by Sherree Empson
Soooo….I can do some name dropping…..I know the Executive Director of ICOM!! He’s my husband, David Empson! Just typing that reminds me of the ‘God path’ that leads to my ICOM story.
I was a happy stay at home mom while David was serving as youth minister at Hazelwood Christian Church. I was his helpmeet with the youth group and mother to two precious girls. When the girls were ready for school, I began teaching again and later became the Reading Coach at Mill Creek East.
It was during this time that Doug Lucas encouraged David to bring our HCC teens to the ICOM. We took 47 students and I can still remember sitting in the main sessions with them and hearing amazing stories of God at work. David and I were both hooked! THAT was the beginning of our ICOM story as David soon began as the Teen Director for ICOM. For the next 22 years, I was a full time teacher and still got to attend ICOM. It has been so much fun!
Some of my favorite memories of those early days include all the great youth ministers who believed in missions and who brought their students. I served at the Teen Registration with Emily and Jenny, along with David’s family. I would like to apologize here and now to those youth ministers for those loooonnnngggg waits in the registration line back in the day! Hopefully, the hammering of wall building let them vent their frustration!
In 2008, David was asked to be the Executive Director. We dreamed even more about ICOM and what God would do. Our whole family loves ICOM and if you could only hear the conversations we’ve had around the family table and the ideas that have been sprouted! There were many times I wished I worked with ICOM and could help David when he visited churches and conferences. On the other hand, I also felt called to teach the children in our community and to welcome their sweet faces at church. There was one more thing….. David and I really loved being married and didn’t want to put a strain on our relationship by working together!
God started moving in the last couple of years to allow me to join the ICOM team. Every year at ICOM, I would go around the Exhibit Hall and just try and talk to everyone. I really love our missionaries and care about how they were doing. David was thinking about our missionaries and how we could serve them better with an outreach person; someone to learn more about them and where they were located. David shared his vision with the corporate officers and after getting their approval, I was asked to come on board! I retired from teaching and said yes to working at ICOM! David and I knew things were going to work out for us to work together when he had back surgery after ICOM 2016. We were literally together 24/7 and had a ball!
I am so thankful to get to share in God’s glorious work! I get to learn about so many great people, missions and churches that are sacrificing and doing outstanding things for our Lord! When I started teaching, I was amazed that I got to do something I loved AND get paid for it and now that is happening for me again at ICOM! I couldn’t be more grateful!