Enter my blog room and sip your cup of favorite tea while I introduce myself…
I grew up in a Mennonite community in northern Indiana surrounded by solid family and church connections. My father was an electrician by trade and my mother was a homemaker. My ambitious parents often planned family activities and projects such as bike rides to the Dairy Queen, picking quarts and quarts of strawberries, and working in the garden. Then there were those days of preserving the garden harvests, cozy reading nights and family games around the table. Whatever we did, family togetherness was emphasized. I recall with fondness many of those childhood memories.
I am the oldest of six children. My siblings have always been some of the most special people in my life. As we grew up, we began to make marital and career choices. Eventually I gained three sweet, godly sisters-in-law which have become some of my best friends. I also am very grateful for my two brothers-in-law who rarely deny my requests. Their families have given me nine beautiful nieces and eight handsome nephews.
I became an elementary teacher of a local parochial school in 1976. After teaching for three years, I went into voluntary service at Faith Mission Home, Virginia, to work with handicapped children. I returned to Nappanee, Indiana, and taught another six years at the same school. At that point, I made the decision to get more education. I received my B.S. degree in elementary education at Grace College and Seminary in 1992, and my M.A. in elementary education at Indiana State University of South Bend in 2001.
I was invited to join the work at Faith Builders Educational Programs (FBEP) in 1999. FBEP is a teacher training institution primarily serving the broader conservative Mennonite community. I was hired to teach at their local day school and to serve as a part time instructor and mentor for the young adults enrolled in the institution. This job has provided many opportunities to work with a wide range of young people and other educators.
I find it invigorating to work with the young people at FBEP who care about becoming effective kingdom workers. What a privilege it has been to work alongside these fine young men and women choosing to enter the vocation of teaching. They frequently spend time in my 5th and 6th grade classroom as teacher apprentices.
Mentoring young women has been a richly rewarding experience for me as well. FBEP requires that all the young people participate in a small mentoring group. This small group of ladies meets together once a week for growth, encouragement, and prayer. It gives the young women a safe place to share their questions and concerns and hopefully build into their lives friendships that will be formed for a lifetime.
Another favorite aspect of the job includes teaching fifth and sixth graders on a daily basis. These students bring a lot of balance to my life as a single lady. I love their energy and eagerness to learn new things. My students know that Miss Yoder’s favorite subject happens to be grammar and writing.
Because Faith Builders has various events throughout the year, speaking opportunities come in the form of workshops and other talks. As once a very timid young lady, I never dreamed public speaking would become a part of my life. This bears witness of the power of the grace of God which can do abundantly above all that we can imagine.
Other Job Experiences
- Sewing factory
- Floor group leader
- Tour guide
- Clerk at a candy shop
- House cleaning
Life Mission Statement
I am called to exemplify Jesus in all of life and to give to people and relationships a taste of God’s goodness. My life purpose in the kingdom is to lead and encourage to maturity those for whom I am responsible in teaching, speaking and nurturing them through God’s wisdom.
Guiding Life Verses
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Phil. 2:13 KJV
For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11KJV
Enlarge the place of thy tent, and let them stretch forth the curtains of thine habitations: spare not, lengthen thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; Is. 54:2 KJV
Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsover ye shall ask of the Father in my name, He may give it you. John 15:16 KJV
She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness. Proverbs 31:26 KJV
Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. Proverbs 18:21
Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. Eph. 3:20 KJV
I am sure by now your cup of tea is empty. I am sorry this conversation has been one-sided; I would love to hear about you, too. (Perhaps heaven will provide us opportunity to really know each other.) Until then, may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ fill you and enrich you in every way.
I met you while attending FB summer term 2013 and loved you right away 🙂 You radiated joy. I was given your book by a single sister and friend for Valentine’s and couldn’t put it down. All I can say is thank you for taking the time to make your self available and vulnerable for the Kingdom, this single woman appreciates it 🙂 I reviewed your book on my blog in hopes that others will seek it out and be inspired.
Grace and Peace to You Sister!,
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I’ve just now learned more about you than what a life time of knowing you has given me, Lol. You have accomplished so much more than I realized. When we get together we don’t really ask do we? I’m really enjoying your blog page it’s been very interesting! 🙂
Sharon, I just finished reading your book late last night ! It blessed me very much and learned a lot ! Thanks for sharing your heart ! Blessings !! Lorraine Helmuth Diener