It was such a joy to return to Happy Hands. I was blessed to be one of the people involved in the school in its early days. I remember the founder, Al Proo, talking to me about the vision before it became a reality. I was planning to volunteer a bit right after they first opened their doors, but when I went to get my TB test to be able to work there, they asked me if could be pregnant and I said “I don’t think so, but maybe..” so they took a pregnancy test and found out that I was indeed pregnant! So Happy Hands is so special to me in many ways! For 12 and a half years I had be involved in establishing a Deaf mission work in Tulsa which required much time, but for five and half years of that time, I also drove back and forth from Tulsa to Joplin to teach the Deaf Ministry program at my alma mater, Ozark Christian College. When my daughter became one and half, I realized that it was too difficult to make that drive. With much sorrow, I let Ozark know that I needed to resign. While still working with the Deaf Church, I applied for a position at Happy Hands. God amazingly gave me the lead teacher position there. My sorrow from leaving Ozark was replaced with a joy for teaching at Happy Hands. I left teaching college students and started teaching preschoolers. I love teaching every age. For three and half years, I taught at Happy Hands. One day I realized that I would not be able to make numerous Christian DVDs if I remained at my position at Happy Hands. So once again I had to make a hard choice. I decided that I wanted to help MANY, so I knew that I had to resign to make the videos. Once again a hard choice blessed me to be able tor reach out with Jesus’ love to even MORE. God called me to Ozark. God called me to Happy Hands. I know that God is calling me to reach out now with Expressions of Emmanuel with Video, Outreach, and Writing projects to reach even more.
I learned so much from my experience at Happy Hands. God proved to me that everyone and everything that has breath can praise the Lord. The Lord allowed me to learn to more effectively teach and lead little people to worship at Happy Hands. I remember returning to Happy Hands to volunteer a few months after I resigned. I had been able to teach Deaf children to memorize some praise songs. One VERY ACTIVE little Deaf and seven other Deaf children were in my class that day. The children there knew 25 songs that I had purposely asked God to help me etch into their hearts. Some of the songs were FUN with a simple Biblical truth, while others were passionate worship songs. That day… this VERY active girl began to request songs. She raised her hand as high as she could with eager anticipation. One by one to the fourth song… she picked by memory the most worshipful songs. All eight of the children… 16 little eyeballs were totally watching me as we WORSHIPED the Lord. After the fourth song… I was to teach the Bible lesson. I had to excuse myself to go to the bathroom and just cry in praise to God. Before I started that job, I asked the Lord to help me reach the kids and see that they would love and worship Him. God proved His power to me. He has shown His power to me again and again! God is good. No matter our age, physical ability, we CAN and SHOULD praise the Lord.
Going back to Happy Hands was a sweet. I saw the mighty work of God is continuing to do there. I also was thrilled to keep the kids actively engaged in learning God’s Word, having fun doing it, and worshiping the Lord. It was fun to share one my signature pieces acts… the spiritual lessons of “I know an Old Lady Who swallowed a Fly.” We enjoyed several DVD songs, appearances of Potato Head with tug o’ war teaching that the CHURCH needs to love each other and not fight against each other, as well as a lesson on loving and obeying God with Luna’s dog show, and MORE. The kids were very receptive. It was a joy to return to a dear place of my heart. My heart was overflowing as I was with Expressions of Emmanuel able to share DVDs with the school and the students as well as share a program. My heart is FULL seeing God’s continued ministry there. I am proud of Jan Pride, Drue Kirk, and all the other precious people who keep that ministry vibrant. I was also deeply touched that the mission work of Expressions of Emmanuel has allowed me to continue to reach out to Happy Hands and some many MORE. TO GOD BE THE GLORY as He LEADS and Guides! Holy Hugs!