Friends News

Garretson Family Continues to Serve and Trust in God

by Charles Lucyk - Office of Marketing | Apr 06, 2016
The Garretsons
University of Valley Forge alumni have a habit of becoming living examples of God’s providence and sovereignty through their amazing testimonies. The Garretsons are no exception. Rob Garretson ’04 and Laura (Propson) Garretson ’05 obtained their degrees in Youth Ministry and Theological Studies, respectively. They were married three years later and have three children. Rob served as a youth leader at Hellertown Assembly of God in Pennsylvania, and Laura served on the church’s worship team, but this was just the beginning of a long journey ahead.
Life took a turn for the Garretsons when Laura’s mother suffered a life-threatening stroke. She was declared brain dead twice, yet she continued to fight on, showing small, subtle actions that indicated she was still aware of her surroundings. She would mouth hymns as her husband sang along and would respond to certain questions. It was during her mother’s time in the hospital that Laura was diagnosed with breast cancer. Such news would forever transform Rob and Laura’s faith and passion to follow their dreams.
Before Laura was given the diagnosis, the Garretson family decided to fully trust in the Lord’s sovereignty. With the unexpected challenges that were ahead, God couldn’t have planned this decision any better. Rob had put his dream of owning a fish farm on the back burner while he tended to the needs of his family. Throughout the trials they faced, the Garretsons and their children remained faithful, believing that God was in full control of the situation. Laura’s cancer provided avenues for her to present Christ to others. Her experience became a living testimony to the God they serve. After months of chemotherapy treatments, the Garretsons were overcome with joy to learn that Laura’s cancer had almost completely disappeared.
Overcoming these challenges encouraged the Garretsons to push forward yet again. They began to explore their dream to build and maintain a fish farm. In a series of events that could only be the work of God, the Garretsons were offered 11 acres for their farm that were originally donated to a church in North Carolina. With the support of Upper Room Assembly of God, Rob and Laura saw their dreams come to life. 

The family made a bold move to North Carolina in September 2015 and have since been maintaining their fish farm as Rob serves Upper Room Assembly as the family ministry pastor. The farm itself is being prepared for use in ministry. Even with his busy schedule, Rob also works at an after-school program for at-risk teenagers. The family’s long-range plan focuses on further serving the kingdom of God by integrating the at-risk teens into the farm and them becoming active participants in the cultivation of the fish. The Garretsons’ journey has helped them appreciate the blessings they continue to receive, and in return, they will continue to trust in God, following on the path He leads.