Carol Collins – Holsby Alum
Our recent effort to encourage our 40+ years of Holsby alumni to reconnect with each other has resulted in the renewal of many old friendships and connections. If you haven’t already joined the Facebook group for your school year, I would urge you to do so. You never know whom you might “meet” again. Just search on Facebook for your class year. Most of the Holsby Facebook groups will be in the following format: “Holsby Bible School 1973-74.” Just fill in the year you attended.
One of the renewed connections is with Carol (Fast) Collins, an alum from Canada from the 1982-83 year. Carol recently shared an update with her classmates on their Facebook group (Torchbearers Holsby Brunn 82/83 – Capernwray Sweden) and I asked if we could share it with a wider audience. I think you will find her words as encouraging as we did. And maybe it will prompt some of you to share your story with our readers too. Here is what Carol writes:
“As I have been thinking back over the years and just how the time I spent at Holsby has actually affected my life today, I have been surprised by the impact that year has had on a number of areas of my life. The teaching definitely molded and shaped my spiritual understanding. But it went beyond that to breaking and reshaping my personal relationship with God. I first learned to listen to His Voice and begin a deeper communication with God there at Holsby as I was exposed to the spiritual walks of staff and different speakers that came.
I can still remember sitting on the edge of my seat as a Romanian pastor spoke of his relationship with God in the midst of terrible persecution. It shook my safe, North American view of God and created a deep hunger for a more honest and authentic relationship with Him.
Another area at school that impacted my life almost as much, were the friendships and connections I made with fellow students and staff. Deep, honest conversations, challenges faced and walked through together, laughter and acceptance of weaknesses, love and shared fun, spiritual obedience that acted as a catalyst in my life to walk more faithfully… this living life together impacted and shaped my outlook on life.
As I look back over the pictures that remind me of the crazy, creative things we did, the fun and the laughter, I realize afresh how lucky I was to be a part of an incredible group of people from so many different countries and cultures that grew to love each other.
As for the rest of my life… Holsby created in me a desire to care for and help kids that are struggling or hurting. I went to university to get my Social Work degree and met my husband there. For the next 16 years I worked as an Educational Assistant at a teen parent program run by the school district for teen moms who had come back to school to get their high school diploma. As I got to know these girls I realized that for many of them intervention in the elementary years would have changed their predicament now.
God opened the doors and nudged me to get my teaching degree and teach. I had always thought that I would spend my life overseas, but God has had other plans. I am in my fourth year teaching grade 4 in an inner city school. What a challenging and rewarding experience!
God has impressed upon me that my time as a teacher is not about me at all, but rather, it is about Him being able to love and touch children that do not know Him. I am just to be obedient each day and listen to His Voice. It is no fluke that every year I seem to have the most difficult behavior problem students in my class. However, I feel honored to be able to partner with Him as I witness God working miracles in people’s lives. Yes, there is stress, tears and frustration but there is also laughter and joy.
Through all this I have been blessed with an amazing husband who supports and loves me and three incredible kids who have enriched my life beyond measure. I know that life isn’t easy or perfect after Bible School; for many there will be deep valleys and tough challenges. But I am so very thankful for the living foundation that I gained, which has filled me with the courage and faith to weather life’s storms and seek to impact the relationships in my small corner of the world for Him.”