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Stories at Lake

Let a story of faith, healing, hope and courage inspires each and everyone of us to understand God's mercy and His purpose for us.

 

Adrienne Duran and Ellen Kislingbury met at Lake’s Bible Study Fellowship and have been serving together in Lake’s Early Childhood Ministry for years. Their stories speak to God’s faithfulness when he calls his people to a life of service.

Adrienne’s walk with Christ spans decades and continues to grow. In her journey of committing her life to Christ and digging into God’s Word, she’s found serving to be such a crucial part of her Christian walk. Adrienne, who works with two to three-year-olds, began serving six years ago, says, “I first decided to become a volunteer because I loved working with children and enjoyed sharing the stories from the Bible with them. I loved retelling about the stories at a young child’s level and helping time understand what it is that God is trying to say.” Adrienne then invited Ellen, whom she worked with in the church’s Bible Study Fellowship, to serve as well.

Ellen, who has been volunteering in the same ministry for three years now, is grateful to Adrienne for “planting a seed.” Ellen explains that she first decided to volunteer out of a need—although it was not necessarily the ministry’s need. Rather, she says, “I felt it was I who needed to serve God and His people.”

Over these years, God has certainly used them both as blessings to the children at Lake Avenue, and they themselves have found it fulfilling in various ways as well. Adrienne shares, “[The children’s] tenderheartedness and openness to the Word have been beautiful, and I have enjoyed not only teaching, but also playtime, singing songs, crafts and even teaching them how to sit at a table!” She goes on to say, “The best part of my experience has been the interaction with the kids. Their joy, enthusiasm, willingness to be shaped and taught, the lack of preconceived ideas, and their constant growth have touched me deeply and shown me what a huge responsibility it is that I have.”

Ellen says that serving has also blessed her with a whole new level of community. She says that, “One of the best parts about it has been getting to know not just the children, but their families as well. I have felt a stronger connection to Lake Avenue Church as a result, something that is hard to achieve in a large church community.”

In all this, both Adrienne and Ellen acknowledge that serving is not necessarily easy, but also that it is precisely through our shortcomings that God shows up and stretches us. Adrienne says, “I have learned that the only way to grow in our Christian walk is by serving, and it is when I have served that I have grown the most. I have learned humility, flexibility, dependence and reliance on God. So many times, the issues that have come up have been unpredictable, and that has shown me how much more I need the Lord’s help.” She also reminds that, “We have a duty to pass His word on to the next generation, and everyone has a job to do in some form or the other.”

Ellen shares these sentiments, and, just as Adrienne invited her, she invites others into this life of service also: “I will always encourage others to volunteer somewhere, in some capacity or other, at LAC even if they don’t feel adequate. I confess I felt this way myself at one time, but I know that when God calls, He also equips!”

She goes on to say, “Working with children can be challenging and humbling, but it is also a lot of fun, rewarding and a fantastic opportunity to be a part of our church family. I will always advise people who ask [about volunteering] to take that leap of faith. It is worth it, and important to serve our church, our children, and their families. Children so need to learn about and know of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. I am truly humbled and grateful to be a help to families in the spiritual growth of their children!”

*Volunteers depicted are representational only.

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