René’s greatest joy in life is helping people. She believes life is a better place when we get out of ourselves and help others. Ever since she was child, René befriended the unlikable, the disenfranchised in her school. She sees people better than they see themselves.
Growing up in Birmingham, Michigan, René was raised in a family where she was allowed to believe what she wanted to believe. Her parents did not force religion on the children. As such, René was comfortable going to churches of different faiths with her friends. Eventually, René found herself at the Unitarian Church where she served as a youth leader, both at the local and national level. After getting married, René and her husband moved to Hawai`i in 1996, where René served in a variety of capacities at the local Unitarian Church, to include two terms as president.
Over time, René found that her belief system was not in line with the Unitarian Church. In addition, she was dealing with a struggling marriage while raising two children. One day after her seventh wedding anniversary, René called a friend to say she was done with her marriage and was leaving her husband. The friend invited René to church at Hope Chapel Kaneohe Bay. Over a twelve-day period, God revealed Himself in dramatic ways to René, and on September 16, 2002, she accepted Christ over the phone while talking with the pastor. At that moment, while standing in her laundry room, René went through a purifying, cleansing experience. She then had a revelation – how do marriages survive without the foundation of Jesus Christ? She decided to stay in her marriage and make it work.
Eager to serve Christ, René began serving in children’s and women’s ministries. While her son was in preschool, someone shared with her about the Samaritan’s Purse, Operation Christmas Child project. So right away, René packed two boxes. Before she knew it, René was the OCC Area Coordinator for Oahu! This was the moment René had been waiting for! She felt such contentment in receiving “the call” to serve. During her 5-year tenure as area coordinator, René reach 98,459 children for Jesus through OCC! In July 2013, God called René out of the OCC ministry to serve and care for a critically ill parent. A life of service continues.
John 5:39 Jesus says “You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!”