Retired Taylor University Staff MemberAndrea Conn is employed at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, and makes her home in Van Buren, Indiana, with her husband Mike and two children, Emilee and Gabe. She and her family own and operate Downtown Martial Arts(DMA), a Taekwondo school based out of their church as a ministry offering classes free of charge. After multiple surgeries ended her active participation in Taekwondo, Andrea grew concerned about how she could serve God and if He would continue to use her.
The high-impact demonstrations DMA took to various venues presenting the message of Jesus, which saw hundreds saved, was her passion–she loved the opportunity to share God’s love with their audiences. It was during the seasons of recovery from her surgeries that she began to consider a new chapter in her story, one that had come to her years before but had not yet taken shape.
For years, Andrea had envisioned authoring a series of children’s books telling stories from the Bible with a fresh approach. These stories would be told through the eyes of animals, a perspective she felt would catch the attention of her target audience. She began writing down her thoughts, making a list of the books she saw, not knowing where it would lead her. What began to form was a series of books now called “Zookeeper’s Collection,” the first presenting Creation. Doors began to open for her, turning what seemed like only an intriguing dream into an attainable reality. It was clear to Andrea that her desire to serve God had created in her a new passion to be a Christian children’s book author.
When asked about her purpose for writing “Zookeeper’s Collection,” her answer is simple: “Obedience is the reason. And what do I hope is accomplished? That seeds are planted… and, ultimately, even if just one soul is saved. No fame, money, or personal reward could come close to what value it would be to have just one child’s soul saved who read this or a parent who read this to them… There’s no better glory to His Kingdom.”
Andrea’s heart is one of passion–for family, for friends, for life–but above all, her passion is for Jesus. “Nothing has ever affected every emotion in me as He does.” It’s this stirring inside to serve Him that compels her to write and lay her heart out for all to see, knowing that it’s all about Him. Her passion for God is evident, her heart to bless others is huge, and her love of laughter is infectious. These qualities all shine through vividly in her “Zookeeper’s Collection.”
Worship from Chapel: Great are You Lord / God of Revival
Reflection: How have you seen God show up in your life?