by Glenda Williams
GENEVA, Ala. (BNc) — Her name is Janice Helms. I met her two years ago when we moved to Geneva, Ala., to work with the church. My husband Douglas was hired to be the full-time preacher.
Geneva is a small Southern town approximately seven miles from the Florida line. I have commented that Geneva is a “well-kept secret.” We have a Wal-Mart, but far greater than that, we have Janice Helms.
At the time we moved to Geneva in Jan., 2008, Janice was our only small children’s Bible class teacher. We had one class, and lots of the time just one little girl in that class. Still, Janice continued to teach because of her love for the children and her love for the Lord. Today when she talks about the Lord and his church, a radiant smile spreads across her face. She often says, “We serve an awesome God.”
Janice has had her share of heartaches in her life. She lost one of her sons to cancer at the young age of 26. A month later, her father died. She told me on one occasion that “only God could bring a person through that.”
Janice’s desire is always to go about doing good and leading by example. She visits and finds people in need and somehow finds a way to meet those needs, oftentimes without asking others for help. If a family needs money to pay their utility before it is cut off, she will help. A young mother needed beds for her children, and furniture for her house, and Janice came to her rescue by seeking others who were able to help.
On and on we could go with examples of her good deeds. All of her efforts are done on a very limited budget. Another of her quotes is, “God gives us everything we need and a lot of what we want.”
Recently Janice did the unimaginable. She went out into our small town and invited the children to come to Bible class. Soon her car was overflowing with small children wanting to come to Bible class. Desperate for help, she called the church office and asked to use the church van. Insurance legalities were arranged and Janice became a designated driver.
She began arriving early on Sunday mornings, Sunday evenings, and Wednesday evenings to drive the van and pick up the children. She was on a mission to bring the children in to learn about the Savior. Soon the van was overflowing.
Janice recruited her son and another young man to take their vehicles and pick up other children and bring them to Bible class. It wasn’t long until her little Bible class was overflowing and we had to divide the children by age groups. Today, we have three Bible classes for children.
Janice hosts a party for the children once a month. Recently on a Sunday afternoon she had 24 little children, wall to wall, in her small trailer for a pizza party. After the party she said, “God is so good. I just want to see his church grow.”
One person, one dream, one goal, and what a difference Janice Helms is making in the lives of us all. We now hear the sound of children’s voices ringing in the church building.
May her example inspire all of us to do greater works for him who loves us so. May we with Janice say, “Here am I, Lord, send me.”
Barbara has been involved in missions for over 25 years, both in the field and in publishing.