We are John, Elizabeth, and Kim Hansen; three peas in a pod that love volunteering and have felt a call to teach and learn from the youth of the church. We are three siblings that have attended PazNaz for almost three years and have been looking for ways to help and become more involved.
In October 2016, we heard about the upcoming “Jump In Sunday.” This was a special day when all the ministries of PazNaz would be highlighted and we’d be able to find a way to “jump in” and get involved. During the luncheon, we listened to the wonderful pastors from each ministry explain all the ways we could participate. We eventually felt God’s guidance to go in the direction that he has led us in our career. John is a teacher and also coordinates the Sports Medicine Program at Los Alamitos High School, while Elizabeth and I are currently transitional kindergarten (TK) teachers at a private school in Whittier.
Soon after getting involved, we each felt a call to assist in different ministries. John quickly felt a connection with PazNaz’s High School Ministries with Pastors Mackenzie Smith and Heather Handley, Elizabeth connected with Pastor Faith Romasco in Early Childhood, and I was drawn to Elementary Ministries after seeing the connection Pastor Doug Ravasdy had with the students. I get so much joy from my time with the children down in The Cave while helping in the 3rd grade Sunday School class.
In addition to volunteering, we are blessed to be members of the Disciples Sunday School class. We enjoy sharing treats and fellowshipping with these dedicated people, as well as listening to great testimonies and praying together. We have made some excellent friends there.
It has been a real blessing to see all the wonderful things PazNaz is doing and offering to the community. We’ve been grateful to be a part of some of it. In October 2016, we helped with the Bubble Station at the annual Love Walk & Roll from PazNaz’s Special Needs Ministries. At this year’s Eggstravaganza, Elizabeth and I helped out at the Paw Patrol bounce house and John assisted at the rock climbing wall. We really enjoyed welcoming people with a friendly smile and seeing their faces light up with excitement as they participated in each of these events.
When John was diagnosed with cancer, all three of us were looking for a new church. We hoped to find a welcoming place that would connect us to Christ, and we eventually found that at PazNaz.
Our family has always been one to volunteer. John felt humbled to go with Men’s Ministries to feed the homeless with Central City Community Church of the Nazarene. John first began volunteering with The American Red Cross many years ago. Elizabeth and I have assisted with many fundraisers for charities over the years. We feel that volunteering is a gift to share and not just something we get to do. “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.” Matthew 25:35
When John was diagnosed with cancer, all three of us were looking for a new church. We hoped to find a welcoming place that would connect us to Christ, and we eventually found that at PazNaz. The choir and orchestra were among the first things that stood out to me. I feel blessed to belong to a church that has such great music ministry! I think that the connection of scripture to song speaks straight to the heart. We also love that PazNaz is a multicultural congregation. Some of our favorite Sunday mornings are when we get to hear from Pastor Marcos of La Fuente Ministries, Pastor Min from Mandarin Ministries, or any of the other inspirational pastors. It just shows us how beautifully different we all are, but that we all celebrate one glorious God! “For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink.” 1 Corinthians 12:13
Also, I have to mention our beautiful balcony seating. We love that our church has such a beautiful building to worship in with a space where I can take it all in. We love seeing our #balconypeeps every Sunday morning and treasure the wonderful people and friendships we have formed in those seats.
Our Favorite Part of Volunteering
Elizabeth: It is such a joy to help a sweet little one get settled so mom and dad can attend their class. I love that they can laugh, smile, play, and share peace, love and kindness.
Kim: In Creating On Wednesdays (COW) with Elementary Ministries, I love being able to see these creative young minds discover and explore in games, activities, and fellowship, all while welcoming and showing love for our one true King. This sight is such a gift and by far my favorite part. On Sunday it is always fun to hear the children read from the Bible and then explore the text through activities and crafts. I feel blessed and happy that God has brought me to meet these amazing people that lead and help in these classes.
John: I love being involved in Men’s Ministries where I get to learn and discuss how to best serve God in my life while discussing topics that are specific to being a man. I also love the time I spend with the Disciples Sunday School class and how we all volunteer together. Most recently I’ve started working with the high school students and am excited to hear and see how God is working in these young people’s lives.
In our spare time, with cameras in hand, we love to drive by the beach or take trips through the mountains. God has given us so much beauty in the world. We love to capture everything he has created and enjoy sharing photos with friends. When we aren’t out traveling on a day trip, you will find us at our home away from home, Disneyland. We go to the park often and visit Disney World about twice a year. That is us … simple, happy, and blessed. The three peas in a pod.
– Kim Hansen
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