God does not waste anything; not a moment, not a feeling, not a word and certainly not our obedience. Kellie Williams gives testimony to this truth. She has taught in STCH Ministries’ Faith & Work, formerly Jobs for Life, for six years and has seen God work in her life, the lives of her students and her family’s life without fail.
Kellie discovered a passion for working with women early in her marriage. Her husband, a merchant mariner, spent long stretches of time out at sea during which Kellie developed friendships with ladies from her church. Those friendships showed her the strength and beauty of bonds with Christ-like sisters. From them, she learned the advantage of helping other women as a way to help her deal with the loneliness while her husband was away.
Trained as a teacher, Kellie applied her skills in the church through the leading of Bible studies. Eventually, she followed God’s leading, quit teaching in the public-school arena and went back to school for a certificate of ministry which she put to work writing and teaching Bible studies for women at her church, Second Baptist of Corpus Christi.
Kellie knew about STCH Ministries Family Counseling through her mom, Dottie Chiles. Dottie worked as a counselor in the Corpus office after retiring from a career as a school counselor. In July of 2014, Kellie attended a luncheon where Jimmy Rodriguez, the director for STCH Ministries Jobs for Life | Faith & Finances, gave the keynote speech. As she listened to Jimmy’s explanation of STCH Ministries’ commitment to helping families learn the skills necessary to better their financial situations and provide stability, Kellie knew God wanted her to be a part of the process. “God clearly impressed me with the understanding that this was His next step for my life.” Her grand love for women and helping them compelled her to approach Jimmy with an offer to teach classes.
Teaching the concepts of Jobs for Life brought an unexpected benefit. Kellie’s daughter Maddie spiraled into a depression after bullied during her teenage years and Kellie realized that many of the topics presented in the curriculum applied to Maddie’s situation. The family connection to STCH Ministries led Maddie to counseling and on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic which God used to change Maddie’s life. “I did not know this in the beginning, as I volunteered, God blessed my family. I helped other women but God allowed me to also help my daughter through this program,” Kellie said.
In 2018, STCH Ministries replaced the Jobs for Life program after creating their own curriculum called Faith & Work. Kellie taught one of the first classes of the new material. “Faith & Work puts work in a very positive light as something God means for us to do. It also emphasizes our uniqueness as people,” she explained. Kellie appreciated the emphasis on an individual’s inherent value as God created them and she enjoyed the process of helping women discover work that suits their concerns and skills through personality assessment and interest inventories.
Kellie believed the information about goals and plans and how to achieve them brought the first glimmer of hope to many women’s lives. Kellie described a common situation, “Too many women have these dreams but feel like there’s no way to get there and they give up.” The lessons taught them to make smart goals by breaking things down into achievable steps. This gave them skills applicable to the rest of their lives. Sometimes, merely reaching goals did not suffice to create lasting change, the ladies needed to learn how to overcome obstacles.
The material covering this topic explained forgiveness, once one accepted Jesus’s forgiveness they learned to extend forgiveness through what Jesus did for them. When people made peace with their past through Jesus and understood the power of forgiveness, they viewed their goals in a different light; “This is achievable! I do not have to be bound by labels others have given me in the past.”
After students realized their uniqueness they learned to set goals and overcome their past, the next section taught about working together. Kellie presented lessons on how to get along with others, be a leader, listen well and handle conflict. As she summed up the concepts presented in Faith & Work, Kellie declared, “It’s really taking work and flipping it over as to what society says it is versus what God says it is. That’s it in a nutshell. It ends on how to clearly shine at work so that you can keep moving up and reach your goals.”
Kellie looks forward to teaching her fifteenth class in the fall of 2020. Nearly twenty-five years after discovering her enthusiasm for women’s ministry, she knows God’s economy makes use of every part of her life. She realizes, “God sends people. The same way He sends me to help people through Faith & Work, He sends people to take care of my kids wherever they are.”
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