This simple statement melted my heart. A few years ago, we were at a prayer service and one of our friends asked me, “what do you want” and without hesitation I said, “I just want to be a mom to my girls”. At the time it was just Gloria and Bryce with us and we were busy. Too busy. Every night seemed to fill up and I was feeling weary. We were extremely blessed to be surrounded by friends and family who were more than willing to spend time with our sweet girls, but I was beginning to feel family time falling further down the priority list. When Kenzi came roaring into our lives, I knew things HAD to change. And while we’re no longer on the frontlines of full time-local church-youth ministry, we are still busy, but in a great way. Some days are filled with laundry, dishes and other menial tasks, but I have to remember that I’m teaching the girls essential life skills. There are other days where we laugh, draw, sing and dance. I cherish the freedom we have in our lives now, not just freedom with our time, but freedom to follow Jesus as He leads. As much as we love children’s programs like AWANA and Sunday morning kid’s church, we also love bringing our girls into worship to sing and dance with us. We love teaching our girls to read and count, but we also love teaching them how to love people like Jesus. This is evidenced as we go and serve the homeless each month. Gloria & Bryce love passing out forks, napkins, desserts, and offering their prayers. I never thought God would call me to motherhood, but He did and I can’t imagine doing anything else. Take a minute today and ask earnestly, what is God calling YOU to do? Let us know if we can pray for you, and keep us posted on what God is doing in your lives.
Justin and Karena are missionaries with NMSI's youthHOPE program. As Director of Outreach for youthHOPE, Justin is committed to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Ft. Myers, Florida, and globally with YouthHOPE's projects and partners. The US has 90% of the world's trained youth workers and youth ministry resources, but only 4% of the worlds youth. This ratio must change and the Hannekens want to be part of that change.Read more
It has been 1 year since my first day of serving in the office at YouthHOPE. Since July 15th, 2011, God has been working on my faith, theology, missiology and more. As I reflect on how faithful He has been, I’d love to share with you some of what He has been sharing with me. [...]
There’s something about gliding at 30,000 feet that makes me want to write a blog. Our family just finished a 6 day stint in Maryland and it was chock full of adventure. We saw 11 different groups of people in a short time. These included a reunion with our friend Bryce Avary of The Rocket [...]
Each Tuesday we meet on NMSI’s campus from 7-9pm to worship God and study His Word. After several months of studying spiritual gifts, we moved in to a new season where each person in the group can suggest a theme for the following week’s study. My bro, Adam Hunt, suggested we study the distinction between [...]
This simple statement melted my heart. A few years ago, we were at a prayer service and one of our friends asked me, “what do you want” and without hesitation I said, “I just want to be a mom to my girls”. At the time it was just Gloria and Bryce with us and we [...]