Recently, I was very blessed to meet Donna Koop, one of RMCC’s senior saints, and learn more about her life. Over hot chocolate, she shared her life and journey of faith with me. And now, we get to share it with you!
How did you come to faith in Christ?
My mother was a single mom, so I was raised by my godly grandparents. They were already raising my sister, so they weren’t too keen on caring for me as well. Some of the conversations we overheard had the word ‘orphanage’ in them. We had no idea what that meant, but it didn’t sound good. We didn’t want to go there. But the Lord was looking out for me and provided a safe, Christian home with my grandparents.
When I was eight, I went to a kids ministry event at the Pentecostal Tabernacle and it was there that I accepted Christ as my Savior.
In Grade 9, I wanted to live with my mom. My grandmother was hesitant but allowed me to go on the condition that I stayed there for a while; I couldn’t come back right away. Within three weeks, I knew I’d made a mistake. My mom was doing all sorts of things I didn’t like or feel comfortable with, and she tried to make me do things with her.
At school, I found a very good friend who encouraged me to go back to church. She and I grew quite close, and she kept me accountable to continue growing in my faith. Looking back, I know the Lord was keeping me close.
What has most impacted you in your walk of faith?
The way the Lord has led me all along.
When I was about 16, I went to camp and made a commitment to burn for the Lord. In my mind, I saw myself with a group of people standing on a big, flatbed truck. We were handing out tracts and Bibles to black people below. I asked the Lord to guide me if my calling was to be in missions.
I then met David and married him at 19. We started our family, and we prayed for God to lead us.
About 24 years later, we were close to our 25th anniversary and announced our desire to serve in missions. At a church dinner, there was an announcement for an opening in missions. They were looking for people who had a trade, and David was a printer. So we spoke with the leader of the board and they said they were looking for a printer in Nairobi, Kenya.
We went home and prayed about it. Then I had another dream showing us handing out Bible tracts to black people. I told David about it, and we knew we had our answer. But we weren’t sure about our youngest daughter since she was still in school. So we talked with her, and she told us that if God called us, He would make a way for her as well. And He did.
What has been one of the greatest challenges to your faith?
My health. I have severe arthritis and have had many surgeries.
Another challenge is watching my grandkids being beckoned by the world to drift from their faith.
Another challenge was when my husband passed away just a few months before Pastor Stan. David was the one to lead, and I followed him. But RMCC does grief very well and looks out for the widows.
How would you encourage the next generation of believers?
Love kids. I think the older generation should mentor the younger generation.
It’s easy to stay in a ‘clique.’ People don’t realize how important it is to reach out to other people and be friendly. Look for people who are sitting alone and consider sitting with them and get to know them.
One of my favourite quotes is: “Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Others leave footprints on our hearts and we are never ever the same.” – Flavia
Looking back on when I was going to serve in missions, I thought, “Wow, look at what I’m doing for the Lord.” But coming back, I thought, “Wow, look at what the Lord did for me.”
We walk by faith, not by sight. Sometimes things don’t look too promising, but God is good. When God calls you, He equips you.
What would you say to a believer if they were struggling/drifting in their faith?
Find a support person, someone who will encourage you in the right way.
Believers need community. I think we’ve all discovered through COVID that online doesn’t beat community.
What would you tell other believers about sharing their faith?
God gives you many opportunities to share your faith. It can be as simple as a kind and encouraging word to someone you interact with. In everything you do, look for the opportunities that you can use to show God’s love and goodness.
What are some of the things you are looking forward to about heaven?
I’m excited about God and His throne. In the study of Revelation, I was really encouraged to read about the bowls full of the saint’s prayers.
What has the Lord shown you in your journey of faith that you’ll always carry with you?
His faithfulness. The Lord is always there to be your friend and wants to be included in everything. Share your entire life with Him.
God doesn’t walk out when you’re alone, nor does He forget His own.