She won't ask for the spotlight because she'll ask you instead, where to serve. I wanted to highlight Jocelyn Gomes partly because I'd like to be a bit more like her when I grow up, but also because of how inspired I always am to observe her family. Jocelyn and her husband, Brannon, live an example to their children of how to do church well. The other day, a friend had said, "If you want to get more out of church, serve", and I couldn't agree more. In a world of constant consumption, we have the opportunity to stop and reflect on what matters. That's people. People matter. Serving people matters. And the Gomes family demonstrates that well, whether it's through the foster care system, worship ministries, kids ministries or in their day to day relationships with friends and family. I'm beyond thrilled to introduce you to Jocelyn

1. What brought you to Tuolumne County and how long have you been here?

17 years ago. Brannon, my hubby, received a full time position with TID/Don Pedro Recreation Agency.  We married shortly after & I moved to Don Pedro, the outermost part of Tuolumne County.

2. How did you meet your husband?

After graduating high school, I took a summer job at Lake Don Pedro Moccasin Point Marina, before I left for Bible College in the Fall. Brannon was currently working as a Law Enforcement Ranger on the lake (ummm...uniform...hello!). After he double checked with a mutual friend that I was 18 (not sure why, because I totally look my age), he gave his phone number to her to pass along to me, which I find so funny because if you know Brannon, he is not shy at all! We ended up taking some of our lunches together over a period of time, where we had conversations about the Lord. One night he called to let me know he decided to give his life to the Lord!  He started going to church with my family & I. Shortly after, I left for college 6 hours away, unable to visit home much. I wasn't sure what would happen next, but he continued to go & jumped in with serving. I knew then, with keeping a long distance relationship & watching him grow in the Lord that he was serious. The rest is history & we married almost 2 years later.

3. Why did you become involved in foster care? (I know this seems like a huge jump in the conversation, but this easily could have been a 30 question interview). 

We had seen the good and the bad of fostering from a couple in our church I had grown up in.  Brannon & I had agreed, when we first married, that it wasn't for us & we would not foster or adopt. Ha! Almost 2 years into our marriage, I had been working at Columbia College Infant Center. There was a sweet baby girl that was to be taken by CPS because of extreme neglect. The supervisor had told me, since I had bonded with her, I should consider being put on the mothers list for CPS to consider, to care for the baby while she received services & help reunify. Yikes! My heart broke as I drove home. We had agreed it wasn't for us. Hesitantly, I began to explain the situation to my hubby, when he interrupted and said, "Ok, let's do it! But only to care for the baby and help the mother to reunify". We never got to help that baby, the mom had run out of state with her, but we felt this was totally God speaking to us. We agreed that we would only foster, not adopt, with the ministry of fighting for what was best for the children while also helping the bio families in any way we could, praying they'd see our support & Christ through this.

20 + children & 15 years of fostering later (whole family ministry), the Lord had a different plan for us & we also adopted our little boy 3 years ago!  Lesson of the day: Don't tell God, "We will never!"

4. Where are you/ your family (because we know it's a family mission) serving at SBC?

We had served as a couple in my home church for many years in various capacities. From Jr. high/youth leaders, nursery director, deacon, christian camp/church admin & so on, until the Lord spoke to our hearts to move us. We found our home here at SBC for almost 8 years now! My husband's passion is for the Youth. He serves down in Children's Ministry & also with the Jr High boys…usually with the rowdy ones...what goes around, comes around but seriously, he is absolutely awesome & has a sweet relationship with his Jr high group, even as they move up. My heart, my calling is for anything Worship Ministry. It truly fills my cup to serve in any capacity…from coordinating services to singing/worshiping with the congregation of SBC! God has done some truly amazing things in my life through surrendering to this calling that I would’ve missed out on had I not given the fear, doubt & past negative experience over to the Lord. Together, along with our 3 children, we love serving & helping in each others areas of ministry  here at SBC when needed.

5. Which Starbucks drink do you most identify with? Why?

AH! Now a hard question...ummm, maybe a Blonde Vanilla Latte. It may look simple & sweet from the outside with just a few ingredients of vanilla syrup & smooth froth, but watch out! It also comes with 2 shots of espresso inside! It's stronger and more capable than you perceive or realize.  Perfect blend.

6. If you could fill your home with one type of flower for free, forever, which flower would it be?

I wouldn't say these are my all time favorite, but if I had to choose, probably Sunflowers. They light up any room & would be a sweet reminder to bring joy wherever we go.

Thank you Jocelyn! 
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