Some months ago, we invited Herald readers to tell us about people who are making an impact for Christ in our denomination – people who “shine like stars in the universe,” as Paul put it in Philippians 2:15–16, “as they hold out the word of life.” Faithfully, energetically, sometimes quietly, they make an impact in the kingdom.
Here are the “stars” that were nominated. Together, we praise our Father in heaven for placing these awesome servants in our midst. —eds.
Katie Speiser (left) who turned 98 in April, was honoured by our church last January as our 2007 servant of the year. She is one of those servants of Christ whose favourite line seems to be, “I have so much to be thankful for.” She has a heart for others and is glad to be in church every Sunday. She has served the church in various capacities throughout her life, but currently serves in the library. She intends to continue as long as she is able. In our eyes, she’s a star!
—Waldheim MB Church
Peter, Mary, Bill, and Jane, members of our churches, are the stars who shine in our denomination. They are seldom, if ever, openly recognized but they are the foundation of our denomination as they pray fervently for our leaders and tithe to the point of sacrificing in order to support the dreams of our public leaders. They do not seek acclaim, but without their commitment to pray and give, our other “stars” would not be shining.
Rhonda Willms is a youth leader at Yarrow (B.C.) MB Church. She shines for Jesus by modelling his attributes. She is approachable and wise, loves unconditionally, and thinks practically. She has a servant attitude, penetrating the hearts of those around her by making them feel special and cherished. Rhonda is a woman of integrity who stands for what is right, no matter what the cost. She has blessed me as a friend and mentor.
The person who stood out in our church, Greendale MB, Chilliwack, B.C., as someone who shines the light of Christ in her life is Gina Balzer (right), our music and worship coordinator. Compassion, caring, and the beauty of Christ can be seen so clearly in her life. Gina, we all love you very much!
Erika Klassen (left), Westview Christian Fellowship, St. Catharines, Ont., shines like a star as she reaches out with God’s unconditional love to women in our community. “Women for Women” (W4W), a weekly ministry to neighbourhood women, sex-trade workers, and others in need of friendship, was launched in November 2007. Volunteers from the church provide coffee, lunch, clothing alterations, and haircuts. Erika greets each woman with an open heart, and a big smile or a hug. At night, she accompanies a Christian ex-prostitute/junkie on the streets surrounding our downtown church, handing out hygiene packs. She represented W4W at a candlelight vigil for female victims of violence. At Christmas and Valentine’s Day, she hosted a dinner and spa night.
One of the shining stars at Gateway Christian Fellowship, St. Catharines, Ont., is Janna Willms (right). She and her husband Tim, and their family of five daughters, are one of the first at church every Sunday, setting up equipment and supplies for our children’s program. Janna also leads the children in worship. She spends countless hours creating props, photocopying, and organizing programs. She did an amazing job at our Vacation Bible School, leading 125 children in foot-stomping, hand-clapping, joyous singing. Thank you Janna, for preparing our children to go out and shine like stars.
—the staff at Gateway Christian Fellowship