volunteer spotlight {november}

Terri Penner has volunteered with Re:new since 2009. She is part of the Tuesday night team and also graciously serves as the Care Coordinator. Terri has spent countless hours investing in the lives of the younger refugee women especially, frequently welcoming them into her home and engaging in their lives. Why? Because her heart is full of love for them. Terri carries out the "re:late" part of our mission so beautifully.

Recently Kari caught up with Terri via an email interview. Read how Terri has been impacted by Re:new and be inspired!

How do you see your involvement at Re:new making a difference?

I hope that my role as Care Liaison is making a difference. Looking for simple ways to show love and cultivate relationships is what gets me excited about being involved. I am also excited to lead a weekly prayer time where we ask God to be at work in every single area of Re:new. A sign that hangs most appropriately :) above the sewing machine at my dry cleaner, sums up my attitude toward the significance of our prayers together -- "When we work, we work. When we pray, GOD works."

What little (or big) impacts have you seen or experienced at Re:new?

The biggest impact for me personally are the strong bonds of friendship I have with several of the young women. They started with simple interactions during our weekly evening sewing class and have grown into mutual care for each other and true enjoyment of time together, both in and out of class. Making these new, and otherwise unlikely friendships, has brought much joy to me and also to my family.

How do you gain encouragement from being a part of Re:new?

Being a part of something that has the potential to change lives is definitely exciting and encouraging! The opportunity to take my attention off my own circumstances and focus on others is good for my soul.

Specifically, I am encouraged and inspired by the other teachers----all uniquely gifted and different, but amazing, gracious women. And there's nothing like a smile or a hug from a student to banish any discouragement!

How did you become involved with Re:new?

It was clearly God's guiding hand in my life. I read a church announcement about the opportunity to teach refugee women how to sew. I would probably never have thought of myself as a sewing teacher if I hadn't just taught my 2 nieces how to sew, only 3 days earlier!

Terri, we are so very grateful to you! Thank you for sharing your heart.

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