Helen Shanks

Robert and I have been married 13 years. We have 3 lovely boys, Wallace (10) Jack (8) and Ben (5). Robert runs the family dairy farm and works far too many hours!! but then that is farming life. Cows don’t know what day Sunday is or when is a bad time to start calving, but it’s our life and we love it.

I worked as a Nursery Assistant until Ben was born and as I was unable to return to full time work and care for my boys properly I now help out on the farm, do the accounts, run messages and do some sub classroom assistant work. I enjoy other things like cake decorating and floral art and often have my arm twisted to do a ‘wee’ cake or ladies talk.

Robert was born and bred in Muckamore and his family all still belong to the church. I belonged to Loanends Church. I became a Christian in my early teens and was involved in my church family life as I grew up. I joined Muckamore once I was married.

Over the years I have been involved in several things. The first was PWA (as was, now PW). I found this a great way to get to know other ladies. I became a Rainbow Club leader about 7 years ago, which I love to do. I used to be on the Church’s ‘fellowship team’ and also went along to the Ladies 20s-30s group.

We believe as a family that Church is an important part of our life. The boys all enjoy Rainbow Club and Jump, and love to get to Boys Brigade. Muckamore Church has given us as a family much encouragement and support especially over the last 5 years, helping us to come to terms with our son’s disability and learning to cope with it.

God has always had a special place in my life and I love to try to reach out to others about this, but I have to say I find it easier to do this with children and at their level, especially using Jane the Puppet as my assistant. I have been encouraged by the enjoyment the children get from her stories and tales and have found that adults too listen to her talks and take things from them.

Church is an important part of being a Christian—a place to come to meet other Christian people, to praise and thank God for all he does for us; but it also recharges your batteries when you are tired, weary or under pressure—sometimes by being in the presence of people who care, or through the words of a song, a Bible verse or a prayer hitting a special chord with you. There have been many, many times that this has happened to me and it’s at these times that I feel God the most.

I know we all lead busy lives, with more worldly pressures in them, but Muckamore is a place to come to, to be a part of and to enjoy. I would encourage anyone who has thought of doing something new in our church—like come to PW or help with Jump or Rainbow Club, BB or GB or any of the many things we offer—to give it a go.  I know everything is not for everybody, but Muckamore offers so much. So come and see how it can benefit your life and your journey with God.

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