I first came to Wade in the Fall of 2006. When asked by the financial aid office at Bluefield College whether I would prefer to work in the biology laboratory or at this community center that was trying to start an after school program her decision was simple: kids beat dirty test tubes any day! So with little more than 30 hours of volunteer experience from high school, I became a consistent face around Wade’s after school program. The experience was interesting to say the least! and after one year of after school I thought I was done.
When I returned to Bluefield my sophomore year, I took another work study position and curbed my hours at Wade to one hour of volunteer work per week. This never set well though. I struggled all year as my spiritual life dwindled down to virtually nonexistent by Christmas break. I was miserable. As I cried out to God from the depths of my misery, I felt like I needed to go back to Wade (among other things).
In January of that year, I picked after school back up. Any spare hours of my day I found myself hanging out with the second grade class mostly, but I went wherever they needed my help for the day. When I heard that Wade was running a summer camp program, I knew that’s where I needed to be. God was growing me and teaching me new things every day in my experiences at Wade, and I wanted more. So I committed my whole summer to ministering to first graders with Wade’s summer missions program.
Since that fateful summer, I’ve fallen into ministry at Wade in nothing short of a nosedive. Last school year, I felt called to minister specifically to the middle school students involved in after school (a scary calling to say the least!), and this year God has opened doors for me to teach Bible to all the classes, grades 1-8, during after school. It’s my favorite ever.
There aren’t many things in life that I’ve known with certainty, but a few stand out. I am certain that God loves me, and I can rest secure in the grip of His saving grace. I know that He has gifted me with certain talents and abilities so that I can turn around and give them back to His kingdom. I know that He called me to Wade for a specific purpose and reason for this season of my life. And I know that God has brought me and Ben together, because we are able to do more for His kingdom together than apart.