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