Chaplain Karina Tun
Siloam Springs, Arkansas
What did you do before coming to Simmons?
Before coming to Simmons, I was a high school Spanish teacher. My combined teaching time in the De Queen and Gravette, Arkansas districts was almost ten years. My husband and I were involved in ministry with two local churches in the De Queen and Horatio, Arkansas areas. We also served as part-time Chaplains for Pilgrims Pride through Marketplace Chaplains.
When and why did you become a Chaplain?
If someone had asked me at the beginning of this year if I could ever see myself in the position of a Chaplain, without hesitation I would have said, "Nope, that's not for me!" That mindset started to change on January 20, 2018, when my husband was hospitalized for what would be a total of 57 days. Throughout those days, God continually showed us His grace, mercy, and awesome love. Although I have been a Christian since my teenage years, going through this season of my life has given me a deeper kind of faith. It is the kind of faith that sustains and makes me bolder in my walk with God. It is the kind of faith that leaves no room to ever doubt the love of God. It is the kind of faith that has guided and led me to fulfill the plan that God has for my life, which is to serve Him in the capacity of Chaplain. I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to work toward fulfilling the mission and purpose of Simmons Chaplain Services:
We provide compassionate support and helpful resources to encourage health and growth in the lives of our people and their families. Our Chaplains serve as the hands and feet that represent the heart of the Simmons family - caring for those who are hurting or in need and encouraging those who desire to grow in their personal lives.
Where did you go to school?
I am a 2000 graduate of Siloam Springs High School. I furthered my education at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and graduated with a B.A. in International Relations and a minor in Spanish.
Where have you lived?
I was born in Chihuahua, Mexico, and immigrated to the USA at the age of four. My family and I lived for a brief period in McKinney, Texas, before settling down and making Siloam Springs, Arkansas, our hometown. In the summer of 2005, I moved to De Queen, Arkansas. During my time there, the Lord brought me and my husband, Alston, together and blessed us with two wonderful children: Anderson, 7, and Olivia, 4. We made the move back "home" to Siloam Springs in 2015 and look forward to making it our "forever hometown!"
What do you like to do in your free time?
I have always had a love for reading, so I try to do that as much as possible as well as reading with and to my children. I enjoy watching cooking shows, and that usually ends up with me in the kitchen trying out new recipes or tweaking some family favorites.
What are some of your favorite quotes?
“Be still, and know that I am God.” ~ Psalm 46:10
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” ~ 2 Corinthians 12:9
If you could do anything for one day and money is not an issue, what would you do?
I would take my family on a trip to Paris and London!
Who have been the most influential people in your life?
Mrs. Wann, my high school French teacher, encouraged and inspired me to try much harder than what I wanted and ever thought possible. Through her guidance, I was also able to succeed academically and become a first-generation college graduate.
My parents, Sandra & Carlos Gonzalez are real-life examples of God turning lives around through the power of prayer.
My husband, Alston has always helped me to see the world and situations from different perspectives and he keeps our family laughing.
My children, Anderson and Olivia, have reshaped the way that I think, feel, and act toward the world. They make me want to do whatever is necessary in order for each of them to live the best life possible in accordance with God's will. They make me slow down and appreciate the fun that can come from rainbows, ice-cream, and slime!