Tara Henderson

Ministry Leader in Tiffin, Ohio

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I heard the call to serve others out of love for God from the time I was a young girl.  My heart has always been drawn to cross-cultural relationships.  While a senior in high school, our family hosted a foreign exchange student from Japan for nine months.  I always thought I would head to serve in a third world country, but my experience with my new Japanese “sister” opened my eyes to the spiritual needs in other parts of the world.

Within four years I was serving as a volunteer in Japan for six months.  This is where I received my next assignment, which was to go to seminary to become more equipped for the next part of my journey.  While in seminary and after graduation, I had the opportunity to provide support to others who were serving overseas through my employment at International Ministries of the American Baptist Churches, USA.  During this time and following, I hosted many international partners, college students, church groups, and co-workers in my home.  Hosting has always been a part of my life and who I am.  I continue to host as I open my home to individuals and groups, especially those connected with my own children.

Over the many years since my first call, I have been involved in service of many different kinds.  I have tried to “bloom where planted” and allow God to use me wherever I am – recognizing that we are all called to share God’s love with the people around us, no matter where we are.  I have served as Youth Leader to some churches in West Virginia, Sunday School teacher and Nursery Coordinator to churches in Pennsylvania and Colorado, Chaplain to elders in a Senior Living Community in Colorado, Pastor to a small church in Ohio, and counselor to many along my journey.

I have lived in many different states and traveled to different countries and I know what it is like to feel like a “stranger”.  I have been blessed to receive amazing hospitality over the years and I know what it is like to feel lonely.  I want to continue to extend the hospitality of Jesus Christ to others.

I have experienced great loss and many challenges in my life, but I am grateful that God chooses to create beauty from ashes and brokenness.  And I am grateful that God is my redeemer, who can use my brokenness to bring comfort and hope to others.

While unable to leave the shores of this country at this time, I am very excited about being able to reach the nations right here where I live as I continue to raise my kids and serve with IFI.  My kids support me and join me in this calling.  My daughter Ana is a Sophomore at Heidelberg University.  My daughter Naomi is a Junior in High School.  My son Joel is in 8th grade. We enjoy our chickens and other pets and love to share these  and our home with others.

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