When All Else Fails, FaithWorks

I love my job. My actual title is Classroom Instructor; however, I learn so much more than I could ever teach.

At FaithWorks of Abilene, we provide underemployed and unemployed individuals with the confidence and skills necessary for gainful employment. Our mission is to help people find their place in the job market. We use a career counseling curriculum, provide counseling, teach the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, look at the life of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, and provide lessons in how to deal with conflict.

But that’s a program description. It is important. I love telling people about it. (Seriously…invite me to speak and I will fill you in completely!)

However, there is so much more to FaithWorks than our program. It is all about our students. The reason I learn so much is that a diverse group of students bring their life experiences, their challenges, their unique abilities, and their resolve and determination to the classroom. We have students who have been told for so long they will never amount to anything. They come to us and prove people wrong.

I could tell you about the woman who made a mistake at a young age and spent many years in prison. When she came out, no one wanted to hire her; even though she attained three college degrees while incarcerated. After FaithWorks, she was given a chance by a local employer and has been promoted twice.

I could tell you about the man who was highly educated and working very successful in his field. After a relationship break-up and emotional breakdown he lost everything. When he came to us, he had lost all of his self-confidence. Within two weeks of class starting, his confidence started coming back. He actually became a second teacher in the classroom.

I could tell you about our kitchen coordinator who never held a job for more than six months. After graduating from FaithWorks she started working in our kitchen and has been here for six months. Plus 3 and ½ years.

I could tell you about the woman who was homeless and always drunk who was estranged from her family. When she started, she had been out of work for a while. Due to some medical issues, she has not been able to find full-time work but she has been consistently volunteering ever since graduation. She has maintained her sobriety and has been living in her own home. She has reconciled with many members of her family.

I could tell you about the other 400+ students who have come through our doors.

I could tell you about the single parents who attend class and work part-time jobs in the evenings and weekends to take care of their families while they are in class.

I could tell you about the people working to make their lives better after making mistakes and picking up a criminal record.

I could tell you about the recovering addicts and alcoholics who just needed someone to give them a chance.

I could tell you about the students who experienced an unplanned life transition in their 40s and 50s and needed help getting reestablished.

I could even go on to tell you about how the systems that in place often work to make it more difficult for unemployed people to find work. I could tell you about all the obstacles that are placed in the way and all the hoops that people are made to jump through. I could tell you about the scores of people who keep telling our students, “You can’t.”

But instead of telling you about those, I just want to tell you that every single one of our students has faced a number of challenges. When they come to us, all they need is someone who will say to them, “I am on your side. You can do this.”

And once they receive a little bit of encouragement, they take off.

It truly is never too late to become what you might have been.

*Spring class begins on January 19. If you live in Abilene and would benefit from our program (or know someone who would benefit), check out our website: FaithWorks of Abilene

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9 thoughts on “When All Else Fails, FaithWorks

  1. Wow. I love what Faith Works is all about. Now this is exactly what “Christ followers” should be doing. Living life, loving others. What better way, than to help others rise up to piece back their lives again. And in the midst of it all to experience healing & restoration. Thanks for sharing Paul! It is truly awesome to know that you are a part of something so great. May God continue to use you and the people at Faith Works to reach an abundance of God’s people.

  2. I am a graduate of FAithworks. It has been 10 years since I went thru this program. I am still employed with the company I did my internship with. I would recommend this program to anyone. The people do really care. I am in recovery as well. I have even spoken at. FAithworks as well as in the community. I have never forgotten my experiences at FAithworks. My class was one of the biggest ones at that time and we met at Grace Fellowship Church off of N 10th and Cypress. FAithworks was definitely a God send to me and I will be always grateful.

  3. That sounds like a wonderful program. I can see why you love your job. There is nothing better than having a career that is fulfilling and that you are passionate about. I love the simplicity and power of what you said “I am on your side, you can do this.” Sometimes the simplest words can make the greatest impact. Keep doing what you are doing. Its truly a blessing!

  4. Wow, this moved me at a soul level. Very inspiring. I’m so thankful that there are organizations like this in the world to give people hope and extend that helping hand that everyone needs at least once (or a dozen) times in their lives. Thank you for sharing this. It uplifted my heart.

  5. James 2:25. Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way? | From guestwriters

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