Passion for Child Development Benefits Many

Dec. 13, 2013 - by Carol Best

Alum Takes Passion for Child Development Around the World

By Carol Best
Dec. 13, 2013
AZweigleSmall

When she majored in psychology at MNU, Aisling (Law, ’98) Zweigle didn’t know exactly how she would put her degree to use, but she knew she had a passion to find ways to impact children’s lives for Christ. Along the way she’s found her education has equipped her for a variety of opportunities over the years. She credits her MNU internship and subsequent full-time position at The Children’s Place, in Kansas City, Mo., as the “application piece” of her education that readied her for a career helping children grow and develop holistically.

Aisling brings a wealth of experience and a certification in early childhood education to her work. Since graduating from MNU she has served in urban, multi-ethnic communities in Kansas City, Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

A child, youth and family pastor at Vancouver, B.C., First Church of the Nazarene, Aisling recently traveled to Nairobi, Kenya on a work and witness trip to help Kawangware Church of the Nazarene. A 10-member team from Vancouver, B.C., and Olympia, Wash., were

AZweigle2SmallAisling in Kenya with the children of Kangware.

there to help build a school in an area of extreme poverty.

It was hard work, and as they constructed the school building walls Aisling commented, “We were seeing months of fundraising, praying and visioning bear fruit. Working alongside one another as brothers and sisters in the large global family of Christ, a school building was quickly taking shape.”

Along with this worthy work, Aisling brought a dream of resourcing the Kenyan educators, pastors and volunteers with a training workshop based on Dan Webster’s book “KidUnique.” Inspired by Webster’s premise that “It is our job to help kids move into the future from a position of strength, not weakness, confidence, not fear,” Aisling and fellow team members sought to encourage the Kenyan workers to tell children and youth “what is right with them instead of just what is wrong.”

Through large and small group presentations and activities, participants learned what Webster calls “new and meaningful ways to observe, affirm, explore and reveal how God is at work in forming uniquely gifted children” in Kenya and around the world. Having been led to Christ as a child by her neighbors, Aisling says she felt called early on to give back by sharing that same hope with other children. Equipping the Kenyan pastors and volunteers was another way to achieve that goal.

“I pray that the privilege we had in offering this workshop will complement and resource the existing child development initiatives taking place,” Aisling says. My prayer was to be part of something much bigger than myself or anything our team could offer alone.”

Back home in Vancouver, Aisling, and her husband, Grant, senior pastor at First Church of the Nazarene, and their sons Graiden (12) and Abram (10), serve and live in the eclectic neighborhood of Kensington-Cedar Cottage. The area’s cultural and ethnic diversity inspires the couple daily.

 

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