Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Mrs. Jean

Have you ever just known someone that just seemed to ooze goodness out of their very being? That's the way I've always thought of Wednesday's Woman for this week - Jean Ballew. Growing up, she was my pastor's wife. There's no one else I wanted more to be like when I became an adult. Mrs. Jean seemed to be nothing but sweet, humble, gracious, and loving. She was a middle school math teacher in addition to being mom to two girls. She seemed to adore her husband and embraced his call to ministry for herself as well, exactly what a good pastor's wife should do. She was my Acteens leader, and did it the old school way by having us do our Studi Act steps. In case you don't know, that meant we had a lot of scripture to memorize and service projects to complete. Mrs. Jean taught us to be missions minded and missions active. Through the completion of my Studi Act steps, I was able to earn one of the scholarships that helped to fund my college education at North Greenville College, now North Greenville University.
From seventh grade on, I had my heart set on North Greenville because Mrs. Jean and "Preacher" went there. That year, they had an Acteens day at NGC, and we were able to have a tour of the campus. I fell in love with it for myself because it's slogan is true. North Greenville is the place "Where Christ makes the difference". I was thrilled to have a dorm room across the hall where Mrs. Jean had lived close to thirty years prior!
Back to why I loved her so much - Mrs. Jean weekly spent that time with us, the teenage girls of our church and encouraged us in ministry to love all people. She led us in backyard Bible clubs at a local trailer park, but really enabled us to be the ones to do the work. She took us on my first mission trip to the inner-city of Richmond, Virginia. Some Southern churches are uncomfortable with the various races we'll share Heaven with, but Mrs. Jean showed how to love all the children of the world, red, yellow, black, and white.
Mrs. Jean was our Vacation Bible School director for our association of churches. She and Preacher got quite pumped up about VBS, and I still love it because they showed me how it can be done so well.
I had the great blessing of sitting next to Mrs. Jean in the choir while I was in high school. Just more time to soak up the epitome of a Titus 2 woman to me! She was so reverent, so good, and she taught me to be sensible and pure too. I hope I can be the kind of pastor's wife that she was for me!
To women who teach classes weekly to younger girls, the time you spend with them does matter so much! Be encouraged that it is worth your effort!


Jamie said...

Sounds like a very special woman!

Wanda Whiten said...

I love Jean Ballew. I have so much respect for her. I give her praises all the time! I miss her so much.