Who are you holding onto?

Rena Oynes: rkoynes@gmail.com

All my life I have held on to Jesus’ hand, once in a while letting go, but this picking his hand back up again.  This season I have particularly held on tight.  He is/was the only one I could trust.  My closest friends all pointed to Jesus, as the situations were tough.  Many earnestly prayed.  One knew my calling and knew I had been called to children ever since I was a small child.  When I was twelve I was asked to assist in the children’s department of my church.  This was my first experience and I just loved it.  Years came and went as my Mother also loved children’s ministry and was very creative using her crafting talents to tell stories.  She would often place flannel graph characters on the back of the sofa and then retell the story.  We were so fortunate to hear her stories over and over again.  As year went by I got to teach Sunday School myself and Vacation Bible School.  I was lucky to direct Vacation Bible School and get other young people involved in acting, teaching, and or assisting in handing out snacks or playing games with the little ones.

Later I took up education.  I knew God’s hand was in it.  At the time Reading/Writing Workshop was not being taught as a college subject, but God’s hand had me work in this area and many creative talents flowed through the students.  I also taught Sunday school at the same time and used my creative talents like my mother had role modeled for me.  I loved writing and dramatizing the scriptures.

I moved to Virginia and was out of teaching Sunday school as the wonderful home church I was a part of did not have a children’s program at the time.  Little did I know that this small church would be instrumental in bringing out the hidden sorrows of a brokenness of heart in order to bring healing for the next stage of my life.

After moving back to Mandeville and now retired from teaching, I thought of attending Bible Study Fellowship.  I had tried to attend many, many years prior but had gotten a call to be a full time teacher.

It use to be located in Slidell which is about a half hour away, but to my surprise I found from my internet search that they had relocated to First Baptist of Mandeville which was right next to me.  I signed up immediately and started attending right away, not believing it was my good luck, not luck really, God’s hand was in it.

Many weeks passed and I had signed up to help in the preschool program but had not been called.   I had prayed to God, “God you know I love working with children, it’s my heart throb.  If you could, would you open an area with children for me? The next week my team leader said to me, “Can you talk to me after the lecture?”  “Surely, I said, wondering what she wanted to talk to me about.

She said, “Rena I have been praying for you since the beginning of the BSF year, and I feel that the Lord is calling you to children’s ministry here at BSF.  I would like you to think it over and pray it through and then give me a call with your answer.  I couldn’t hardly believe that God had answered my prayer so quickly.  I asked if I could have a good friend here at thedailylily pray with me.  We did and I accepted the call.  I am in training now and can hardly wait to start singing, telling stories of Jesus, and pouring the words into the children.  I know God will provide all that is needed for this CALL. And, yours!

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5 thoughts on “Who are you holding onto?

  1. Rena, Your journey to success has been marked with variegated steep stepping stones leading to a garden of love. As you touch each and every child God’s love is poured into them through your gift given by Him.

    Would be nice if the young adults that are searching for their careers and spiritual gifts could read and hear your story to help them chart their course. Pray for your story to enter their path and encourage them as the twist and curves of life try and take their toil while truth repairs the potty (foolish) holes.

    I would like to say a thank you and give a blessing to your “Team Leader’, that prayed and took a stand and branched out to lessen your steep with her prayers and green light. Gives confirmation as to why God called her to “Team Leader.”

  2. Your story, Rena, weaves a picture of God’s hand threaded throughout your life. May your new ministry at BSF blossom like the bursting forth of spring and may each child be blessed as you are blessed also.
    Hebrews 10:23 seems to confirm the reward that comes as you have held onto Jesus hand…”Let’s keep a firm grip on the promises that keep us going. He always keeps his word.” He surely is the One we must all hold onto as all else may just slip through our fingers.

  3. Rena, your story is a good example of the omniscience of our God. Jeremiah wrote about you [and me] in his book in the Holy Bible…”For I know the thoughts and plans I have for you, for your welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.” Oh! and the Lord tells Jeremiah this, which sounds like God had you covered on all sides, when He says, “And I will give you spiritual shepherds after My own heart, in that time, [ the time of our outcry] who will feed you with knowledge and understanding and judgment”…. [and give wise counsel and encouragement] like you have found in the webmaster of thedailylily.com and in other church leaders in The Body of Christ.
    And I pray that you will be successful as you work out God’s plan for your life in teaching and caring for little children [your ‘sweet spot’ to quote Bruce Wilkinson… you always loved that phrase]. Now it seems you have found it, at last. Oh, what joy unspeakable and full of glory to know exactly where God has been working in your life to place you…. in His good, acceptable and hopefully becoming “prefect” will for your life!!
    Now I pray for those of us who are still searching and seeking as Jeremiah prayed…”O Lord, correct, instruct and chastise us but with judgment and in just measure lest we be diminished in Your sight to come to nothing.”
    Jer. 10:34
    Thank you for your story of overcoming many odds and being where God wants you, in joyfulness!

  4. Rena, did you share your age precious ones with us that you are in training for? I love the part how God answered prayer through your team leader and it was beyond what you might have known to ask for.

  5. Rena,
    Your story is so encouraging. It is wonderful that you have been given this opportunity, to work with and inspire children, for the Lord. May God bless you, as you train, teach, sing, and love all those children. 🙂

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