Profile of a Protagonist is a recurring blog post with the goal of showing readers how individuals in our Voice community engage in the Gospel and see God’s love lived out throughout Orlando. Meet the protagonists.
Meet Naomie Petion, or as her students call her, Ms. Petion.
1)When did your first know you wanted to be a teacher?
Since high school, I had a feeling that the teaching profession was for me. However, it wasn’t until I started working with kids from low income families at a summer camp where I got to empower students who were less fortunate. I got to see students transform in a whole summer. Knowing that I can make a difference everyday in a child’s life won me over.
2) How do you see God in the city of Orlando?
I see God in the people who take an initiative to help those in need before someone asks them to and those who are willing to help those in need. I see God through the people who choose to go against the norms of this world and be Christlike no matter what their status is in life. Whether a child, homeless person, teacher, Doctor, Pastor, intern, entrepreneur, model, hair stylist, blogger, dentist, mother, father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cashier, janitor, Evangelist, rapper, unemployed, etc. I continue to see God through the women and men who choose daily to be the hands and feet of Christ with a pure and genuine heart no matter what season of life that they are in.
3) How has being a teacher impacted your walk as a Christ follower?
While working with kids, you definitely have to have A LOT of patience. When I am teaching them, I am reminded that the same way I have patience for my students, is similar to the same way God has patience for me. As a teacher, I have to make sure that I give students a fresh start every morning to make better decisions. I don’t hold on to their mistakes from yesterday because it helps them to want to try their best. In that same way, I believe God wants the same thing to for me. When I have to discipline my students, I have to make sure that they know in the end that still love them and only want the best for them. And God constantly reminds me of that through my students daily.
4) How has the Voice impacted your walk with Christ?
My walk with God has grown tremendously since I have started coming to the Voice. The Voice has taught me to truly pray for the things that I am too afraid to pray for. The Voice has challenged me to step out of my comfort zone; and the Voice has taught me to trust God and to not allow my pride to keep me from growing in Christ. The Voice continues to challenge me to not live a mediocre life and to run after all God has for me. And most of all, the Voice has taught me the importance of loving people and this beautiful city; to love the things of God and His people. Last but not least, after my first mission trip with the Voice, God reassured me to truly be content with who He has created me to be.