Available: Using Our Gifts for His Glory
Jun 01, 2016
An old hymn begins "Jesus paid it all; all to him I owe..."
That means nothing is held back. That means all time, talents, and treasures are gladly given to Jesus because of his work on the cross.
“Gladly,” “all,” “time,” “talents,” and “treasures” are words that can be used to describe Jerry and Celeste Bloomfield’s story.
Their individual journeys of generosity began early in their lives.
Jerry’s story started with the example his mother set when he was a teenager. Jerry began to a see a change in her when she was saved when he was 16 years old. He noticed that his mother was happier and carried her burdens joyfully.
“But the thing that spoke to us as children in New York City with a single mother working two jobs, where money was tight, was her freedom to give to God’s cause and to God’s people and God’s church, that really was part of the reason we knew Mom had really changed,” Jerry said.
Celeste grew up in a Christian home and saw her parents’ faith lived out as their family faithfully attended church, and as her father prayed and read Scripture. Celeste sees God using that time to grow her own love for him and as preparation for what was to come, especially her heart for missions.
During trips to Honduras and India, she learned a heart-changing lesson: “It’s being available to God, for God, and being willing to be used by him where you are,” she said.
The Bloomfields have seen God use their backgrounds and their talents for his work. Jerry is a cardiologist, and Celeste has her Master of Public Health degree and loves working with children. God led them to Kenya, to work at the hospital in Kijabe. Jerry saw a need for treating heart disease but also teaching how to treat it in Kenya. He was able to build and facilitate a partnership with Duke and the hospital in Eldoret to achieve that.
The Bloomfields and their growing family, which now includes four children, spent six months in Kenya and six months in the U.S. each year from 2009 to 2016.
“If you put your all on the line and say ‘God, this is yours, we are yours, what do you want to do with us?’, you’ll see God is faithful. It’s his work. It’s not our work,” Jerry said.
Celeste summarizes the goal of their lives best: “Be available to God,” she said. “Putting your yes on the table, it’s about responding to the work he places you in at that moment. Using our gifts for his glory, where we are.”
By Mary Moorefield