Janis Johns volunteers for World Orphans in Texas. Here’s Janis’ story – how she connected with World Orphans, how God has captured her heart and life for the orphan, and how He is working and using her today... I worked for almost 20 years in a large corporation in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area. I remember feeling a gentle call to mission work, but never really took it seriously. I am single and completely self-supported, so how could I walk away from a great job and benefits? I remembering thinking if it was a true call from God, He would make it blatantly evident. Although the "nudge" was there, the "where" and "how" were not, so I continued with my plan and kept working. But the feeling of something missing from my life, feeling like I wasn’t where I was supposed to be, continued.
I started having health problems in 2008. I struggled to balance work with doctor appointments and my worsening symptoms. The demands of my job were too great, and eventually, I had to take a medical leave of absence. It took a couple of years to get the symptoms under control, but God used that time to draw me closer to Him. He gave me a strong desire for service to Him, and He spoke to me very clearly through a study of Isaiah, specifically chapter 54, which counsels a barren woman to sing "because more are the children of a desolate woman than of her who has a husband” (vs.1). Being childless had always left me a little empty, and keeping busy with work kind of took away the sting. Without my job, I was faced with the reality, and began to question my purpose. God has shown me that while He restricted me from having physical offspring, He has empowered me to bear virtually limitless spiritual offspring. He has loosened my restrictions and freed me to "enlarge my tent" (vs. 2). Today I know and believe all the more that He created me to bear much fruit.
Eventually I became well enough for some type of service. Since fatigue was, and continues to be, a major symptom, I knew I could never go back to the demands of my former job. So a friend and I prayed that God would lead me to something worthwhile, something that would bring Him glory and allow me to serve with the flexibility I need to continue to rest and heal.
During my time off, I had become a big fan of social media, as it gave me some comfort in feeling connected to people during my isolation. I follow many Christians and Christian organizations on Twitter. Twitter connects you with others based on the application's prompts through the nature of their "tweets." I have no recollection of following World Orphans on Twitter, but I was. Three days after my friend and I prayed together, I read a "tweet" from Alan Hunt who serves with World Orphans in Plano, Texas. He was advertising for an assistant to help him with some administrative duties. I sent him my resume, and he immediately called me. As they say, “the rest is history.” We both knew that God led me to World Orphans.
It has been a little over a year now since my volunteer work began. The staff continually expresses their gratitude for my service, but I am the one who is grateful. I love every one of them with all my heart, and I feel so completely blessed to walk along on this journey to rescue orphans and change the world. It is an honor to be a part of the work World Orphans is doing. This experience has been life changing and powerful--an answer to prayer--and I treasure every minute of it.