This week I head down south for some southern hospitality. While I haven’t met TJ – or his wife Kathy – personally, he is a good friend on FaceBook and I enjoy sharing his life in that way. His status updates not only share about his love for his family, but also how God is using him in the Awana ministry. The communications that I have had with TJ, and how one of his ministry team members talks about him, tell me that he wants to reach children in whatever way God leads.
As I always do, I asked TJ some questions and below are his responses. My prayer is that this will help you get to know him, his family and ministry a little bit better:
How long have you been an Awana Missionary? 11 years
What area do you serve?
Delta / Bayou Region – Mississippi & Western Tennessee
# of churches under your care:
Started with 97 now serve 298
Fun Facts: Favorite food, favorite sport, something interesting people don’t know about you, etc…(whatever info you want to share):
- Without a doubt Fad food is Pizza!
- NFL Football Particularly (Cleveland Browns! Win or Lose!)
- Well any one that knows me knows that I love to Cook and Bake for stress relief!
- What people do not know is that I am generally a very shy person that nearly failed Speech Class in High School and now the Lord has me speaking to hundreds and hundreds of people annually. Amazing what you can do in the power of His Might.
Why are you an Awana Missionary?
I began working in Awana when I became a Christian on July 30, 1991 nearly 20 years ago and It forever changed my life. I learned more from the children feeding me the Word of God every week than I ever have on my own. I believe God called me to serve as an Awana Missionary in 1998 when Awana Rick Stomps was a keynote speaker at an Awana Conference in Tennessee and I am blessed that the Lord allows me to serve in a ministry that grounds Children along with their parents and Awana Leaders in the Word of God the way Awana does.
Share something God is doing in your ministry:
Currently we are planning our 2nd Commander College 101 and possibly 201. We are continuously seeking new Ministry Team Members to help serve the 298 churches in our territory. Many clubbers have come to know Jesus as their personal savior from the emails and letters we receive each month for which we are very grateful.
What advice would you give to a local Awana Commander or Leader?
Always keep in touch with your Awana Missionary or ministry team members in your area. Promote promote promote Awana Ministry Conference every year and challenge your leadership to attend and teach workshops at conference too. Attend CC 101, 201 & 301. Attend Bible Quiz and AwanaGame competitions so you can learn how to compete in these Events.
How can we specifically pray for you over the next month?
We are actively seeking Ministry Team Members to help us meet the needs of the churches in our territory. We also need new Ministry partners to support our ministry prayerfully and financially. We are currently praying that the Lord will provide a Missionary to solely meet the needs of Western Tennessee. Our family dynamics are quite different these days now that our little boy Jonas is 4 1/2 months old. Kathy’s father is possibly moving into a Veterans Home around his 92nd birthday because of his health needs.
Ministry website(s): www.awana4u2.org/sipes
Awana missionaries are 100% faith supported. They receive no commission on products sold, they rely solely on gifts and support from individuals and churches. To learn more about TJ and his ministry and to see how you can support him, click here…
To learn more about Awana Missionaries and their roles, click here…