On October 25, 2015, I had the opportunity to share about my ministry with RBM with my home church, Calvary Baptist Church in Pennfield.
I have always known that I wanted to work with children and doing ministry with kids has always been one of my favorite “hobbies.” When I went to college to study elementary education, I had no idea how God would use these areas of interest to allow me to serve Him.
I graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education and a Double Major in Spanish and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. I then went on to Grand Rapids Baptist Seminary (now Grand Rapids Theological Seminary) and earned a Master of Arts degree in Biblical Counseling. From there I spent 1 1/2 years as a teacher to autistically impaired preschoolers and then 8 years as an elementary school counselor. During my time as a school counselor I had many opportunities to minister to children and families. I always struggled with my inability to tell the hurting children I was working with about Jesus because of the public school setting. I began to pray that God would give me a new opportunity.
At the end of my eighth year as a counselor, I was told that my position had been eliminated due to budget cuts. I was actually quite excited because I saw this as the opportunity I had been praying for. As I began to pray about what I would do next, I was reconnected with RBM Ministries.
As a child, RBM had led Vacation Bible Schools at my church. They also led Released Time Bible classes that I attended while in school. I had loved participating in both of these. I found out that RBM has a need for more workers to share the gospel with school children and that they have an opening in Kalamazoo County, which is right near where I live. I began praying about this and talking with RBM and I became convinced that this would be a good fit for me. In May of 2015, I was accepted as an “official” RBM missionary.
As a missionary with RBM, I am teaching Released Time Bible Classes. Throughout the school year, I go to schools in Kalamazoo County and teach Bible lessons to children who have been released from school during class time (with parents’ permission). These are children who may never set foot in a church, but who are able to hear the Good News of Jesus through these classes. They may also be children from local churches who will be getting supplemental training and who can invite their friends to attend along with them. The classes are done in partnership with local churches. During the classes each month, the children will hear a Bible story, learn a memory verse, sing Christian songs, talk with a puppet and play a game that reviews what they learned in the Bible story. The kids are excited to come and often invite friends so the classes grow. I am thankful to be a part of this ministry where boys and girls can learn about the Bible.