Are you a Minister?

I have had the privilege of being the home teacher for Paul and Dawn Rooyakkers for about 10 years. I do not remember missing a single month. Much of this is because they are very accommodating with their schedule, and because if the end of the month starts creeping up they call ME to arrange a time. Wonderful people. I have been their only home teacher during their entire marriage I believe.

When they had their first child there were some complications, and Dawn needed a surgery after the labor was over. I do not know the details, but she was told that it was possible for her to have more children, but not as likely.

Several years went by without a much desired pregnancy. They eventually asked me to give them what turned out to be a series of priesthood blessings in the hopes of having more children. This was a little awkward for me because I knew there was a possible medical reason for them not being able to have children. They wanted a possible miracle, and hoped that I could be the voice of such a miracle. I was pleased to do this for them however, and after some prayer and fasting gave them each a blessing.

I particularly remember the blessing given to Paul. As I laid my hands upon his head I clearly felt the words, 'You may bless him with anything he wants' enter into my mind. What a privilege it is to give such a blessing! I was able to give them a bold, confident, positive blessing.

More years passed with no pregnancy. They eventually began the process of pursuing adoption. During the time of filling out papers, and everything else involved the sought for blessing came, and they were pregnant. A few tear filled testimonies of gratitude graced our testimony meetings, and lessons, and visits.

The pregnancy went well and the time for delivery came. I got a call from them in the middle of the night. The labor was not going well, and they asked if I would come to the hospital and give them a blessing. It was not an emergency, just a stubborn labor. I was so honored that they would think of me at such a time as this. Dawns father had died by this time, and Paul is the only member in his family. I was glad to get dressed in my Sunday best and get to the hospital.

Because of the late hour, the hospital was closed, and I had to go in through the emergency room doors. When I came in a nurse at a desk near the entrance asked if she could help me. I told her that a couple from our church was having a baby, and the labor wasn't going well, and they had asked me to come and give them a blessing. Keep in mind this is Michigan. The nurse asked if I was a minister. Without hesitation I said yes.

She immediately stood up from her chair and said to come with her. She lead me to the OB area. She told the nurses at the station there that I was a minister and had come to give the Rooyakkers a blessing. The OB nurse also immediately stood up and lead me to the room. I was not used to being treated like a minister! I was able to assist Paul in giving his dear wife a blessing, had a quick chat, and left the labor to the professionals there.

Thankfully everything went well and there is now a very active little boy named Christian Alexander Rooyakkers. And by the way, he has a sister on the way apparently.

I have thought at times if I was perhaps a bit deceptive in saying that I was a minister. I am sure that what the nurse meant was a minister like the local Baptist minister, or Methodist. But as a home teacher I have a calling to minister to the needs of a small group of families. My flock. I teach, preach, expound and exhort the gospel of Jesus Christ. I administer to their wants and needs as appropriate. I am a minister to them.

If you are a good home or visiting teacher, may god bless you for your efforts. If you are not doing well with such an assignment, and want a chance to experience a little pure religion in you life, get up and do your home or visiting teaching. You are a minister. Start acting like one.


At 3/16/2006, Anonymous Mogget said...

Good story. I've had the same HT with a set appointment for almost five years, so I relate to your experience, albeit from the other side of the relationship

At 3/16/2006, Blogger Eric Nielson said...

Thank you for reading it, and leaving a nice comment.

At 3/16/2006, Anonymous Mogget said...

Oh, I read your stuff all the time. I just don't leave notes like I ought to. You are a bright and uplifting spot in an otherwise busy and tense day.

At 3/16/2006, Blogger Eric Nielson said...

You made mine today.

At 3/16/2006, Blogger Keryn said...

What a wonderful story. I'm so grateful for (in my case) sisters who make it easy for me to visit them. As I was reading the post I was thinking in my mind "Oh, I hope this story has a happy ending!" I'm so glad it did.
I smiled when I read about the reaction you got being a "minister". But, really, you are! How great it was that the reaction of the worker at the hospital was to smooth your way.

I agree with mogget--thanks for the bright story.

At 3/16/2006, Blogger Eric Nielson said...


Very glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for letting me know.


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