We're excited to welcome Ann van der Merwe to this episode of the KidZ at Heart Podcast. Ann's greatest joy is using the creativity God has given her for his glory. She grew up singing and dancing, which led her to pursue a BM in Voice at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She then explored creativity more deeply and discovered a love of writing while earning an MA and PhD in Musicology at The Ohio State University.
She met her husband Geo, a native South African, while in graduate school. After they married and welcomed a daughter and a son to their family, Ann began to use her creative gifts in Children’s Ministry. She quickly realized that God had been preparing her for this all along, and she has become passionate about engaging children in scripture in creative ways, helping them unleash the creativity God has given them, and reminding them of God’s presence in their everyday lives.
Ann is excited to bring her creativity to the KidZ at Heart community as the Director of Content Development. Working alongside others, she will use her talents to develop resources that help leaders and children fall deeply in love with Jesus.
The Trip by Ann van der Merwe (at the 54:52 mark)
Have you ever thought about a long trip as a good thing? I'm guessing not. Long hours in the car probably just seem boring...not something for which you are thankful, right? But what if it is actually good for us to go on that long drive? What if waiting to get where we want to go is a gift from God? What if we need that time to learn...to see...and to be even more thankful for what we experience when we get there?
Think about the journey of the Israelites after God parted the Red Sea and rescued them from slavery in Egypt. They were so excited for the place God had promised them...they even called it the Promised Land! It was going to be great! But God did not take them straight there. They had a long trip ahead of them. They complained. They got tired. They were probably bored. They might have even asked, "Are we there yet?"
How could that be good? Well, during that trip, God gave the Israelites the Ten Commandments...and a lot of other guidelines for living. During that trip, God worked miracles before their eyes. During that trip, God forgave them when they disobeyed and complained. During that trip, God was working in the lives of the Israelite people.
God is working in your life in every trip you take, too...and I don't just mean road trips. God works in our lives even when we are between the big things. Maybe you feel like you are on a trip right now...away from the last big thing that happened and waiting for the next one to come. Maybe you are starting to feel bored, or worried, or asking God, "Am I there yet?"
If so, remember the Israelites. Remember that God not only keeps his promises; he sticks with us while we wait for them to come, teaching us and guiding us to make sure we end up in the right place knowing everything we need to know. When we remember that God is faithful, we can be thankful not only for where he leads us but for the things he shows us along the way.
Guerillas of Grace: Prayers for the Battle, by Ted Loder
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KidZ at Heart Podcast Hosts:
Gordon West (KidZ at Heart, President/CEO)
Adam Ormord (KidZ at Heart, Chief Culture Officer)