Exciting Ministry Training Journey
My name is Jeanine Jessup, born and raised in Northern Virginia in the USA. I am just starting my exciting ministry training journey with CLI.
Early Years and Wanting to Know More
I am the middle of three children, was very shy in school and had an overall good childhood. We grew up in the Catholic church. I attended five years of Catholic school then switched to a public-school education. I continued attending church with my family, was involved in the Catholic Sunday school education program and youth organization.
After high school, I wanted to learn more about other denominations because I had never really been to or experienced other churches. I wanted to go to a church service and physically read and learn from the Bible. I felt it would mean a lot more. In the Catholic church service, we always read from the printed missalettes.
Saved by Grace
In my mid-20s, I attended a non-denominational Bible church. Shortly after my first visit, there was a knock at my door. I felt it was awkward for someone from the church to come to my home. I was busy that evening and scheduled them to come back. When we met, I learned about John 3:16 and God’s gift of eternal life. I accepted Jesus as my Savior. I had a connection before but understood it now.
The timing was also significant because my husband’s family had recently suffered the loss of a family member through murder. We were hurting from and trying to understand why this had happened. I recall hearing the pastor at the funeral, stating, “if anyone finds God through this, his death will not have been in vain.” That was very powerful for me.
I began participating in adult Sunday school and other lay counseling training classes. In my late 20s, the first of three children were born. So my priorities shifted for a while. When my son was about four years old, he started AWANA while I took a class. During the next few years and as my second and third child came, I helped as an AWANA helper, leader, and secretary in a Baptist church close to home.
Struggles and Growth
My husband and I went through a tough time, counseling, and ultimately divorced because of sexual addiction. When my youngest was about four, my children and I moved closer to my parents. We began attending another Baptist church closer to our new home. I remarried a little while later, and my husband and I got more involved with the church. We noticed they did not have an AWANA program for children and discussed taking our shared experience and getting one up and running. He had experience as a commander and me as leader and administrative. After the first two years, we decided to step back, let others take charge and see where God was leading us. It has been running successfully for the last four years.
I had some very dark days during this time and after. I struggled with depression and unresolved issues from my previous divorce. When I got to my breaking point, I went to intense counseling, a 12-step program that I have been working for a couple of years.
New Direction and the Exciting Ministry Training Journey at CLI
I am so thankful for what I went through and where I am today. I have been able to apply it to many areas of my life. One of which was weight loss (55 lbs) for my health approaching it one day at a time. It helped prepare me for unexpected situations.
In February of 2019, we found out my 19-year-old son, now 20, has Neuroendocrine (NET) cancer. If I had not learned about developing my relationship with God, my Higher Power, I wouldn’t have been able to turn that over to Him. I know I wouldn’t be prepared or able to walk through this very well with my son one day at a time. It has given me hope, a new life, and direction.
Through the years and as I have grown, joined small group studies, etc., I have looked up to strong Christian women. I felt the desire to be someone like that for years but have not quite known how to get there. I felt a strong urge to ask a woman I respect and know embodies this if she would mentor me. Also at that time, I looked online to see about free or low-cost quality classes that would help me develop some of these qualities in myself. That is when I found the Christian Leaders Institute and began my exciting ministry training journey.
Seeing Where God Leads Me on My Exciting Ministry Training Journey
I had to stop work to take care of my health, my son with cancer, and my daughter with severe depression and anxiety. Besides my healthy desire to grow closer to God, I felt He was speaking to me for a few months to move in this direction. I knew I needed to take a step forward and not come up with my destination. Instead, I am listening to Him and allowing Him to guide me as I go through this journey and see where He leads me. When I started my first course at CLI, I knew who I wanted to ask to mentor me. I spoke with her, and she agreed. We are meeting this week and beginning a new journey together. I am eager to see where God leads me in all of this!
Learn about ordination at Christian Leaders Alliance.