Monday, November 22, 2010
Student’s wife starts a Christian
preschool at CSBS&C
It is a well-known Christian truth that ‘ministry’ is not the exclusive responsibility of pastors, elders or any church employee, but every Christian is called to serve God also — and Mindy Pierson is living proof that we can serve God anywhere, under any circumstance, using any talent granted by God.
When the Pierson family moved from Tennessee to Cochrane, Alberta in 2007 to further prepared for ministry at the Canadian Southern Baptist Seminary & College, they quickly demonstrated their desire to serve God by serving the community. Mindy and her husband Jeremiah became involved in several community activities by volunteering and by helping others to get engaged in the community as well.
One community need that soon became very clear for Mindy, was a Christian program for preschoolers. There were very few preschool programs of any sort for the Cochrane area. As she prayed and thought about the idea of a Christian preschool, she began to sense God calling her to be part of the process of opening one. She envisioned a school that would serve as a community outreach.
One of the biggest challenges that Mindy remembers, besides all the paperwork that goes along with the licensing, certifications, and permits needed to open a preschool, was to stand firm on what she knew God was calling her to do. However, she also recalls that “the Lord was so faithful to provide answers for every challenge and every detail. He also provided so many people along the way to lend a helping hand and to give much needed words of encouragement!”
In 2008, as part of God’s provision, the seminary agreed to provide one of the two-bedroom apartments on campus for the preschool’s use. “The seminary has gone over and above anything I could have asked them to do,” remarks Pierson. “They have allowed me to use one of the apartments, allowed me to paint and make the necessary changes to make the space appropriate for a preschool, and donated materials and man-hours to help make some of those necessary changes.” In October 2009 classes began at the Joyful Noise Christian Preschool.
Though the school welcomes Christian and non-Christian children alike, an evident difference from a non-Christian preschool is that at Joyful Noise they can openly acknowledge God as Lord and Savior. The kids learn how to pray as prayers are offered at the beginning and end of each class and before each snack time. They also end their classes listening to a Bible story and singing Christian songs. Pierson believes that the children feel loved in a different way than they would at a non-Christian preschool. “We can approach difficult situations by teaching basic biblical principles. We can praise God for a fun-filled day or for the beautiful creation we see outside. We can teach and model for the children how to love and respect each other by teaching the Fruits of the Spirit. At Joyful Noise Christian Preschool, we want to enrich the WHOLE child — mind, body, and soul.”
Shauna Dolan, teacher for the 4-year-olds, said that this school encompasses everything she is passionate about, that it connects relationally with children and their families, and that it fosters spiritual growth. “I love that this program presents an avenue to work morally, emotionally, spiritually and cognitively with the child,” said Dolan.
The Piersons moved to Evansburg, Alberta, in July as Jeremiah was called to pastor Evansburg Baptist Church. However, with 28 students registered for 2010-11, Joyful Noise will continue with two hired teachers along with a part-time assistant. Pierson is already considering starting a second Joyful Noise Christian Preschool at Evansburg.