to know God intimately and to move in His call for their lives now! Our prayer is that those touched by this ministry would truly “be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord” (Is. 62:3).
(From our book Triple Crown Transformation)