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Wings of Hope magazine

A magazine and Christian community in the virtual world of Second Life

Posting Access:
All Members , Moderated
Wings of Hope magazine is the result of many hours of hard work and a very dedicated and wonderful staff. But this magazine would never have come into fruition, had it not been for God's awesome intervention.
The story of the magazine's conception is a simple one: Two Christians with the same goals in mind; A young man's calling from God, and a woman with a heart willing to serve God and to reach out to others. But when looking back on the events that led to the magazine's creation, it's easy to see that God's hand was in all of it.
Corey Kneeler (aka Corey Mitchell) came into the virtual world of Second Life in September of 2005. When first coming onto Second Life, Corey had no clear goals in mind of what he wanted to do. "When I first entered Second Life, I could see that the possibilities were literally endless for what I could do within the game", recalls Corey. "At first my top priorities within the game were to meet people from all over the world and make friends with them. I knew that if I had an established, close-knit group of friends, that would be my main reason to log on to the game, just to hang out and have a good time with them."
But Corey had no idea that God had much bigger plans in mind for him. By October of 2005, Corey had a large group of friends that he stayed close to, and even built a gathering place in the sky for them all to hang out at regularly. "It was really awesome to bring people together from so many different backgrounds and cultures, and to see them all interacting with one another and discussing everything from politics to religion", Corey said. "It was that interaction, and bringing people together that always gave me this really awesome feeling inside. I have always been a big believer in peace unity among groups of people."
Even though Corey had brought many people together, he still felt an emptiness inside of him. "After spending time with all of these people, and getting to know them, I noticed that they had a lot of pain and suffering in their lives. And, after hearing countless stories from them and how they had struggled through life, I wanted so badly to help them and to reach out to them.", said Corey. "That is when I realized that Second Life is so much more than a game. This is life. These are real people with real struggles in their lives, and I thought, "I simply can not stand here and do nothing. I have to reach out to these people and help show them the awesome hope and life they can have in Jesus Christ!"
On one fateful night in late November of 2005, Corey was wandering around, and suddenly stumbled upon an empty church. "It had been an exhausting day for me. That day I had been trying to help a couple of my friends with some problems they were facing. I'd spent all day with it, and felt weakened from putting so much energy into it. I decided to walk into this church I found and gather my thoughts." And that's when it hit him.
"All of a sudden, I just broke down and started crying. I began thinking of all of my friends, and how much pain and suffering they had been going through, and I wanted so badly to reach out to them all. I kept thinking, "I am only one man. How am I going to have enough time to reach out to all of these people at once?" And then, in my tears, I felt this powerful calling from God. He was saying, "Corey, if you want to reach out to these people, why not do it through the gift that I have given you to write and bring others together and encourage them?" And that's when Corey realized that he had to use his journalistic abilities to serve God.
"On that very night, I realized my purpose. I knew that I was called to Second Life to reach out to people and use my talents to show the entire world God's awesome love and the life that He brings."
Now that Corey had a clear goal in mind, he had to figure out how to actually put it into action and do something about it. He figured that the best place to start would be getting a job within Second Life working for a magazine or some type of publication. With very little experience in working for a publication, he wanted to first try to get his feet wet and learn the ropes of how everything worked.
In December of 2006, Corey accidentally stumbled upon a magazine company. Outside the building, the owner of the magazine was giving a tour of the area. Corey approached the owner and asked about the magazine and what it was all about. The owner told Corey that they were looking for an editor for their magazine. Corey reluctantly asked the owner if he could help. And the owner didn't even hesitate to give him the job. "I was completely shocked. I mean, here I was, a 21 year old college student with practically no editing experience at all, and suddenly I am given a job that put me in charge of an entire staff!" said Corey.
It was clear that God had allowed Corey to get into the job for a reason. " I had no clue what I was doing when I started out. I literally had to learn everything from scratch. Learning how to maintain a staff, getting stories assigned to them, and editing everything that came in. It was pretty overwhelming at first, but at the same time I really enjoyed learning everything and making new friends in the process."
That's where Corey met Maggie Barkley, the magazine's web master. The two had been working together closely to make sure that the magazine was on the right track and that things were going smoothly. But religion was the last thing the two had on their minds. "We were always so busy working with the staff and trying to get everything organized all the time, and never seemed to have the chance to discuss anything about our personal lives.", said Maggie. “But one night, after a staff meeting, Corey was talking to me and another employee, and mentioned that he was a Christian. The funny thing is, when I first met Corey I saw God in him, without even knowing that he was a Christian. I then told him that I too was a Christian, and we were both really excited."
Corey and Maggie began discussing what their dreams and goals in life were, and Corey mentioned that he had felt the calling from God to reach out to others through journalism. Maggie also felt the same way, and wanted to devote her time and ability to reaching out to others and showing them God's love. The two shared the same goals, and decided to do something about it.
"I had never really been involved in the Christian community in Second Life before I met Corey.", said Maggie. "I was always confined to working for the magazine and spent all my time devoted to getting everything taken care of for it, so I rarely had time to get out and explore everything that Second Life had to offer. It was such an encouragement to meet Corey and know that I wasn't the only Christian around in Second Life."
Corey and Maggie had tossed around the idea of starting a Christian magazine one day. They knew that they had both been called to do it, but were uncertain how they would go about doing it. They both had good jobs working for the magazine they were employed with, and the expenses for it were all paid for. "We realized that if we did start our own Christian magazine, we would have to break away from the one that we were working for, and it wouldn't be easy to find an entire staff and funding for it " recalled Maggie.
But God wasn't going to let it end there. Maggie and Corey came to a decision. They realized that the most important thing in their lives was to serve God, and they both decided to quit their jobs and totally rely on God to provide them with a way to create a Christian magazine. Maggie immediately set up a group for the magazine and bought a web domain for a web site for the magazine, while Corey went out and recruited members for it.
"Maggie and I figured, 'Well, if we can get at least 4 or 5 writers for the magazine, and they can somehow work for free, then we might be able to get something going" said Corey. But the two never dreamed of what God would bring to them.
"God completely blew away all expectations we had for this magazine. I found myself walking around, asking people if they were interested in writing for a Christian magazine, and it was like I didn't even have to try. People all over the place were willing to write for this magazine for free, and they were all totally dedicated to serving God! It was absolutely amazing!" said Corey.
"Corey and I were both shown firsthand how God can take something very little and make it into something huge! We were absolutely blown away at how God was working through this, bringing us so many wonderful people to work for us, with true hearts completely devoted to serving God!"
Before they knew it, Corey and Maggie had a staff of 30 people to work for them, and their numbers are still growing to this day. God has truly blessed them and everyone who has become a part of it. Corey and Maggie now have a clear goal in mind: To glorify God, and to reach the lost.
"We have a mission here with this magazine. This is not just about providing entertaining articles for people to read. This is about inspiring people. This is about giving people hope. This is about reaching the lost and glorifying God through everything that we do. We have been called to do this, and have been given a great opportunity to change the world. And we know that God will take this magazine and will do many great things with it." says Corey.
"We want to show the world that there is hope, no matter how much suffering we face in our lives, no matter how much we go through, there is always hope, and Jesus Christ brings us that hope, and we want to show that to the entire world. And we recognize that this magazine is God's magazine, not ours. God created this magazine, and I know that he has many great things in store for it and we have such a wonderful staff who put a lot of hard work into this to glorify God. We could never have asked for a more wonderful group of people to work with us." Says Maggie.
Wings of Hope is a fitting name for a magazine whose purpose is to bring hope to the world, and it is clear to see that God has had his hand in all of this. In a world of such bitterness, darkness, pain, and struggle, we have hope in Jesus Christ. And this magazine will bring that hope to the world monthly. It will certainly be exciting to see how God works through these wonderful people, as they continue to dedicate their lives to serving the Lord. God bless each and every one of you!