Submitted by: Diane Schulte, Prospect Park UMC.
I grew up in as very traditional church with great parents who were wonderful examples of Gods love, care and morals. It was never a thought in my mind to go into ministry but after I was married a few years I constantly had the feeling I wanted to do more for Jesus. I became a presenter for Engaged Encounter, a weekend experience to help couples spiritually prepare for marriage. After being involved in this for several years a time of testing my faith brought this to an abrupt halt. This was Satan interfering I was devastated and it took many years to recover and in this recovery process I left my traditional church, I felt shunned and set out to look for people who were Godly, who believed in unconditional love. After about 4 years of searching I found myself in a new warm loving accepting church where I could heal, learn and grow in Christ. I found a Christian friend who love me, prayed with me, listened to me and study with me. I started to feel called again to do more, uncertain again where and what extent. I found I had a passion for studying the Bible and began to lead Bible study groups. I then signed up to attend a Walk To Emmaus Weekend. During this weekend I felt a strong call to follow wherever God was leading me, I just knew it was a deeper commitment and that was enough. I became very involved in the Walk to Emmaus movement, helping to set up and soon helping to present the weekends. God used me in mighty ways to witness to the new attendees. Soon after I signed up to study to become a Stephen Minister and soon after a Lay Speaker. There seemed to be a path God was leading me to but I never asked too much what the next steps were I just followed the ones God seemed to put in front of me. There were many personal issues along the way that led to my growth. And serving on the Emmaus weekends and being a Stephens Minister were the ways I felt fulfilled in following God’s call. After some more trying times and after moving to a new town. I started going to a church of an acquaintance from Walk To Emmaus Weekend, this person was the pastor. I shared with her how I felt God was leading me. She soon became my mentor and gave me many opportunities to serve in the church and preach and lead Bible Studies. I began to pursue Certified Lay Minister. I already took classes and to become a Certified Lay Servant. With the support of this pastor and mentor and this wonderful church I am now a certified Lay Minister again just following where God is leading. Waiting anxiously to see where else God will lead.