Called to Teach the Children
My name is Donna Dillinger, and God calls me to “teach the children.” I live in the USA. I knew the Lord in my childhood and felt His presence and protection until I experienced trauma at twelve years old. Then, I was so angry with Him that I walked away from Him. I spent the next 15 years lost.
After ten miscarriages and no hope from my doctors, I broke down and wailed to God. I repented for my lost years, pleaded for a baby, and asked for His help. I promised to teach my child about Him if He blessed me with one. Within weeks, my husband had a new job and new health insurance. I had a new doctor who knew exactly the issue and how to overcome it. My daughter was born that very year, and I remembered my promise.
God’s Call to Teach the Children
I read the Bible to equip myself better to teach her. It took me three years to read the entire Bible. By the time I finished, I was pregnant with my third daughter. God performed many miracles in our lives during that time. I continued to study, went to church bi-weekly with my family, and read to them about God daily. I asked God how I could serve Him, and I repeatedly heard, “Teach the children.” Since I was already teaching my children, I began to volunteer at church at the children’s Sunday school.
After my fourth child (a son) was born, my first child was due to start school. We homeschooled her for preschool and kindergarten and were to register her for first grade. That morning, I awoke with a terrible sense of dread. I had a dream I couldn’t remember, though the ominous feeling of it stayed with me. I felt sick and shaky and couldn’t make myself get in the car to take her. My husband thought I had separation anxiety and suggested we homeschool her for another year, and the feeling of dread dissipated.
Several months later, the school we were going to take her to was on the news, and that feeling of dread returned. As I watched the horror of the school shooting, I recalled that in my dream, my daughter was a victim. I was so grateful to God for saving her.
On the Move
We gave up our home and earthly possessions and prayed that God would lead us in a new path to a different kind of life. Traveling across the states, we camped, stayed in several temporary homes, and lived a frugal life. We ended up in Ohio for several years, where I began volunteering in Sunday school again. Children in our neighborhood who did not attend church showed up on our doorstep, and I read them Bible stories.
Getting Formal Training for Children’s Ministry at CLI
After the birth of our fifth child, we continued our journey across the states. We drove to Washington to catch a ferry to Alaska. During this blessed journey, there was not one mishap. Once we arrived, everything fell into place perfectly. We found a furnished home to rent in our first 24 hours here.
Next, I applied for a position to teach Sunday school, and the interview went well except for one exception. I did not have formal training, and my many years of experience in childcare and teaching the Bible could not make up for that. So here I am at the Christian Leaders Institute beginning ministry training to better equip myself to “teach the children.”