Sarah Nelson, Minister of Childhood Education

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I would have never thought that I would be writing a staff page for a church!  It is amazing how God can use anyone who is willing to follow him.  I have known for many years that I am called to work with children. I figured my gifts would be used in the classroom that I teach in and that Joel would be the one in ministry.  Most churches do not need two positions and while I had thought about going into children’s ministry, I knew it would probably never happen since I wanted to go to church wherever Joel worked.  God had other plans and I just had to follow them.  When we moved to Waco in January of 2004 with no jobs, no money, no family, and no friends, I was not sure Joel was right about being called to seminary here.  Within a couple of months, I was subbing and we knew 2 people (it was a start at least).  One day while subbing, I was talking with a teacher and she asked if Joel and I had found a church yet.  I replied “No, we are looking for one that Joel can get involved in the praise band to play.”  She replied “He wouldn’t happen to play bass, would he?”  It so happened that he did and Crossroads needed a bass player.  I told her we would check it out and the next Sunday we visited.  We have not visited another church since as we knew this was home.  It was amazing to walk into a room and feel so instantly loved even though only one person in the room knew us.  I was then able to start helping in the kid’s ministry and have been able to become the children’s minister.  I love sharing God’s amazing love with each child that comes to Crossroads.  Even more inspiring is watching those kids then live out God’s love to others as we do mission projects, go to camp, invite friends to church, etc.  I have the amazing privilege of loving on and helping grow the best kids I have ever met.

In 4th grade I went to Vacation Bible School with my older cousin and loved going to church.  The church’s bus ministry would pick me up each Sunday morning so I could attend.  I continued to go to church and in middle school got involved in the youth group.  It was then that I accepted Christ as my Savior.  After a difficult tragedy early in high school, I grew to discover that I had walked away from God and my faith despite thoroughly believing God had left me.  From that time on I have grown to understand more of what it means to accept Jesus as my Lord as well as my Savior.  I went on to college and knew my calling was to help children in some way.  I decided to go into teaching.  After dating through late high school and college, Joel and I were married the summer of 2003.  We moved to Waco in January of 2004 for Joel to start at Truett Seminary.  I began to substitute teach at schools in the area to try to get a foot in the door for the next school year.  The Lord is amazing and blessed me with the opportunity to take over a classroom that needed a teacher for the rest of the year and then I was hired on to teach the next school year.  I have stayed there for six years now teaching kindergarten and instilling a love of learning into curious little minds.  Then in the summer of 2008, our son Joshua was born.  He has been such a blessing (and frustration at times).  I have grown so deeply in my faith by realizing in a small snapshot how much more God loves me than all the love I have for Joshua.  Realizing this has truly expanded my heart and inspired me to model God’s love to all those that I meet.

Some Facts About Me

  • Education: I attended Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, Texas.  There I earned a Bachelor of Behavioral Science degree in Education.  I have also taken a few classes at Truett Seminary just for fun since we have been in Waco.
  • First Job: The summer after my senior year of high school I worked at a Family Christian Store in Dallas.  It was fun as most of my customers were older folks who were regulars and always filled me in on if the books were good.
  • Favorite Places: I would have to say Paris... but I love to travel and have loved every part of Europe that I have seen. I really want to stay in a castle somewhere on my next trip (whenever that will be)
  • What's on My iPod: Since Joel and I share it, it has lots of Beatles (which I love too) but my contributions to it are songs from the Super Hits of the 90s CDs, David Crowder and Audio Adrenaline.
  • Favorite Books: I really don’t make time to read (except the children’s books I read to my kindergarteners and the board books I read to Joshua) but when I do I love to read books by Donald Miller and great classics.  I also read the Twilight series and loved it!
  • What do I TiVo: I am too cheap to add any kind of DVR to my cable so I record any shows I miss on my VCR but I usually catch my favorites... CSI, The Mentalist, NCIS, and Law & Order: SVU (it seems as if every show I love has initials for the title)
  • Favorite Movies: I love romantic comedies and for some reason dumb teeny-bopper comedies (like Legally Blonde)... I like to laugh when watching a movie.  I don’t really have a favorite though.
  • Hobbies: GAMES, GAMES, and more GAMES.  In case you can’t tell I love to play games... unfortunately I don’t usually have anyone to play with.  I also enjoy spending time with my family and watching Baylor Baseball games.
  • Odd Fact: I don’t know how odd this is but Joel constantly reminds me that this is not normal... I can pick things up with my toes and oftentimes do it and don’t have to bend over to pick things up (we call it monkey toes)
  • A Memorable Moment: Hearing the heartbeat of the baby inside me for the first time.  It was amazing!!!
  • Life Verse: I don’t really have a life verse per se. There are so many awesome passages that urge me on in my journey.  I guess, though, that for me everything ultimately boils down to Mark 12:30-31: when Jesus is asked what is the most important commandment he replies “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.”   Another verse that has guided me through tough times and has actually allowed me to hold onto God in times when I wanted to slip away is Psalm 34:18: “The LORD is near to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”