Helen Cook

My name is Helen Cook.  I am from a small town called Garner.  I now live in the DeGray community just outside Arkadelphia, Arkansas.  I’ve lived in Arkansas all of my life.  I was married to Bobby Cook for 40 years.  We have two wonderful children and seven, more than wonderful, grandchildren.  Of those 40 years of marriage, I was a pastor’s wife for 37 years.  My beloved husband went to be with the Lord 7 years ago.  I have struggled since his death to find my way in life.

I have taught for 29 years and hope to teach a few more at Ouachita Public School. I have a BSE with certifications in Special Education K-12, regular education K-6, and gifted education K-12.   I have a Masters in Theory and Practice.  Right now I teach K-3rd Special Education, 4th-6th G/T and am the District Gifted and Talented Coordinator at Ouachita Public School.

As a pastor’s wife I have fulfilled many teaching responsibilities from infant to senior adult classes.  I have taught Sunday school, discipleship training, bible studies, and witnessing workshops with my husband.

It is my dream one day to retire and write books of our encounters over the years.

 


   

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Helen’s Faith Story

As I was growing up I really never thought about God. My family and I went about trying to survive and make a living. I was one of four children in the family and we all had to do our fair share to help around the house and in the gardens. I was well loved by my family but can remember not having much time to do things most children take for granted. We just didn’t have time for God, church or anything that took us away from our responsibilities at home.

When I was a junior in high school I met a man at a restaurant where I was working, whom I later married. His name was Bobby Ray Cook and he became the love of my life. We were married about a year and had our first child, Connie Renae. She was the apple of her daddy’s eye and of course mine too. We wanted the best for her so we tried to give her all of the things she wanted whether she needed them or not. She grew and knew we loved her very much.

How I Came to Know Jesus Personally

When Connie was about 4 years old our Aunt Lela asked if Connie could go to Vacation Bible School with them. I inquired as to what Vacation Bible School was and my aunt told me all about it. She said the bus would come by and pick her up. I was not about to let my precious daughter go on a church bus alone. Aunt Lela knew I was not going to let her go alone so she said, “You can come with her.” So I did. The minute I stepped onto the church steps I felt something drawing me. I had goose bumps all over me and knew I had never felt anything like that before. I went on into the church. They were talking about missionaries having to leave their families behind to go help tell others about “The Lord”. An offering was taken up to be sent to these people and their work. I didn’t have money, so I began to cry. I kept sobbing and didn’t know why. Finally one of the ladies asked if I was alright. I said I don’t know. She asked me if I wanted to talk to the Pastor. I told her I guess I needed to talk to someone. She escorted me out of the sanctuary and into the pastor’s study. I told him I didn’t know exactly what was wrong. He said I think I know. I told him I felt very different when I got close to the doors of the church but didn’t understand why. He began to tell me it was the Holy Spirit drawing me to him. Of course I didn’t know who the Holy Spirit was or what it wanted with me. The pastor asked me if I had ever done anything wrong. I told him I tried to be a good person and do right by others. He asked again, have you ever done anything wrong. I had to say yes. He explained that as sin and that all have sinned and need forgiveness. I asked how one gets that forgiveness. He began to tell me about Jesus and what He had done for me and every human on earth. He told me of his birth, death, and resurrection. The pastor then showed me the Roman Road and read the scriptures to me. When he was through reading, the pastor asked me if I wanted to be saved. I did not hesitate, I said yes. I prayed with the pastor, the sinner’s prayer, and felt like a ton of bricks had been lifted from my shoulders. I left church a different person and have never regretted my decision to accept Christ as my Savior for a minute. A short time later I was baptized and joined the church.

My Life Since I Became a Christian

My number one goal was to help lead my husband to the Lord after I gave my life to the Lord. I knew the way to his heart was through our sweet baby girl. She had learned songs at church and was singing them to me all the time. I had her to sing them to her daddy and that was the beginning of his journey to accept Christ.

I became a pastor’s wife in a very short time. I spent nearly forty years standing beside my husband in ministry. I felt contentment and stood amazed by God’s grace and power. I knew what my purpose was and felt satisfied. Then, 7 years ago, the love of my life went to be with the one he spent most of his life telling others about, Jesus Christ. I once again felt lost, alone, and without a purpose or at least didn’t know what that purpose was any more. What could I do alone? I became enveloped by my work. I sought refuge in school. I worked on my Master’s and achieved that. I still felt alone.

One day I got on my face in prayer and prayed like I have never prayed. I asked the Lord to forgive me and redefine my purpose. His answer was your purpose is the same as it has always been, win souls for my Kingdom.

Today, I have found my purpose and try to carry it out to the best of my ability and with the guidance of The Holy Spirit. God has once again filled my heart with joy, “Joy unspeakable and full of riches.” My mission is to tell others about God’s love for them and have my life be a testimony for Jesus Christ