Take a look into the life of one of our dear First Free sisters, Jeri Paden!
For those of us who do not know you:
How long have you attended First Free?
I’ve been attending First Free since the fall of 2001, and serve periodically on the worship team.
Tell us a little about your family (spouse, children, siblings, parents, etc), where you grew up, and what you do these days (work? ministry? hobbies? etc?).
My husband Paul is an engineer, and he has worked at Spirit Aerosystems for about a year and a half. We moved here from the Dallas area in 2001 for him to take a job with Raytheon, and 8 weeks later he got hit by a layoff. God quickly provided a contract position with Boeing, where he worked for 6 years before going to Hawker Beechcraft, and he was there for several years before another layoff. That time it took 14 months for him to find a job, since he wanted to stay here in Wichita, and God again showed Himself so powerful & faithful.
We don’t have any children, and my only sibling, an older brother, died many years ago. My mom still lives in Huntsville, Alabama, where I grew up listening to rocket tests for NASA’s space program on nearby Redstone Arsenal. Paul & I now live on 80 acres near Towanda, most of which is farmed by someone else. We have lots of animals, just none we are responsible to feed: ducks, pheasants, turkeys, assorted other birds, coyotes, woodchucks, deer…
I think I have the best job possible: I teach the daytime BSF class on the east side of Wichita, so I get to spend lots of hours in God’s Word, and work with a wonderful group of leaders. When I find some spare time, I love to read, do assorted craft projects, and play in the dirt – I have an ongoing landscaping project that has kept me busy during the last couple of years.
Has there been a scripture reference/verse/passage that God has used to impact your life in a significant and lasting way? How and why did it speak to you so mightily? (this could include something recent, or one of those life-changing ah-ha moments)
It’s hard to choose only one Scripture passage, but one that has been an ongoing source of encouragement to me for years is Job 19:25, which may sound like an odd place to find a favorite verse. In the midst of his questioning & discouragement, Job says “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and in the end He will stand upon the earth.” That puts absolutely everything else into perspective – no matter what happens in my life or in the world around me, He is in charge, is at work, and will return personally to claim His people. It reminds me this is all so temporary, and my life needs to be all about Him, & preparing for that wonderful day when He “stands upon the earth.”
In Him, Jeri