Tell Us Your Story: Melissa Payne

Tell Us Your Story: Melissa Payne

November 16, 2020 | Jake Each

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Jake

Hey Veritas, welcome to another episode of tell us your story and I'm here with Melissa Payne who's a dear friend and their family has just been a tremendous blessing to our family, and you may see her around on Sundays. This is a chance to get to know her a little bit better. So Melissa tell us a little bit about yourself.

Melissa 

Well my family and I moved to the Cedar Rapids area about five and a half years ago already it's been, and we've been going to Veritas for about five of those years so sort of got plugged in early after meeting Jake who.

Jake

At like a football — what was it. 

Melissa

You were coaching Mo’s youth football team. And so my son O.J. was on that team and I wrote down something about every coach and I wrote down Pastor church question mark. And that was the beginning of me sort of finding my way to Veritas. So I got three kids — OJ who is a junior, Apollo a freshman, and Naomi in third grade. 

Jake 

And what do you do for a living? 

Melissa 

And I work at Kirkwood Community College. I'm the dean of students there. So mostly an administrative type and get to do lots of fun stuff with students who are struggling. 

Jake 

That's awesome especially for us being a next generation church to have a fellow believer on campus in a demographic that we want to reach has been a blessing to us as a church to have your presence and just your voice in their life is really encouraging. So Melissa tell us how did you become a follower of Jesus. 

Melissa 

Well I grew up going to church and I would say that when I was between — so between eighth and ninth grade I had a chance to go to church camp that my church was a part of a big organization of churches and it was in Estes Park Colorado. And one of the most powerful pieces of the camp was each day we had our own daily devotional time on top of a mountain in the midst of the most beautiful scenery on the planet. At least that I had experienced at that time. And the Lord moved in my heart in a powerful way during that season and I just came back with a true faith of my own a true commitment to him that meant a whole lot to me and has really just continued to grow and shape and shift me over the course of my life.

Jake 

How old were you when that happened. 

Melissa 

I would've been 14. 

Jake 

14. So your husband and I we went to rival high schools growing up and I got to play football against your husband and was it Davenport. 

Melissa

West. 

Jake

Yeah so that was cool to come full circle and make that connection again. Melissa Yeah absolutely. Jake So what has following Jesus meant for you as an adult and through your life? 

Melissa

So I've been thinking about this question a lot because you know my first response was everything like it's just meant everything it has shaped the big and small decisions. But what I what I really want to share about what it has meant to me is just about what it has meant about my relationships with others and I know there are people I never would have gotten to know people I never would have had the opportunity to love or have loved me without being a follower of Christ and I just think that there are so many people who are not my type who are my family now. And that's partly about Veritas and that's partly about a lot of people in a lot of other churches and communities and I just am thankful to really have my heart changed in a way that allows me to see people from the perspective that Jesus would want us to. 

Jake

That's awesome. Yeah. You've been an incredible blessing — just seeing Melissa's love and devotion to Jesus has been so encouraging. That's where — if you get a chance to get to know Melissa take advantage. When people talk about hey Veritas things are going great. Sometimes I have other pastors ask like what's the what's the secret I don't know but it's our people and we have amazing people and the chance to get to know people in their stories has been just a blessing and if you just get to know Melissa you'll be blessed from that too. And I know I know our family has been so Melisaa thanks for sharing your story with us. 

Melissa

Absolutely. Thanks for having me.


Jake Each

Executive Director of Teaching & Vision