My Kid's Hope USA story

My part time job is as a director for the Kid's Hope USA program at my church. If you look on the surface, at the diplomas I just hung up in my office last week for example, it seems like a crazy fit for me. As I've been looking at the pieces of my life over these past few months, however, it has been truly amazing to me that God has given me this job. It is a perfect fit for how He has created me and the life that I currently have. I know there is more that He wants me to do--He recently told me--but it all works together. So today I would like to share how He got me here.

Four years ago I quit my job as an interior designer at OU, where I had worked for 10 years. It was my first design job after graduation, and it was time to stop. I knew at that point that God was leading me toward missions ministry of some sort, and probably local, but didn't know anything beyond that. I had already planned to go to SNU for a Masters in Theology before I planned to quit, and in hindsight, I am SO thankful I did not have to work on that degree while working full-time and caring for my family. I think I stopped working in June. I got a check for my accumulated leave that paid for my first semester of class that fall. The first week after I quit, I received a call from one of our ministers, Ms. Vickie, asking me to work for her for the month while her assistant recovered from surgery. This was another amazing blessing, one that I took as a confirmation that I was doing the right thing.

At that time, Ms. Vickie was wearing three hats at work. She was the minister to senior adults. She also was in charge of our missions ministries, both at home and internationally, which had developed out of the senior adults' passion to help others. Because she knew of my calling to local missions, she took the time to show me the basics of my church's community ministry. I got to give out several bicycles to people who needed transportation. She showed me where we receive shipments for our food pantry and the house that we built with Habitat for Humanity. We took deliveries to Health for Friends and Salvation Army. It was an amazing month.

Soon afterward (or maybe during), our new pastor began talking to Vickie about her job and the struggle she faced to do the every increasing workload. They began discussing ways to hire a missions minister. I thought about this. Was this what God wanted me to do? But the more I thought about it, it just did not seem to be a good fit for me, especially at that time. I can't even remember the specifics of what was going through my head at that point. Thinking through this possibility did prepare me for the next opportunity however.

In about January, Vickie showed up outside the door of the Mission Friends class I was leading. I learned that she and the pastor had begun talking with Buckner International about the potential for a community minister partnership with them. They suggested that we start the Kid's Hope USA program, and Vickie asked me if I would like to be the director. After researching them (both Buckner and Kid's Hope USA) on their website, I said yes. It was a perfect fit for me and would be part time, which was important to me as I continued through school and rested from my previous job. And it became even more important as I discovered that I was going to have a baby. Seemed like crazy timing to me but again, it has been perfect.

This year we are starting our 4th school year at Lincoln. The teachers there have seen my daughter grow from a newborn to this 3 year old running around like she owns the place. The school we work in is also my son's school, so I am there everyday. I am able to connect with the kids I work for and the their teachers. I get to help make the lives of these children a bit better, through the mentors that help them each week.

So how does helping at-risk children fit in? I have been looking at my life from three areas-spiritual gifts, experiences, and values. My strongest spiritual gift is mercy. God has gifted me to help people. My values of intentionality, celebrating life, and working to make this world a better place all align with this job. Even stronger than that though is that core passion, that area of discontent that will light someone on fire (or break their heart) like nothing else. For me, it is children at-risk. And my experiences? For my first Masters, I studied education as one component of my thesis. I designed classrooms. I love to read and help children (especially my own) learn. And the underlying current tying all of this together, that thread that I have only recently begun to understand, is the spirit of hospitality that is a part of all I do and am. Not the surface hospitality that means I invite people over to my house all the time (although I seem to have a lot of kids over lately), but the deeper kind of hospitality. Welcoming strangers into our midst and working for justice for the widows, orphans, and aliens--for the at-risk children. The deeper Biblical kind of hospitality that I seem to refer to again and again in my long wordy posts. I am so thankful for this opportunity to work in my community to help children get the education that they need and to have some additional support in their lives. I am also thankful for that this job allows me to better balance the roles and the life that God has given me.


  1. Angela, awesome words of sincere passion. So glad we have you here!! I am blessed to work alongside what God is doing in your life.

  2. Glad things are coming into focus for you! Sounds like you've had a Chazown break through. Is this what you were eluding to a few weeks ago, or do you have more to tell me?


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