Children’s Ministry Call
Hello to all! My name is Jessica Brooker, and I have a children’s ministry call on my life. I reside in the United States of America, specifically Texas!! The state is known for bluebonnets and where most people think everything is bigger. My family is also from Texas and has moved all over throughout my life.
I serve at a First United Methodist Church as the Children’s Ministry Assistant Director. I also am a cosmetologist. My service to the church and all the children is in response to my children’s ministry call. I have fun with all the kids and love to pour Jesus Christ into their lives. Currently, I run our Wednesday afterschool program. The Lord has blessed us with so many children this year. Anytime I can share the Word of God with others; it is a blessing!
Let me back up some and tell some things about myself and my walk with the Lord. As a child, I went to Lutheran Church with my mother and grandparents. My family moved a lot but always found a church and knew Jesus for the most part. My parents struggled when I was a child. I have four siblings, and my parents worked a lot. So that left me at home caring for four children. I learned how to care for others.
My childhood went by quickly. I soon began to see what my life was for, or so I thought. When I was born, I had about three years with my mom. My biological father was not around very much. When he was, he was abusive and treated my mom severely. When I was three years old, my mom had my little sister. She was still with my biological father. Then, one day, they divorced and went their separate ways.
That left me with my younger sister while my mom worked. We spent time with my grandmother, who took us to church almost every Sunday and poured Jesus into us. We went to Sunday school and kid’s church. I even went through confirmation.
Chaos and Struggle
Then as time went by, my mom ended up remarrying a man I did not like. My sister was still young, so she did not know any different. I now had to share my mom with this man. I went from having my mom to myself to sharing her with a sister. Then, I spent more and more time at my grandmother’s house while she kept my sister. Eventually, she remarried and took me back. The roller coaster of life was crazy.
My mom seemed happy, and life was okay until I was left at home to figure it all out. I was left home to care for four kids, and one was a baby. My mom and this new man worked and drank all the time. So, making sure the kids were taken care of was left up to me. One day, I decided to write my thoughts on everything. Over time, I realized, “If I can write my thoughts, then maybe I could write my prayers too!” So I did! All the teachings at church with my grandmother stuck with me. The Lord was part of my life since I was born. However, knowing I could have a relationship with Him came later in life.
My Teen Years
Years went by, and many trials, emotions, confusion, and misunderstandings came my way. Then, I hit high school. The summer before, we had once again moved to a new town. At this point, I was 15 years old and still taking care of my siblings. I was also trying to understand the different things happening with my body and in my personal life.
Once we settled in our home, I began to write again, and this time, my prayers became more detailed. I found myself asking, “Why?” to everything that had happened in my life. I knew the Lord knew my heart, so he had to know what I was writing, right? Joining the powerlifting team and the football team was a way to help me relieve some anger and frustration that I had. I succeeded in powerlifting and won many medals. Our football team made it to state, and all this took place during my senior year of high school.
So in all the chaos, my grades were not the best, but I always managed to write my prayers. Sports were my get away from everything at home. My relationship with my stepfather had changed and grown as I did. However, I still had many emotions I did not understand. Such as: “Why was I not good enough for my mom to invest time in me?” “What do I need to do for her love me and at least try to understand me?” “What made my sister so much better?”
Graduation and Children
All the while, I continued to care for all four siblings. So, the day finally came that I graduated high school. I left the next day for Wyoming with friends. There was even more chaos that I did not even know was there. I again found myself caring for others!
I ended coming back home. Then at 19, I had my son Zachary, who is 11 now. I had my second son Brentley when I was 21, who is nine now. I came full circle and ended up back where I started, caring for others instead of myself. The difference was that these were my children, my blessings. They were also the wind that blew the rest of the chaos away. God blessed me with two wonderful boys that I almost lost at birth! I know Jesus made them just the way they are.
Marriage and the Children’s Ministry Call on my Life
Now, my life has once again come full circle! But, now, my husband of six years and I are following the word of the Lord. When I had my children and got married, I decided that my children should never miss out on having a childhood. They should be able to experience Jesus’ love and his Word as much and as deeply as they want. The option to know Jesus should always be there for them.
So, I decided to dive into the children’s ministry, and when I did, I met one of my best friends, Sara. She was the children’s ministry director at my grandmother’s church. She taught me about sharing the Lord with children. My heart opened to things I never knew. On August 29,2019, she was struck by a truck and passed away. Through all the pain and misunderstanding, I realized that it was not for me to know why. I needed to accept that it was her time, and Jesus needed another angel.
Christian Leaders Institute Training for my Children’s Ministry Call
I have made peace with her passing and have taken on some of what she did at the church. As I was going through her office, I found a book she wrote in. It said never to give up or walk away from the Lord and what he is calling you to do, even when it is hard to do! I began searching for classes on Christian leadership and found the Christian Leaders Institute. I immediately signed up and knew this was the best way to understand ministry better. Then I can better pour into all the little ones in the world. Just as Jesus, my grandmother, mother, and friend poured into my life.
Once I complete all the free classes, I would like to sign up for the Christian Leaders College. Then, I can receive my associate or bachelor’s degree in children or youth ministry. It makes me happy to see that the school is affordable. It is vital for families such as mine that pay for everything we do out of pocket. My husband is a disabled veteran who works to keep a roof over our heads as I go to school for cosmetology and to be a Christian leader.
The Lord has opened many doors for my family and me. He opened so many doors for me to care for others. God gave me a huge heart to love and receive love. He walks with me every step of the way and will never give up, so neither will I! Jesus Cares!