I remember him well…
Sitting on the curb at the Kingsport FunFest eating a funnel cake I had no idea that God would impact my life so profoundly. I remember looking over and seeing the cutest little boy. He too was sitting on the curb, curly red hair, face covered with freckles. He must have been no more than 5 years old. I watched as he spoke to his father and my heart was moved. As he motioned with his hands he spoke a language unknown to most of us. He was deaf and I just couldn’t pull my eyes from him. In that moment God confirmed my desire to serve others.
I was 18, preparing for college and a career. I was planning to study education, but that day, inspired by the little boy sitting by me I decided to focus my studies on Special Education. I spent 4 years earning a double major in Elementary and Special Education and then went on to earn a Masters Degree in Counseling. Years later I earned another Masters Degree in Christian Theology.
As a missionary, I am often asked if my degrees were a waste of money and time. But I am certain that God uses every event in our lives for his purpose. Special Education taught me goal setting and that everyone learns differently. It also helped me understand that everyone is unique and has something to teach me. Elementary Education gave me the needed training for endless hours of teaching individuals of all ages. Learning to really listen and encourage others came through my experience in Counseling. A good biblical foundation came while studying Christian Theology. And some things that I learned from all of my years in schooling are: how to study, commitment, diligence, perseverance, hard work, time management, submission, task completion, dependability, independence and team work.
So now I have returned to school to work on yet another degree in Theology. And although I have spent years studying, I continue to learn new things. Things which I know God will use in my future. So when someone asks me if my degrees were a waste of time and money I just smile and thinking back to that little red headed freckle faced boy and assure them that God gently orchestrates the events of our lives and uses them for His Glory.