My sister has more courage, creativity, & ambition than anyone I know.
I’m SO very proud of my sister. She’s a fantastic children’s minister and I’ve learned so much from her. After all her years in ministry – you would think she would be burnt out. But instead she’s started her own organization called Empower Youth. After all these years – she’s still got it! She’s still a driving force in her community and changing lives all the while.
Check out Empower Youth on Facebook. If you can be of help in anyway – please do! You won’t find a better organization out there equipped to reach the youth. https://www.facebook.com/empoweredyouth/?pnref=lhc
She’s also the solid rock in the family. No matter what the crisis – you can rely on her to help you pickup the pieces. When the boat sank – she instinctively knew what to do and how to organize ourselves.
Anytime we’ve experienced any sort of craziness – she’s just a vox or email away – ready to lend her wisdom & advice. There’s very few campaigns in our ministry where she’s not intimately involved.
When Asher was diagnosed with heat-sensitive seizures as a baby – I didn’t know what to do. There was no way Asher could take the heat. But we couldn’t afford to keep all the kids in the states for the summer – and the summer was also our busiest time of the year.
We were in a real crisis. But my sister stepped in and kept the twins. Two toddler boys – full of energy & curiosity. I’m not even sure I would keep my own boys at that age by myself!! LOL! But my sister didn’t hesitate.
The twins spent every summer with her until 2014 – when we were officially in our new home here on campus. Here we are able to plugin an air conditioner & have him swim in a pool – both allowing him to cool down on hot days.
There were even a few years she kept Gabriel along with the twins! Craziness I tell you! The boys birthdays are June 25th 2009 & July 21st 2007. Not only did she keep them – but she threw amazing – over the top – birthday parties too! She really is an incredible aunt! I’m so lucky my children get to see her – learn from her – love her & be loved – just like I did growing up.
So today I’m thankful for my sister. For being a 2nd mom to my children. For still having this huge heart for the youth in her community. For digging me out of crisis after crisis! For always being there for me though I live in another country! For sacrificing her time, efforts, and energy for this ministry & our family. God sure knew what He was doing when He placed her in our family!
SO Thankful…Day 25
My family has been in the ministry since I was a baby. Well actually before that. My parents were in local ministries long before they went to Haiti. My mom was pregnant with me the first time they went to Haiti and so ministry in one way or another has always been in our lives.
While my parents were a driving force in my life – so was one other person. My sister. I learned two things early on from Lori. The first was the soundtrack to Dirty Dancing! LOL! My sister and I shared a room until I was in 2nd grade and she went off to college! We had a record player – yes that’s right – I said record player! My sister had Patrick Swayze on our wall and I’ve Had The Time Of My Life blaring out of the speakers!
The 2nd thing my sister taught me was how to minister to children. My sister went to Centre College and then onto UK. While she was at UK she took a local Children’s Director position at Broadway Christian Church. It was at that church that I was first introduced to real Children’s Ministry. On the weekends I would stay with my sister and watch her teach the children. My sister is far more creative than me. She was writing for Standard Publishing and Group Publishing before she finished college. She was holding training sessions for other ministers and volunteers all over the states before she was 25!
I was still pretty young when she worked at Broadway. It wasn’t really until she was the Children’s Minister at Northside Christian Church in New Albany that I not only understood ministry but I actually began to lead. My brother and I would drive an hour every weekend to New Albany. My sister started a band! Janeil played bass guitar and I played keyboard. Yes that’s right! We were in a band! Want to hear the name? We were called Tuff Luv! I’m totally serious! We had a singers and dancers and we thought we were the coolest cats around! We had professional photos made and traveled ALL OVER THE STATES performing at conventions and children’s conferences. She used our group to show children how to worship – really worship. And through that – she taught me what worship was all about.
We had all kinds of fun ways to interact with the children. We had Jesus Aerobics, Snake Walks, Line Dancing, Rapping, Dramas, Small Groups, etc. We were doing small groups LONG BEFORE that was the “thing to do” in churches! My sister had VERY creative ways to attract children to church. Once we got them in the door – we knew it was important to help them create a relationship with Jesus. Something that was deeper than the bright lights and loud music that lured them in.
My sister would teach the children to pray by having them repeat after her. So often kids don’t know what to say or how to get started. What she didn’t realize is – while she was teaching them to pray – she was teaching me to pray. While she was training us on how to lead children into a deeper relationship with Christ – she was actually leading me into a deeper relationship with Christ.
Her fingerprints are everywhere in my life. She unknowingly taught me how to lead a small army for Christ. It’s that training that allows me even now to lead the staff that followed us to the Mole. She laid the groundwork for me years and years ago.
So today I am thankful for my one and only sister!
For teaching me and leading me into a personal relationship with Christ!