How long have you been a part of Harvest?
It will be five years in February when we first started attending Harvest. I was pregnant with Noelle and we still met at the high school.
Where are you currently serving?
I am the director of tutoring club, and it has become a ministry for our whole family. Al and Noelle are usually with me. Noelle likes to sit with other students and tutors and entertain them. Al is always there to assist with anything from technical things, filling in for tutors who cannot be there, taking pictures, or setting up. He is my go-to guy, and I'm so blessed to have him as my husband!
I was a teacher before I decided to stay home with my daughter. Prior to being the director of the club, I was a tutor and I used my teaching skills one-on-one with the students I tutored. Now as director, I use my organizational skills to facilitate the club and to make sure everything is running smoothly. I enjoy working behind the scenes and then watching it all come together on Tuesday night. Tutoring Club is a wonderful opportunity for people who want to go beyond our church walls and be in contact with people in the community. You do not have to be a teacher to be a tutor. Tutors just need to enjoy spending time with children and desire to share the love of Christ with the students and families. It is truly a wonderful mentoring opportunity.
How have you seen God move in your area of ministry?
God has moved in amazing ways for Tutoring Club, and I want to start by saying it is not because of me. I want all the glory to be given to Him. I have seen God use Life Groups and individuals to provide food and financial counseling to a family in need. Students’ scores are improving in school from C's and D's to A's and B's. Tutors are providing transportation for students so they may attend tutoring club and also attend church on Sunday mornings. Tutors are also attending school events, musical events, cheer events, etc...to show their love and support for their students. When the mother of a student needed medical attention but had no health insurance, one of the tutors took the time to research what help she could get. The tutor then proceeded to take the mother to the doctor and paid for her doctor's visit. The students and tutors are deeply digging into what God's Word says, and their discussions are amazingly deep and thought-provoking. Thank you to Ron Criel for being a wonderful teacher of the Word! We went from having about 12 students last year to 18 students this year. Three of the students actually come from my neighborhood, and they absolutely love it! The love and respect they have for their tutors is amazing, and everyday they are wanting to know more about Christ and how much He loves us. God was moving in my heart to reach out to the children in my neighborhood, and tutoring club has provided a way for me to do that. The life groups providing meals have been pivotal. Receiving a nutritious, well-balanced meal is so important for many of these students and often times the families are blessed with the leftovers. I have had two volunteers step up to help direct the flow of things in the kitchen, and I am so thankful for their service. My favorite story for this year is about two little girls who are related. The two girls went home and were reading a Bible that one of the tutors had given to them as a gift. In the back of the Bible were questions about salvation. The girls decided to read the questions together, and in the end the oldest girl, who had already made a decision to follow Christ, helped the other girl to pray the prayer and ask Christ into her life! In directing Tutoring Club, God has taught me that He can use me if I just say yes to Him. He always comes through, and I have learned to not obsess about the small stuff because if it is glorifying Him, it will always work out.
What obstacles have you overcome?
Well, before I took over the ministry, I had to overcome some of my own obstacles of insecurity. I did not want to be in the spotlight in any way, but when God says move and you do not move, there are grave consequences. Once I laid down my will and let His will be done, I was overwhelmed by His faithfulness. With any ministry, things do not always start off smoothly. The first year I took over, we were not allowed to advertise for club in the school, yet God opened doors anyway and the students came! He also opened doors for me to form a wonderful friendship with the principal at the time, and that allowed me to tutor students in the school and to visit the students who were in Tutoring Club.
How can others help in Tutoring Club?
We just recently lost a tutor who could no longer fulfill her tutoring obligations, so we are in need of a tutor who can fulfill the position until the end of April.
Life Groups can sign up to prepare and serve a meal. We need meals for March 13 and April 24. I need more substitute tutors who are willing to sub for tutors who cannot be there for various reasons.