HISTORY OF THE WELL

The Burden to make The Well

Gemma and Fredrik Sandberg. Founders of The Well, a gospel-centered website housing video life stories of people transformed through receiving Jesus Christ into their life

Hi, my name is Gemma Sandberg. God began burdening my heart early in 2016 to make a website that would house videos of salvation stories. I knew that Bible-believing churches and ministries were making video testimonies, but I felt they were a little like hidden treasures in the attic, often buried deep within their websites and not used to their full potential.

I trained as an Information Scientist and my career was in evidence-based medicine. I searched for clinical research and I was involved in creating health websites and health publications for an international organization. My background helped me appreciate the need to make thorough, robust and user-driven information resources.

During 2016, God continued to use His Word (especially Proverbs 24:3-4, Psalm 107:1-3, Isaiah 43:10, John 4:39) to compel me to use my information skills to create a website for video testimonies. So in September of 2016, I presented the idea to pastors at my church, Saylorville Church, in Des Moines Iowa. They encouraged me to proceed with the project.

Photo: Gemma Sandberg with her husband Fredrik Sandberg.

ATHEIST TO CHRISTIAN

Gemma Sandberg's baptism. Gemma is Founder of The Well, a gospel-centered website housing video life stories of people transformed through receiving Jesus Christ into their life

The project to create The Well had deep personal meaning to me. I wanted to make the gospel accessible online to people through testimonies. I was a thirsty anguished soul who didn’t hear the gospel until I was 37 years old and I had no clue of the help and healing available to me through Jesus Christ.

I had grown up in Ireland in the Catholic tradition. By the time I had finished college I had become an atheist. Because of experiencing childhood sexual abuse, I decided it impossible for a loving Creator to exist.

I met my husband Fredrik when I was 28 and we moved to the US. Soon after my first son was born, I felt restless, I needed to know if God was real afterall. After six years of searching for answers and trying different religions and churches, God providentially moved so that this former liberal atheist would ‘bump into’ a Baptist pastor.

So Pat Nemmers, lead pastor from Saylorville Church, Des Moines Iowa, invited me to his church. I heard the gospel over two Sundays, and sitting at my kitchen table God showed me who I really was. A sinner in need of a Savior. I repented of my sin and trusted in Christ. On the 30th June 2015 I met the living God. He set me free and gave me the rest I had longed for all my troubled adult life.  I was baptized on the 25th November 2015, along with Fredrik, who came to Christ 3 weeks after me. (Watch our baptisms from November 2015).

Photo: Gemma baptized by Pastor Pat Nemmers, who led her to Christ.

MANY HANDS

From left to Right: Patrick Watertor, Gemma Sandberg, John Nemmers. They contributed to created The Well, a gospel-centered website housing video life stories of people transformed through receiving Jesus Christ into their life

Soon after committing to the project, God started to providentially bring forward other people from my home church who had different skill sets needed in order to make the website a reality.

From February 2017 – May 2019, Fredrik and I created a ‘pop-up’ organization called the Run To Me Foundation to oversee the making of The Well. Many people contributed to completing the website, in particular Patrick Watertor and John Nemmers. We are very grateful to them for their input. And without Fredrik’s kindness, guidance and support, The Well would never have been possible.

In 2019 we launched The Well, three years after God first burdened my heart to make it. Many times I wanted to run away from the project because it took me far outside my comfort zone and I found it very challenging in different ways (not least of all because I’m so IT illiterate). But God’s grace kept flowing to me and He continually renewed the vision for us to complete it.

Photo: Patrick Watertor, Gemma Sandberg, John Nemmers.

VISION AND PRAYER

Empty tomb, Jesus' resurrection. Appearing in The Well, a gospel-centered website housing video life stories of people transformed through receiving Jesus Christ into their life

My vision and prayer are that The Well will serve as an evangelistic tool and a counseling aid for the Body of Christ, and that God will use the stories on The Well to save lost and hurting people. Just like I was.

But moreover, God has placed in this former atheist’s heart, the desire for The Well to serve as a formidable witness for Him: That this resource will attest to God’s existence and attributes, demonstrate His faithfulness to His gospel promises, and exalt the name of His only Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

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