FlourishNow job fairs, taking place with the local church, are opportunities for the people of God to serve others. They are places where prayer spontaneously happens and where futures and families are transformed through five-minute interactions.
Each person who walks through the doors at our job fairs has a story uniquely theirs; each person worthy of a second chance and a new start; people like Natalie.
She arrived over an hour early, walking by the front of the church and looking curiously and eagerly through the glass doors. After the first job seeker shyly walked in, forty-five minutes before the job fair would begin, she followed. Soon, she was one of 100 or so job seekers standing in the lobby, waiting to meet with employers.
As soon as the sanctuary doors opened, Natalie made a beeline for one of our partners with the ability to hire on the spot. After speaking with a recruiter, she got the best news she could have received – she was hired on the spot!
Stunned, Natalie made her way to the exit, where she met Kristina, a FlourishNow staff member. As the two started a conversation, Natalie became emotional and couldn’t speak. Kristina asked how she could pray for her and Natalie managed to get out that she had been looking for a job for so long and she wanted Kristina to pray because she was just so thankful that she had been hired.
She dropped her keys and folders on the floor, and right there, in the doorway of Church of Eleven22’s sanctuary, Kristina cried and prayed with Natalie and praised God for the opportunity that would change the trajectory of Natalie’s life.
“Thank Jesus! Thank you! Thank everyone who did this here today. I needed this so bad you don’t even know!” – Natalie
More than 400 individuals came to the job fair at Church of Eleven22, on August 21st – and 42 left with provisional job offers that day. Over 20 volunteers and staff assisted the crowds, speaking with individuals and praying for them as opportunities arose.
Among those volunteers were participants in Church of Eleven22’s jobs initiative, facilitated through the Hope’s Closet Thrift Store. A small cohort of participants receives months of intensive training, support, and spiritual development while they seek their own opportunities that will change the trajectories of their own lives and futures.
One of those volunteers, Rosa, is bilingual and had the opportunity to speak with a job seeker named Zahiris. Zahiris was unsure about coming to the job fair because she is still learning English, but I emailed her in advance and reassured her that Rosa would be there to support her. Zahiris came, met Rosa, and Rosa helped her identify hospitality as an industry of focus. After their conversation, Rosa introduced her to a recruiter and three days later, she got an interview. Just before her interview, Zahiris emailed me to tell me about the interaction. She concluded her note with these words:
“With the favor of God and thanks to you, I will have work soon.”
And today, we found out from Zahiris that she did indeed get the job!
We are incredibly grateful for the Church of Eleven22, and all our church partners, and for the opportunity to serve with them.
Through the power of the local church and with ministry partners across Duval County, we have served almost 1,400 job seekers in the six short months since partnering with our first church, Crossroad UMC. We are incredibly thankful for God’s blessing on this ministry and for the work He has done through his servants across our city. To God be the glory!