The other day in the office, I overheard Mandi talking to a volunteer about a recent video we showed in service. It was our Crazy Generations video, and during the video there were clips of Chris and Mandi where they shared basically their heart for ministry. It's a powerful video, that highlights the importance of youth & kids ministry and how relevant it is that we have an impact on the youth of the next generation. Mandi was sharing how she's so thankful that just as she is able to invest in youth, she was also invested in when she was younger. As I heard her talking about it, it just really resonated with my heart. Truthfully, if it were not for my youth pastors and spiritual mentors that God put in my life, I really don't know for sure what my life would be like today. It's eye opening to think that every week Chris and I have the chance to impact youth's lives for eternity. Some people may disagree about the importance of youth ministry, but the truth for me is I am a product of youth ministry and so is my husband Chris. When I think about it, it makes youth ministry that much more real to me.
I just wanted to take a minute and say thank you to all those people that have taken the time, made the sacrifices they've made, and invested in me because they saw my worth. Thank you so much. It's not a gratitude that words could ever really express. I want to say a special thanks to Pastor Tim and Kristina Martin, and Pastor Paul and Debbie Hinzman. They were my youth pastors. They were a part of my life when I needed someone most. They loved me unconditionally, accepted me for who I was, and saw something special in me that at that time I didn't even see. Because of all they did, they helped lead me down a path that has lead me to where I am today: serving in ministry and serving my family. I'm so glad God put them in my life. It's something I'll forever be thankful for. To them, and to anyone else who ever took the time to invest in me, thanks.