September: Cami Sears

About Cami Sears

I began searching for God in elementary school. Life wasn’t easy for me growing up and I believe that’s what fueled my desire. I went to many different churches and denominations seeking God. I didn’t become a Christian until I was an adult and had my second child.

From the moment I accepted Christ, I immersed myself in Bible study. I came to love the Word and desired to live it out through serving. I have always loved teaching, working with, and being with children.

I’m not a teacher by trade but truly enjoy helping children and watching them learn. I began serving children through church, mission’s trips and our local school.

About 6 years ago, I began praying for the Lord to lead me where He wanted me to serve. I wanted to serve where He would be glorified-not where I would be glorified.

My opportunity came when Randy Chestnut asked Apex for some volunteers to help children with reading on computers at Kiser PreK-8 School. I said I could help and began volunteering one day a week. Once I was there, I was more than shocked at the needs I saw. I had worked in other Elementary schools but had never been in an environment with so much going on. I soon realized one day wasn’t enough so I began going several days.

There were several of us going in to help from Apex, and the school soon discovered that the kids reading scores that we were working with were progressing at a very rapid rate. They were gaining a year of reading skills in three months. This was huge for them. They also began noticing that we were connecting with the kids in a short period of time. When asked how we did it and we simply replied that we prayed before we came in and started each day.

After being there the first year, I was absolutely hooked and loved helping these kids. As they became more comfortable with me they began giving me a variety of students to work with including ESL and refugee students.

I wanted to serve where He would be glorified-not where I would be glorified.

After three years at Kiser Randy Chestnut introduced me to Kids Hope USA and asked if I would be interested in learning more. I said I would. There was a training session nearby so I went and I listened. Again, I was hooked. I already knew that God wanted me at Kiser, but now He was showing me something more.

This ministry could bring more hope to more children and others could be involved in what God is doing in this school. There are times when I am absolutely overwhelmed by HIS grace, mercy and kindness towards me. He has given me an indescribable love for this school and has allowed me to witness His hand upon it.

I have a hard time speaking about Kiser without getting completely emotional. Each and every time I walk in that building I see evidence of God working and He was allowing me to be part of it. Now He was giving me an opportunity to share this experience with others! I went through the training and told Randy I was in.

Kids Hope USA is a national organization that has been around for over 25 years. They train people to become mentors to students in public schools.

Each mentor that is trained is paired with a prayer partner that prays over the child and mentor. This is where the true power of this program lays. The children and mentors are covered in prayer! Mentors meet with one child for one hour each week during the school year. This adds up to about 24-30 hours each year. The friendships and bonds that are formed have been a blessing to witness.

The training that is provided to the mentors completely covers what to do during the mentoring hour.

Apex has been very gracious in making sure we have bags of supplies to give each mentor to help with the hour. The bag has everything a person needs plus games.

This hour isn’t all school work. There is plenty of time for fun. The mentors are there to be a friend, not a tutor. I’m sure if you ask any of our current mentors if they feel like they have made a difference in their student’s life they may tell you they aren’t sure but being a mentor has certainly made a difference in their own lives. God’s funny that way. We like to think we are helping others when He is really helping us.

Pray for Cami

My prayer is that God would be glorified through every person in this ministry. I pray salvation over this school, neighborhood and city. I pray that I would not stress with the paperwork, training, and matching mentors with students, but be focused on the people involved. There are times when I am given private information about a student that is often difficult to process. Please pray that I am able to handle this in a God honoring way.

Contact Cami

To contact me you can send an email to kidshopeusa@apexcommunity.org or call me at 937-296-1112.

Message for Apex

Kiser Pre-K-8 School is located in a very culturally diverse, impoverished area. This area is also number one in the country for Heroin abuse. Some of the students face extremely difficult challenges in their lives. I have personally witnessed God using mentors to bring hope to these students.

The students can’t come to us to see or hear about Jesus but we can go to them and show them who He is. We can bring hope to these children.

Apex has been a consistent presence in this place and they are welcoming us with open arms.

Would you like to be part of what God is doing? Would you like to make a new friend? If you have an hour and room in your heart, check out Kids Hope USA.