Story by Salena Featherstone
Kelli Raí Collins has been the data specialist at Potomac Conference's Takoma Academy (TA) for five years, and is a proud parent of three: current TA student Solomon (’20), TA alum Zoie (’18) and Oakwood University (Ala.) student Mykel. Collins, a third generation Seventh-day Adventist, has always been dedicated to giving her children the Christian education she received.
The youngest of three girls, Collins was born in Georgetown, Md. When she was two, her father, Reginald Robinson, became an Adventist pastor, and the family moved to Newbury Park, Calif. Her mother, Patricia, supported her in everything Collins aspired to do. Her father always told her, “God always wants to hear from you no matter what you’re doing in your life.” Collins currently applies this to her life.
In 2005 she began writing and sending out devotional emails. She expresses, “I was tired of getting chain devotional emails that said, ‘Send this to 10 people to be blessed or have good luck.’ It took away the sincerity of the message.” After writing so many devotional thoughts, her friends and family encouraged her to compile them into a book.
Collins released her devotional book, Happy Mail, last October, andencourages those who feel alone or are struggling with their Christian faith to allow her words to uplift them in their relationship with God. Her devotionals originate from her personal experience. “God said to me, ‘You need to send this out; someone else needs to hear it!’” Collins views life “as something that we should help each other with. If I have an issue or problem, I am ... transparent enough to help someone else that is in the same position, so that they know they are not by themselves.”
Collins greatest fear was that her devotional book would be just another devotional collected on a shelf and not read. While writing, her greatest challenge was self-sabotage. However, learning to trust God and to be obedient when others gave her assignments prepared Collins and guided her to write this book. “The more obedient I am, the easier it gets to step out in faith,” she says.
Ultimately, she says, “As Christians, we try to make it seem like our life is perfect, when that is not realistic. If we are not transparent and willing to share our struggles or help someone who is in need or in crisis, it really takes away from what Christianity is. Jesus came to help other people, and we should model our lives behind His life, not what [humankind] has set in place.”
To purchase Happy Mail, visit smile.amazon.com/ch/27-1885583.