Humans of Ancient Faith is a series of mini-interviews designed to introduce you to the many wonderful human beings who make this ministry possible. We asked the same 5 questions in each interview, and let the interviewee choose a sixth question. Today’s guest is author, podcaster, and audiobook voice talent Kristina Wenger.
If you were named for your defining characteristic, what word or phrase would be your name?
Playful (although “creative” or “five” would also suffice). I play whenever I can. (Because I’m five at heart and enjoy finding creative ways to look at life.)
What is your earliest specifically Orthodox memory?
I remember standing sleepily in awe in the first Paschal service we attended. We had only been to a handful of liturgies before that night, but we were reading so much about the Faith and being drawn to it (without intentionally looking for it). I remember glorying in the smell of the melting beeswax candle in my hand, my heart lightened by the joy that its flame represented. I dripped wax on my favorite long black cotton dress, but I didn’t really care. Those wax drops were proof that I’d been there, celebrating the resurrection with others who shared my deep-seated belief that “Easter” is the most important event of the Christian year: even more important than CHRISTMAS. Glory be! …And I hadn’t seen my husband so giddily happy in a very, very long time…
What’s your favorite story about your patron saint?
I resonate with St. Christina of Tyre’s wonder at the beauty of the world. She delighted in seeing the stars and wondered who had created them (and the world itself). Her desire to know the Creator led to her praying to Him, and asking Him to reveal Himself, which He did through the appearance of an angel.
It makes me so happy that my patron saint was drawn to God through His world, just as I am, and that we both delight in the beauty of Creation.
What’s the title of a conference Ancient Faith has not yet hosted that you would absolutely attend?
The Ancient Faith Creatives Conference, wherein musicians, artists, crafters, writers, and makers of all sorts would gather to share how their faith shapes their creative endeavors. There would, of course, be keynote addresses, but there would also be breakout sessions for makers with similar interests to meet and create together, offering advice, ideas, and support to each other’s endeavors (and enjoying each other’s work). There would also need to be hands-on workshops for makers to share their wisdom and methodology with anyone wishing to try their hand at something new.
Sign. Me. Up.
What’s a book or movie that you’d highly recommend? What did you like about it?
I’m a huge fan of the “Chronicles of Prydain” series of books by Lloyd Alexander. I have read (and re-re-re-read) them, and I never tire of them. My favorite book in the series is the first one, The Book of Three. Each book is laden with adventure, secrets, and deep truths tucked tastefully into a story, much like a parable. I can relate especially well to the bumbling protagonist, Taran the Assistant Pig-Keeper, but I long to be the beautiful, wise, and confident Eilonwy. (I also wish to have her glowing golden bauble, but we all know that is never going to happen!)
It would be a dream come true to be allowed to record these books: their characters each have their own voice, which my children know well. 🙂
What is something that has clearly shaped who you are, for which you are grateful?
My beloved parents were (Mennonite) missionaries in the highlands of Guatemala. I was 2 when we moved there, and almost 12 when we returned. I grew up flying in airplanes, hiking mountain paths shrouded in a sheet of colorful plastic that protected me from the week-long rains, meeting people of all sizes/shapes, and speaking three languages simultaneously. I feel super lucky and blessed to have grown up in this way, and I wouldn’t change my childhood even if I could. I thank God for this gift, and I pray that I use it wisely.
About Kristina Wenger
Kristina Wenger is a mom of two who enjoys creating things and interacting with little people. An educator who has taught first grade and Sunday church school, Kristina has also homeschooled (most of the grades) and co-founded an educational organization. She has written many blogs and created curriculum for various Orthodox Christian education groups. Kristina loves storytelling, and voices some of Ancient Faith’s audiobooks, as well as the Let Us Attend and Tending the Garden podcasts. She offers an eclectic variety of handcrafted items in her Etsy shop. Kristina and her husband Timm have two grown children, who each have married delightful spouses. Timm and Kristina own and operate a coffee roastery (Wanderlust Coffees), roasting fairly traded and organically grown coffees (one of their blends is a fundraiser for Ancient Faith Ministries). They also manage an AirB&B in their neighborhood and attend both St. John Chrysostom Church, York, PA and Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, Lancaster, PA.
Kristina’s Ancient Faith publications include: Tending the Garden of Our Hearts: Daily Lenten Meditations for Families and Rooted in Prayer: Virtual Vacation Church Camp (https://store.ancientfaith.com/rooted-in-prayer-virtual-vacation-church-camp/ )
(Also, at this writing, she has fully voiced 12 Ancient Faith audio books and helped to voice two others.)