Maria Luea is the newest member of the Grandly team. As Grandly’s Assistant Project Manager, she will help us run seminars, recruit volunteers, and facilitate and raising support for Grandly projects.
What’s giving you life right now?
My sister asked me this question last spring after I had told her my troubles: college graduation was coming up and my post-grad plans were uncertain. I had references lined up for law school, but something was holding me back. I needed to be 100% sure before committing to three more years with my head in the books and my bank account in the gutter.
What was giving me life? I was surprised by my answer.
It was my side hustle: volunteer leadership with my old high school youth group. In 2019, I led a girl’s small group. In the fall of 2020, my supervisor asked me to serve as the women’s director. “Ha-Ha, very funny,” I thought. “I have one year of experience and you want me to do what?” But she was dead serious. When I reluctantly agreed to take the position, I had no idea this would be a key decision in my walk with the Lord.
My first year as the women’s director was a very complicated and frustrating time! The coronavirus was on the rampage. Our regular approach to youth work was completely thrown off. I was working overtime. Add in illnesses, political tension, youth in crisis, disagreements about youth group policies…and don’t forget about graduation…and you can imagine the kind of year it was!
But even then, I saw the Lord working. Our teens were growing in significant ways. And boy, was that rewarding!
I have a sister who is called to be a nurse. She says she hates her job, but I can tell she really loves it. She will often talk to me about a difficult shift at work with a patient who completely wore her out. But she loves telling me about it. She finds purpose in the challenge. That’s how she knows it’s her calling. And that’s how I knew that youth work was my calling.
Unfortunately, my position with the high school youth group was not offered as a full-time job. I asked one of my mentors what else I could do with this call of mine when I graduated. She suggested Grandly. I was confused. “Grandparents? I asked about youth work!”
Then I learned about the mission of Grandly: helping grandparents reach their own grandchildren for Christ! What a revolutionary youth work strategy! Now that was something I could get behind.
Maria Luea lives in Lansing, Michigan and serves as the Women’s Director for Christian Youth in Action.
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