Walking in Freedom
Sheila Slocum came to OM to help women like herself, women hurt by abuse. Though she was called to missions as a child, Sheila turned from her faith in her twenties. She returned to the Lord later in life and was soon drawn back to missions, through an OM speaker visiting her church.
Almost a decade later, she began her own time with OM as a cook in Belgium. She thought, "I don't like cooking but I'll do anything for Jesus". She served in a couple of different roles before finding her current niche, ministering to hurting women. Sheila travels to OM fields to talk with OM members. She is also an OM speaker, just like the one God used to direct her own life all those years ago. She says of her talks, "I just tell my story," which includes a difficult past of rape and abuse. And then the women begin to tell their own stories, often for the first time. Sheila says that many women keep these hurts secret their whole lives, either out of fear or perceived guilt. But Sheila's openness allows them to speak freely and that's when she gets to step into her favorite part of her job: listening. She knows that talking through these issues allows women to walk in freedom and Sheila says, "When women walk in freedom, they are free to serve".
The joy that Sheila gets from her work is infectious. Not only does it affect the women she ministers to but it has been an inspiration to her granddaughter Bekah as well. Sheila took her aboard the OM ship Doulos when Bekah turned 16 and Bekah fell in love with life on the ship. She was on track to join the crew of Doulos until the ship was decommissioned earlier than expected. So she is now working at a school for autistic children and loves it.
Sheila took Bekah's younger sister to Switzerland on her 16th birthday, and the girls' younger brother will likely also go on an OM-related trip when he turns 16. It is becoming a family tradition, one that may wind up impacting the kingdom for generations to come.
Would you like to hear more of Sheila's story? Have her speak to your women's group. Contact the OM Speakers Bureau.