Linnette: This morning on the blog, I am excited to introduce you to my friend, Patriece Johnson. Patriece serves with our military mission at Joint Base in Charleston, SC. She serves on the Military and AFAM Network Leadership Teams. She has also served on the SHAW team.
Please tell us a bit about yourself and how you met the Navigators:
Patriece: My name is Patriece Johnson and I am from Cincinnati, Ohio. I met the Navigators during my Freshman year in college in Tennessee. There was a thriving Navigator ministry at Ft. Campbell, a military installation not too far from my campus. A zealous young man on campus named Matt Purdom was involved with this Navigator military ministry. Matt was boldly sharing the vision of disciple-making with anyone who would listen. I was hungry for more in my walk with the Lord so when I met Matt, I was all ears and the rest is history. I was convinced that the Navs were the missing link in my life.
I got heavily involved in the Navigator Military Mission to get more discipleship training and the Lord began to burden my heart to reach the world one life at a time. It didn’t take me too long to see that the military was a strategic avenue to do this. After college, I married an amazing man named Dexter Johnson who was also passionate about discipleship and the military. He had just become a full-time Navigator Rep. We were excited to partner in investing in the military community.
Catch us up on your current life data:
My husband and I are full-time Nav reps in Charleston, SC at Joint Base Charleston. We have been here for twelve years and have 3 children; Elijah Scott 10, Christian Josiah 7 and Kara Jordan 6. Elijah is our tender-hearted extrovert who loves having people in our home and always has a smile on his face. Christian AKA CJ is our brainy introvert who loves geography, playing the piano and has perfect pitch. CJ always has a fun fact to share. Our daughter Kara is a passionate extrovert who happens to be my little shadow. Kara always has a song to sing.
What do you like about being a mom?
I grew up in a broken home and an unstable environment so I am excited about starting a new legacy built on Christ and His Word. God has entrusted me with three precious souls created in His image with three unique personalities and created for three unique purposes. I am so honored that the Lord has allowed me to be a mother. My children are three amazing gifts from the Lord and I am so grateful to be able to partner with my husband in helping them become all that God desires. “Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.” Psalm 127:3
What I enjoy most about being mom is spending regular one-on-one time with each kid trying to understand their unique design (What is their personality, what motivates them, what makes them feel loved etc.) Basically, I am seeking the Lord for wisdom and discernment on how to steer them in the right direction according to His will. All 3 of my children are so different so I’m constantly learning and adapting to train them according to their bent. I have learned that there is no cookie-cutter formula but only learning to listen to the Lord as I walk with each child. I try to make the most of our time together because the days seem to go by slow but the years are going by fast. One of my favorite quotes about time is from Walt Henriechsen, “Time once spent can never be recaptured.”
I love that quote, Patriece! We never get these years with kids in our home back once they are gone. I’d love to hear more about what it’s like serving with the military mission of the Navs.
I believe that the military mission is strategic as we carry out the Great Commission. We are able to reach, train and deploy men and women across the globe. I enjoy discipling active duty women and equipping them to lead bible studies and invest in other women, especially during deployments. These women are natural leaders so when they catch the vision for disciple-making, it is an amazing sight! I also enjoy helping the spouses and moms develop creative ways to reach and disciple other moms. It also brings me great joy to use our home for ministry. Because many of our active duty are far away from home weekly meals and holidays are very special to us. (1 Thess 2:8)
It is such a blessing that we get to use our homes and have our kids next to us as we minister to others. But it is also not always easy! What are some unique blessings and challenges you face in being a mommy missionary?
I love the freedom to spend a lot quality time with my kids, modeling ministry in everyday life. They in turn get to watch lives be transformed. I love allowing our children to partner with us in serving and loving others, and ministry trips turn into family road trips which is so fun. The high demands of ministry, especially in seasons of crisis or emergency can be a challenge. We also are regularly saying farewell to friends as they leave or deploy—as the kids get older this is getting more challenging. We also need more laboring women.
We can relate to the constant “moving on” of student friends in collegiate ministry. Is there anything you would want to encourage us collegiate moms in as we engage home and campus?
- Help cultivate your children’s heart for ministry by involving them rather than pushing them away. Find creative ways to integrate your children into the ministry schedule. Our children enjoy cooking, greeting and making birthday cards for the Airmen and Sailors who come into our home. At the same time, be sensitive and discuss ministry plans with the children because they also make a sacrifice and are impacted by our choices. For example, to honor our introverted son, we do not force him to interact with the guest in our home, we only require him to greet our guests out of respect.
- Don’t get discouraged with the different seasons of life as a mother. There will be seasons that seem unfruitful, especially when the children are infants and toddlers. In these seasons, one must learn to be content in Christ alone.
- Plan a monthly date with the Lord because quality quiet times are tough to maintain with small kids.
- Don’t compare yourself to other moms. We all have different gifts, capacities and personalities.
These are golden nuggets! It is so easy to long for something different than what the Lord is giving us for today. Thank you for saying that.
How can we be praying for you and your ministry?
Please continue to pray that we can create a multi-ethnic environment of disciple makers who are reaching the nations. Pray for more active duty laborers and leaders, more staff, funding, and for those who are deployed. Pray for the spiritual growth and maturity of our children.
Thank you for sharing with us today, Patriece! We are glad to pray for these things with you.