“My fiancé and I actually met through kids’ church,” Rachel says. “We plan to continue on and be just as involved after we’re married. It’s exciting for me to think about marrying a guy with the same passions.
“He has a house in town, and at one point I wouldn’t have liked that. I grew up on a farm in Kentucky, and now my family runs two greenhouses. So I’m pretty much a country girl. But after being involved in RISE, I’m excited about the opportunity for ministry right there in town. I’ll be living close to a bunch of kids from kids’ church.
How she got involved: “I started as soon as they opened it up to more staff, about two and a half years ago. I had dreamed of doing something with kids’ ministry for a long time. I started the same time a bunch of other staff started joining, and there was an explosion of kids.”
A special journey: “Besides the kids, we also build relationships with the kids’ parents. We’ve helped them move, helped them pay bills, babysat for them.
“There was one woman I worked with as a certified nurse aide at one time. Her son started coming to kids’ church, and our relationship grew. At one point, she lost the car she’d been making payments on, her mobile home flooded, and her son was in the hospital. Kids’ church got involved–paid some bills and helped her move. I also got to know her mom, who was sick with cancer, and she loved when I would visit and pray with her.
“But I’ve learned through kids’ clubs that stories don’t always have fuzzy, feel-good endings. You can invest and invest and give and give, and you don’t always get anything in return. The times she’s asked me to loan her money, she hasn’t always paid me back. Her son isn’t interested in kids’ church anymore, and I won’t hear from her for weeks, then suddenly she’ll call and want me to take him somewhere. I know she’s doing things in her life that are hurting herself.
“I’m learning we have to do what we can and trust God for results.
“I grew up Amish and wasn’t exposed to a lot of this. After starting with RISE, I saw a whole new level of pain and hurt. People abandoning and taking advantage. Kids’ stories that are so hard to hear because so much of their pain is other people’s choices.
“We do what we can and pray and pray and pray, and God has to do the rest.”
An answer to prayer: “There is one boy who comes to kids’ church who at one point tried to commit suicide. He was talking to one of the staff one day and told her he really wants to hear from God. She told him about some of the ways she’s heard from God and told him, ‘You talk to God, and He’ll talk to you.’
“So he did, and the next week he came back and told her there was nothing.
“And she was thinking, Oh, no, God, why did you have to let him down? Then she asked him, ‘When you were talking to God, did you see any pictures?’
“And he told her he’d seen himself standing with a rope around his neck, ready to commit suicide, and Jesus was standing behind him with His hands on his shoulders.
“‘That was God talking to you,’ she said, ‘telling you He was with you when you tried to commit suicide.’
“He had thought he was hallucinating, and he was so happy to hear it was God talking to him!
“God is definitely working. There are new stories every week. It is a very exciting thing to be involved in. It takes a lot of energy, but it’s very encouraging. Before I started, I wondered, can I actually sacrifice? There were no questions once I started. This is what I was made to do.”
Moving Day with RISE kids
This article was written for Daughters of Promise magazine. To find out more, you can visit the RISE Kid’s Church facebook page.