Darrin and Daphne have been on the Catch The Fire pastoral staff since 1999. They are lively and energetic children’...
I have been at TACF for the past 8 years as the Children’s Pastor alongside my husband, Darrin. Mothering four kids, two of them home schooled, caring for an amazing husband and running a part time sewing school are my arenas of ministry.
In August 1999, we were back in South Africa after attending Bible school in Dallas, Texas. When TACF invited us to become part of their pastoral staff, we had never been part of a church in renewal and had not formally met anyone from Toronto. Yet, God had an incredible purpose for our lives, and we were willing to take a BIG step of faith and leave home with our kids, head into the unknown with nine suitcases, one sewing machine and $1000.
"We knew this would be a major turning point in our lives"
I recall being desperate to know if this was God’s will. How could I raise three kids and be in ministry? Who would look after them while I was at church? The kids were all little, coming to Canada meant giving up the securities of the life we knew in South Africa, and yet we were so intrigued by what God was doing in Toronto.
We had never led kids in renewal, had never been children’s pastors and yet here we were. We knew that this would be a major turning point in our lives, but little did we comprehend how God was going to turn us inside out and love us to life. God woke me up one night. I began to read my Bible and these words jumped off the page, “I will take care of you and your little ones.” (Genesis 50:21)
Both Darrin and I felt we had our lives organized. We had a great marriage and were best friends. We had both been raised in godly homes, and yet past hurts still lurked deep inside our hearts. When we first arrived in Toronto, everyone would look at us from the outside and see a great family who seemed to have it all together; and yet the first two years were hard as Darrin and I learned to work together and actually get to know each other in ways we never had before.
Church people would talk about things I had NEVER experienced, and all I knew how to do was perform and pretend I knew what they meant, and this I did very well. I knew I was a gifted children’s pastor and yet had so much missing in my life. I had never been taught how to hear God’s voice. I had never learned to be transparent. The prophetic gifts were new to our experience. So was the ministry of inner healing, and many times I felt I was sinking. I had been taught that as a pastor you were to wear a mask and not open your heart to others so that they couldn’t see your weaknesses.
"Daddy God let me experience His unconditional love."
Carol Arnott would constantly tell me that she loved me, not for what I did but just for who I was. I had a lot of shame in my life, which I couldn’t even reveal to my best friend, Darrin, and I wondered what the church family would think if they knew what I was really thinking and not experiencing.
TACF has been the most healing place to be as Daddy God let me experience His unconditional love. I have had many opportunities to receive ministry, to have the layers of hurt peeled off. I have learned that I am loved for just being ME! I do not have to perform. I can just rest in Daddy God’s arms and know that I am loved. The day I stood in front of a group of 40 women and shared my deepest shame and had them love me, and then go home and share with my best friend, Darrin, I knew I was entering a new dimension of freedom.
When we began ministering together, I could not understand so many aspects of Darrin’s personality. I always seemed to be the “doer.” Did I have a Jezebel spirit? It seemed like I was constantly taking the lead. Then we took the Life Languages Course. I now know and have come to accept that we are different and complement each other.
Darrin and I want our own kids who are 14, 12, 10 and 5 to constantly experience the love of Father God. We want to give them the tools to work through the hurts and issues they face in their lives. We may be children’s pastors, but we are not perfect parents; we mess up and have to ask them to forgive us when we do wrong.
Running a part-time sewing school, teaching all ages to sew, has given us incredible opportunities to reach out in the marketplace. As students come into our home not only have I had an opportunity to speak life and love into each child, but I have also had opportunities to interact with parents and show them God’s love.
"I need to take the time to rest, soak and just BE in God’s presence."
When people ask me how we cope with the pressures of ministry while running a business, having four kids and pursuing all the activities that go with this, I reply that Darrin and I make a good team. I know that I am in a safe place. I know I still have to address issues of performance. Being a “doer” has its challenges. I need to take the time to rest, soak and just BE in God’s presence.
I am just so thankful to Daddy God and the Holy Spirit for bringing me to a geographical location and well as spiritual location that has made me want to know Him more intimately and has allowed me to be real with the kids, parents and families in our church and know that I will be loved regardless. This makes ministry fun!
This archived article was written by Daphne Clark for release in May, 2007. Circumstances and situations may have changed regarding the author, locations and ministries. This content may therefore be outdated or misinformed.