Sojourning Sister: Erica Brown

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHello sweet sisters in the Lord! I’ve had a rough & tumble week, so it was good for my soul to see this lovely photograph of my sister in Christ, Erica, today. We are partakers of grace together! And for that, I rejoice.

I am eager to share her stories with you! I pray that you, too, might rejoice as you see your sisters live out their faith and grow, that you would have affection for them, love them, pray for them, and remember them. Have a blessed weekend!

For those of us who do not know you:

How long have you attended First Free?

about 24 years

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?).

Dan and Evanelle Olinger are my parents, they brought my siblings and myself to First Free when we moved here in my elementary years. My brother is one of our church missionaries working on K-state campus with the Navigators. My sister is still in town and co-leading a Bible study for mothers of special needs children here at church. I have loved being apart of this church family. I started working with the children’s ministry in high school and keenly understood the importance of good teaching when I went away for college and missed the teaching here. After college I moved back here and rejoined our church. I met my husband in the career ministry. Together we have worked in different areas of the children’s ministry and I am currently dabbling in the college ministry. I get the great pleasure of staying home with our two daughters, and using my physical therapy training on a PRN basis.

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)

As I try again to read through the Bible in a year (hopefully in will be closer to one year than two this time) I am reminded of the last time I tried this. I was struck by the laws about the sacrifices needed in the Old Testament. I had never understood the detail involved. It gives me a better appreciation for the gravity of my sins and the Grace given to me on the cross. Christ sacrificed so much to allow me to not have to focus on the details of sacrifice but spend more time living in relationship with my Heavenly Father who has so graciously adopted me into his family. And I am thankful there are not so many bloody birds flying around.

The Tuesday Connection and other groups at church studied Nancy Guthrie’s book on Wisdom last fall. She started off by leading us through the book of Job and we learned about God’s Sovereignty and His good purposes for times of discipline, suffering, etc. Has there been a time of loss, disappointment or suffering (big or little) in your life that you have seen God use for His glory? How so?

My sister has had debilitating illness since high school. She is naturally full of joy and energy but has struggled with everything from disappointment to anger (and myself for her) over loss of lifestyle, opportunities and independence. I get to see small glimpses that God’s hand is evident in her sweet husband or people she is able to console or encourage but still the full magnitude of God’s glory in this story is not yet revealed to us. Hopefully some day we will see the big picture and I know it will be glorious.

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