Friday, December 21, 2012

3 Kings + 20 Female Academicians + 1 Guaranteed Truth = The Perfect Week

About a month ago, I experienced what could be considered a “perfect week” in ministry. Beginning on a Friday, Huntington Bank graciously offered to sponsor the B.E. Taylor Concert, provide a dinner at Maria’s Kitchen for some of our most generous donors, and donate $1,000 toward our Matching Grant fund-raising drive.

The next day, Nancy Johnson, Professor of Education at Geneva College, brought 20 female elementary education students to chaperone 20 Tiger Pause kids to the Carnegie Science Center. Normally, Tiger Pause specializes and takes pride in our ability to command and control large masses of children and youth with a bare-bones staff. So, when we are blessed with one-on-one matching of kids to adults, it is like paradise found. We were able to enjoy the entire trip, there and back, with a stop at Pizza Hut, and not have to deal with one issue, emergency, or disruptive child.

On Monday, we had a beautiful time of fellowship at our staff meeting led by Pastor Larry Bettencourt (1st wise man), where young and old got together and shared how they spend time with God and what joys and sorrows they face each day. I got the idea for this time of sharing when Jack Walker (2nd wise man) had lead devotions at our board meeting the previous month. Times of sharing like these are powerful and bring folks together, gives individuals more resolve and grit to do the things nobody can or wants to do normally.

After that week, the ministry seemed to ride on a cloud, which was easy to do since Thanksgiving was around the corner. Then, the third wise man, who will remain nameless for the time being, brought us (in a good way) back to earth. “Sin wants paid”, he told me. And as we head toward the cliff, both as a country and as a civilization, the two things we grew up knowing as absolute truths—death and taxes—will have to take a back seat to that guaranteed truth.

Here is another greater truth that almost everyone reading this newsletter remembers hearing while watching a Charlie Brown Christmas:

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given: and the government shall be on his shoulder: 
and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, 
The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

Now, that makes for a perfect month!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

14 Blocks

Dear Friend,

In prayerful response to the Beaver Falls shooting and the tragedy in Connecticut, we feel led to pray for the protection of our children and community in a more direct and visible way. Therefore, we are planning a community prayer event called “Fourteen Blocks” and we are petitioning you to be a part. Already, the Beaver Falls Ministerium is coming together in ways I have not seen since I got here. As they begin their planning for the next steps, I thought that three days of a visible presence of prayer surrounding our children will help give us insight on how God wants to bring us together and respond as a community of believers.

We will be meeting on Thursday, January 3, Friday, January 4, and Monday, January 7 at 1611 7th Ave. (next to McDonald’s) at 2:00 p.m. We will provide refreshments as we meet and coordinate where our prayer teams will be stationed. Our plan is for teams of people to pray at 14 different street corners outside the Beaver Falls schools at dismissal time as the children begin their walk home. The purpose is to let the kids know that people care about them and, more importantly, Christ cares about them.

To ease our participants’ apprehension, a Tiger Pause staff member will accompany each team as they stand at the 14 corners that literally see 500 to 600 youth pass by every day after school.  While we are not an official part of the ministerium, this event is being held to support their future plans and a practical way to answer what I feel is every Sunday school question of what can we do?

If you would like to join us, please let us know the days and number of people attending by registering online at: or by calling our office at 724-843-2384. If you cannot join us physically, please join us in prayer during these times.

God bless you & Semper Fi,

Matt Nance

Friday, November 16, 2012

Morado Center Update

Nobody Greater Than You…

That song, “Nobody Greater Than You”, was taught to the students at our site when our after-school program resumed in September. The song goes on to say, “I searched all over, couldn’t find nobody, I searched high and low, still couldn’t find nobody. Nobody greater than You.” That is the lesson we wanted to instill into the spirit of the students at the Tiger Pause Morado Center. God is the greatest and there is none like Him anywhere. By week two of the program, they were still singing that song with power, purpose, and conviction. They believe and know that there is nobody like God. The angels in heaven cannot sing God’s praises any better than these students. As a matter of fact, the angels may be a little envious! ☺

Things continue to be great at Morado. We have a nice balance of old and new faces, all eager to have a nourishing meal, get the homework done, and learn more about God. When it comes to the Word, I try to stress to the students and tutors the principle of application. All the wonderful things we learn about God mean nothing if we don’t apply what we learn to how we live. So, we ask that you continue to pray for us as we strive to live and be the best that God would have us to be! Oh, last, but not least, have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
Love and blessings,

Mrs. Sabrina Tench
Morado Site Supervisor

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pleasantview Center Update

As we started a new year school year, I began working at our after-school center at Pleasantview Homes. This was a new location for me with a new set of Geneva tutors. Being that it was the start of the program and working with a group of new kids, I wasn’t sure how much they already knew about God. So, I decided to start from the beginning with our Bible lessons. After all, God is the beginning.

I read to the kids, “In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.” I explained that God created the whole world because in the beginning there was nothing. I asked them to guess how long it took God to create the world, hoping that one of the 20 kids in the room would know that He made it in a week. Their guesses were way off. I heard everything from “an hour” to “a billion years”. The last guess was from a kindergarten-aged girl who, with question in her voice, said, “Ummm, He’s still creating it?”

After our lesson, I began thinking about her answer. God does continue to make us new and redeem His Creation. He is still creating. He is not finished with us and He is not finished with His children. Her guess of how long it took to create the world was a reminder to me that God is still making us new. At times when I become frustrated with the after-school kids arguing or not doing their homework, I remember that God isn’t finished with them and I hope to be used by God as a part of their spiritual growth. Through our daily homework, shared meals, Bible lessons, and by just spending time together, I pray that God will continue to work in the lives of these children and our staff and keep creating us into the people He has for us to be.

Mackenzie Brady
Pleasantview Site Supervisor

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Are You Practicing?

We proclaim to you the one who existed from the beginning, 
whom we have heard and seen.
We saw him with our own eyes and touched him with our own hands. 
He is the Word of life 
(1John 1:1 NLT).

Football season is here! This is the time of year that 1John 1:1 comes alive to me. We heard about it, we have seen it, we have touched it, now it is time to proclaim it. The salt from the sweat and the lights on the field show a community, and a team, a player’s true heart.

Football coaches can have a special influence in a young boy’s heart. My very first coach was Dan Jones. I was in eighth grade playing my first year of football ever. I weighed about 80 pounds and he seemed to be like Goliath on that practice field. Trust me, we heard, saw, and were touched as we did mountain climbers up the hill, ran Oklahoma hitting drills, and ran plays in the dark, assisted only by the glowing headlights of nearby cars. When the season started, we proclaimed it. In fact, we never lost a game as a class until our senior year against the number one team in the nation, Berwick.

I played with some great athletes, Dan’s son Brad was one of them. Brad was one of our team captains and stood somewhere around 6-foot, 7-inches tall and 280 pounds. His size and skill earned him a full scholarship to Penn State University. He always made me feel that I was an important part of the team—always encouraging me in the weight room despite my genetic limitations. My senior year, I weighed about 135 lbs. dripping wet and that, combined with hands of stone, made me good for one thing: a tackling dummy.

Brian Smith was another team captain who made an impact on me. He would hit me so hard that I would have snot bubbles coming out my nose, but I always got back up. I’ll never forget those times. We were family.

The last time Coach Jones said something to me, as I stood with my “brothers” after our senior banquet. He told me that I had a heart and I would be great at whatever I decide to do.
I tell you this story, in part, to honor Coach Jones and how he always found a way to get me on the field and play as part of a team. While I, by no means, think I am a great executive director, I also share this story because I feel like a coach for a city with a great heart and that it will get up again.

My challenge to you, my Christian brothers and sisters, is to get yourself to the practice field. There is plenty of hard work down here that will make you sweat and give you the chance to build memories that last forever as you let your light shine for Christ.

Congratulations Blackhawk Football Team of ‘93—still the first and only undefeated season!

Semper Fi,
Matt Nance

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Praise and Worship Concert

Hey everybody!

     On Thursday, July 26, 2012, our Downtown Center was packed to the brim in anticipation of the Tiger Pause Praise & Worship Concert!  Kids and staff alike shined up their best shoes and dressed in their Sunday finest (black and white attire) in preparation to lead a time of praise to the Lord with family and members of the community in attendance.  The kids had spent all summer practicing various songs that Mrs. Tina Davis had selected for both the older and littler kids’ choir. When the program was about to begin, the staff lined their campers in order and led them upstairs to the sanctuary.  Throughout the event, the choir sang four beautiful, moving selections that praised the Lord for His goodness and love. Staff and counselors also participated, singing solos, speaking, and even taking part in a drama directed by Minister Katherine Cansler.  Executive Director Matt Nance was a co-MC for the program, along with counselor Chez Anderson. Audience and family member were invited to a cook out immediately following.  Overall, it was a wonderful day; the air-conditioned sanctuary was a delightful turnaround from last summer’s 100+ indoor temperatures, the children and staff performed their numbers with skill and enthusiasm, and this praise and worship event represented a true showcase of everything our young people have been learning all throughout Summer Camp!


Friday, July 6, 2012

Summer Camp Update

Hey everybody!

Update from Tiger Pause Summer Camp! We've had a blessed first half of camp and are still going strong!

On the first day of camp, boys played games of basketball and hockey as well as some intense rounds of four square. The girls, in the meantime, took part in some team building activities and expressed their creativity through bead making. The kids were immediately exposed to the value of sharing. The boys and girls separated for a while and engaged in these different activities that helped them understand the values of taking turns and working together.

The next day, we saw our kids serve the community by walking through the neighborhoods of Beaver Falls and picking up trash off the streets. The morning began at the Downtown Center with devotions and physical fitness activities. The kids and counselors spent time in prayer for the upcoming day and learning what it means to serve their community. Jeremy Kiger led exercises afterwards and got everybody’s blood flowing with jumping jacks and push-ups.

Once the kids were all ready to go, the groups hit the neighborhoods and cleaned the sidewalks and alleyways. After an hour of hard work, the group enjoyed a delicious lunch at the Downtown Center  provided by Mrs. Davis. Following the meal, the kids and counselors headed down to the Berkshire building to watch Madagascar 2 and munch on some fresh popcorn.

One of the counselors, Sarah Whalen, was excited to see the kids learn about caring for God’s creation and being good stewards of what He has given them. In a small way, they were able to see what giving back to their community looks like.

We have seen God’s hand at work in the lives of these kids! We really look forward to the all the other blessings He has in store for Tiger Pause during camp this summer!

Matt Marino
Tiger Pause Intern

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Redeeming Bud

On July 9, I will have been sober for 13 years and the only step I needed was to follow Jesus Christ. But, oh the stories I could tell and have told the young men I see every day. I’ve told them so many times that they actually tell them better. However, our summer staff gets it the worst as they hear those stories again for the benefit of the new staff. For training there’s always new faces eager to hear how to tackle inner city youth ministry and, much to the chagrin of the veteran staff members, every year I share the life principles I learned from living fast and experiencing the “no bar too far”, “we drive at five” culture. So, in teaching them how to handle difficult parents who think their $45 payment for six weeks of camp entitles them to tell us how games should be played or what kind of counselor is best for their kid, I use Patrick Swayze’s Roadhouse model of management. Step 1: Be nice. Step 2: Take it outside. Step 3: Call the “Cooler”.

Now I must admit, my ego gets a bit of a boost every summer as I envision myself with Patrick Swayze hair dealing with hard cases. However, this year, the Lord led me to new heights of creativity by using a young man nicknamed Kunta. He asked me why my favorite word was “bud”. That’s what I call everybody— “Hi Bud!”, “What’s up buddy?”, “See ya later, buddy.”, etc. So, as I shared our mission for camp of “Building Character, Unlocking Eternity, & Directing” with the summer staff, I thought to myself, “If the Lord can find a redeeming way to use the phrase, ‘This Bud’s for You!’, anything or anyone can be redeemed.”

So, this summer, please pray that our workers search high and low, deep and wide for those redeeming parts which are sometimes hidden in the lives of the community we serve.

Semper Fi,

    Matt Nance

Friday, June 15, 2012

Summer Camp Excitement

Staff training has begun for our summer camp program and, as we prepare for 60+ children, the atmosphere among the staff can be summed up into one word: excitement.  Excitement about the opportunity to work alongside great young men and women; excitement about having the opportunity to share life with our campers; excitement about teaching them about God and hopefully illustrating His love to them; and, ultimately, we are very excited to see what God is going to do in and among us over the next six weeks.

Every year, we are blessed to see growth in our campers.  The campers grow physically as they serve through community service projects.  Emotional growth is also evident as they are able to develop conflict resolution skills through small group lessons.  Lastly, seeing their spiritual growth is incredibly encouraging.  What a blessing it is to be a part of their growth!

The campers are not the only ones who are changed.  Every year, it seems that we are affected deeply by our experiences during camp.  The most specific occasion I can mention is probably the last Thursday of Summer Camp, which is our weekly Praise and Worship day, when we spend a while in prayer with the campers.  Both counselors and campers are brought to tears as we pour our hearts out to the Lord.  It is a wonderful time of confession, comforting and the removal of burdens.  Counselors and campers embrace one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.  But this is just one occasion. God can use the whole camp experience to change us as well as the small, seemingly insignificant moments.

Keeping in mind the power of God to change us and the faith that He will, can you see why we are so excited?!  Thank you so much for all of your prayers.  Please keep ‘em coming!

Jeremy Kiger
Tiger Pause Staff

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Preparation for Summer Camp

While some people spend their summers lying on the beach or planting flowers in their garden, the Tiger Pause staff is hard at work.  And although we females may not be chopping wood, moving furniture, or laying concrete like our work crew boys, the planning of Tiger Pause's Summer Camp comes with its own set of potential issues to prepare for.

Field trips must be arranged, and not just some nice field trip to an air-conditioned building.  Imagine trying to prepare new staff members for the mass chaos that is 60 Kindergarten through eighth graders running rampant in 90 degree weather at the Pittsburgh Zoo.  Or imagine entertaining and feeding 60 eager Pirates' fans on the hour ride to a night game.  Not to mention trying to get the same kids motivated to pick up trash on the streets of Beaver Falls as a service to their community in the 90 degree weather.

How do you prepare staff members who are from Beaver Falls as well as those who are from outside this tight-knit community to work together in order to bring Christ to these kids?  This is the work we are in the midst of now as we prepare for our upcoming program.

Before we even begin staff training, we PRAY.  It's not even a simple prayer like "Lord, please help us."  But we are in prayer for the strength of the staff, the hearts and minds of the children, the support of the community, and for funds to meet the needs of the program.

After intense training and prayer, we begin to train the staff to effectively be a part of this unique ministry.  Although we have some experienced staff members, Tiger Pause has recruited many Geneva students to be a part of summer program this year.  These students have served the community during the after-school program, but must now be prepared for the completely different experience of summer camp.  All staff members are trained in CPR, first aid, emergency response, and safety procedures.  They are given a general run-down of camp, their roles and responsibilities, upcoming field trips, and most importantly, how to be a light to the children.

There is still much to do before we begin this summer's program; however, we look forward to the challenges and rewards that we are sure to encounter as we minister to God's children.

Please continue to pray and support Tiger Pause Youth Ministry throughout the summer!

Kaetlyn and Mackenzie

Friday, May 11, 2012

Blog Intro


            For those of you who are taking the time to read, this is the launch of our first official Tiger Pause Blog! Perhaps you have worked with us in the past. There may be a chance that you have heard our name in the community. Maybe you have never heard of who we are. Anyhow, we are all about three things here at Tiger Pause:

Redeeming Lives ~ Building Leaders ~ Transforming Communities

            Tiger Pause was established in 1988, designed as an after-school haven where at-risk youth could have a healthy meal, receive help with homework, and learn God’s word. Over the years, Tiger Pause has grown and focused its strength and efforts into improving the academic performance of students in surrounding school districts, helping local families toward a life of self-sufficiency, and raising the quality of the workforce through education and hands-on learning. Through our various programs, and with Christ at its center, we hope minister to people in the community and give them tools and resources to reach their God-given potential.

            Tiger Pause focuses on Redeeming Lives at an early age. Kids from Kindergarten to 8th grade have the chance to come to our after-school program where they will be fed a good meal and receive tutoring for their homework, all the while being able to fellowship with their peers and the staff. This is a safe, wholesome environment where children can learn about Christ. Additionally, our summer camp program gives kids the opportunity to participate in community service.

            Tiger Pause also Builds Leaders. We see a need to educate citizens in our community with business and vocational training. Youth can participate in community service projects where they can learn basic skills in carpentry, electrical wiring, and plumbing. People can choose to work for their furniture provided by the Furniture Bank downtown in order to maintain personal integrity. If we can rewire the way our fellow citizens view honest, hard work, we hope to see a change in our community and slowly end the poverty cycle.

            Tiger Pause also desire to see Transformed Communities. Our outreach with the Furniture Bank provides low-income families with affordable furniture and appliances. For those with a greater need, we offer our Work4Stuff program where they can work at Tiger Pause and earn the items they need. In addition, the Beez CafĂ© serves as a place of fellowship for church groups and Bible studies.

            Our hope in posting to this blog each week is to minister to our community through the art of storytelling. Stories of our people. Stories of their experience in our program. Stories of how God is working through Tiger Pause and how He works in the lives of our people. We hope and pray it can be an encouragement to all who read and follow our story. 

Blessing to you all,