Interested in joining the group? New to Homeschooling?
Drop me (Deb) a line at: Deb@vhhomeschool.com
for help and information.
I'm Deb, and along with my husband Volker, and my 4 kids, my parents and my best friend, Sheila Gilmore, we have served the homeschooling community for the last 13 years from my home .
My original partner (co-founder) Vickie and I used to joke that we were: "Two fat women on a mission from God." (Blues Brothers ref.) So we are not an "organization" or a big ministry backed by a church but simply a ministry initiated by God in the hearts of two homeschooling moms operated from my living room on prayer and intestinal fortitude. Vickie has long since moved on to other ministries, so now it is just me, my hubby and my kids.
We felt that God was calling us to support homeschoolers in ways that the average group does not -- based on the example of the Christian church Paul describes in the Bible. A group of Christian, and even some non-Christian women who love and support one another, pool resources, and pray in earnest for one another.
When God calls someone to a ministry, He gives them a "supernatural" love for the object of that ministry. And I love each and every Family that God has placed in my care. What God originally told us was that Families struggle in order to obey the command to homeschool their kids and that we were to do "whatever it looks like" to help them. That leaves it all pretty much "wide open" as far as what we are willing to do to love-on and assist our families.
If one of our moms is in trouble, we do everything we can to help. If we can't physically (or financially) “do” anything, we can always pray, and we try to remember to do that before we do anything else. We believe that if God wants us to be involved He will provide whatever is needed - and if He doesn't then we are to pray and wait. When God says "go" we "go!".
God told us that everything we do must be free. However, sometimes the place we are going to charges a fee, so our policy is that we never allow anyone to be left out because they can't afford it. Just let us know if you can't manage the entrance fee and we will figure something out. I know what it is like to always be the one whose kids miss out every time because there is just no money for "non-necessities" like field trips. We figure that money is not a good enough reason to get left behind when our Heavenly Father is the richest guy in town and wants to give His children good gifts.
We encourage and meet with new homeschoolers to kind of give them a “feel” for what homeschooling is and show them some of the different kinds of curriculum and "schools of thought" for teaching. Our new homeschoolers classes are about four hours long and we hope they will set you on a firm foundation to begin your homeschooling journey. The most important thing we believe we can do for homeschoolers is to change what they believe school should look like and accomplish. Homeschooling IS NOT and SHOULD NOT BE public school at home.
We have a homeschool library which has curriculum, posters and learning games which were donated by other homeschoolers for moms to check out for a year and bring back when they are done. If you would rather keep a book, then we allow that as well, for a donation to the ministry. We don't tell you how much. Some can afford more and some less - The amount is between you and God -- we trust you to be faithful.
When God provides us with a teacher, we set up classes. All of our classes are free -- God was very clear that we are not allowed to charge for them and anyone is welcome. We believe that if God provides the gift of education it should be open to everyone. If you want to teach a class, we would do our best to find you a classroom, but you would have to donate your services as a gift to Christ or we can't use you.
We even have moms who donate their talents such as pedicures and manicures for free one day a month. We call it "spa day" This is a day of fellowship, support and prayer -- to refresh and pamper our moms, so they can continue the ministry God has called them to as a wives, mothers, and teachers, with strong faith and light hearts. (all the while the kids are screaming their heads off and playing for all they are worth - lol - it is a good day for them as well. )
We also try to provide other fun opportunities, such as dances, special events like our "Constitution Day" celebration, "The Easter Picnic" and field trips. At the annual dance we always provide a photographer to take family portraits for free because we know many homeschooling families can not afford yearly pictures and we believe that having those memories are important for kids. Its our version of "school pictures"
The most important function of this ministry, I believe, is communication between the moms. Through the Vista Hills Homeschool Ministry email list, we pass information. Whether it is a field trip, answering questions, a cool web site or a prayer request, or someone just needs to borrow a dog crate, we share it with each other. Whatever the moms believe will be "of value" to the other moms, they send through. This is how we all stay connected and get to know each other.
If you have questions on any subject, just shoot an email through and ask all the other moms. There are about 250 (+) of them willing to give an opinion on just about anything. Most of us have never met one another. But we know each other through the email, and we know we are never alone.... There are sisters out there who are praying us through.
The only price we charge for being part of this ministry is that we ask you to take a moment and actually pray over each and every concern that comes through. If you find that I am worthy of an extra "tip" for my efforts, I ask that you cover my family and I with prayer for wisdom, health, time to do the work, financial and other provisions to do the things God wants us to do, and to help me find a"balance" between God (lest He end up at the bottom of my priority list), my husband, my 4 children and the ministry.
But at the same time, we ask that you keep your heart open for the reason that God brought YOU to the ministry. We are a body - if any of the parts of the body are not functioning then the body becomes lame. If everyone pitches in then no one should be overworked. I can't do it all - I am a facilitator, but the families of the ministry have to be willing to put together events for me to facilitate or pitch in to help someone else. The group is only as loving, helpful and active as the Moms within it make it. We are here to serve Christ together.
Our motto is: "If we ALL pull together we will ALL pull through..." Pulling is much harder when there are some people just sitting and adding to the weight...
I am here to serve you by the power of the Holy Spirit living in me through Jesus Christ our Lord. The name is "Homeschool" Ministry but we are about the Lord's business. You can ask us for help about anything. We pray first, and if the Lord says "do" -- we do.
If we sound like "your cup of tea" drop me a note and I will add your name to the address list. :o).
For God's Glory!
New Homeschooler Shepherd: