God was not a part of my life growing up. We never spoke of God at home, and I had no idea what God was supposed to be like. Instead, my mother focused on her high expectations for my behavior and accomplishments, often saying I wasn’t smart enough to get a good job.
That just made me more determined to succeed. I had a heart for helping others and worked with children with disabilities through the Red Cross in my home state. I remember teaching one girl who used a wheelchair how to walk, supported by the water in a swimming pool. She was thrilled, and said she wished she could take the pool to church, so that she could attend her sister’s wedding without using her wheelchair.
When I got a job at the Academy of Medicine in my home state, I knew there must be something more for my life than “not being smart enough.” I saw how people with serious health issues needed information and went for funding to create a Consumer Health Library.
Then, a feeling came over me. “I have a heart for people and have so much more to give,” I felt.
Later, my husband and I moved to central Delaware, in fact, right next door to a lovely Christian couple who were about my age. I was struck by her love and openness, and in particular, how she accepted me at face-value. I began attending their church, and one Sunday I was listening to the Pastor’s sermon – I don’t even remember what he was saying – when a feeling came over me. “I have a heart for people and have so much more to give,” I felt. I could see the people I’d helped over the years and the positive responses from them.
When I retired from the Academy of Medicine, they renamed the Consumer Health Library for me. I was almost speechless, and my husband wept.
Soon after that, I suffered a severe stroke and could not speak. It was like every wire in my brain had short-circuited. One evening a man from church delivered supper to us. That’s when I knew that after all the people I had helped, God was now taking care of me. On my recent trip to the midwest for a family reunion, my sister reaffirmed God’s love and caring for me. When I got off of the airplane she said, “You always do for others. It’s your time for others to do for you.”
What a joy and a blessing that was.
More Faith Stories
I remember being in church and going up to the altar and crying. I was so tired of the life I was living. I needed help. I felt a sense of peace at that time and knew that if this Jesus thing can work for some of these other guys, then it can definitely work for me.
I said to myself, “Why should anyone envy me and want to be in my shoes?”
God has led me to amazing places in my life, so let me explain how God led me from South Carolina to Kenya.
We built the first church with great difficulty. We went back to the States and the board asked us to become mission staff with the Outreach Foundation. That was 25 years ago, just about, and we’ve gotten more involved with Kenya as days and years went on.
I am a chef by profession. I’m happy because I do what I love. Now I work at Villadise Tours and Safaris, where I meet so many different people coming from far. Being helpful is just a blessing to other people.
Then God started tugging on my heart. There was a church sermon series that was about taking your God-given dream off the shelf. I was like, “I don’t know what my dream is. God, if you have a dream for me you’re going to have to tell me what it is.”