Eliza Foxx is an Orthopedic Technician at Watauga Orthopaedics. She's also been a small group leader with Kindergartners in Grace Kids for 8 years. We consider leaders like Eliza the heroes of our Family Life ministry and want to take a few weeks on the Life at Grace blog to celebrate their service. We asked her a few questions about her experience serving kids over the years.
What is your volunteer role - and what does that look like for you in your day-to-day life?
I'm a small group leader in the Kindergarten class in Grace Kids. Throughout the week, I usually try to set aside some time on 1-2 days to review the lesson for the coming Sunday, think about whether I need to tweak the crafts or games to better fit our 5- and 6-year-olds, and pray over each of my kids in my small group (as well as the other volunteers serving with me).
What was it that drew you to serve in Grace Kids?
Honestly I didn't come in to serving whole-heartedly. My sister began serving in another capacity at GFC, and since we lived together at the time and carpooled to church, she pretty much told to me find somewhere to serve. There was a need in the K class to serve alongside some amazing women, which I now recognize as a providential relationship God had planned for me. I was very hesitant and anxious to serve with young children because I had previously had zero interest in being around kids. And truthfully, I was at an ugly place in my life where I was making A LOT of bad choices.
What do you love about what you do at GFC?
Eight years in, I cannot imagine serving in a different capacity as GFC. I love watching these young kids grow in Christ. They are at a stage in their lives where everything is fun and new, but they also have bold faith. I love getting to know a new group of kids each year but also keeping up with them after they leave the K class. And there is not a better group of people to worship with! There of course are days where I am overwhelmed, exhausted, and frazzled after an hour with Kindergartners, but all of that is easily forgotten when I get to watch one of them go public through baptism or hear them pray such sweet prayers.
I often find that as I'm preparing the lesson, or even in the middle of sharing a story, that God uses these simple lessons meant for small children to impact me in my life. Often I actually receive more blessings from volunteering than any of my kids do.
Do you have any funny or embarrassing memories during your time serving?
I remember a few years back, we were talking about Naaman and Gehazi, and that because of Gehazi's deceit and lies, he was cursed with leprosy. One of my kids just started crying and was inconsolable until his mom came. We finally got him to tell us why he was crying, and he said, "I don't want to have leprosy. I know I told a lie before, but I can't have leprosy forever." Needless to say, I'm very careful about how I share stories now.
On a more serious note, what are a few moments - or even one specific moment - when you’ve seen God work through you?
A few years ago, we had a sweet girl in our class who was in foster care. Her foster care family are members here at GFC and brought her when they could. I could just tell she had been through a pretty tough situation, and she was so precious. We leaders in that class made it a point to make her feel welcome and safe and loved each Sunday she was there. Toward the end of the year, her foster mother approached us and told us how much that sweet girl talked about each of us like we were her best friends. If I had doubts that I was not making a difference where I was serving, that set my mind that very day.
We talk a lot about the Ultimate Journey here at GFC – being changed by Christ and used by Christ. So I’m curious – how are you personally different because you’ve invested your life in students? How has God changed you in the journey?
Like I said before, I did not come into serving whole-heartedly. As a matter of fact, I was in a very dark place in my life where I was not walking the walk we as Christians should. I was still battling demons from my own childhood and some from early adulthood. But I was blessed to have the loving leadership of three much wiser ladies (Sarah Bowles, Leslie Oyler, and Sherry Eaton) to guide me. They didn't pry into my life much and ask a lot of questions, but I know they could probably see my struggling. Instead they just included me, made me feel welcome, and loved me where I was at. (Much like we as small group leaders try to do with our few.) I kept showing up each Sunday, sometimes prepared, sometimes half-heartedly. Over the years and through a sense of being accountable to my students, I found myself making better life choices. Seeing how excited they are to see me every week has made me realize how important it is to welcome the people around you.
Now I cannot imagine my life without serving, specifically serving my K kids. Sunday mornings are the highlight of my week. Over the past eight years, I have formed relationships with fellow volunteers, Grace Kids staff, and even parents of my kids that I depend on in my spiritual journey.
God used those three ladies to help change me and mature me so that I can in turn help mold the kids that come through the K class.
I strongly urge anyone who is able to volunteer in Grace Kids to do so. It really will change your life.
We are grateful for Eliza Foxx and the more than 100 volunteers that pour their lives into kids and students each week. You may or may not be aware that we have a huge opportunity here at Grace Fellowship Church. We have almost 500 kids and students that come through the doors of our church every week. That is an unbelievable opportunity to impact the next generation for Christ. There’s something powerful about investing your life in kids and students. Lives are different because of Eliza's investment in the young children in her class.
You can be a hero in the life of a child or student, too – learn more and sign up to serve in our Family Life ministry at gfcnow.com/familylife.
Posted on Fri, March 18, 2016
by Kids Ministry