What a privilege it is to work along dedicated Christian staff with such servants’ hearts. I work in the Students International Service Center in Visalia, California. We are a team of people dedicated to helping the outreach teams of SI in Guatemala, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Fiji and here locally in Ivanhoe, California. We also act as a service center to our national and international staff that serves SI in the different countries. The gifted people that surround me are able to manage the different aspects of running this office amidst very busy personal schedules. As our largest outreach season has come to an end I would just like to say thanks and recognize each of them.
Shellie Bowman, who is in recruiting, has a young baby at home that keeps her busy. Shellie is able to do an incredible job of recruiting new teams working from the office as well as her home. Her mother, whom is so supportive, drives over an hour to care for her granddaughter Brooklynn each week.
Melissa, our bookkeeper, is juggling a little one at home and expecting another this December. Melissa’s efficiency in accounting and bookkeeping is a valuable asset to SI, especially as our numbers of outreach participants and staff continues to grow.
Courtney Clark has just increased her duties to become full-time in accounting and data entry. She is currently preparing for her wedding in just a few short weeks. Courtney loves her job. Her sister, Camris, worked part-time for us this past spring and summer (our busiest time) doing data entry. Thanks, Camris, for your work!
Pam Christy, office manager, is a mother of four. Today as I write this she is preparing a sendoff party for her son who will be leaving soon for Travis AFB to be deployed to Kuwait. All the outreach teams’ leaders recognize Pam as the voice of Students International as she helps coordinate teams as well as the office.
I also work with Jonathan Thompson, the Director of Operations. No one knows the DNA of Students International better than Jonathan. He with his wife Tricia and their three boys just returned from five months in Fiji, tirelessly serving our mission as SI continues to develop there. Jonathan works closely supervising the operations of each country.
I would like to personally thank Delora Doerkson who recently left her position at the office to begin a new life adventure in marriage. She was so dedicated to accounting and child sponsorships. Delora will continue to help in child sponsorships away from the office.
We also have some wonderful “remote staff.” Darin Mather from Minneapolis is our academic adviser and is the key person in setting up our semester programs. Saan Schlick, busy mom of four, helps from home booking many of our flights for the teams that go out. Erin Matlak (my daughter) helps put this e-news letter together each month while she is busy at home with three of my grandchildren! Needless to say, I am blessed to be working with a team such as this.
One of my favorite stories in the gospel is the one found in Mark where four men carried their paralyzed friend to Jesus, in hopes that he would receive healing. When Jesus saw their faith he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven,” and then healed the man of his paralysis. The amazing thing is that scripture records the event as Jesus being drawn into action by seeing the faith of the four friends. It was a team effort.
This to me is a beautiful picture of teamwork in the kingdom of God. It’s an example of a group joining together who feel called in ministry. The story also shows how Jesus blesses us once we’ve shared our lives with others.
Blessings to you all,
and thank you to the Visalia team,