Friday, December 12, 2014

Downtown Center Update

What an amazing Fall semester! All of our sites are filled to capacity with students! Four of our sites have gone on field trips to either the Carnegie Science Center or Fun Fore All. Our Geneva staff has brought skills, talents, and gifts that have blessed our programs and children in countless ways. Tiger Pause continues to be blessed with different opportunities that positively impact the lives of the children we serve. This semester Tiger Pause was nominated by the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) for the Book, Toys, and More program. Two students from each site attended the event where they received gifts, were recognized by the PSEA’s House of Delegates, and were provided a wonderful lunch! The after-school program continues to grow and develop in such remarkable ways! Praise God!

Wonderful things are also happening at the Downtown site specifically. This month we are learning and exploring the story of John the Baptist and the Birth of Jesus. The kids amaze me with their hunger to learn more about the story each day, their thoughtful questions, and application of the story to their own lives. Along with learning these stories from the Bible, we are learning the skill of money management. With the holidays around the corner, the kids realize they may be getting money and it is never too early to learn to manage that money! We have been discussing the differences between wants and needs; short term and long term goals; and how managing money applies to all of this. The kids have taken these lessons seriously and have developed plans for how they will save and spend their future earnings. We have connected the idea of wants and needs to the story of John the Baptist and the simplicity of his life. God has allowed our lessons to flow seamlessly and the way the kids grasp each idea we try to teach is truly the work of the Lord. As we approach Christmas, we are getting ready to say good-bye to our kids for a few weeks until the Spring semester begins in mid January. Over the break, the staff hopes to plan, rest, and rejuvenate to come back full force for Spring semester!

Erica Duffy
After-school Program Coordinator
Downtown Site Supervisor

Prisoner of Sin

Ephesians 2: 8-9 - “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” I got to share this with the crowd at the B.E. Taylor Christmas Concert on December 6 and my daughter started us off with a quote from Haniel Long, “So much of what is best in us is bound up in our love of family, that it remains the measure of our stability because it measures our sense of loyalty. All other pacts of love or fear derive from it and are modeled upon it.”

In these unstable times, it is important to know where our stability, loyalty, and true family come from. It is also just as important to know that those who are without Christ have stability, loyalty, and family ties that help them endure. Our mission as believers is to preach the word because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17) so that those that hear may experience His grace and be forever changed.

I, Matt Nance, could have been a tragedy. I was a wicked man that had no respect for authority, stole what I wanted, and had no remorse for putting my fellow man in the hospital or even trying to take a life. As Clint Eastwood said in the movie Unforgiven, “It’s a heck of a thing, killing a man. Take away all he’s got and all he’s gonna have.” Thanks be to God that a mom prayed, a preacher preached, and godly men stood in the gap.

This Christmas, turn off the news and make your own news by giving that gift we received from our heavenly Father who set the captives free.

Matt Nance

Friday, November 7, 2014

One Tough Cookie That Doesn't Get Soft in November Rain

When I was growing up, the band Guns ‘n Roses had a song November Rain. I don’t remember what the song was about, but I do remember the music video was about nine minutes long. When you are a teenager, nine minutes can seem like an eternity. Last week, when our Fighting Tigers football team lost to Apollo Ridge in the play-offs, the feeling I had of being punched in the gut and the weight of an anvil on my heart seemed to last an eternity, like that music video. Truth be told, while it seems much gets done at Tiger Pause the week after a Beaver Falls loss, I feel less motivated to do it.

You see, there is a very special young man graduating high school this year. He wasn’t the fastest or even the strongest on the team, but, have no doubt about it, he is what every father desires his son to be—one tough cookie. Peter Lyons, who broke the New Brighton Lions’ backs this year when the game was deadlocked and momentum hung in the balance, scamped 40+ yards as a full back for a touchdown, running over half of New Brighton’s team. He kept the “jug” home.

Our paths crossed six years ago when he and his brother, Big Mike, would come across the street after school to the Tiger Pause Boys’ Center. They were typical middle school boys. They smelled, they were unruly, and, did I mention, they smelled. We did everything together. We went on trips across the country and eventually started working together. But, the funniest time we had was when we put on those boxing gloves and beat each other senseless. And no matter how hard I hit him, he would never go down. He reminds me of Jake LaMotta in Raging Bull when he tells Sugar Ray Robinson, “You never knocked me down, Ray!” One day, Pete got me good and bloodied my lip. By his reaction, you would have thought he knocked out Mike Tyson. If I was the legend, he was the legend killer and he told everyone who would listen.

Petey Pie (my nickname for him) grew up with a hard life. He lost his mom two years ago, stays with different family members, fumbled the ball against the Quips on the 3-yard line, and could have ended up like any other self-destructive, troubled teen. He’s not out of the woods yet, so keep him in your prayers.

Here are some unpublished stats if you ever want to get an autograph from Pete:

  • Petey has a smile that will light up a room.
  • After scoring two touchdowns against Summit, when they called Pete’s number again, he let a fellow teammate get a touchdown instead.
  • For one of our moving jobs, he traveled with us to San Francisco and back in five days.
  • The first and only kid who made Mr. Matt bleed.
  • He ran 11th Street hill at 6:30 a.m. to get ready for football season.
  • He went to Busch Gardens because all the other guys wanted to, even though he doesn’t like rollercoasters.
  • He went on a missions trip to West Virginia with Park Presbyterian Church. There is not a time when I see anyone from that church where they don’t smile and ask about Petey. 

People often tell me how great Tiger Pause is doing or what a good job I have done, but we all know it is the Lord. I thank the Lord when He sends boys like Petey because he inspires us to be tougher and go one more round. Love you, Pete. Proud of ya! And as Mr. K would say, “I’m for ya!”

Semper fi,
Matt Nance

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Harmony Center Update

This 2014-2015 school year I have had the pleasure of supervising one of our afterschool program sites in Harmony Dwellings. Three days a the week, about 10 -15 children attend this site. During their time at the afterschool program, the Geneva College tutors and myself engage them in various activities which can include making crafts, playing outside, and group activities and always includes a Bible lesson.

During the month of October, we incorporated bullying into our Bible lessons and life skill activities. At first, when just talking to the children about bullying and why it was wrong, they seemed bored and disinterested. Yet, when that same information was integrated into the Bible lessons, the children couldn’t seem to get enough. It is exciting to see how eager they are to learn more about God.

It is just as exciting when they teach us as well. One day, I was telling the story of David and Goliath, a story many of them had heard over and over again, I thought to myself, “they don’t really care about this story and aren’t going to gain anything from it this time.” To my surprise, a small voice in the back of the room said, “we are small but we can do big things too!” That little voice was right! We are small compared to the world and the problems that we may face, but we have a God who is greater than those problems and us. It is in Him that we are conquerors. I am excited to see what God is doing and will continue to do in the lives of the children here at Tiger Pause.
Brittany Foster
Harmony Center Supervisor

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

New Brighton Center Update

Working with Tiger Pause is exciting because there are always new ways to get involved and serve in the community. I have been blessed with the opportunity to work at the newest Tiger Pause after-school site, located in New Brighton. Seeing how the Lord has orchestrated all the details that make the site possible has been so encouraging.

The new center is meeting in The Lighthouse for the Blind building on Route 18 in New Brighton. The kids attending the program come from Rochester, Riverside, Baden Charter School, and New Brighton. The staff at the new site, including many Geneva College students, is working to create a safe and constructive environment to help the kids grow academically, behaviorally, and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

After the kids arrive, we form a circle and have each one share their name and something good that happened to them that day. This time has been a highlight for me, because in spite of often tough circumstances, they are always able to find something positive to share. While still in a circle, we pray for the afternoon and then begin working on homework. Though the time spent on homework is challenging, it has been rewarding to see the kids growing in diligence. When they have all completed their homework, we serve them a meal and share a Bible lesson while they eat. We have been teaching them the story of Daniel, emphasizing how Daniel looked to God even through hard times. The rest of the time we spend with the kids consists of activities and crafts. We have been thankful for the nice weather, which enables us to play games outside.

I have loved getting to know all of the kids at the New Brighton site. Each one is beautifully unique, presenting both a challenge and blessing to me and the other staff members. We are excited to see how the Lord will continue to bless this new ministry of Tiger Pause.

Abby York
New Brighton Center Staff

And I'll take with me the memories...

This past month, Tiger Pause grieved the loss of two beloved individuals: Roy McDonald and Elaine Oravitz. There is no song, movie, or tear-jerking story that I can write down to express the importance, impact, and inspiration that these two people have had on me and the lives of countless youth through Tiger Pause.

Roy McDonald and his wife Francis were original founders and board members of Tiger Pause. Roy was the grandpa every boy wished they had. He was truly a man like Samuel whose words did not hit the ground. One of my greatest comforts was that I knew that Roy and Fran were praying for Tiger Pause daily. One of my greatest joys was when Roy and Fran showed up at any event we held. The most recent time was at our Splash Pad Preview Day where I could see in his eyes that he was pleased with what we had accomplished on land formerly over-run by abandoned houses and empty lots.

My early years as executive director were very rough. I was green, didn’t understand how to submit to authority, and we were at the verge of closing shop. During that time, we had a board meeting when Roy and Fran happened to be on vacation. I was being pressed to raise funds and the only idea I had was to sell raffle tickets for the boys’ work program services like grass cutting, car washing, etc. I was given permission to sell them at the football game and it was going well...until the next board meeting when Roy and Fran were there. Roy softly and graciously said, “We don’t do games of chance.” Fran just shook her head in disappointment. The rest of the board members, who had said a lot previously and given permission for the raffle, now sat so quietly that you could hear a pin drop. I was then told to call everyone who had purchased tickets and return their money, which I did because I loved Roy McDonald like a grandpa. Then, something supernatural happened. My mind grew an inch closer to wisdom.

At the next board meeting, the money issue came up again and I said that the only way I knew to make money was to tithe from the income we did have. Our budget was running in the red with no relief in sight. There was a lot of heavy conversation when Roy broke in and said, “It’s God’s word. We should do it.” Once again, silence. Then, John Shaffer made the motion and started to make history.

Twelve years later, an organization that was bringing in $65,000 per year has grown into one that will gross over $600,000 this year employing over 20 youth to cut grass, shovel driveways, and occasionally tear down houses as we are doing now in Leetsdale. From that tithing, we have sent Beaver Falls boys and girls on mission trips all over this world to spread God’s love by word and deed. When Roy spoke, things happened.

Another one of those things that happened involved Elaine Oravitz. She was the Beaver Falls Class of 1952 treasurer and decided that instead of holding more reunions, they would bless Tiger Pause with the money they would have spent. As the face of Tiger Pause, I went to meet with Miss Elaine for a completely different reason than what I received. Yes, she gave me a handsome check, but it was the warm smile, cup of coffee, Little House on the Prairie playing on the television, and the extensive conversation about what Tiger Pause does that blessed me greatly. Then, over the years, visits with her and her friendship became a refuge for me. As she came to live on a fixed income and could only give a certain amount to Tiger Pause, she offered to pay the postage for the return envelope. Little did I know that my path would cross her children and grandchildren’s paths. Through those connections, I would come to make another great friend—Elaine’s son Mike who is also a firm believer that “once a tiger, always a tiger”.

As these two great souls leave us and join Christ, we are thankful for their impact on the lives touched through Tiger Pause. Their gift of support was greater than money and for that, they will be greatly rewarded!

Matt Nance

Friday, September 19, 2014

A Note of Thanks

The past four years of my life I have spent in Beaver Falls. When I first arrived, I was very inexperienced with any culture and community besides that of the farm. I thought that city folk all had desk jobs, two kids, a dog and found long walks in the park entertaining. I could not have been more wrong. The week before I began Geneva College I came down into Beaver Falls to do community service. When we arrived at the site on 10th avenue and we were told to pull the weeds, I was all excited! I took off the ID and mail key we had just received from the college and built my pile directly on top of my ID and key. I never found them despite going back and looking, but what I did find was a Christian organization that was looking to clean up the city.

Since that first day working with Tiger Pause, I knew I had found people that I could call family. Mr. Matt asked if I would be interested in volunteering and I immediately signed up. I began tutoring in September of 2010 and met Ms. Tina. I must confess that I was intimidated by her for the longest time because I had never seen a woman take charge of kids the way she did. All she had to do was give a look and even the most rebellious of kids would stop and put their head down in shame. Working beside Ms. Tina helped me realize how much I loved kids. Once I came to this realization, I changed my major to education and have been dedicated to teaching children ever since.

As I mentioned before I was raised on a farm, so sometimes I have a need to get dirty and work hard. Mr. Matt took care of that need. I spent two summers on the work crew doing whatever needed done. There were days where I came back so tired, but I could smile because I had helped the city and the people of the city. Even though my efforts are just a few drops in the bucket, I can somewhat relate to Nehemiah who helped to restore the city of Jerusalem. While Beaver Falls has a long way to go, Tiger Pause is growing and supporting the youth who will one day run the city.

Tiger Pause is a body. It is a body where God is the head and Mr. Matt is the heart. Each person involved in Tiger Pause is a part of that body. If I ever needed a friend- Chez was there. If I ever needed a prayer- Mr. Brian was there. If I ever needed a word of advice- Mr. Matt was there. When I needed a paycheck- thank goodness Miss Kelly was there! Every person who becomes involved in Tiger Pause experiences two things: hard work and love. I could not have asked for more.

I am no longer with Tiger Pause now that I have begun teaching full time, but I wanted to take the time to show my true appreciation for all Tiger Pause has done for me. Thank you to everyone who was and is a part of Tiger Pause!

With much gratitude,
Curtis Covert

A Trip to Virginia Beach

Mr. Matt often parallels his events with the young men working in Tiger Pause, to movies he has watched that impacted his life. No movies here, just an account of a recent trip taken with seven young men from the Eye of the Tiger Program, Matt, and me. This trip was not as long as the jaunt taken last summer to the West Coast when Mr. Matt led three vehicles to move a family west across the Mississippi, through the Great Plains, over the Rockies to view the Pacific Ocean. It was really neat to see the sun rising over the Rockies as we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, and the eyes of the young men as they viewed the Pacific Ocean from Muir Beach. Fast forward to this summer and picture a large white van at 11:00 p.m. on a cool Friday night in August, pulling out of Beaver Falls heading East on the PA turnpike.

The next 29 hours were just as amazing as the trip west in 2013. In those 29 hours, we first drove through the night to Virginia Beach. At 6:30 a.m. we saw the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean, ate pancakes, bacon, and eggs at a Virginia Beach restaurant, swam in the Atlantic Ocean, played football, and slept on the beach, and briefly toured that beach community. Just that could have filled a whole day, but it was only 11:00 a.m. and there is more.

The young men told Matt they had enough of the beach. So Matt, in his always forward-thinking mindset, loaded up the van and headed north to Busch Gardens. We arrived at 1:30 p.m., rode all the coasters and some other rides, toured the Gardens, ate a lot of food, and were finally ready to head home.

But wait, there is more. The students had never been to Washington, D.C. So, we headed for the Capital and arrived there at 11:00 p.m. We viewed the Lincoln and Vietnam Memorials and at midnight and then headed home. It did not help that the PA Turnpike was closed at Bedford, forcing a Route 30 detour, but, by the grace of our Almighty Father, we arrived in Beaver Falls at 4:00 a.m.

This was a great learning experience for the young men, which, most importantly, included them hearing about the grace and goodness of our Heavenly Father. As the sun, rose over the Atlantic Ocean early that Saturday morning, they heard that, “The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth his handiwork.” They heard that the sun setting each night and rising each morning is a picture of the death of our Savior and His glorious resurrection. They learned that the Lord uses His creation to daily remind all of mankind about His death and resurrection.

Lastly, at midnight, we quietly walked the granite pathway in front of the Vietnam Memorial. The night was cool, and a haze lingered over the grounds; not a sound could be heard. I looked to my right and saw Mr. Matt gather those young men closely together. He quietly spoke to them in front of that monument about his respect for those had given their lives. “But,” he said, “having your name on a monument is not nearly as important as knowing your name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life.” Wow, that was truly powerful. Every man, woman, and child, needs to know the Lord, and know his own name is in that book. That is what I love about Tiger Pause and about Matt Nance.

Tom Karczewski
Beez Cafe Manager

Friday, August 15, 2014

Summer Camp 2014

The theme verse and goal for this year’s summer camp was Proverbs 9:9, “Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.”

The Tiger Pause staff desired to show the kids who attended this summer camp the love of God both in the devotion times and also by example. The staff invested countless hours preparing for the camp by creating an engaging, safe atmosphere where the kids could learn and grow. Whether it was enjoying a field trip (to the Butler fair, the Pittsburgh zoo, or Idlewild amusement park), participating in community service, swimming and playing, or joining together in praising the Lord, it was humbling to see how God used camp to bless both the kids and the staff.

Though not without its challenges, camp was certainly full of blessings. Some of the greatest blessings from camp were the relationships that we counselors developed with the kids and with one another. The staff went into camp desiring to impact the kids’ lives, but we realized along the way just how much they were impacting ours. Sharing that experience really helped us to bond, as we encouraged and challenged one another to serve more faithfully. The ways that camp stretched us as staff members helped to develop us as leaders. We realized a beautiful truth from Scripture as we worked with the kids and grew alongside other counselors: that, as Christians, we are all part of the body of Christ, each possessing a unique gift and purpose. We needed one another. Every gift and talent equipped us to meet the challenges that camp presented.

The kids made this truth even more evident. Each child was wonderfully unique, adding to the overall camp dynamic. The staff would find it difficult to imagine those six weeks without each and every child who attended. One night after camp, we shared stories around a campfire. We were there for several hours, but we could easily have been there all night recalling more delightful memories about the kids we had grown to love. Here are just a few of those memories.

The enthusiasm of the kids to learn the Bible lessons amazed us. Hearing them say that they wanted to have faith like Abraham or wisdom like Solomon was so encouraging. As they learned more about the love of God many of them desired to model that love to their fellow campers, even ones whom they had formerly disliked. One day while at the pool, a young girl left the fun to ask her counselor deeper questions about the morning Bible lesson. The staff planted seeds but God caused the growth, and lives were redeemed.

Working with the kids in the community garden excited us because their attitudes positively changed as they saw what a difference their efforts were making. They found the results rewarding, and it inspired them to transform their own communities. The day that we visited nursing homes in the community was also a favorite time of many. The residents of the nursing homes laughed and cried tears of joy as they were enlivened by the campers’ energy. Seeing the kids so pleased to help others once again evidenced how they were taking their lessons to heart. It was truly a blessing to see how God used this year’s Tiger Pause camp to redeem lives, build leaders and transform the local community.

Abby York
Summer Camp Staff

Friday, July 25, 2014

A Note from The Director

Two weeks ago, I had a spontaneous idea for my 15th wedding anniversary. I wanted to do something special and surprise my wife. The pastor who came alongside me is one of my best friends and Tiger Pause’s Director of Ministry, Rev. Bryan Crawl. As we slapped down the order of service for renewing my vows, it became clear that the Lord wanted to do more than just help me surprise my wife. What a testimony opportunity to share one of the most precious institutions God created with children who have not typically had God’s prescription for marriage modeled to them at home. What a privilege for me to share my love with the woman who has given me everything with the Tiger Pause staff and children I care about so much.

How great is His providence that with just 48 hours notice, one of my other best friends and life coach was able to participate as well. How blessed I am that the Board of Directors who pray for me and care for me and this community showed up to support us in this as well. It was a powerful demonstration of God’s provision that a man and woman shall leave their mother and father and become one flesh and what God has brought together, let no man separate.

We covet your prayers as we enter into the next years of our marriage and life with our own children and our Tiger Pause children. Thank you for your continued prayers and support which help empower us to continue God’s work in Beaver Falls and our own lives.

Matt Nance

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Note from The Director

Recently, I watched a movie called Forever Strong—only because my Netflix is down and I’m stuck on season 5, episode 22 of Magnum P.I. Anyway, it was a good movie with a great plot and a heart-warming ending that revolved around a delinquent youth, a distant and driven father, and an extraordinary rugby coach. As I was watching it, one part which stuck out to me was the team’s motto, “Don’t do anything to embarrass your team, yourself, or your family.” I had heard those words many years ago when Mr. Fullen took us to a national event in San Diego, California as part of the Marine Corps Fitness Team at Blackhawk High School. Even as a kid, I had little fear of mouthing-off to adults except for my dad and Mr. Fullen. I don’t think I was the only kid afraid to mouth-off to Mr. Fullen.

At the end of the movie, I saw the caption and realized it was based on a true story. This coach has the most successful rugby program in the world and it is because he values teaching boys to have the kind of character that lasts forever. After the credits rolled, I felt myself wanting a program like this coach has. In fact, the Marine in me says u-rah! But then, I started to think about forever, also known as eternity. I also started to think back through the film and, while there was some spirituality and mention of God here and there, it didn’t really show me (nor do I think it was meant to) how these boys were going to stay strong forever. So, then I reflected and thought about my team of misfit men and wonder if I am doing my job as their coach. It is then that words from the Building 429 song “Press On” come to mind about how we as believers can be discouraged when we are looking for physical results.

Sometimes this world starts breaking me down
I get so lost I think I’ll never be found
And there are moments of fear and doubt
Even the best fall to the ground
I am a mess, I am a wrecking ball
I must confess that I still don’t get it all
Lord I believe that all Your words are true
Doesn’t matter where I’m going if I’m going with You
I press on, I press on, I press on
When I still don’t get it
I see the world through my jaded eyes
I get frustrated when there is no Why
I put my focus on worthless things
Even the strong fall to their knees
God only knows what we all need 

So, thank God we have an Easter message to tell us how strong men find themselves falling on their knees at the cross and that the empty tomb gives us forever, and than His return and righteous judgment will be the only victory we will ever need.

Semper Fi,

Matt Nance

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Boys' Center Update

What does it take to be a man? What is a man? These are some of the questions I have been asking the middle school boys these past few months at the Boys Center. Over the past month we have had many discussions speaking on what it takes to be a man. A true man of God. While Christ was God in human form, He was also a man, and that is the type of man that we as men should strive to be like. It’s harder for middle school boys to grow up these days than at any other time in history. The pressures of society are stronger than ever and many boys grow up without a positive male role model to look to. Aside from what looks like difficult times ahead, God still reigns now and forever.

Looking at some characteristics of men, we looked at “The Resolution” or the covenant the men from the movie Courageous signed. The commitments the men made in signing that covenant are decisions that EVERY man should make to be what God created them to be. We discussed some simple things that they as young boys can do every day to help them become the men God created them to be - simple things such as respecting those in authority, serving other people, treating all people respectfully, and working hard in school (athletically and academically).

The most profound thing that had happened this past month was when two boys had come back to the Boys’ Center after everyone else had left. Mr. Bryan and I talked to the guys and these two young men turned their lives over to Christ and are now working toward being the men God created them to be. I had never expected anything like this to happen, but what Mr. Matt and my professors at Geneva had told me is true: the best time to minister and mentor is in a one-on-one setting.

I encourage all who read this to continue working hard in what it is you do. And for the men out there, whether you have children or not, be a father to the fatherless. This is the “fatherless generation” as some call it and these boys need to know that there are truly positive and wonderful men out there. Have a blessed rest of this year!

Chez Anderson
Boys’ Center Site Supervisor

Friday, March 28, 2014

My Visits to the Tiger Pause After-school Sites

I have known of Tiger Pause Ministry since its beginning when Dave Lichius started it while on staff at Geneva College. I have not followed its growth over the years and was pleased to see where it is today under Matt Nance’s leadership. As a retired person seeking a new ministry experience, I volunteered to help in this ministry. For my introduction to the Tiger Pause Ministry, it was my privilege to visit each of the six youth centers during the month of March.  What follows are my reflections of these visits.
My first visit was to the Boys’ Center where I observed several middle school young men enjoying their time with Chez, their leader. I was immediately embraced by several students who were curious as to why I was there.  I told them I wanted to take some pictures and make them famous on Facebook! They embraced the experience and performed for me as you can see from the video previously uploaded to our Facebook page.
My second visit was to the Morado Center. There I met Mrs. Tench and her Geneva volunteers working with several elementary school students. They enjoyed a snack and then moved to separate areas to do their homework. Thanks to all the Geneva students who are called to this mentoring role.
My third visit was to the Downtown Center located in the Lutheran Church.  Mrs. Davis and her Geneva volunteers were helping some 30 elementary students with homework. I tried not to disturb them as they were deep into their studies. What a joy to see these mentors and students working so closely together.
My next two visits were to the Harmony and Pleasantview Centers. At the Harmony Center. I met Mrs. Boughter supervising her 15 elementary school students along with her helpers. They loved getting their pictures taken. At the Pleasantview Center, I got reacquainted with Miss Sanna, a student of mine from Geneva 10 years ago. What a joy to see these Geneva graduates continuing with their ministry gifts!  She and Karis were working with a small group of elementary school students.
My last visit was to the Midland Center. (This one was way out there and hard to find!) There I met Mr. Dave enjoying refreshments with his 12 elementary students and their mentors Hayley and Malorie.  They enjoyed a time of games and studying while I was there.
My exposure to these students and volunteer workers was a real blessing. They have become a new part of my prayer time every day. Won’t you remember these young people in your devotional time on a regular basis? They will benefit greatly from it!
Dave Jordan
Tiger Pause Volunteer

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Midland Center Update

My name is Miss Hayley. Here’s just a quick overview of how God is moving and shaking at our Midland site.

Midland consists of Pre-K - 8th grade students. Each one absolutely amazing and unique. Every one of the kids has been growing in their knowledge of the Bible and how to live by it. At Tiger Pause, our kids are learning about and putting into practice the leadership skills that it takes to encourage others toward Christ and to stand up for what’s right in their home lives and at school.

God has truly blessed us by growing our numbers! And with numbers comes more meals to serve. You know the loaves and fishes story from Matthew 14? Well, our kids at Midland know it too and they've seen it with their own eyes. Some days as the chairs around the table fill up, doubts tip toe their way in that we may not have enough "loaves and fishes" to go around. But when it comes down to the last tray, God has once again provided all we need with some to spare!

We all know that the body doesn't live on bread alone. Through our lesson times every day we have been able to learn about many of the stories in the Bible that some of us take for granted. The story of Moses and Daniel have been favorites. Gods faithfulness and ever-readiness to come to our rescue and save the day have been a regular topic from the lips of the youngest of our group all the way to the oldest. It’s wonderful to see how each student is taking in the word of God and even opening up the Bible to study it on their own.

Testimonies have played a great role in our lesson time. Learning everybody's "story of His glory" has grown us together and never fearing to get our hands a little dirty has made God’s love real. Everybody has struggles and there is a redemption story for each one of us. Getting this message and the truth about grace is not only a lesson at the Midland site but a passion. Please pray as God continues to grow us! Pray that God’s love will penetrate into the heart of each student as the year goes on. God is good...all the time! Lets not go quietly as we continue to tell the world of what He's done!

Hayley Dankert
Midland Center Assistant Site Supervisor

A "Top Ten" Highlight of My Life

Well, as I near 40 years of age, I look back on my life with a lot of fond memories and I know, Lord willing, there will be more to come over the next 40 years. However, for now, I got to enjoy a “top ten” experience on February 22 when I was asked to give a toast at the wedding reception of Mr. & Mrs. Dave Slebodnik. I was honored enough just to be in the wedding party. I was even more honored when the officiating pastor acknowledged during the ceremony that I was the catalyst the Lord used to bring these two beautiful people together. They met at a Beez CafĂ© volunteer day and were married in the Tiger Pause church. Yet, words cannot describe the feeling I had when my work program supervisor for the last three years asked me to say a little something at his reception. I stayed up all night watching Netflix and wording my toast with lines from my favorite movies and commercials. While it’s difficult to match the emotions of that night in this newsletter, following is the blessing I shared with the newlyweds.

Have you ever put your life in someone’s hands and asked him to put his life in yours? Well, over the last three years I have had that experience with Dave. Sometimes in ministry, people say you are in the trenches and it’s nice to have someone around who has your back. While Tiger Pause does not do trenches, because that means we are not gaining ground, we fly wide open in the field and it has been a joy to have Dave running beside me. One day I hope to achieve the values I see in Dave including kindness, patience, and a calm presence. Dave is a guy you want on the wall; a guy you need on that wall. I have one daughter and I hope that when she gets married it will be to a man like Dave. For, if nothing else, he can build and grow things.

All you have to do is look at Kristen’s penetrating eyes and see joy, passion, and gentleness. When you see them together it is like watching Jerry Maguire as she completes him. So, tonight we pray that the Lord’s mercy and grace will give you the power to never break the chain (Fleetwood Mac). As we toast the happy couple, let me remind you of what the second most interesting man in the world says (because we all know that Mr. Matt is the most interesting): “Stay thirsty, my friends” - for each other, for life, and, more importantly, for Jesus Christ. Because, as the outlaw Josey Wales tells us, “Dying ain’t an easy living.”

Semper Fi,

Matt Nance

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

God Is Our Valentine All Year Long

As we get ready to celebrate the day when we tell the ones we hold dear that we love them. We may give our wives or girlfriends something shiny, if we have been in the dog house, or flowers, if we waited until the last minute. Even kids may give a Batman or Cinderella valentine with some Sweet Tarts attached to every kid in their class, even the icky boys.

Friday the 14th is a great day to do something else—no, not go see that movie that will make your wife fall in love with you like when you were first dating until you forget to bring home the tool you need to hang some picture. Instead, how about loving God for His providence and sovereignty every day? Need a visual? Let me tell you about the last two weeks.

On Wednesday, I drive middle schoolers from BCCS to the high school so they can stretch their legs at Mrs. V’s gym class. During my up and back runs on 37th street, I saw a lady with two small girls walking on the road since snow was piled up on the sides of the road. I stopped to see if she was alright and she told me that she had run out of gas and was on her way to Sheetz. I told them to jump in. I must have looked safe despite my Angry Birds hat, because they did get inside. As I neared the high school and saw that the Beaver Valley Credit Union sign read –3o, I told the lady I would take them to the school and have Mr. Bryan get some gas for her. As we waited in the lobby of the school, we began that old, familiar banter of “I know you because I’m from Beaver County” 6-degrees of separation talk.

I tell her that I’m from Tiger Pause and she laughs. Earlier that morning she called the Furniture Bank to have us pick-up some scrap metal at her house. Small world, huh? As she went to fill up her car, I waited with the girls until she got back. As a father of a very special princess, I felt great about the day ahead as it was only 9:15 a.m. That was until about 11:00 when I got a call that there was no water at the church except that which was all over the floor. However, Tim Bonomo, who has a huge heart and is always there in case of emergency, was on-hand to save the day for the kids at the after-school program.

Finally, my son Caleb, who has had breathing issues since birth, was scheduled for a cat-scan at Children’s Hospital for a suspected blockage in his left nostril. A peace that passes understanding came upon me and I told my wife that it was going to be alright. And, you know what? It was! We went to Pittsburgh and, what was to be an all-day affair, took less than three hours. We didn’t have to sedate him for the cat-scan and it only took two minutes to complete. The doctor on the third floor had a couple of cancellations and we were able to get the results quickly: whatever was there before was gone! After a few “praise the Lords” and “thank you, Jesuses”, the only people that felt uncomfortable were probably some unbelievers on the medical staff. On the way home, my wife was so happy that she let me stop at Chipotle to eat. Feed my sheep, Matt Nance. No problem, Lord. No problem.

Semper Fi,

Matt Nance

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow!

At the beginning of the school year, I spoke with our director, Mr. Matt Nance, about how many children we would be able to serve during the 2013-14 school year. Because of limited staff and volunteers from Geneva College, we agreed that 12 students would be a good number. We were all set, right? On September 17 at 3:35 p.m., I pulled up to the front of the Morado Community Center. As I patiently waited, I reflected on the previous school year and remembered the “cast of characters” the Lord blessed me with. I was anxious, happy, and anticipating the greeting I would receive from the children.

At 3:45 p.m., the bus unloaded and the students came running across the grassy lawn, laughing, chasing each other, and anything else elementary students do after a long school day. Then, they spotted me! Wow! I cannot describe the feelings we felt as we hugged and said hello. I had missed them and they missed me! And, there were more than 12. There were 19, to be exact. But, there was no way I was going to turn any of them away.

Think about Matthew 9:37-38: “Then saith Jesus unto His disciples, ‘The harvest is truly plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord will send fourth laborers into His harvest’.” Although the staff may be few in number, we trust God. He is a great provider and HE has never come up short. God is supplying our needs, He is energizing our Spirit, and He is blessing our children and their families. We will continue to be that light on top of College Hill, letting our light shine in the community of Morado Dwellings!

Mrs. Sabrina Tench
Morado Center Supervisor

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

2013 Annual Report

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to report that this past year, compared to the previous two years’ tragedies, has been full of huge successes. Senseless violence has dropped and, after our 14 Blocks prayer initiative, Mark Ongley from Ashes to Life has gathered the pastors in the city to meet and pray for each other regularly and with fervency. Look for another 14 Blocks campaign to occur this April as we will be praying for students as they leave for Easter break – that their eyes and hearts will be open to the true power of His resurrection.

Despite being defrauded by our previous payroll company, we have paid half of the back taxes owed and saw justice served as the culprit, Richard Zakarian, was sentenced to 17 years in prison. We were able to gain such ground mainly due to you, our donors, but also thanks to the growth of our Eye of the Tiger work program earnings, which have grown steadily over the last three years. As always, if you really want to bless us, hire our work crew.

Our main street buildings transformations have hit a full head of steam. Now that the coffee shop is finished and our partnership with SOMA and the 1611 7th Avenue property is underway, by the end of 2014 our total development progress will include: the building or remodeling of eight houses and four main street properties (taxable), one community splash pad park, one garden, and a church. During the last four years alone, we’ve created 97 jobs and employed countless volunteer hours from church and community participants, all in an effort to help revitalize our community.

Click here to keep reading the full Annual Report

Semper Fi,

Matt Nance