I want to be Superman! How many little boys have aspired to that goal through the years? When Ken Smith was five that was his desire and he tried a lot of things to prove his strength, including trying to lift his mom’s car.
Ken’s wife Diane had other goals. She wanted to be a teacher. In the second grade Diane and a friend convinced other kids to stay inside during recess so they could play school! Diane and her friend were the teachers.
Ken figured out pretty early what kind of work he wanted to do. In a shop class in high school, a vocational teacher offered the opportunity for boys who were interested to work (under supervision) on a teacher’s car. Ken volunteered and that led to a four-year apprenticeship program in auto body collision repair. He retired a year ago after working in that field for 45 years.
Both Ken and Diane grew up in Tacoma and attended Lincoln High School. They met at church when Diane was 14 and Ken was 16. Diane teaching Sunday School and before long Ken was helping her every Sunday.
Although Diane had planned to go to college, they got married soon after she graduated. Diane soon became a stay-at-home mom, using her passion for teaching to teach her own three children and provide a welcoming place where their friends could come. Over the years she also had the opportunity to teach preschool, substitute, and baby sit. Of course she continued to teach Sunday School and Ken helped.
As their children became teenagers, Ken and Diane found another way to serve. They joined the worship team helping to lead the singing on Sunday mornings.
So where are Ken and Diane today? Well, on two Sundays a month you will find them in Discovery’s Kids Kingdom preschool class teaching kids about Jesus. Kind of a mixture of Superman and teaching!
They tell the scripture story for that week, sometimes acting out the story. They sing songs, pray, and have play time with the kids. Their musical skills are put to good use, leading the preschoolers in worship.
They came to Discovery about three years ago, drawn by Jon’s teaching and the worship. It helped they had friends who were already here, and that is was so close to their house. They wanted a place where they could be involved. Like others who serve at Discovery, Ken and Diane find great joy in using the talents and experiences that God has given them to serve Him.
The Smiths do not limit their service to Sunday Mornings. God has given both of them a passion for helping others. Now that Ken is retired, they have more time. Ken often uses his skills to help fix things and they both are quick to offer a helping hand to others. Over the past two years they have felt especially called to help the elderly. They are walking beside a friend suffering with dementia, helping her through the rough spots. When they visit her, they also visit with others who live in the same facility.
Ken and Diane have been married 45 years. They enjoy walks and spending time with their children and grandchildren. All four grandchildren are teenagers and two of them just graduated from high school and are headed to college.
But their greatest passion is to share Jesus with others. They truly love the time they spend with the kids on Sunday mornings and find it satisfying when parents sit in on the class. They find that adults too can learn from the stories told in a simple way that kids can understand.
Ken’s favorite scripture shows the security He finds in the Savior:
“I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.” John 11 25b-26a
Diane’s favorite verse shows the reliance she has on God’s presence with her.
“Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 11:10
God gave her this verse a number of years ago when Ken was diagnosed with cancer and it is one she remembers when she faces difficult things.
The Smith’s have a lifetime of experience and skills that God is using to further His kingdom. He has given each of us our own set of talents. How will we use them?
To find out more about Discovery’s Kids Kingdom and how you can be a part of this team contact [email protected].
For more about Discovery’s amazing volunteers see: