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Where Education and Ministry Meet

GC Grad Accepts Position as Director of The Simple Room Where Education and Ministry Meet

This fall, Greenville College graduate Jamie Harling ’13 became the new director of The Simple Room, the non-profit organization that provides Christ-centered social development to the youth of Greenville, Ill.

Her involvement with The Simple Room began during her sophomore year of college. After returning from a semester abroad in Costa Rica during the fall of 2010, she felt a strong desire to serve in whatever capacity she could. After learning about opportunities to serve at The Simple Room, and discovering that handful of her friends were already volunteers with their ministry, she decided to become a volunteer at The Simple Room. Little did she know that this decision would direct her post-graduation vocational plans.

Jamie continued her involvement with The Simple Room throughout her junior year. As her senior year approached, along with thoughts about life after college, she began to question her plans to teach abroad. Instead of going overseas to pursue her passion to serve, she felt led by the Lord to serve in a place closer to home- her own community. During the summer before her senior year, Jamie found a place to serve locally as the literacy director of Project 24, The Simple Room’s literacy program. The following fall and spring she continued serving the ministry as the director of tutoring and mentoring.  Following graduation, she became the director of “Project 24” and soon after became the interim director of The Simple Room. In August, she was hired as the director of The Simple Room 

“This job is the perfect middle ground for me between education and ministry,” says Jamie.  Her job as director covers all areas of Simple Room needs, from PR to program planning, to overseeing volunteers, to consulting with the board of directors, and of course, ministering to the children and their families. Jamie’s favorite and most rewarding part is building relationships with the children and their families, which includes teaching and spending time with them at The Simple Room and visiting their homes.

Jamie describes her education major as being a solid foundation for her teaching work at The Simple Room. Her passion is setting high academic expectations for her kids while also teaching them morals and values, to be able to educate them about “what it means to be a man or woman of Christ.” She claims Greenville’s “[academic] program taught me how to do education,” and the example of community at Greenville College “taught me how to love ministry and how to do ministry.” She is thriving in her new position, and thankful for the journey that has led her to this opportunity. “It is the perfect mix between ministry and education, and I think I learned both of those values from Greenville.”

This story was published on November 05, 2013

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