Angie Horn-Andreu, M.Div. ’07
OCCUPATION: Director, High School and College Ministries, Forest Home, Forest Falls, California
LESSON LEARNED: No question threatens God.
MY STORY: When high school and college students approach Angie Horn-Andreu and ask questions like “Why did God allow my five-year-old sister to die of leukemia?” or “If God really cared about me, why did He let my parents divorce?,” she understands their point of view. While she does not pretend to know the specific answers to these complex questions, she does know one thing – no question threatens God or diminishes who He is.
“As a young adult, I went through a period where I wondered how God could allow so much bad in the world. It was frustrating because it seemed like I was the only one asking these types of questions. Though a difficult time, I came through it knowing that God is not shaken when we ask what I call the ‘tough questions.’”
Angie’s personal experience provides valuable insight into the minds and hearts of the students with whom she works as Forest Home’s director of high school and college ministries. “Lots of these kids come to camp jaded because they’ve heard the Bible stories over and over in Sunday school and then in youth group. They stop looking because they think they’ve uncovered all the truth the Bible offers. My passion is to teach them to keep digging because the Bible is full of great mysteries and there is more to the story than what can be explained with simple answers.”
Now in her fifth year as director, Angie draws heavily on the classes she has taken in her Master of Divinity Program and professors from whom she has learned. “My educational experience has enriched me personally, and in turn greatly enhanced my professional contribution. My teaching definitely has more depth, and being more effective in my ministry makes me love what I do even more.”
Much of what Angie learns in the classroom finds direct application to her teaching. Angie was able to take an Old Testament course and custom fit it for high school and college-aged students, most of whom had never studied books like Leviticus or Deuteronomy. “During the summer, these kids never ebbed in their enthusiasm for studying what they had previously perceived to be ‘boring’ books of the Bible. Even as we focused on Leviticus, I was able to show them some of the great biblical themes and how the Old Testament informs the New Testament. Doing this type of study opens their eyes to the incredible breadth and depth of the Bible, and they begin to understand that God’s Word applies today.”
Angie’s teaching style, favors question asking and critical thinking. “I try to communicate through the topics I choose and the way I teach that the church and other places of ministry should provide safe places for people to ask the tough questions. By the time these students leave camp, I hope they are more interested in a life of faith that is focused on questioning and seeking after God rather than putting a period at the end of the sentence.”