Making a Difference
You make a difference all over the world. PowerChurch makes it easier.
At PowerChurch, we know that your work extends beyond what happens at your desk. For each of you who enters data, collects membership information, tracks and manages contributions or plans events, there is a personal story to tell. After speaking with many of you, we were inspired to share some of your stories with others. The work YOU do encourages us to continue our goal of making church management easy.
Diane & Rick Harrell - Fostering independence and planting trees in Africa
Name: Diane & Rick Harrell
Title: Office Manager, Brookside Free Methodist Church
Passion: Reaching across the street and across the world
Why PowerChurch: It keeps daily tasks from becoming a chore.
"People regularly walk in right off the street as if they've been drawn here. Often they don't know about God, but He leads them here. It's amazing to see His hand at work."
What's also amazing is the journey Diane Harrell and her pastor husband Rick have witnessed taking place at their church in Redlands, California. Like other small churches, they have limited resources, but that also means that they must focus those resources on the programs and ministries that matter to them the most. For Diane and Rick, a key group are the unreached youth in Redlands, who have had tough lives, are dealing with unplanned pregnancies or family issues, and might need counseling or other some other form of mentoring.
"Often, they just need some attention and love. Some of our youth have done outreach and we mentor them on leadership and caring for themselves and others. But right now, they aren't participating too much in missions. They are our mission at the moment."
Using PowerChurch Plus, Diane is able to create the kinds of reports that allow her and others to view what contributions come in, where resources are needed and used and when they are able to take on the next challenge or program. "I love the reports! They're simple to create and like the contributions, everything I need is right there and easy to review and work from."
Over the last decade, Brookside has participated in some monumentally successful mission work abroad as well, namely, their reforestation projects in Madagascar and Ethiopia. Many villages in those countries have wiped out the tree populations, causing devastating erosion and loss of other vegetation and wildlife. "Our mission is to teach them why cutting down all the trees is detrimental to their lives and the land and we show them how to plant trees, how to designate certain areas for use and certain areas to be left alone. The results have been life-changing."
In Madagascar, trained workers were sent along with Brookside members and after only a few months, they villagers were planting trees, had resumed shrimping enterprises and began seeing amazing growth agriculturally and in the lives of the community. In Ethiopia, the church found that they not only could plant trees substantially less expensively than the government, but they saved whole villages.
Diane's voice takes on a new level of enthusiasm when talking about the work Brookside has accomplished: "We are not a large church, but our impact, with God's help, has been broad and deep."
PowerChurch Plus has been a part of Brookside's operations toolkit for over three years, allowing them to save time and other valuable resources. "Retrieving membership data is terrific and I'm not that computer savvy," says Diane. "And this year, we created a new directory using the software and it's just terrific. I was so impressed with how easy it was. Our members love it. PowerChurch Plus is an asset."
Brookside's next mission will be equipping a team to go to Joplin, Missouri to assist tornado victims and provide direct aid. Whether it is stateside or across an ocean, we look forward to hearing about what they'll do next.