Just Doing What She’s Called to Do
Elayna Bostwick chose youth and family ministry for her major because of her passion to help adolescents. The MNU sophomore was called to ministry right before she started college and says, “God flipped my whole life upside down, but I didn’t know what I was supposed to do with this calling.”
A conversation with a close friend and an experience of stepping out in faith during a Winter Jam [Christian music] concert helped her determine how God was leading her to use her call.
“As of right now I feel called to part-time youth ministry and full-time adolescent counseling. I hope to continue into graduate education at MNU in the Master of Arts in Counseling program. However, we will see where God leads me.”
MNU’s recent switch to online coursework for the rest of the spring semester due to the COVID 19 pandemic has resulted in another opportunity for Elayna to use her talents and hone her ministry. Upon moving home to complete the semester, she was offered a position with a previous employer, the Center for Developmentally Disabled (CDD) in Kansas City where she is a direct support professional for 11 residents. Elayna lives and works at one of several CDD locations in Jackson County, Missouri.
Because the job requires one to not only work in close contact with residents but also live there, some might think twice about taking the job. Not Elayna.
“It was really easy to make the decision to move into this position,” she says. “I worked here in the past and the people are my family. I would have done it in any situation. It is a lot like being the hands and feet of Jesus. I am just doing what I have been called to do, love and serve others.”
Elayna and her coworker take precautions such as wearing personal protective equipment including gowns, gloves, masks and eye protection, and cleaning every high touch surface often.
“The individuals I am working with don’t understand what is going on,” she says. “The only thing they understand is their normal, daily routine has been interrupted. Most must be quarantined in their rooms and they have no idea why. They can’t go home; they can’t go out and we can’t help them understand. It breaks my heart.”
Elayna is passionate about the care she provides her residents as she continues her education in a new format. Though encountering Internet and technical issues with connectivity, Elayna says she’s meeting the challenge and finding the help she needs from “great professors who are gracious and offer to help.”
Dr. Ron Jackson, assistant professor of youth & family ministry, is one of Elayna’s professors, and he is not surprised at her level of commitment to her residents and her education.
“Elayna came to MNU on a personal mission to be used wherever and whenever she was needed,” Jackson says. “She is among the first in our ministry classes to volunteer and is always ready to lead a helping hand. Ministry for Elayna is less about talk and more about action! We are very proud of her.”
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