Custodial supervisor provides service with a smile

Posted: June 20, 2012

Even though Martha Born’s workday at Briercrest College and Seminary starts at 6 a.m. – she meets it with a smile.

“I like to greet people in the mornings when I see them,” the custodial supervisor and housing coordinator said.

Born says it’s the people who make her job enjoyable.

“It’s one of the highlights of my job – meeting new people,” she said. “I meet a lot of new people in housing. Some you talk to on the phone or via email and then you finally get to meet them.”

Born’s happy disposition and strong work ethic has earned her some loyal fans among Briercrest faculty and staff.

“Martha is just an incredible employee,” Briercrest controller Wilbert Kaus said with a smile. “The work she does is just perfection. It’s a joy for me to come to work and know my office has been cleaned by Martha because it’s so clean. It just makes life so much more enjoyable.”

Born is entering into one of her job’s busy seasons, just as most everyone else at Briercrest is winding down for a few months after graduation.

“When the students leave, we go in, check the dorms out and clean them,” she explained. “We do the deep cleaning – under the mattresses, in the drawers, in the desks – all that kind of stuff. Once the main cleaning is done, there is cleaning after sports camps, retreats, reunions, and other (summer) bookings.”

Besides overseeing the summer cleaning projects and helping students with campus rentals, Born and her staff of 11 full and part-time custodians keep every area campus clean year round – from the Hildebrand chapel down to the post office.

Meeting people and serving others is something Born does on and off the job. On Tuesday afternoons she and her husband Stan help lead an event in Mortlach for kids in Grades 1-6.

“We call it Kid’s Club,” she said. “We have anywhere from 15 to 25 kids. “My husband looks after the Bible story, we have someone who does the craft, and I look after the registration and snacks and that sort of thing.”

The Borns have done Kid’s Club long enough that some of the alumni of the group are returning to help.

Working with young people is what introduced Born to Briercrest in the first place.

“I first came to Caronport in 1995 with a group of teenagers and our pastor for Youth Quake (YQ),” she explained. “I would come the next three years with my eldest daughter and her friend. In 1998, as YQ was winding up – knowing I would probably not be bringing any more kids to it – I began to wonder what it was like on the other side, the preparation side. Little did I know we would be moving there six months later. God was preparing my heart for ministry here.”

Born and her husband farmed in Newdale, Man. before they sold their business to move to Caronport for her husband to attend college at Briercrest.

“Ten days from the time people from England looked at (our farm), the deal was signed and we were out here to find a place to live and register our youngest daughter for high school,” she explained.

Things didn’t go quite as they had planned.

“While we were here (my husband) had a major stroke,” Born said. “So it took him seven years to do four years. We thought maybe the Lord would take us elsewhere, but He just hasn’t. We’re still here.”

Even in these difficult situations Born’s positive attitude and steadfast faith have stood out to those around her.

Martha is “content and cheerful in every situation,” academic office administrative assistant Shirley Entz said. “(She has) an unswerving faith in God knowing that ‘all things work together for good to them that love God’.”