My name is Diane Packer. I have been married to Barry for 40 years, and the Lord has blessed us with two sons, Collin and Clark. He also has added two precious daughter-in-loves, Holly and Lara. We also have five grandchildren: Maddox, Addison, Brooklyn, Luke and Miles. They have each brought great joy into our lives! The joy of being a mom, and now a “DeDe,” has nourished something deep within me. Family is my passion.
Barry and I were in full-time ministry for almost 17 years in two different churches — the Southern Hills Church in Abilene, TX, and the La Mesa Church in the San Diego, CA area. Those two churches witnessed the birth of our two sons, and they nurtured our family at a formative time during their growing-up years. Our church experiences were generally positive, but we also faced difficult challenges that inevitably come with the territory of church life. Perhaps the greatest lesson learned was to hang in there and stick it out when times were hard, observing new life spring forth as a results of God’s grace.
Although we have been out of full-time church ministry for the past 21 years, we have found many ways to remain actively involved in ministry at the Highland Oaks Church in Dallas. We have stayed close to the challenges of full-time church ministry, as one of our sons is serving a church with his wife and family.
I have witnessed ministers, along with their spouses and children, become weary because of the pace of ministry and family life. And unfortunately, church members are not always nurturing. In fact, they can be insensitive and even downright mean. Church members do not always understand the need for continued change and transformation that needs to take place in our churches to allow the Holy Spirit to move more freely and to meet the needs of new generations who see life very differently than older generations. We have to keep growing as individuals and as the body of Christ to be relevant today.
Before Eleven28 began in 2011, I was introduced to spiritual direction through Rhesa Higgins. What an encouragement to have her listening to God with me in our time together! It was life-giving, enriching and nourishing to my soul. She encouraged me to notice when God was present in each moment of my life and to see the opportunities He presented each day.
I am grateful and honored to serve as a trustee for Eleven28, as it is a ministry that provides a place for ministers and church leaders to rest, reflect, and be nourished deep down in their souls. As they notice the Presence of God in their lives, He will bring renewal and enable them to once again minister to those God has placed in their lives.