Ronda has been a Christian for over twelve years, but her journey truly began just over two years ago when she started to feel like God was calling her into something.
She prayed about it and read in Matthew the portion where Jesus talks about being fed when hungry and given water when thirsty. She thought, “I’ll take that literally and I’ll just start by feeding people.” Her church was running a soup kitchen at the time, which was a perfect place for her to start. She volunteered in the afternoons and helped prepare the meals, but never really interacted with the people that were coming in.
As time passed, Ronda realized that she was lacking the passion she’d expected in the work that God called her to, and began to wonder if she was doing the right thing. She finally prayed and told God that “I wanna do something to serve You. I don’t know if I’m supposed to be passionate about it, or if I’m just supposed to go and do it. It’s ok that it feels hard and not like something I want to do.”
One evening, while talking to a friend, Ronda discussed the idea of volunteering in a prison. She wanted to go and visit people who might feel like they are forgotten, and she felt called to work with men. She had a difficult time facing this initially, as it seemed strange. She felt that she ought to minister to women, but somehow that wasn’t what God was leading her to.
When she went home, she searched up ‘prison ministry’ and Connecting Streams came up right away. After a few emails and meetings, Ronda quickly got involved, and went to her first orientation. At the meeting, the Connecting Streams leader said “My vision is that each one of you will one day lead your own team.”
That scared Ronda. It wasn’t what she had expected, as she saw herself much more as a follower than a leader. She said to him, “I don’t want there to be any false expectations of what I’m here to do. I’m not a leader and I don’t really have any interest in doing that, but I just really want to volunteer and see what this is all about.”
After going into the prisons a few times, one of the other volunteers asked her if she was ready to lead the Bible study next time. Ronda didn’t understand why people kept asking her this, as she didn’t feel like a leader at all, but figured that it might be a nudge from God, so she finally decided to give it a shot.
That was where she came alive.
God ended up taking Ronda from something where she was willing to serve Him but wasn’t passionate about it, to leading her to step out and find a passion in leadership that she hadn’t recognized in herself.
“I am so grateful to be blessed to be doing this, to step out into something that God has called me to,” Ronda says. “He’s equipped me. Now I don’t say that I’m not a leader because, honestly I’m really not, but I know that God is. And when He calls us to do something, He equips us to do it whether we understand that or not.”