Meet the Writer: Celeste Albaugh

I have always loved traveling, meeting people from other cultures, and exploring places around the world. This passion came from having been born in Great Britain and growing up as a military kid; my dad served in the United States Air Force for 26 years.

We moved every 3 ½ years of my life, and I attended 8 different schools. When we lived in California, I woke up early on Saturday morning, like any 6-year-old, to watch cartoons. However, this particular morning was different. The cartoons didn’t interest me. Instead, a TV show called The Treehouse Club by Child Evangelism Fellowship piqued my interest. After watching the show, while my parents were asleep, I started my personal relationship with Jesus.

In the various churches we attended as a family, I saw my parents model the importance of serving the Lord.

My passion for missions came from my dad. While serving the last year of the Vietnam War, a United States missionary couple refused to leave Southeast Asia. They had weekly Bible studies for the men. They introduced my dad to Christ and he began his personal relationship with Jesus. When he returned from the war, he lead our family in praying for, supporting and serving in various local missions.

My passion for teaching children came from my mom. She was always teaching children the Bible at church, and we would also have weekly backyard Bible clubs in our home during the school year.

Based upon my childhood experiences, my parents were not surprised when I shared with them, when I was 17 years old, my calling to be a minister to preschool and children. I didn’t know what this vocational role entailed since I had never meet or seen a woman in vocational ministry or had a children’s minister in any of the churches we attended.

For the past 26 years, I have served in various churches throughout the United States as a minister to preschool and children. In each church, I wanted to instill not only a passion for God’s Word, but also a passion for reaching the world. This was accomplished by introducing stateside missionaries to children, Skyping missionaries, and tasting food from that region.

I strive to be on mission each day of my life. Locally, I use my hobby of sewing to make pillowcases for children in our local children’s hospital. When they are admitted, they pick a special themed pillowcase to use and then take it home when they are discharged.

I also sew port-a-cath pillows for cancer patients. This makes their ride in a car a little more comfortable, keeping the seat belt from rubbing on their implanted port. This project was inspired by both of my parents who have battled cancer.

Nationally, I serve once a year in the distribution warehouse for Operation Christmas Child. I help inspect the packages that are shipped to children throughout the world.

Internationally, I have traveled to Cuba, with permission from the US, to lead conferences for children’s leaders to assist them in being more effective in reaching and teaching children. This was a life-changing experience for me!

I have recently gotten married and moved to Knoxville, Tennessee. I love to write in our upstairs bonus room because my writing desk overlooks the Smoky Mountains ridge line. It’s absolutely breath-taking in the fall!

My life verse is Jeremiah 33:3. Throughout my life and ministry, the Lord certainly has shown me “great and mighty things that I do not know.”

My prayer for you as Mission Friends® leader is to remain faithful in your relationship with the Lord and to what He has called you to do in your class each week. You are laying a strong missional foundation for each child. He will be faithful in using what they have learned in your class to mold them into mighty spiritual champions for Him!

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