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Meet our Ministry Leader

It's hard to believe that its been three years since I stepped up to be the Military Ministry Leader.  Since then, God has taken me on one wild, amazing ride. Let's just say... I'm NOT bored!  When God first called me, I was nervous and not really sure if I was the right person. As a matter of fact, I still remember when I first heard the Rock was looking for a new leader.  I said to myself, "Oh that's nice but I don't want to be the leader. I just want to be in the background and help out quietly."  Clearly, God had other plans. 

My passion for military families started at a young age.  My Dad was an Army Officer so yes, I'm a military brat. We traveled extensively and by the time I was seven, I had lived on a number of U.S. military bases around the world including Kaiserslautern, Germany. I loved living abroad and meeting people from other cultures. Now that I'm an adult, I can see how being a military brat was a great advantage. Military kids are constantly on the move so at an early age, you learn how to adapt quickly and make friends.  There were some challenges of course. My Dad was gone a lot so my Mom was the one who really raised us. (We had 4 kids) She was amazing. Her resiliency and determination was off the charts. She was only 4'11 but everyone knew, "you don't mess with Mom!"  To this day, I am always in awe of military wives and all they do for their families. 

My big brother, COLONEL DJ Reyes retired from the Army four years ago and it's obvious to me that God blessed him with the right woman. DJ and Julie have 9-year-old triplets so as you can imagine, they have a full life. Julie reminds me a lot of our Mom. She's also strong willed, very protective of her family and loves God.  They clearly lead a blessed life but over the years, they've had their struggles. When DJ left for Afghanistan, Julie and the kids moved to Florida. They didn't know anyone and understandably,  it was a bit overwhelming for Julie to handle the triplets by herself. Fortunately, she found a wonderful Church who stepped in and helped during that transition time.  Julie told me that if it wasn't for the church, she didn't know what she would have done.   

When she told me that story, I couldn't help but think "Why am I NOT stepping up? There are hundreds of women like my sister-in-law right here in San Diego. There are military families crying out for help and God is calling me to get in the battle." It was that day, I contacted my then Outreach Director Zebulon Hill and said "Count me IN."

Since that day, it has been quite a journey not only ministry wise but personally and professionally. Ministry wise, God gave us the idea of Boots Off which is an annual Rock Your City event held in the summer. We also now offer a Military Marriage Conference not to mention several LIFE groups and two micro sites. This year, God really surprised us as we transitioned from being an Outreach Ministry to being a CORE Ministry. Wow, talk about having God's favor! On a personal level, my husband Marc and I recently renewed our 25th Wedding Anniversary vows and God expanded our business to a whole new level.  As I look back at all of this, I truly am humbled by all God is doing.  Brothers and sisters, when you say YES to God and doing things His way, get ready for the ride of your life. I have much to learn as a ministry leader but I am so grateful that God is patient with me. I hope you'll join me in this incredible journey!  


Darlynne Menkin - Military Ministry Leader

(This is Marc & I during our 25th Wedding Anniversary Renewal Vows with Pastor Darren! Below is me and big bro COL DJ Reyes when he visited SD)