When Celeste Williams came to Calvary as a freshman, she had no idea where God would lead her or what she wanted to do for her career.
“I just knew that I would always want to be pursuing Christ,” Williams said, “and I knew Calvary would be the place that prepared me for a lifetime of that.”
As her love for children surfaced, she chose Elementary Education, even though the classroom wasn’t her favorite place to be. But in retrospect, she sees that, “Studying elementary education led to my dream job.”
She graduated with her Bachelor’s of Science in Elementary Education in Calvary’s most recent graduating class of 2019, and she has hit the ground running. She now works as the Education Director for Global FC, a local organization engaging and equipping youth from conflict and war zone areas of the world. The organization uses soccer opportunities, one-on-one tutoring, and mentorship to inspire and invest in children that are too often overlooked.
Williams found her way to Global FC through their partnership with Calvary. She had attended soccer games and interacted with the kids, and when Global FC started their education program. “This is somewhere that I can fit,” she realized. She plugged herself into the community, and keeps busy developing and organizing the ever-growing education program. As the program expands, Global FC finds new ways to reach the displaced communities of Kansas City.
“We have this new program,” she said, “that we’re figuring out called soccer literacy, which is for kids who have been in the states a year or less, so they don’t speak English much or read it. So we combine soccer drills with vocabulary and sentences to give them something a little different as they’re learning.” The kids Global FC reaches are almost universally enthralled with soccer, and it has proved a powerful tool for connecting with them.
Other programs are in the works for family literacy and high school graduates transitioning, so Williams stays busy recruiting volunteers, training tutors, and looking for partnerships for grants and other funding. But once work is done and the computer is closed, she’ll take any excuse to pay a home visit to one of their students. “Once I show up at a house, I end up being there for a couple hours usually.”
Despite spending more time on her computer than she ever expected to, Williams loves where she is and the opportunity she has. The community at Global FC has become invaluable to her.
She said, “[We] come and start to invest, not because we pity them and feel bad for them and think they have nothing, but because we believe that they have so much to give back to us.” Their capacity for unconditional love astounds her, and God is teaching her that, “It has to be a choice for me to allow God to love [these kids] through me…I can’t do everything… but I can be faithful to my role and allow God to work though me and through others.”
When Williams talks about her work and the kids, she can’t stop smiling. “I call my current job my dream job because it combined my love of children, families, culture, relationships, teaching, sports, missions, and even random things.” She points out how God has been at work, directing her steps here.
“The crazy thing is, this job did not exist when I started college; I was simply following God’s leading at each step along the way, and He graciously brought me here.”
With college behind her and exciting opportunities ahead of her, Williams has fallen in love with the mission field in her back yard. “I think a lot of life lessons that I learned here at Calvary are helping me… and there’s a part of me that’s 100% ready to go to another country and share about Jesus… But another part of me is like, this is the mission. Right here.”