I was saved the summer before my sophomore year in high school. Up until then my understanding of God was incredibly limited. I knew there was a holy God and that he had a son named Jesus who was very important. I also knew from the weight of guilt I carried that I was a desperate sinner, enslaved to sin and in need of divine help. Tragically, I had no idea how to reconcile my brokenness to God’s holiness. That is, until the truth of the gospel invaded my heart one night at a summer camp. Suddenly, through the knowledge of God’s forgiving grace in the cross of Jesus Christ, my soul began to truly live. Freed from the chains of sin, I began down the road of sanctification at the age of 15.
It was about this time when the church I began attending hired [intlink id="9903" type="post"]a new youth pastor. His wife, Chelle Stire[/intlink], would become one of the greatest spiritual influences on my life. Week after week this young mother poured into me, teaching me how to apply the truths of scripture to my life, challenging me to be faithful in reading the word of God and in prayer, and living as an example of godly womanhood for me to follow. She was my real-life Titus 2 mentor throughout the turbulent years of high school. Much has changed since then. I am now as old as she was when we first met and have three little ones of my own to care for. Her daughters are growing into beautiful women who are as old as I was when my relationship with her first began. Our relationship has evolved from one of a mentor and disciple to friends who are able encourage one another in the faith. Even now however, though she and her family are serving on the mission field half a world away in Albania, her faith and joy in the Lord continue to impact me.
Recently, I asked Chelle to share some of the wisdom she has gained over the years as she’s sought to faithfully minister to younger women in the faith and now to her own teen and preteen daughters. I was curious if—when looking back over her ministry—she would have done anything differently. As she has grown in her own personal relationship to the Lord, how has her ministry grown? How does all this carry over to her relationship to her own daughters?