Éleos 2018: A Look Back
It has been one of the greatest privileges of my life to see God work through the ministry of Éleos. From day to day, there is never a mundane moment. If you’re not riding the high of a mountaintop experience, you’re wading through the difficulty of inner-city community development—there is no in between. This has been the trend from the start of the ministry, and 2018 has been no exception.
Indeed, God has done far more than we could have ever asked or imagined. During this year alone, we finished renovations on a tutoring center, purchased a 15-passenger van, and grew our coworking membership base to a level that exceeds our fixed month-to-month costs. In addition to these milestones, God has brought new students to the Lead Project (our year-long leadership apprenticeship).
One of the most encouraging aspects of 2018 is the fact that we were able to see the ministry of Éleos reach beyond the students God has brought to our doors. He has allowed us to make an impact on entire families, including (but not limited to) a single mother of 4 who put her faith in Jesus, joined a local church, and plans on being baptized at the beginning of the new year!
God has also allowed us to connect with a counselor who has partnered with Éleos to offer (extremely) affordable counseling services out of our Co-op. Through our tutoring services, we’ve seen students whose grades were once failing come to a place where they are no longer satisfied with “passing.” As you can see, God has been faithful to bring us a variety of individuals who are able to benefit from the services Éleos provides, and He has also blessed us with the generous support that we need to continue providing those services!
Sometimes it’s hard to see God working when your hand is to the plow and your head is down in the day-to-day ministry. But as we head into a new year and take a step back to reflect, I’m deeply humbled by all that God has accomplished in our midst. I’m not sure what 2019 will hold, but I can honestly say I have never had this much energy or faith to jump into the great unknown. Will you jump in with us?
Whether you’re near or far, would you consider how God would use you to advance his kingdom in the Nicholtown Community of Greenville, South Carolina? We love you, and we thank you for the variety of ways that you have already supported us.
May the Lord bless you and keep you. May His grace go before you, His peacesurround you, and His joy spring up within you.
Cam & Joy
Éleos Program Highlights
When we first decided to renovate the old warehouse that would become the Co-Op on Laurens Road, we knew tutoring and mentoring would be a key part of our mission. To operate a successful tutoring/mentoring program, we needed three things: a reliable facility, committed volunteers, and educational resources.
With Co-Op renovations completed mid-year, we were able to launch our tutoring services at the start of the 2018-19 school year. After putting out a call for volunteer tutors, we were blessed with an outstanding team that is focused on helping students succeed in their school work. Once the space, tutors, and students were in place, we quickly realized that much of the students’ work would need to be completed on computers—computers we didn’t have.
This challenge offered another opportunity for us to see God’s provision firsthand. As we mentioned in our previous newsletter, our Co-Op doubles as a cooperative workspace for area professionals. Over the first half of the year, we were able to sell enough coworking memberships to cover the month-to-month facility expenses. This development freed up the generous donations of our supporters and allowed us to purchase Chromebook laptops for students to use during their tutoring sessions.
While our tutoring program is still young, we are excited to share the following results from the first half of the 2018-19 school year:
- 16 students regularly receiving tutoring
- 12 incredible tutors serving each week
- 530 hours of collective study time
- 5 Chromebooks purchased
- 1 Tutoring Director hired
That’s right! Thanks to your generosity, we were able to hire Éleos’ first official staff member!
Meet Katelyn Gray, Éleos Tutoring Director
To ensure our time and resources are used most effectively, the Éleos leadership team made the decision to hire Katelyn Gray as our Tutoring Director in the Fall of 2018. An active volunteer with Éleos since the organization’s beginning, she understands the students’ need for consistent support and encouragement—especially as it relates to schoolwork. As part of her role, Katelyn works to coordinate tutor schedules every week and oversees the tutoring sessions so that each student receives the necessary help and guidance.
When asked about the progress she’s seen in her time as Tutoring Director, Katelyn shared, “In three short months, tutoring at Eleos has been a huge success. We have several students joining us consistently each week who are able to work on improving their academics and build relationships with our amazing tutors who give of their time week after week. We are so thankful for your support and are so excited to see how the tutoring arm of Éleos continues to grow as we head into 2019!”
As our tutoring program began, it provided additional opportunities for people to serve. In turn, our volunteer team doubled in size! Katelyn’s leadership and welcoming spirit have allowed this growth to be sustainable, which is a huge answer to prayer! With the development of this essential position, Éleos has progressed from a 100% volunteer-led organization to a volunteer movement that is professionally supported. And we are thrilled about that!
As we enter 2019, Éleos’ fundamental mission remains unchanged, and our team is strong. We are confident that the Lord will continue to fulfill His promises of redemption and grace, not only in our community but throughout the world. Your prayers and support are not only welcomed and appreciated,they are essential! Please continue to pray that God’s grace and mercy will reach every person who calls Nicholtown their home.
All of us here at Éleos wish you and your family a happy new year and a 2019filled with the love of God!
The Éleos Team
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.”
-1 Peter 1:3-4