Genesis two zooms in on some important details concerning people’s roles in the creation story. This message was presented by David Riemenschneider on October 22-23, 2016 at the Bloomingdale Church.
School secretary Therese Ziecina helped propose a volunteer-leadership development program at her school. At the introductory event her son Raymond made a surprise speech.
“I’m a graduate of Marquardt Middle School,” my son, Raymond, confidently shared with 40 seventh graders at the event in October.
“I have an IEP, I have learning struggles, just like many of you. At the beginning of 7th grade I was classified as a non-reader. I could only read two- and three-letter words. There was a teacher, Mrs. McDonald, who took an interest in me and wanted to help me learn to read. I didn’t think it would work, but I gave it a try. By the time I graduated from 8th grade I was reading at an almost 6th grade level. During that same time another teacher, Mr. Gentry, asked me to help out with the sound and lighting at a school play. About the same time, Daniel, a pastor from my church (who is sitting over there), asked me to volunteer on the video team at my church. I didn’t think I’d like it, but I gave it a try. Volunteering on that video team led me to my chosen career. Now, in my last year of college at Indiana Wesleyan University, I am thankful for these mentors. I encourage you to say yes to every opportunity to volunteer, even if you think you are not going to like it. You never know where those opportunities will lead you.”
My son Raymond gave this speech spontaneously after several school administrators shared their planned remarks. He surprised everyone and asked if he could share too. I was shocked and humbled at his honesty. I fought back joyful tears.
I saw in that moment how God has used volunteer opportunities, caring adults, and educational struggles to enable him to help others. God always had a plan for my son. I am so proud that he was able to turn his struggles into a way to bless others.
This is why the Marquardt Middle School Serving Society exists. We wanted to give students, who may not normally have the opportunity, to volunteer. Our hope was that students would benefit from leadership and citizenship skills cultivated in them. For the past year, the Student Serving Society has partnered with the youth programming staff at Bloomingdale Church. We have seen huge strides in social growth in many of these students.
55 years ago, Helen started volunteering with children’s programming. She has not stopped serving since!
“I cannot imagine not working with children, teaching them to know Jesus’s love. They have an eagerness to learn and accept the truths they are taught.”
Children’s ministry has it’s own struggles, like times and culture changing throughout the years, according to Helen. Serving while working full-time was a challenge as well. But Helen has learned to adapt and ask God for help.
“There’s nothing more exciting than spending time with children. I’m currently involved in Sunday School, Crossroads at DuJardin Elementary School, and Awana. If you want a blessing, I encourage you to consider becoming involved in serving the Lord in some way: Listen to Bible verses at Awana; Spend time with some amazing boys and girls at DuJardin on Tuesday afternoons. God will bless you immeasurably!”
Helen’s favorite memory from serving in KidsQuest has been watching kids grow from making gingerbread houses together in Sunday School to becoming current leaders in the church, like current Bloomingdale Church staff members Chris and Brent Steinke. “I get tears in my eyes as I watch these boys and girls grow up, especially to be baptized and serve the Lord.”
At Bloomingdale Church, KidsQuest programs are designed to be fun, safe, and a welcoming place for families. But what makes these programs run? Volunteers – adults and teens who give their time to serving kids and families. Thank you, Helen, and 200+ other volunteers!