Hello! My name is Clare Kolenda. I'm seventeen years old and I'm number seven in a family of nine. I love all things hockey and jazz music and I like to dance almost as much as I love to write. Almost. Writing is my passion, but my heart's desire is to help Christ change the world.
But I didn't always know that. Even at the beginning of this summer I had no clue what God had in store for me. To be honest, I was pretty annoyed with Him. My best friend had moved away, I had no job, no car, no money. I though my summer was doomed. I felt like Rapuzel stuck and confined... only without the awesome hair.
After moping around a little bit, I realized I shouldn't waste the time. That I should give it to God and see what He did with it. And what did He do? He helped me write all summer long. He gave me contests to enter, and helped me place in several of them, and He showed me in countless ways how much He loved and cherished me. It was a period where I was showered with grace. And it was during this summer that God showed me that He wanted me to help Him change the world with my stories. My favorite part about writing is the fact that I have the ability to touch someone somehow. Whether it just makes them laugh, gives them a reason to smile, or offers an escape, if one of my stories can do that for someone, it's completely worth it. Knowing that God wanted to use my writing, I thought that was wonderful, but He wasn't finished yet.
I applied for a job at the end of the summer for a seasonal position at a Christian bookstore nearby. Again, God opened the right doors and I was hired later. Becoming an employee, part of my job is to ask our customers if they will be willing to sponsor child who could live from any part of the world so they can have a better future. It helps change the kids lives. It could even be the difference between them getting sick and dying, to staying healthy and strong. When I ask customers, I hear a lot of "no's". Either the customer says they don't have enough money to commit to a month-to-month plan, or they already support another charity organization, or some other personal reason. Hearing a "yes" is like a spotting a jewel shining among coals. Sometimes an employee will go months without getting a child sponsored.
But just this week, I've gotten three sponsorship's for three different children. And it's all because God is asking me to help Him change the world. By helping these kids get sponsored I am helping change their lives. I'm transforming a part of the world. How cool is that?
It's quite hard to believe that just 6 months ago I was still mad at God because I was bored and alone. I'm so grateful that I gave my summer to God to use, and He gave me the opportunities He did. Because at seventeen, I am fulfilling my heart's desire, my life's work. I am changing the world.