My attendance at weekly Church services began when I was in utero. As a child, my desire to be in church was like a magnetic pull I couldn't combat. If a Service or Event was occurring and I could attend, I was present. From Childhood through my Adult years I've participated in and/or held a variety of positions; Girl's Group, Children and Youth Choir, Praise and Worship Team, Soloist, Bible Study, Preschool and Children's Sunday School Teacher, Mistress of Ceremony, Youth Group Leader, Women's Ministry, Community Missions, Minister and Pastor. Unbeknownst to me, these experiences were preparatory in nature. God had allowed each to be of benefit to His ordained Call on my life.
My Call to Salvation and Ministry began for me at nine years of age. I was attending Grace Baptist Church, located in Evansville, IN. I would climb the stairs to the balcony so I could sit and enjoy a Bird's Eye view of the people and activities below. Each Sunday during Altar Call, the Pastor talked about the intensity of God's love for each of us. His ability to turn around the bad in our lives, through the deliverance of our sins. His hope to have us not only believe in Him, but to be in relationship with Him too. There's Kingdom work to be done throughout the world and Jesus wanted us to complete what He had begun. Then he'd declare, Salvation can be yours, won't you come?" One Sunday as the Pastor repeated his missive, I sprang from my balcony seat, ran down the stairs and up the aisle to the front pew. My personal info was placed on a Contact Card so they could contact my parents. I was ecstatic! I was going to free of my sins and become a Family member in God's Kingdom. Unfortuanately my parents didn't believe I was old enough at nine to understand the true meaning of Salvation. Even after their "NO" I continued to jump out of my seat, run down the stairs and up aisle to the front pew. A Contact Card was completed, and probably thrown away. I was determined to become God's! He knew I understood and never released me. He continued to prepare me and at age thirteeen I was able to say. "Yes Lord!"
I've prefaced my reason for requesting your financial gift with my Call to Salvation and Ministry, so you'll understand my desire to proceed with this new Ministry opportunity. The United Methodist Church offers Training and Education for persons interested in becoming Licensed Local Pastors. Local Pastors are assisgned either full time or part time to a Church in need of leadership. Upon full acceptance and assisgnment, a Masters Degree Level Edcuation is provided. I'm overjoyed to announce I've been selected as a Local Pastor Candidate, on track to becoming A Certified Candidate. I'm currently awaiting my Introductory Interview with the District Committee in Lexington, KY. My Interview is scheduled for August 6, 2019. If approved, I must attend the Candidacy Retreat scheduled for August 9th-10th. The cost of the Retreat and Psychological Evaluation initiated at the Retreat is $530. The balance of $70 is for gas, required Retreat supplies and a 5% donation to GiveSendGo! I currently work part-time at my Church, Winchester First United Methodist Church, averaging 12-20 hours per month during the Summer. Therefore, my need is great and my time short as the $530 is due by August 1, 2019. That's correct, August 1st, five days before my Introductory Interview. This Date imbalance tells me the Lord has already approved my Candidacy and for that I give Him all the praise and glory!
Through my Church Life and Personal Relationship with God I've learned a multitude of Life lessons and gained immense knowledge about God. His plan for me was launched almost fifty years ago. During those many years I've ministered to many, in a number of ways. Even so, there was a void I couldn't discern. One day God showed me why I wasn't fulfilled. I've been ministering, which He called me to do, but not how he called me to do it. "I called you to preach!" I kept seeing myself as I lived years ago, pastoring a church in Vermont. The joy I felt then bubbled up in my spirit. I understood back then I was living the phrase, "You complete me!"
Today, God is still calling and preparing me. He's displaying His total knowledge of me, His precious, unique creation. His words are true, "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11). By this revelation my resolve has been strengthened, my courageousness fierce. My desire to continue the work Jesus initiated constantly stirs within me, because residing in me is the Lil Girl who jumped out of her balcony seat, ran down the stairs and up the aisle to the front pew to declare, "Yes Lord!"