It seems I’ve been a teacher my whole life. Starting as a counselor in a local Mukilteo, Washington high school. I found myself desiring to see people set free from all the dysfunctions that were going on in their lives. Seeking that goal, our family moved to another state where I taught high school history and a Bible class, which turned my life around. God’s call on my life happened there and the Foursquare Denomination commissioned the Alinen family as pastors. It was here I started my Ph.D program and fulfilled my desire to have the opportunity to pastor and counsel people. For 15 years, we pastored churches in Wilbur, Washington, East Helena, Montana, and our home town Mukilteo, Washington. Each post brought joy and hardships as we did our best to be faithful to fulfill our calling. But then a failure on my part brought our ministry opportunities to an end!
But when God closes doors, by His Mercy, windows open. Because of a repentant heart, the Lord blessed me with the opportunity to return to the Mukilteo School District as a PE teacher and coach. What the devil meant for my destruction, the Lord meant for my good and His glory. My desire to teach middle school and high school kids was renewed once again; along with the privilege of coaching state champion golf teams, conference champion tennis teams and 8th grade basketball teams. The things I learned mentoring young men and women as a coach have been valuable to me. I also had the privilege of serving and seeing my student’s families struggling to live in this upper middle-class city where both parents had to work. Many of those parents needed a helping hand as they negotiated family life and learning how to be the parent they needed to be.
Now retired, I’m still involved with many of those parents, leading Bible studies and performing marriage ceremonies for many of my former students! We’re even back in the Mukilteo church we pioneered, sitting in the same seats as before. But now with a total different attitude and spirit, one of serving and not being served. It can’t get any better!