When Valerie Williamson first reached out to volunteer, we knew she was a gift from God. Relaunching this ministry has been quite a learning experience and as you can imagine, we pray constantly for God to bring us the right people. So when Valerie showed up, we knew God heard us!
If you haven't met Valerie or her husband Bob, you'll know them when you meet them. They're the cute couple with lots of good energy and great ideas. Our ministry recently did a complimentary beach hike and when I mentioned how much energy Valerie has, Bob smiled and said, "Yup, she never stops. She runs our household, home schools the kids and at night, still has time to work on side projects."
Valerie and Bob moved to San Diego in March 2010 from South Texas. He's in the US Navy, Mineman Master Chief Petty Officer, currently serving at Naval Mine and Anti-Submarine Warfare Command in Point Loma. They're originally from Central Illinois and they're High School sweethearts. This April, they are celebrating their 16th Wedding Anniversary. They have two adorable girls - 12-year-old Alexis and 9-year-old Madysin. I'm always so impressed when I talk to their girls. They're extremely well behaved and I notice they call me "Ms. Darlynne." It's very cute!
Like all military couples, Valerie and Bob aren't strangers to things like deployment, stress and separation. Bob has been on six deployments, the longest which was seven months. "We actually did a full school year apart while I was in Illinois finishing college and Bob was stationed in South Texas after our first wedding. We have seen firsthand that there is no distance in true love," Valerie said.
Helping military families is something both Valerie and Bob are clearly very passionate about. "We truly appreciate the sacrifices that are made by military families on every level. We know what it’s like to be lonely. We know what it is like to be the new family in town. We know how difficult it can seem to pick up your life and move every few years. After many trials of our own, we feel like God has given us a strong friendship and marriage as a testimony of his grace and goodness, and to bring hope to the military families who are struggling," Valerie said.
So what's their advice to young military couples? "I can say without hesitation that this lifestyle has the potential to drain the life out of you if you don’t remain anchored in the Lord. I just want to encourage you to never lose hope. It is so easy to get weighed down with the stress of deployment. Holding it all together can be tough sometimes. Keep your eyes on Jesus and cling to the one who is holding you," Valerie said.
The Military Ministry is thankful to our God for bringing us Valerie and Bob. Thank you for ALL that you do!