Children’s Ministry Coordinator, Hillside Lutheran Brethren Church
When I first came to Tuscarora, it was for winter weekend with the Hillside Lutheran Brethren youth group in the winter of my senior year of High School. I was teenager, struggling with the difficulties that come with that time in your life. What I thought would be a cool weekend away hanging out with my friends was the beginning of a journey discovering who I am as a child of God and what He had planned for me to do. The plans He already had in motion for my life in ministry not only at Tuscarora, but in my home church.
That weekend spent at Tuscarora taught me a life-changing truth. The truth that we are all sinners, and that a very perfect man was sent down, to live a very perfect life, and die the ultimate death, for those very imperfect ones. A passion was started in me where I wanted to tell other people the same thing, but not just any people, a small, silly, rambunctious type of people.
I started volunteering as a youth leader at Hillside Church and those who believed in the ministry of Tuscarora encouraged me to be a Junior Week counselor. There are many things in this life that I am unsure of but something I am certain of is the love of God that is felt in the auditorium at Junior Week. Standing in the Senum Thompson Center listening to children sing, “I am a child of God,” is enough to take your breath away.
I spent five summers with Junior Week before I realized that Children’s Ministry will be a permanent part of my life.
Hindsight is a beautiful thing. The beauty of getting older is being able to see our past experiences and the effect it has made in our present lives. I never could have imagined the chain reaction that would occur after that first winter weekend experience.
I was ministered to by 5 youth leaders at Hillside Youth Group. Out of those 5 youth leaders, 4 of them attended events at Tuscarora throughout their youth and upbringing. Out of those 4, 3 were also ministered by a counselor at Junior week. Continuing on, 2 of those individuals were also ministered to by a counselor. I was able to trace back 4 generations of individuals who dedicated and devoted their time to children that became adults, that poured into my life.
Because of the counseling and ministry I received at Tuscarora, my life was touched. Now, I am the Children’s Ministry Coordinator at Hillside Lutheran Brethren Church. I get the ability to minister to kids, and hopefully bring those kids to Tuscarora as well. I pray that one day those same children will choose to spread the gospel message in the future. Tuscarora is more that just a retreat, it is a place of rest, a place to be met right where you are, and a place where the work for the Kingdom is done.