Drumroll please. This week our Ministry Spotlight is on… Chicon Pregnancy Resource Center!
Chicon Pregnancy Resource Center is in the heart of East Austin, and is a faith-based ministry that offers mentorships to moms, free pregnancy tests, material services from their adorable “Baby Boutique”, life skills classes, and a supportive God-centered environment.
Though none of our Servehere interns have officially worked alongside Chicon this summer, I’ve been extremely blessed by Mr. Panos connecting me to Chicon’s executive director, Debi Wehiemer, in hopes of creating a baby calendar together. I am blown away by Debi and many volunteer’s dependence on the Lord with every moment during the day, and how God is building East Austin through the strengthening of moms.
If you love babies and Jesus, be sure to volunteer at Chicon! And bring your friends too. Check out their website here: http://chiconprc.org
Since 1983, Hill Country Community Ministries has confidentially served families in their own backyard. Through provision of nonperishable foods and gently used clothes, HCCM has humbly served countless under-resourced families in southwest Williamson county and northwest Travis county.
This past week, I had the privilege of walking through a typical day in Hill Country Community Ministries (with my camera in hand). I quickly learned that, if you feel like you’re in the way, you won’t feel that way for long. Every volunteer was joyfully welcoming, yet quick and efficient in their routine for organizing donations that come in from various churches, businesses, and community donors. The group as a whole knew exactly what to do with each truck load of food, and they knew how to have a fun time doing it!
ServeHere intern, Alex Wright, also knew how to joke around with HCCM’s executive director, Sherry McDonnell. I loved watching Sherry and Alex work together, because though they like to give each other a hard time every now and then, they get a lot of work done. Both do an incredible job impacting their community through humble service, and without asking for recognition, credit, or anything in return.
Overall, I was blown away by how much God is using Hill Country Community Ministries, and how selfless and joyful each volunteer served. If you’d like to learn more about Hill Country Community Ministries, or if you’d be interesting in donating, visit their website here! http://www.hccm.org/
This week, Nineveh Ministries has the spotlight! Two of our ServeHere interns, Jordan Norton and Hayden Courtney, have worked for this incredible ministry. According to the Nineveh website, their mission is to empower “juvenile offenders to find purpose, personal growth, and achievement through the life changing reality of Jesus Christ.” How cool is that?
This past weekend, I was lucky enough to take pictures at Nineveh’s boys retreat and be able to see just how much God is using Nineveh to transform lives. From ultimate frisbee, basketball, paintball, cross bow, to roasting a pig and seeing Man of Steel in theaters, this retreat had everything a boy could imagine for an epic weekend. In addition to a guest speaker and worship, Executive Director Chris Haskins also spoke and lead conversations about being a man of God. It was the perfect escape from burdens of everyday life, and a great time to have joyful, carefree fun.
If you’d like to learn more about Nineveh Ministries, check out their website here! http://www.ninevehministries.com/
ServeHere’s goal in doing a Ministry Spotlight each week is to educate our audience about the great ways God is moving through the ministries of Austin, Texas, and to show just who exactly our interns work with! This week, the ministry spotlight is on Side By Side Kids, which is a faith-based after school ministry for kids in East Austin. By encouraging, equipping, and empowering kids from kindergarten to fifth grade, Side By Side teaches these children to make wise decisions, excel in school, and grow in their faith with God.
The core values of Side By Side Kids is as follows:
This image of Core Values was used directly from Side By Side Kid’s website: http://www.sidebysidekids.org/
ServeHere and Side By Side Kids intern, Emily Murray, is one who has the ability to genuinely care for and encourage anyone she comes in contact with. Working directly with Side By Side as an intern has allowed Emily to use her God-given abilities to bring the best God-give abilities out of East Austin children. This incredible ministry in Austin, Texas has transformed many lives in East Austin’s St. John community, and will continue to reach out to children this summer.
In fact, this summer, Side By Side Kids will be having summer kids club July 8th-12th! They are looking for volunteers of ALL ages to help this summer camp run smoothly. If you’re interested in helping out as a volunteer, sign up here: http://www.sidebysidekids.org/learn/summerkidsclub/
On Memorial Day weekend, the ServeHere journey officially started. With a laptop, pen, and bible in hand, five college students were welcomed into the Panos home, ready to learn from orientation sessions prepared by Dave Panos.
Previous to the Kick-Off Orientation, Mr. Panos had collaborated with each college student to purposefully place him or her at a faith-based non profit as an intern. During the first day of orientation, each student was able to get to know one another better, some for the first time, and give details about their ministry. These are the interns and their given ministries:
Jordan Norton: Nineveh Ministries
Alex Wright: Hill Country Community Ministries
Emily Murray: Side By Side Kids
Hayden Courtney: Nineveh Ministries
Cilla Sutfin: Freelance Photographer for ServeHere
In my opinion, the most powerful part of the first day was starting off with “The Call to Serve” as Jesus followers. Mr. Panos started off by giving us nine verses, one to focus on for each of the nine weeks during the mentor process with ServeHere. For the remainder of the first day, and also during the second day, Mr. Panos covered topics such as: basics of the non profit world, elements of an internship, experiential learning, and how to efficiently plan, get organized, find work, and adapt to your boss/work environment.
In addition to invaluable information given by Mr. Panos, Mrs. Panos blew us away with her amazing cooking, John Calaway did an incredibly inspiring job sharing his story as a guest speaker, and last but not least, Lottie held the award for cutest dog in the house. It was a joyful way to kick start the intern’s summer in their ministries and with ServeHere.
We are excited to see how God uses this summer, and appreciate prayers of all kinds for Mr. Panos’ mentorship and the interns in their ministries!