We are saying Good Bye to special couple who have invested themselves in the lives of the children of Idaho. Beverly Wisdom is stepping down as the Top Ten Counties Director the end of April. I have appreciated Beverly’s heart for the children, enjoyed working with her and getting to know her and her husband Mike. I asked for a note from the Top Ten Counties Committee to put in the last State news letter. The note had to be edited to fit in the newsletter. I would like to share the unedited portion with you here.
Becky Tiegs, Committee Member
And so it comes time for Idaho to bid a fond farewell to a marvelous missionary heart from Missouri. Bev Wisdom came to us from Springfield, Missouri. God sent!
She had given up a teaching job and moved west with her husband to be closer to a son.
No part of the life of a believer is not in the hands of God. Though she had planned to seek a job working for the State of Idaho using her degree in education and her love of teaching children, those opportunities disappeared one by one. Through a series of circumstances and new found friendships in the family of God at Kamiah Bible Church, Bev found a special ministry as a C.E.F director for the Top Ten Counties of Idaho. She was encouraged to attend a training and a Good News Club by Sheri Wentland and the rest is history. A committee came together and she was sent back to Missouri to receive training at CEF headquarters. “When things get hard, don’t look at the hard. Look to Jesus”, she said to her fellow grads at the CMI graduation, giving them each a small section of rope to remind them that Jesus is the knot that keeps us hanging on.
The work began in the small towns of Kooskia and Kamiah and was strengthened and grew there. Through teamwork with members of the committee, in particular, Sheri Wentland and then Julie Divine the first CYIA training was held at a pastor’s home in Kooskia. Others followed at Camp Cocolalla on Rt. 95 southwest of Sandpoint, Idaho and then in most recent years at Alacca Bible Camp and Conference Center, in the tiny town of Harpster, Idaho. Teens enjoyed learning how to share Christ with younger children and spending time together team building. Well-trained, these terrific teens would minister in parks and churches in the summer.
Now the Lord is calling Bev to other ministries. When asked what her vision is for the future of this important work in Idaho, Bev said that having begun at ground zero to build it, (probably around 2010) she and the committee have come a long way. Her hopes and prayers are that someone can take this work and lead it to the next level. That the next director can locate in a more populated area and continue this ministry as it reaches out through CYIA, 5-Day Clubs and Good News Clubs after school.
What a gift God brought to our geographically remote part of Idaho! Support grew. Smart, creative, friendly, relationship- builder Bev rolled up her sleeves and went to work, never looking back. Our committee not only wishes her well, but prays that the work she was sent to accomplish will continue with another God-sent help and heart that He alone can bring. And to you, Bev, blessed be the tie that binds. We’ll be hanging on to that knot. — Your grateful committee
I remember and am very grateful for my friends Sheri and Bev coming to the church to speak about teaching children the love of God through Child Evangelism Fellowship. We are so blessed to have Child Evangelism Fellowship in our area due to the work of these two wonderful ladies!
Norka Pickering, Committee Member
My boys have both matured greatly by being a part of Christian Youth in Action, learning through Bev and Sheri, how to teach children the word of God with patience and love. The experience they had the last two summers has been incredible as they went on the mission field and were able to teach children about the word of God.
Tiago Pickering, CYIA
My experience with CEF was extraordinary. I will always remember seeing the kids walk in with smiles on their faces willing to learn God’s word. What I did this summer did not just strengthen the kids it also strengthened the people who taught it. It was wonderful to teach the kids the truth. I am so grateful that God gave me the best teachers and that is Ms.Bevery and Ms.Sheri.
They are both great at what they do, teaching God’s word to people. I was so happy to be serving God last summer. CEF is really awesome.
Dillan Pickering, CYIA
My experience in CEF was definitely something that I will remember for the rest of my life. During my time with CEF, I gained a lot of self-confidence in myself, also I grew a lot spiritually. Farther into the summer I got to see God’s plan unfold before me. Also, I began to see his love for children and myself. Also, I had lots of fun and a lot of memories. I was thankful God gave me the chance to share his word even though I’m a sinner. I also had good mentors who supported me and guided me to reach my full potential. I am grateful that Ms.Bev and Ms.Sheri helped me and gave me a better view of God.
Bonnie Olive, Committee Member
This is great, thank you! I’ve learned much under Bevs leadership. She is a blessing !!!
Sheri Wentland, Committee Member
While still living in Arizona, God spoke very clearly to me that I was to move back to north Idaho and start a CEF chapter there. On my drive up (3 days) He impressed over and over on my mind to pray for wisdom. So that became my battle cry—God, give me wisdom!
About four months after contacting Bob Smith, Idaho State Director, and setting up a base in Kamiah (and praying multiple times a day for wisdom), I attended the church I grew up in—Kamiah Bible. There was a potluck that day. A wonderful friend from childhood, Bonnie Olive (also an eventual committee member!) said, “I want to introduce you to a wonderful woman. She and her husband recently moved here from Kansas and she’s a retired school teacher; just so sweet. She’s right over there and her name is Beverly Wisdom”.
It was as if a bomb went off in my head and God said, “THAT is the wisdom you have been praying for”.
I met Bev that day and we chatted. She had never heard of Child Evangelism Fellowship and had no interest. I changed how I prayed and recruited prayer partners. I found out her address, where she banked and when she usually shopped. And I settled down to meet her at every opportunity. She had no idea what she was up against.
After several months of this prayerful ‘stalking’ Bev mentioned that she was seeing me everywhere and also said she felt God talking to her about CEF. I said it was about time! Of course she wanted to know what I meant and I shared the entire story and that she was destined to be the first Local Director of a new, as yet unchartered, CEF chapter.
The rest is history. Beverly attended the Children’s Ministry Institute and graduated at the top. She returned to Kamiah and did become the first Local Director of Idaho’s CEF Top Ten Counties Chapter.
Julie Divine, Committee Chairman
I remember first meeting Bev as my neighbor in Kamiah and she became a good friend rapidly. As Sheri became a part of Bev’s life and drew her into Child Evangelism Fellowship, I was quickly introduced to the ministry as well. And was next in line to become part of the CEF family. We went to speak at churches together and Bev always enjoyed introducing us as, Hi I am Bev Wisdom and this is Julie Divine, we put our arms around each other, and together we are Divine Wisdom. Going to many churches to speak about CEF was a wonderful experience meeting many sisters and brothers in Christ in each congregation.
Bev’s missionary work began as she and her husband Mike went to Missouri for her three-month intensive training while Mike worked as a handy-man there at headquarters. When they returned to Kamiah she dove headfirst into laying the groundwork for launching CEF in the Top Ten Counties of Idaho! A missionary heart through and through, she began to receive a paycheck long after giving her all to the ministry
She continued to work hard on all aspects of the ministry for the next seven years. She is wonderful at making the most out of every dime. She and Sheri went on shopping days specifically for CEF and got amazing deals on just about everything! All office needs, special items for the CYIA training… Hopefully, Sheri can say more about this, actually hilarious topic.
Bev, I appreciate all you have done and for the friendship and sister that Jesus has used to continue to sharpen and mold me these last several years. Blessings in everything you do.