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“I prayed to die in my sleep so that I would not have to face another day,” she remembers.
Her children also struggled greatly. Her oldest sons began harboring severe anger while fear and nightmares shattered her older daughter. Her youngest son became withdrawn and refused all types of physical affection. Each night her toddler daughter came into mother’s bedroom and rested her little chin on the edge of the mattress, asking when her daddy would be coming home.
“Never means nothing to a two-year-old,” Breit Perkins says.
With nowhere to go except to the Lord, Breit Perkins decided to continue faithfully attending Maple Grove Assembly in Minnesota, despite her own sense of shame and strong resistance from some of her children.
“My sons attempted everything they could to get kicked out of church,” Breit Perkins says. One son even developed a habit of heckling the pastor, yelling out Liar! during sermons.
“I could have let shame and humiliation chase me from that church,” Breit Perkins says. “But God was our only answer. I hate to think what my family would be if I had given in.”
When Sunday School teachers started threatening to quit because of her kids, the pastor, Greg A. Hickle, refused to give up on them. He admonished the teachers to keep nurturing and teaching the children about God. In addition, Hickle encouraged Lois to continue bringing her family to church.
“My family was changed because we found a church that was willing to take on the challenges we brought,” Breit Perkins says.
Now, over 30 years later, all five of her children are serving the Lord, four of them in ministry with the AG around the world.
“God can do the impossible when the Church lives out the gospel,” Breit Perkins says, referencing Mark 10:27.
Throughout their ordeal, Breit Perkins recognized that her family needed to stay as close to the Lord as possible, not only at church, but also through soaking in Scripture.
“The Word of God changes our thinking, attitudes, and actions because it changes our hearts,” she says. “And what needed to change during our darkest days was me. We must not stay stuck in self-pity or defeat.”
Breit Perkins became an ordained Assemblies of God minister in 1992. She started as a janitor at Maple Grove Assembly after her husband left her, moved up to secretary, and then obtained ministerial credentials. Breit Perkins worked as an associate pastor at Maple Grove for seven years and then as Minnesota District youth director assistant before being appointed as the first U.S. missionary to single moms in 2011. With Chaplaincy Ministries, she ministers to single parents across the U.S., responding both to felt needs for parents and children, and through spiritual triage and discipleship.
With 23% of children in the United States living in single-parent households, it is imperative that local churches learn how to minister to families in these positions, according to Breit Perkins. She offers training to better equip the Church in single parent outreach. She also founded the resource organization Single Mamas Ministry and has written seven books about single parenting.
In June 2021, after 30 years of singleness, Lois married her husband, Ed, who travels and ministers with her from their Bradenton, Florida, residence.
“God is the God of hope,” Breit Perkins says. “When we stay close to Him, we will see who He really is.”