NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) — Before you point and click to buy something online, and out of town, local leaders encourage you to look around your neighborhood.
Their message: shop small, and shop local.
And while you’re thinking about that, you may see a sign that says: “No Matter What, Trust God.”
Peter Person, pastor of a ministry of the same name, began posting signs with those words all over Hampton Roads about 10 years ago.
You’ll also find that message on just about every item in the retail clothing and screen-printing business Anointed Life and A Life Screenprinting. They’re owned and operated by Peter and his wife Robbie.
“We believe that we were put here as a beacon of hope, as light in a dark place,” Robbie said.
Their beacon: a positive message on a street sign, T-shirt or hat.
“We are a ministry that encourages, equips and empowers people through a simple process the way that God has given us, through putting out signs and billboards throughout the community,” Robbie Person said.
Peter started the sign and T-shirt effort about 10 years ago. And Robbie says demand for fashionable clothing with imprinted messages also grew. That led to the storefront in Oyster Point.
“We have just heard so many testimonials,” says Robbie.
The growing demand prompted them to find a way to print their own items. Their prayers were soon answered when a friend called Peter.
“[He] said that, because of Covid, he was going out of business and was I interested in buying his equipment? And, I was hesitant about it, also because of the situation. But I called my wife and she said to me — ‘get it!'”
That printing and embroidery shop, A Life, is in Yorktown, about five minutes’ drive from their storefront in Oyster Point.
Both Robbie and Peter say there were some lean times during the height of the pandemic. But orders from local businesses and loyal individual customers kept them going, and motivated.
“I mean, some of the testimonials of how they were in a desperate situation or facing health challenges where they had lost hope because of the consistent barrage of things that they may be facing, were encouraging.”
And then there are moments where Peter and Robbie just reflect on the purpose of their ministry, to be a “light in a dark place, to give people hope.”
To contact Robbie and Peter at Anointed Life, and to find out more about the Newport News promotion to support local, small businesses on Thanksgiving weekend, just click on the following links.