NEWS & PRESS RELEASES
Sara Mead: Trusting God
Sara (Shoff) Mead currently lives in Lewisburg, PA. She is a 2006 graduate of the Early Childhood Education program.
After graduation, Sara spent time in a number of positions, trying to find her niche. She was then led to her current position as program specialist for Shared Support in Sunbury, PA.
When she's not working she enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee, volleyball, and spending time on her church volleyball league at First Baptist Church in Milton, PA.
Read more In the Spotlights here.
Why did you choose BBC?
My parents told me they would help me pay for my education if I went to Bible school for at least one year. After praying about it and visiting the campus several times, I decided to apply to BBC. I was accepted early and entered the Early Childhood Education program. I knew at the time I did not want to teach. I wanted to use my ministry and education by starting up and managing a Christian development facility for children.
What led you to your current position?
After graduation, I got married and moved to central Pennsylvania. I struggled to find my place in a professional field. I worked as an autistic support aide, a supervisor of a toddler program, a fundraising coordinator for a Christian school, a front desk coordinator at a spa, and then as support staff for behaviorally challenged children in the Milton school district.
In the midst of this, God brought me through a treacherous time. My husband's job required constant travel. During this time he lost focus on God and our marriage. His choices greatly affected our relationship and us, as we are no longer together.
I had to support myself, so God blessed me and provided my income through three jobs. Even though I was thankful for these jobs, I felt I was created for something else as well as being tired from constant running.
Then one day I saw an ad for a program specialist for a local human services company. I felt unqualified, but I contacted the company anyway to receive more information. I had a feeling this was what I was looking for. After meeting with the regional director and the company's CEO, I was offered the position and a month later I was the new program specialist for Shared Support.
How have you grown through these experiences?
I developed an even greater work ethic, since I was supporting myself. And it was through all of this that I learned how to love unconditionally, to fend for myself, and to give everything to God. I learned to trust Him no matter what the circumstance and I saw how sin and Satan can be baffled by Christ's love shown through His children.
What do you do at Shared Support?
I assist people in many ways. I help them socially by coming up with ideas on how to make new friends or develop relationships. I help them mentally by supporting them and their desires in their home, in the workplace, in volunteer situations, and in public. I visit with them and follow up on planning meetings to make sure that they are reaching the goals they have set for themselves.
As a human services company, we provide a range of services for people with cognitive and developmental disabilities. For the first time, I have found something that I not only love to do, but I believe in. I feel there is a purpose and an outcome in what I do at Shared Support. I am, daily, making an impact on people I come into contact with and I am using my spiritual gifts in the process.
How have you been able to use your BBC education?
My BBC education took me from teaching to managing to behavioral support to human services. I thought that was where it ended. Then I realized I use my education and ministry everyday. I use positive reinforcement techniques, I use social stories and planning to get people to the next activity, and I have been able to support their desire to learn new things. I have been able to share my faith confidently with my co-workers, staff, and even the consumers we support. I will also have the opportunity in a few weeks to teach and facilitate biological timeline training, so I will be using the teaching techniques I learned at BBC.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
I love the people I work with and the people we support. Each person is unique and offers the possibility to minister to them. I do work in the public arena but I feel God has used me more strongly here than He has anywhere else.
What do you find to be your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge is what I don't know about the human services field. I am not familiar with medical jargon, medications, funding and Medicare. I am learning daily about these things from some incredible and intelligent people.
What are your long-term ministry goals?
As far as my long-term goals in my personal life, work and ministry: I still want a family someday, but I have come to enjoy the feeling of being totally alone with God. Professionally, I hope to continue serving others in need with Shared Support for many years to come. My desire in ministry is to one day help in a youth group program and facilitate other ministries to young women who deal with divorce or separation at a young age. I know God can use my experience and circumstances to encourage, teach, and lead others.
Learn more about the Early Childhood Education program here.
The story of Baptist Bible College & Seminary is best told through the lives of students and alumni. Share your story and tell others how God has been leading in your life. Visit www.bbc.edu/yourstory.
Baptist Bible College & Seminary offers 38 academic programs, from a one-year Bible Certificate to PhDs. Programs are available on the Clarks Summit campus, online, and through several distance-learning options. To learn more, go to www.bbc.edu or call 570.586.2400.
Posted on: 8/18/2009 2:24:21 PM
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