What is your name, and can you tell us about your family?
My name is Karen Smith and I serve as the Dean of Women at the Bible Institute. I have three grown sons, who married three lovely women and have the five (soon to be 6) cutest grandkids on the planet. My husband passed away 15 years ago.
Tell us about your salvation experience.
When I was seven, my mom led me to the Lord after she was saved through the Billy Graham Crusade. I remember sitting on my bed with her and praying. She said that she could see the difference in my life from that point on.
Tell us about your role as a team member of Word of Life Bible Institute.
I have the joy and privilege to serve as the Dean of Women at the Bible Institute. This consists of caring for our women on campus through teaching, training, counseling, and discipleship. I work closely with three Discipleship Coordinators who serve in the dorm areas. Together we make a team dedicated to encourage and care for the female side of campus.
What is your favorite memory of WOLBI as a student or staff member?
Recently, a former student returned to ask forgiveness for her actions during their year at the BI. What a blessing to see how God’s grace had been poured on her life. We know that God’s Word will not return void, but we don’t always get to see the outcome of the seeds planted. I’m so thankful to see the joy and humility as evidence of what He was doing!
What is your life verse and why?
Oh, just one?! So many have meant so much! Abiding has been a principle that I’ve been thinking about and growing in for the past few years. It comes out of the John 15 passage where Jesus states that He is the Vine and we are the branches. A couple of verses that continue to encourage me are these:
Verse 5: I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me, you can do nothing. What a good, constant reminder! I need Him daily, moment by moment. I am not sufficient, only He is and He will give me everything I need to bear much fruit.
Verse 9 says: As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain (abide) in My love. Can we begin to fathom the love that the Father has for the Son? Unimaginable. Yet Jesus says that it is the same kind of love that He has for us. Abundant. Unconditional. Unfathomable. That is where I am supposed to abide, remain, live. When I do, it changes everything!
Why do you love serving students?
They are the next generation that God is raising up to go to the nations, spread the Gospel and impact the world for Jesus Christ. I love seeing their passion for the Lord, for His work and His people. If I can help them in their pursuit of Him and His plan for their lives, it is a privilege.
If you could speak to a younger you today – what would you say?
Walk by faith, not by sight. Sight walking will always take me away from God. Faith walking is trusting Him, taking Him at His word and keeping my eyes on Him. Do I really believe what I say I believe? Then it will show in my words and deeds. Stay faithful in walking by faith.