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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