Ordained Women Minister

Ordained Women Minister: Freedom for Captives

Ordained Women Minister

My name is Heather Goode, and I am called to be an ordained women minister. I am 49 years old and from Santa Cruz, California. I have been married for 29 years to my husband, Tom. We have three awesome and dynamic sons and two children who never saw the light of day awaiting us in Heaven.

I grew up in a profoundly broken home with an alcoholic step-father who was both physically and sexually abusive. I had moved 13 times by the time I entered eighth grade, having lived with four different families. It was in the last of these families, my aunt and uncle’s home, that I went to church for the first time and experienced the drawing of Jesus as He invited me to be His child. In God, I had found the Father for whom I had longed my entire life.

I attended a weekly Women’s Bible study with my aunt, where I experienced what I can only describe as the life I knew I wanted to live. I saw love and genuine fellowship. There was singing and laughter and passages of scripture that we read. Also, there was warmth, the smell of freshly made muffins and chamomile tea, and the connection that the women shared with each other and the Lord. These images became imprinted on my heart. I knew that I wanted to serve God who was capable of such beauty. I knew that I wanted to serve in the Women’s Ministry. Becoming an ordained women minister, a giver of this beauty to others like me who were so desperately in need of it, was my hope.

Marriage, Struggle, Healing

I married young, at twenty. I met a man who loved God. He was not the pastor I had imagined I’d marry, but instead a cabinetmaker and contractor. In my naivety, I thought we would live the life I’d always dreamed of, full of life and ministry and beauty. What I hadn’t bargained for is that although I loved Jesus, many of the broken places and thought patterns I’d grown up with sat lurking beneath the surface. This idyllic life I’d dreamed of instead became my worst nightmare. I struggled desperately for years to “fix” our issues. However, I couldn’t seem to find the keys to unlock the door that would get me in on the life that Jesus promised.

At 44 years of age, after 24 years of marriage, Tom and I separated. I was on the edge of an emotional breakdown and years of stress had led to severe illness. In the rubble that was my life, I found myself at the feet of Jesus. I knew that the only thing worse than divorce, humiliation, loss of reputation, loss of job and home, and devastation to our three boys was one more day the way things were. It was then that the Lord came. As Isaiah 61:4 promises, He repaired my ruined life! God taught me things I’d never understood before about His love for me, who He is, who I am as His daughter, and what I am called to do. Over that year, the Lord healed my broken heart and transformed my mind. He restored me to wholeness and then renewed my marriage.

Restoration and Ministry Training

Now, three and a half years later, our lives have changed. God has restored my dream and confirmed the calling He gave me 35 years ago in that sweet living room full of ladies. I, along with my ministry partner, Loreal Weitzel, co-founded a women’s ministry called the Arukah Project, which is about restoring wholeness to women in spirit, soul, and body. We operate on two fronts. In the church, we minister to women and share our stories of the transformative power of Jesus. Secondly, we work with women who are victims of sex trafficking and share that same transformational power.

I am on staff at my church and have felt the call of God to pursue ordination. My pastor recommended Christian Leaders Institute, having heard of it through a colleague. With my pastor’s blessing, I hope to work with CLI to achieve ordination with Christian Leaders Alliance. I also plan to get an education in non-profit management to serve the local church and the Arukah Project. Who knows, maybe CLI will offer that next?

Further Study for an Ordained Women Minister

The free training, while not completely necessary, is beneficial. Now that I am committed to full-time ministry as an ordained women minister, my husband is our sole provider. We have one son in college and two more coming up the ranks. The cost of college for me, especially in a private, Christian college or seminary, is very high, nearly $600 per unit for one school I researched. That would significantly limit my ability to take more than one class per semester. But my biggest driver is that I can focus on the training I need to obtain my goals. I won’t get bogged down by traditional education tracks. And finally, the busyness of my life demands flexibility in achieving my objective. CLI offers the perfect combination of everything I need.

Having finished eight classes with CLI (more than is needed for deacon ordination), I am very blessed by all that I have learned. My favorite class was People Smart for Ministry. Spending 26 years in the business world as a recognized leader and mentor, I would have considered myself a great communicator. However, it didn’t take long to discover that the life of a minister is an entirely different thing. The requirements for communication are much more intricate. This class totally changed my perspective and humbled me deeply. It taught me several critical keys to leading and loving people well with my words. I will forever be grateful for the teaching I received through CLI.

Please pray that I am an obedient, loving, faithful daughter of God as an ordained women minister. Pray that I have the strength to run the race before me and that I represent the Kingdom with love and truth.

Henry Reyenga
Author: Henry Reyenga

Henry Reyenga is president of Christian Leaders Institute and Christian Leaders Alliance.