On the day before her 16th birthday, Paige Kauffman, Hesston, Kan., took a moment to share about her new ministry to middle school girls. Last February, “Daughters of the King” held its first event at Hesston MB Church, drawing over 100 fifth- through eighth-grade girls for a day of worship, crafts and inspirational stories designed to help the students deal with issues of self-esteem.
Interview by Kathy Heinrichs Wiest
How did “Daughters of the King” come about?
It definitely ties back to the roots of my own personal testimony. In middle school I went through a dark time including a few suicide attempts. I felt very alone.
What brought you through?
At a church camp I talked to my counselor. My parents didn’t even know what was happening, but when they found out, they helped me get into counseling.
How did you get the idea for doing an event?
My mom and I were talking about how God can use my experience in a positive way. She suggested a girl’s Bible study. But I love making things huge, so it went from something for a couple of girls at church to an event for girls from 15 middle schools.
Sounds like more than you could do alone.
Our pastors were really supportive from day one and lots of people helped. Girls from our youth group helped lead groups. And a guy from our church made a video with some of the high school guys about how they define beauty and what they look for in a girl.
Why is an event like this important?
Your mom or your grandma might tell you that God thinks you are beautiful, but it’s a lot different to hear it from someone closer to your age, someone you might think is cool. It might make you take heart and listen. When I spoke at the event, I put myself out there, telling them what I experienced. When you open up and get personal, you can have an impact.