After dabbling in real estate for four years, Diane Bickle took a step of obedience and founded Glad Heart Realty in 2001.
"I was surprised when the Lord suddenly called me to start my own real estate company," she says. Bickle's husband, Mike, is founder of the International House of Prayer in Kansas City (IHOP).
"The Lord spoke to me to start a new company, and I told Him that I wasn't qualified," she says. "I was homeschooling our two sons for eight years and had not learned much about the business world. I felt intimidated about taking such a risky leap of faith, but at the end of the day, I feared the Lord more than I feared failure."
Bickle had no idea when her husband started IHOP that so many people would flood Kansas City to join his ministry.
"We inadvertently became the relocation arm for the House of Prayer," she says.
"I was captured by the vision of supporting prayer and missions, so we created a commission structure that donated much of our profits to support the 24/7 prayer and worship at IHOP since 1999," she says. "By the grace of God, we've given over $1 million of our corporate profits to IHOP."
Glad Heart Realty opened doors to lead unbelievers to Christ.
"I got to lead a precious old termite inspector to the Lord," Bickle says. "He often came into our office because he liked us. One day he called me up after he found out that he had emphysema."
Bickle also spoke at his funeral, giving her another opportunity to share Christ.
Bickle and Linda Fields, founder of 7MPact, host a prayer meeting as well as a gathering to encourage and support Christians in the marketplace.
"We come together to pray for God's kingdom to be expressed in a greater way in our city through the business community," Bickle says, showing the potential reach of marketplace ministry.
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