Smiles and Blankets

Helping Hands is a PazNaz ministry that provides food and clothing for an average of 80 families each Wednesday, including 12 homeless friends. Cathy VanderLaan shares her experiences volunteering with Helping Hands: I first met John (not his real name), one of our homeless friends, a couple of years ago when I started working at Helping Hands. I had noticed that some people have a hard time dealing with the homeless, but I don’t have this problem, so I found myself volunteering to work with them. When I introduced myself to John, I said, “Hi, I’m Cathy. I’m taking over … Read More

From Preschool to PazNaz

When spring hit and my oldest daughter turned three years old, I realized I needed to find a preschool. I had no clue what went into finding a preschool. I have since learned that people stand in line for hours to get a number for registration that takes place on another day. Some eager moms camp out overnight just to be the first in line. Others begin research into the best preschool environment that will ultimately lead to a degree from Harvard. Some search high and low for a preschool that will provide education, the arts, and creative play. I … Read More

Floating to Standing

Two years ago I was attending a wonderful church in Monrovia that had an amazing, yet small, congregation. It had been hard at first. I’d been raised in large churches and had found comfort in sinking into the general hubbub. I was not a child that wanted to stand out so I was happy to blend in. Finding myself in a church where everyone knew my name, cared about my life, and prayed over my every cold was daunting. It didn’t take long though before I loved every person there, those people were a hard bunch not to love. That … Read More

Sometimes the Smallest Things Have the Greatest Impact

This summer at Joni and Friends family retreat, a time that is specifically for families who have a member with a disability, I had the opportunity to connect with one of PazNaz’s special needs moms. We enjoyed a very nice, relaxing evening talking and connecting while my amazing husband, Jeff, spent time with our son and Nathalie’s boys. The boys enjoyed splashing in the pool and Nathalie and I enjoyed some mom time together. During this precious time, Nathalie shared some of her journey since her family came to PazNaz. I treasured this time as there is not always an … Read More

Praising God Through the Challenges

The joy of ministry, for me, comes from the wonderful partnerships with so many great people that give so generously of their time and talent to the Lord and his Church. It’s a great privilege to introduce to you Wes and Tanya Robinson who are co-directing this year’s drama musical community outreach presentation, A Christmas Carol … Revisited! Thank you, Wes and Tanya, for your leadership and your openness to sharing how God is working in your lives. – Pastor Alan De Vries We started coming to PazNaz a little more than three years ago. Wes was involved with the … Read More