Meet Stu & Celeste Sherman.
Their favorite non-World Vision hobbies include: Zumba (Celeste is an instructor); both are musicians; Celeste is an orchestra teacher to 4th and 5th graders in a public school; Stu is a Quality manager at a family run business; they go to brunch at their favorite hangout once a week with their service dog, Swanson, and the threesome have become quite a hit there!
Stu & Celeste have two beautiful adult daughters, who are currently roommates in the Albany, NY area. Their oldest is an attorney for the State of New York and their younger daughter is an addiction counselor at a private facility in Schenectady, NY. Stu and Celeste live in Bristol, CT with their assistance dog, Swanson-- which Stu uses to help him get through the day. He was diagnosed with ALS almost three years ago, and in spite of that, God has given them a beautiful grace in their lives to continue to serve Him in any way that He has called them to. This past September, Celeste was diagnosed with stage 3 Hodgkins Lymphoma, and although it has been a challenge at times, God continues to pour His love, grace, and peace in all things. Stu and Celeste live out their faith and ministry in such a beautiful, God-honoring way.
The Shermans have sponsored children since they were first married over 35 years ago. After being asked to volunteer at a Women of Faith event, Celeste sponsored 2 more children and together they visited the World Vision website to learn how they could become more involved. There they discovered the Child Ambassador program. To them becoming a CA made perfect sense, as they wanted more people to be blessed by the joys of sponsoring a child-- and more importantly they desired for more children to be given hope, life, and a future. They currently sponsor 7 children and are hoping to have 8 soon. They say they like even numbers!
Stu & Celeste, could you tell us a little bit about your favorite event/favorite sponsorship story as a CA?
There are so many times when we have been blessed presenting sponsorship. Most recently, a woman sponsored a child who resembled her grandson. Her daughter had married a Muslim man and they were living overseas. She cried with me as she talked about the concern for her daughter and grandchildren’s salvation. We prayed together over that child and her grandson and daughter. A CA cries a lot with people. This work has given us a heart for a broken world. Since Stu was diagnosed, we decided to drop all ministries that were not directly related to the growth of the kingdom. We call our partnership with World Vision KINGDOM WORK, and are blessed to be part of an organization that is completely devoted and committed to that.
Is there a bit of encouragement you could give to other CA's?
Our job is to present God’s work through World Vision. God’s job is to touch the heart. You can never be the one to convince a person, but don’t give up. God is continually at work and will break the person’s heart. Being a CA is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Keep on sharing and don’t give up. Just remember, it is God who does the work.
Which scripture/quote gives you encouragement in this ministry?
We hate to be cliche, but our favorite quote is from World Vision's founder, Bob Pierce: "May my heart break for the things that break the heart of God." As Christians in America, we can easily forget about the world outside of our own back yard. We very often, have to immerse myself in books, watch videos, whatever it takes to give us that heart of God. It is very easy to become complacent and worry about our own needs.
You can reach Stu & Celeste via email here: firstname.lastname@example.org
Greater Together is a collaborative blog written by volunteer child ambassadors for World Vision.