Women who answer
God’s call provide valuable local ministries
By Isaac Olivarez
is one of thousands of women who volunteer in Christian
ministries and at churches throughout the United States.
Volunteering is the reason the St. Joseph, Mo., woman left
a promising career in education to form Helping Other People
Excel Outreach Ministries 10 years ago. H.O.P.E.’s
mission is to provide spiritual nourishment to the hurting
and spiritually lost through a variety of inspirational
something compelling when God calls you to do something,”
says Blakley, who attends Caring First Assembly of God in
St. Joseph. Blakley gave up her job and good salary to do
what she saw as God’s will. She wanted to start a
ministry to show needy people the hope she learned about
as a poor, young black girl growing up in Steele, Mo.
Today, that call
has grown into a ministry that reaches more than 2,000 people
a year with hope and faith. Financed solely by donations,
H.O.P.E. spreads the Word of God through programs and activities.
An outreach to the elderly takes students from five local
schools to area nursing homes to read to and visit with
the residents on a weekly basis.
activities director at Saxton Woods Riverside, says the
residents look forward to visits from the children. “It’s
a neat program because the children connect with the residents,”
an eighth grader, first started coming to get out of class.
He quickly changed his mind.
time, I just wanted to get out of school,” he says.
“Then I realized I wanted to make them feel happy
because we’re here.”
is happy the students are here.
a plan for all of our lives, and God wants us to make a
positive difference in the lives of other people,”
Blakley says. “We find true happiness when we can
lift someone up.”
knew God was trying to get her attention when all she could
think about was ministry. After 22 years of practicing law,
Giumarra retired in 1999 as assistant general counsel for
Chevron’s West Coast production operations. She also
managed a law office in Bakersfield, Calif., where she attends
Canyon Hills Assembly of God.
consuming me,” Giumarra recalls of her career. “For
the last two years of my practice I spent a lot of time
praying and seeking God on when was the right time to leave.”
When she did
leave, she didn’t know how God would use her. She
began taking classes at Canyon Hills Bible College, leading
a businesswomen’s Bible study, and then began co-directing
the church’s Women’s Ministries department.
very clear it was the right time,” Giumarra says.
“There was no mistaking it.”
Today, more than
400 women from Canyon Hills A/G are involved in various
ministries throughout the community.
first started volunteering at Canyon Hills Women’s
Ministries events five years ago. Now she serves on the
board for Women’s Ministries under Giumarra’s
that comes from volunteering is like being one-on-one with
the Lord,” says Dominguez, who works as the office
manager for a local water filtration company. “I volunteer
because of the need for the women to come together in our
church and our community.”
it’s more than volunteer work,” says Giumarra,
who is currently working on obtaining her ministerial credentials.
“I’m using all the same tools that God developed
in me over 22 years, but now it’s for His service.
It’s a passion.”
has found her niche while maintaining a career as a flavor
chemist at Kraft Foods Inc. in Chicago, a career she says
God called her to pursue. Cosmos enjoys her role as the
Illinois District Missionettes coordinator. Her involvement
with Missionettes began eight years ago when she volunteered
as a Stars Club leader in her local church.
I went to one of their campouts, I found I enjoyed working
with the girls,” says Cosmos, who attends The Hills
of Promise Church, a church plant in Lake in the Hills,
Ill. “I came back and took the training and became
a Stars Club sponsor.”
Balancing a career
and a district-level volunteer position can be tough, but
Cosmos says her love for people gives her the desire to
continue helping the Missionettes program.
has to be more of a desire than just filling a need,”
Cosmos says. “It has to be something that fulfills
fulfillment, says Arlene Allen, national Women’s Ministries
director, leads to spiritual growth.
that throughout Scripture God called men and women who did
not feel equipped,” Allen says. “But when they
said, ‘Yes, God, I’ll do my best,’ they
did unbelievable things for God.”