At BelPres, we actively serve others, by partnering with Jesus to bring revival to the Eastside and around the world. This past year, I have personally seen God’s love manifested through many of you here at this church. God’s heart for His people is very evident to me at BelPres. Tutors, students, and families involved with KidREACH have shown this to me daily. If you are not familiar with this tutoring ministry, you may ask yourself, “How is helping a student who is struggling with homework a part of Kingdom work?” The answer lies in the words of Jesus Christ, when he instructed His disciples, “Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 18:4). These words spoken by God’s Son are powerful, yet humbling. In order to bring God’s Kingdom we must humble ourselves as Jesus teaches.
Tutors, volunteers, parents, and students—the KidREACH family—have taught me that humility and dependence on Christ are necessary in order to be an effective worker for God. As children and youth, ranging between the ages of 5-18, begin tutoring, they are often overwhelmed or lost in their studies. In response, I see tutors exemplifying Christ by patiently listening, guiding and helping any way they can. The challenges these students face are real, such as learning disabilities or a lack of motivation, and do not vanish instantaneously or even over the course of a school year. Therefore, the consistent commitment of tutors and families is crucial. And by relying upon God and humbly sacrificing time and energy, volunteers are slowly seeing new confidence, motivation, and interest in their students.
I am so grateful to God for His faithfulness to this amazing ministry! Much more is taking place than the tangible solution to a tricky math problem or preparing for a vocabulary quiz. God’s Kingdom is alive in so many little things: the energy and joy tutors find by serving at the end of their busy days; the smiles and laughter of the students; and the peace seen in an entire family, as a result of this supportive community. God’s Kingdom, a place where God is known, loved, and worshipped, is not only growing in the lives of the students and families, but in each volunteer as well. Lives are being transformed through snack time, sharing about the ups and downs of life, family dinners and a caring Christian community. Tutors, including myself, are rediscovering the truth that, “It is better to give than receive.” Together, by humbly giving ourselves up for others, God’s Kingdom is being built here on earth through KidREACH.
Below, a current tutor/student pair share their KidREACH experience.
How did you get involved with KidREACH and how long have you been involved?
Carlos: I have been in KidReach for five years now, ever since fourth grade. I first got involved when I started to have trouble in class with bad grades. I couldn’t concentrate, so when my dad found out about KidReach he signed me up so that I could get that extra help I needed.
Michele: I had been teaching ESL adult classes at Jubilee Reach for a few years and wanted focus on younger students because my college training was as an elementary teacher. I went to the KidReach orientation and I liked the concept of working with the same student each week throughout their elementary, middle, and high school years. I started working with Carlos when he was in fourth grade. He is now going into high school which we are both very excited about and I am looking forward to the next four years!
How has KidREACH/tutoring impacted you? Why do you keep coming to tutoring?
Carlos: I feel like this program has helped me with many things, not just academic, but also socially and mentally. The tutors here have been there to help in whatever I need. The reason I keep coming back is because I can trust almost everyone there and I can go to either my tutor or another for help both in school and at home and outside of school.
Michele: I keep coming to KidReach for many reasons. I thoroughly enjoy my time with Carlos each week; I learn a lot from him; I am blessed by Jillian and the community of KidReach tutors; it gives me another connection to the church; I see the positive impact on both Carlos and myself from our meetings each week.
How have you seen God work (what’s an event/experience) in your life or the life of another person at KidREACH?
Carlos: I really had never seen God at work with my own eyes because I felt God had literally set me aside. After all the things that happened to me I felt that He never knew I existed! But even though that happened to me I still believe in Him because I know He has to watch over billions of people and I am just one of His creations.
Michele: Over the years, I have seen many examples of how God is working through KidReach, and I could go on and on. It is all goodness and blessings! One of the things we do each week in our tutor prep time before we meet with our students is to pray for each other and for our students. I have often asked for prayers, especially for me and my parents as we face health challenges. These prayers have been very impactful and meaningful for me as over and over, I have seen God give me the strength and love to continue to help my parents.