Stories of faith | Grateful for community

June Snayers, one of our pastors, recently shared some of her story with us and what she is grateful for about community. Growing up as a timid young girl with a tattered self-image, June has blossomed into one of our church’s beautiful bold women’s discipleship leaders. At age 54, she has been married to her husband, Clarence, for almost 35 years. They are blessed with four children and three grandchildren.

A Hatfield member for 34 years and a pastor on our team for 13 years, June shares a heart-warming story of how she found love, acceptance, restoration, and purpose in our community. She recalls,

“Shortly after we married, my husband and I met Nati and Tertius de Kock, our area pastors at the time. They saw our leadership potential and appointed us as assistant community group leaders. That’s when our relationship with them developed. Under their wing, Clarence and I grew from being assistants to community group leaders, shepherds, then shepherds of shepherds and eventually pastors in the church.

“When I met Nati, I had such low self-esteem and no sense of dignity. I felt like a failure, and her affection drew me out of that space. She pulled me out from hiding at the back of the crowd, loved, and listened to me. Her adoration and belief in me were so beautiful and intense that I could not help but grow and mature under her guidance.

“She was honest and straightforward with me, which helped me grow. It was what I needed. She knew me very well as I stuck very closely with her. I would hear her tell stories of how she did things and imitate her. She taught me to speak love to my children and to listen when they speak. She advised me about setting their sleeping rhythms and honouring my eldest child by letting him sleep 15 minutes later than his siblings and giving him more spending money than them. He would then feel respected and hold that space as he grew up. This was all new to me as I wasn’t raised that way.

“I remember Nati calling me and explaining that I can do all things through Christ who is in me and that I can love and serve God’s people. At that time, I did not know this about myself because I was raised being told that I was stupid and never good enough to do anything.

“I went from being shy and unable to speak because I felt inadequate to being who I am today. Now I know that I am the beloved of Christ; I am restored, renewed, revived, and a child of the Most High.

“I’m blessed to call Nati my spiritual mom and friend, and I will forever honour God for sending her to me. I am who I am today because of her seeing and investing in me. Through the way she modelled God’s character to me, I became the best mom, wife, and child of God. I am grateful, and now I can invest in women like me.

“I want to encourage you reading my story that you are good enough and can do everything through Christ who gives you strength. You are His beloved, and He is yours.”

June’s story is one of the many beautiful stories of people who found love, hope, healing, and restoration in our community. We are each made in God’s image and, through the finished work of Jesus in us, can reflect the Lord’s character to those around us and help them tangibly encounter God.

Is there somebody in our community, at work, or at school that God is asking you to notice and love? May you be encouraged by Nati and June’s story to extend Christ’s love in our community and beyond.

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Do you have a story of faith to share? Send us an email at talktous@hatfield.co.za, and we’ll contact you.

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