Wife, mom, missionary, author, speaker, mentor, or whatever hat handed to her, Phyllis Benigas embraces life with a dependence on God for His guidance, His wisdom, and His heartbeat.
Phyllis serves along-side her husband, Tom, as a missionary in Europe. Based in Belgium, she travels throughout Europe, ministering in International churches and speaking for churches, retreats, and conferences. Her ministry includes mentoring students at Continental Theological Seminary in Brussels and coaching through a network of women in ministry.
Phyllis and Tom have two adult children and four grandchildren, all serving the Lord with zeal.
I was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, the sixth of seven children born to Tony and Marguerite Annoni. Large, robust Italian family aptly describes my early years at home, and I have many colorful memories. A few years before my older siblings moved on to pursue marriage or military service, and shortly before I was born, a dramatic change took place in our home.
My mom was devout in her religious beliefs but felt unfulfilled regardless of how faithful she was to church and prayer. After a series of events, a remarkable story for another day, mom began a committed, personal relationship with God. It changed everything in our home and influenced my life forever.
One morning, at the tender age of three, I ran to my mom and cried, “Mommy, Mommy, I want to be saved!” It was at a sunny window box in the kitchen where I knelt that day with my mom and repeated a prayer of repentance. If my encounter at that early age troubles your theology, be assured, it was sincere. My experience concluded with tears and an exuberant, “Mommy, I feel so clean inside!” And so, the journey began.
For several years in high school, I tried to ignore a growing realization that God was calling me to full-time ministry. Surely, He wanted me to use my God-given talents in fashion design – after all, I had designed and made most of my clothes from the age of 13! Or perhaps pursue journalism – writing was my second love! However, I learned at a young age that obedience to the Lord is the key to true happiness. After graduation, I enrolled in Bible College.
It was at North Central Bible College, now North Central University, where I met Tom Benigas, the love of my life, in the college cafeteria. I was attracted to his thick black hair – everyone in Minnesota seemed blond back then – but I ultimately married him for his heart.
What a ride it’s been! This year we will celebrate 50 years of marriage. Our life and ministry have taken us to 48 states and over 30 countries, opened doors we never dreamed possible, and allowed us the privilege of touching countless lives with the message of Jesus.
Tom has been 100% supportive of my writing endeavors, encouraging me through every article, blog, and book. In 2008, I wrote and published through Creation House, Intimate Moments with the Shepherd – Guidance through the Challenges of Life. It’s a devotional book based on visual impressions from the Lord I received of the Shepherd leading His sheep through life’s challenges. The many responses I’ve received from readers through the years, and still today, confirm that the Lord, our Shepherd, guides us along life’s pathway in a most intimate way. The Shepherd Moments page includes both recent and past devotionals that I believe will be a blessing.
I’ve read the Bible from cover to cover each year for the past 30 plus years for my own growth and enjoyment. Yes, my eyes blur through Numbers, my face blushes in Song of Solomon, and my heart pounds through the Revelation, but I still love every minute of it! In 2010, my finger was on the delete button of a blog I started a couple of years earlier, managing only a couple of posts, when the Lord stopped me. He asked me to put that blog to use by encouraging others to join my Bible reading plan and short practical commentary each day. Our Intentional Connect with God was born, and hundreds have joined the reading group since through the Our Intentional Connect page.
The year 2020 was a challenging year for everyone, including me. The pandemic hit close to home when my life hung in the balance from the virus. I’m one of the few to survive the ventilator, and after 21 days in the hospital, I returned home on Good Friday to celebrate our risen Lord on Easter Sunday with my husband. I’ve penned this incredible story of God’s goodness to me, Breath from Heaven – God’s Presence in the Face of a Pandemic, and it has been a source of encouragement during these troubled days for all who have read it. Read excerpts from the book and testimonies of His help and presence in the challenges we face on the Breath from Heaven page.
Today, nothing thrills me more than to share the blessing that comes from stepping past our struggles, our insecurities, and heartaches into an understanding of our purpose. Once we discover the fulfillment that comes from a daily intimate relationship with our Creator, our challenges no longer rob us of peace and joy but become instruments of growth and character-building. And through it all, He is with us, every step of the journey!