Greetings To The Senior Class of 2020 in the Name of Our Lord and Savior – Our Great and Almighty Leader and Healer.
My name is Sheila DeWuske (Nee: Hughes). I would like to congratulate and give each and everyone of you my deepest and most heartfelt blessings and my COVID-19 6ft. distancing hug. You are entering into the most amazing, awesome, incredible, sometimes unpredictable, and a little unnerving at times, journey. You have studied so diligently and are now ready, willing, and set to take, for our Dear, Loving, Incredible God, this special journey He has prepared for you.
I have walked the very path you are about to embark on. I planned to be a teacher since fourth grade. I had many individuals tell me I shouldn’t even try the journey for multiple reasons, but I wanted to teach God’s little ones so much. I wanted to teach the hearing impaired children and those that struggled with learning. I wanted them to know of their great loving Lord and Savior. I was told there was such an unbelievable need for teachers. I, with the support of my parents & grandparents, and a handful of family friends, and a few teachers, placed my trust in God and took His journey.
I didn’t know how I was going to pay for Four Years of studying; jobs for college students were difficult to find, fuel prices were at an all time high, the economy wasn’t producing enough work for it’s full time employees, yet God whispered, “Trust Me” and I will show you the way… and it was done!
I didn’t know how I would ever pass some of the classes I needed to gain my teaching degree, but God said, “Trust me and I will open doors of help! It did come, from more individuals than I ever would have believed. It came from DMLC Professors, New Ulm Congregational Members, and Classmates. With their help, I learned multiple ways of tackling difficult subjects and succeeding.
I was s-o-o excited. 1983 graduating class was one of the largest classes to graduate DMLC. In a few days, I was going to be a part of that special class. Elation, I was going to be a teacher.
Then… news spread like wildfire; there weren’t enough “Calls”. Not everyone would receive a teaching position. As the final days passed, things grew more intense. Call requests were much smaller than first thought. Females engaged would be placed at the bottom of the list unless “The Call” specifically requested a married couple. Only a day or two prior to “Call Night”, a special announcement was made, for the first time in the history of “Call Night”, the list for “No Call Received” was so great, it was eliminated. Those Receiving a “Call” would hear their names read. Once done they would meet privately to get the information. The Faculty and Call Board new how difficult it would be for the rest of us to hear. The list was short, the wait time until a “Call” was available, “Unknown! My name was not on the list.
Graduation Day was very difficult. In 3 short months my school loans were going to be needing to be paid. No real job available.
Amidst my deep sadness and unending questions of what will I do, what should I do, did I make the right decision to teach? God loudly proclaimed, “Have no fear, I am with you and wait til you see the plan I have laid out for you! I needed to wait for news of a teaching position via mail. I waited, and waited, and waited. (Not very patiently I might add, and yes, very frustrated at times) I waited almost 14 months before receiving news; finally there was a need for primary grade teachers.
Placing my trust in God’s Ultimate Plan wasn’t easy. I took work as I could find it. Employers were hesitant to hire someone who may be teaching any moment.
I soon discovered God had a few more things for me to learn.
1) Trust, not just trust like trusting a friend with a special secret, but “The Ultimate Trust”!
2) Adults and Children both needed to hear of their Savior
3) Patience. Not the waiting in line for your turn patience, but “Real Patience”. The deepest strongest loving, honest patience that produces empathy of the deepest kind, the desire to make sure you find every Christian possible alternative to help one understand and succeed patience.
4) Complete satisfaction of having really nothing and still being able to move forward and complete the tasks before you.
5) The Lord said He wanted me to introduce sign language at NWPC in Watertown, WI and at Seminary in Mequon
6) The Lord said He wanted me to teach children, and also adults with learning disabilities in Milwaukee about Him
And it was so… July 1984, The Lord said You are now ready to do all the work I have laid out before you. I was blessed with a teaching call to Milwaukee, WI, a Mission Congregation that shared a School with another area congregation.
Graduating Class of 2020, your graduation day will soon be here. The Lord will take each and everyone, in His Time, and In His chosen moment, and He, personally, will set you into a very special city or country that He has specially selected just for you and your unique talents. Yes, your class will probably be the first to graduate differently than any class before you. Embrace this unusual event. Make it uniquely special & uniquely yours. You are entering into a very special career field; not everyone has the ability to walk this path. It is very unique and so very special because it’s just for you; totally and ompletely dependent on God in every aspect of it. Your years of Teaching and Preaching will be so very Special. “To God Be the Glory”
Blessing dear Graduates, Blessings,