By Teresa Sayles, Children’s Creative Arts Director
When I first came to Woodland Hills Church, I was a year out of college and had recently moved to the Cities from rural Minnesota. To say things had changed in my life is a vast understatement. And yet, 12 years later, I can hardly remember what life was like before I came here. For over a decade, this place has been my spiritual home – the place where I have grown by leaps and bounds in my faith and my relationship with God while in the midst of a loving and supportive community that means the world to me. However, just as I faced a season of change all those years ago, I am now coming face to face with another such change. For the past year, God and I have been in conversation about what He wants for me and where I can do the most for His Kingdom. As He and I have talked and as I’ve talked and prayed with various people in my close community of friends and family, I’ve come to the realization that He is asking me to take a leap of faith, face my fears, and trust in Him in a new and exciting chapter of my life that, sadly, will mean my leaving Woodland Hills.
I cannot say with words how much it has meant to me to be part of this church community and, especially, a part of its Children’s Ministry. To you parents and grandparents, I want to say an enormous thank you for allowing me the privilege and honor of ministering to your kids over the past 12 years and getting to know so many of them. They have been one of the biggest sources of joy, laughter, and delight in my life, and as much as I have taught them, they have, I think, taught me more. Their curious questions, joyful faith, creative minds and imaginations, and easy smiles have brightened my life nearly every week for over a decade, and I will miss them terribly in the coming months.
I also want to thank our amazing HG volunteers who have given so much of their time, talents, and love to minister to the kids each week over the years. I have been blessed to get to know and work with so many of you, and you, too, have shaped my faith and helped it to thrive and grow here. I pray God will bless you for all you’ve done and continue to do for the kids at Woodland Hills!
My final Sunday in Heroes Gate will be Sunday, May 27. What am I doing after that? Well, I honestly don’t quite know. God and I are still working on that, but I believe whatever it is that He is calling me to, it must be something pretty amazing if He’s asking me to leave this wonderful community. Thanks again, and may the Holy Spirit continue to be with you, your families, and this church as you learn and grow together and make a difference for His Kingdom.