Christian Women Job Corps coming into my life was what I like to call a “God Thing”, and one of my greatest blessings for many reasons.
The year 2008 had many changes in store for me. I was about to turn 58 and two of my children were close to graduating from high school. I had been a home maker for many years but found myself in need of getting back into the working world due to personal circumstances. In the midst of it all, I was diagnosed with cancer. After my initial shock and many prayers, I had decided that cancer would not rule my life.
As I searched and applied for jobs, I realized I had been out of the working world too long and needed to show that I was ca- pable of doing the work. It was in 2010 when I stumbled across a CWJC ad in The Huntsville Times. “Free Computer Classes” was the attention getter for me and in spite of my brain telling me that nothing is free in life, I cut out the ad and laid it on my desk. Every day I walked passed it, thinking
how nothing in life was free but one day this voice inside me said, “Look, God showed you the ad, but you will have to pick up the phone and call.”
I was accepted into the program at Pat Swinford’s site. Although I was excited, I was very nervous because I didn’t know what I would have in common with all the women who were in my class. We all came from different social backgrounds, but as soon as our Bible Study teacher had us introduce ourselves, I understood that our common goal was to improve our lives. The classes were extremely helpful in my daily life and being able to participate in the internship program gave me back my confidence. After all the years, I still hear our Money Management teacher say “Do you really need this or do you just want this?”, and it has definitely played a role in my financial decisions.
Not long after having completed the program, I heard that CWJC was relocating one of their sites close to where I live; it just so happened to be Pat Swinford’s site. Since I was still in search of a job, my first thought was, “Oh, I would so love to work for her, but she probably doesn’t need anyone.”
Maybe two months later I received a call from Pat. “Hi Chris, the Board has said I need to have an assistant, and the first person I thought of was you. Would you like to work with me?” I began working as Pat’s assistant in 2011.
The CWJC site where I work is different from other sites as it is the only one where women are being tutored to prepare for the GED. Being a part of CWJC, first as a student and now as an assistant to Pat, is a tremendous blessing for me. I get to witness the true meaning of CWJC on a daily basis during spring and fall semesters. Our teachers and tutors are examples of faith and love for this ministry. For the students it’s not only about Bible Study, Job Search, Money Management, Computer, Book Club, Math, and English classes, but also about Life Skills. It is a joy to watch dedicated students flourish and achieve their goals under the guidance of a Site Coordinator who is totally vested in their learning, and teachers/tutors who are committed in their calling to serve in this capacity.
When I said that CWJC coming into my life was a God thing, I can attest that He definitely has had His hands over me when He led me to that little ad in the newspaper.