Alumni Perspective: Wendy A. Harmon Yessler
Name: Wendy A. Harmon Yessler
Graduation Year: 1988
Major: Social Work, concentrating in Criminal & Delinquent Behavior & Substance Abuse with 30 hours of Bible & Theology
Current Position: Artist, Author, International Mentor & Intercessor
City and State: Shepherdstown, WV
Tell us about your career and what you do now.
Many things brought me to the place where I am now. Between 1996-2013, I homeschooled both my kids who have since graduated from university. Anyone who remembers me from Evangel will know the fire and joy that I carried. Like a fire shut up in my bones, it had to have a way of expression. During this time, 1995-2001 I served as a deacon in a megachurch, being primarily involved with multiple national conferences they held annually. In 2000, I received a Masters in Biblical Studies. From 2001-2010 I was the Prince George’s County Coordinator for the Strategic Prayer Network of MD; two years I was co-leader of a women’s mentoring group, and have been mentoring individuals since the 90s.
In 2003, God connected me to Germany where I have mentored and supported people on various levels, from life-controlling issues to those He is raising up in the church there. I’ve been there for three lengthy stays since ’13. In 2016, I began searching for ways to financially support the work I was doing in Germany, as well as some regional travel to participate in ministry events or teaching events that could open. This led me to publish A Nostalgic Walk Through the Four Seasons coloring book with my original, vintage-style, hand-drawn art in ’17. Always wanting to challenge people to the next level, I included a few journal pages with questions for life reflection between each seasonal section.
My main contact in Germany said she wanted me to do a workshop for the non-babies on my next visit. As a result, I published A Journey of Meditation on the Fruit of the Spirit in September ’17. It is a self growth book based on my growth experience that I received from attending Evangel. I explain the impacts and the methods applied during that time. I guide to make a personal growth plan with personal application exercises, and give a practical teaching with journal space for each fruit per chapter. The book can take a year to work through and is good for both individuals and groups.
In ’18 I published several art journals. The Life Art Journal has all new original drawings depicting life quotes. All journal pages have whimsical borders with a classical life quote from 100 different people throughout time. All of the art journals are intended to have people reflect more deeply on life issues.
My latest book, Private Compton, was published in May, and is my great grandfather’s manuscript on his experiences in WWI. I believe this to be a very important work as it is a first hand account that has never been published. The US WWI Centennial Commission invited me to write an article for their website about the book which can be seen here: https://www.worldwar1centennial.org/index.php/communicate/press-media/wwi-centennial-news/6291-paul-l-compton-america-had-a-big-part-in-bringing-the-war-to-an-end.html
For the future, I have more books in mind. I’m in the process of trying to get better software and learning some graphic design techniques to enable me to make art prints and book covers. All of this not only will be done for impacting others, but raising finances to do what ministry work I have been called to do.
What is your favorite memory from Evangel?
I don’t know that I have just one favorite memory. I loved the campus setting with the barracks. The students, teachers, and staff were very friendly and personal; It didn’t make a difference if they worked in the kitchen, an office, or maintenance, everyone showed the same qualities. There were so many opportunities to be exposed to from sporting events, cultural events & concerts to student activities & groups. I always enjoyed the chapel services as well.
How did Evangel help you identify/develop your calling?
I wasn’t raised in church like many others who had attended with me. I had had an encounter with Jesus at 16, and I wanted more. When I came, I was not only looking for education, but a solid Biblical foundation and personal spiritual growth. I tried to take advantage of every opportunity to promote these things. Through the classes in my degree program and the Biblical studies classes I immersed in, I received a picture that inner healing & deliverance comes much quicker through being taught to apply Biblical principles to your life. This type of discipleship/mentoring is lacking in many churches. Through being raised outside of any denomination, I think I was able to see this more clearly than many others. Many know the Bible, but they don’t apply it, or build much of a relationship with Christ, and that is where growth comes from. I have spent my time mentoring people in a way that brings personal freedom and directs them into the destiny that God created for them. My foundation for this was birthed through my time at Evangel.
How did your experience at Evangel prepare you for life after graduation?
Evangel’s motto being “An Integration of Faith and Learning,” has been a life long investment. We are in the world, but not of it. We can interact in the world, but we are to represent Christ in all we do, standing without compromise. This is what brings us life success in anything we do. From my experience, the world watches us and is looking for real Christians who live a Biblical world view; they are sick of those who compromise because those “Christians” are no different than they are. Being at Evangel and living in Springfield itself for 6 years was a great opportunity to ingrain a Biblical world view that became so natural that I could have an impact for Christ without realizing it.
What advice would you give a current student preparing for the workforce?
I would recommend that students take advantage of all educational opportunities and not neglect the spiritual opportunities that Evangel has to offer. Building up the spirit man is the most important foundation for your entire life. Evangel offers a unique opportunity to build a spiritual foundation to undergird your education, which will give you the advantage out in the workforce. Build a strong relationship with Christ, do all as unto the Lord, and He will open doors that you could never open on your own.
What would you look for if you were in a position to hire new graduates from Evangel?
I would look for integrity. Is this a person of their word? Is this person willing to grow, not only in their work position, but on a personal level? Does this person show quality workmanship? Does this person respect authority? How does this person treat others? Does this person live with consistent values, or are they double minded? Does this person’s life reflect the Christian label they wear, or are they just using it for personal gain?