Why We are Thankful | Urban Vision Staff Reflections



Before the staff sits down with their families for Thanksgiving, we wanted to take a moment to share with you, our community, the blessings we have personally seen this year.   Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.  Psalm 107:1,8-9

Nathan Kreis

I’m thankful for our Dream Team, the group of volunteers who come together as they serve alongside our families and students.  Each volunteer is unique and comes from different backgrounds and brings a different skill set to the table. It’s beautiful to see God’s hand in each of their lives as they join the Urban Vision family to serve. I love watching God at work as He brings these different pieces of the puzzle to make Urban Vision what it is today.

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Jordan Fairfax

There are so many blessings that God has allowed me to witness and share in the process over this past year here in North Hill.

Camp Urban Vision

We were able to provide a newer service to our neighborhood families by offering an 8am-5pm summer camp with two meals (hang on to the meals for blessing two). Camp also allowed us to see around 100 kids each week for 45 hours and you better believe the gospel was shared intentionally and frequently.  We did not have a pre-existing relationship with many of our campers.  Some of these kids were able to be added to programming throughout the year.  Camp also allowed us to do a deeper mentoring, both spiritually and practically. We hired around 35 seasonal staff comprised of teens that lived in North Hill. This has given confidence and experience to our teens; as well as hope for the campers that they one day can rise to that type of position and Camp Urban Vision can be part theirs as well. We were able to keep a few of the students on as interns through the school year to continue to build into them.


It seems like the unity cried for has been starting to happen. We have teamed with partners such as World Relief, Crossroads, Faithful Servants just to name a few to bring needed areas of holistic coverage to UV. By maximizing partnerships, we have expanded the reach that God, through UV, is able to have in North Hill and all while not taxing our small but faithful staff.  That is a huge UV and Kingdom win! We currently have some exciting partnerships that are forming to expand our community appeal with the two lots of land God has given us.

These and so many other things remind us that even though giving has been down for UV the past two years, the ministry has not slowed. It gives us hope that we have a big GOD who has big plans and will make things happen even when we can not see how.

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Regina Lewis

I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with the most gracious and amazing families here in North Hill.  It doesn’t matter where we all come from.  We share the common goal of wanting the best for our children and teaching them the love of Christ.  I’m thankful to be a part of a church that focuses on creating disciples to go out and spread the Gospel and working with a team that truly has a servant’s heart.  I’m also thankful to everyone who has poured into my family, from bringing me on staff to mentoring my boys to rehabbing a neighborhood home for us to purchase.  Tomorrow, the first of many Thanksgivings will be held in our new home.  I can’t wait to see what else God has in store!


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Jeff Smith

I am very thankful for a community of believing friends that want to live for Christ!   I was so encouraged to see both my kids excited to serve at Kids Club this year and have them come home sharing about some of the kids!  It is also so nice to have others pouring into my kids.  From Bro Time and Girl Talk to teaching Sunday school with other adults, my kids are blessed to be a part of this! I am thankful for this community where my kids can grow up loving and serving the Lord with great role models around them.

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Kaite Marshall

I could list 983,024,798,127,340,983,983,203,984 things I’m thankful for, but to keep it short, I am thankful for people!

–my wonderful husband, who is so supportive of my passions and works so hard to keep our lives running! He takes care of all the things that seem complicated and overwhelming to me because they are out of my skill set!
–my coworkers, who are mature and non-drama-producing (always a good quality in coworkers), good at what they do, and lastly, always happy to teach me Excel tricks or let me run ideas by them when I’m not sure what the right path is.
–our church, which focuses on not just Biblical teaching but unity in diversity and emotional health in true community with others.
–so many family and friends who live close by!
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Fiona Paisley

I’m thankful that for the first time in 8 years Tom and I live in Ohio near our families.  I’m thankful that God is at work building his Kingdom all over the world and in North Hill!  I’m thankful that God is my refuge and strength.
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Tom Paisley

I am thankful for a welcoming church, caring family, and good work.
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Rodney Matthews

I’m thankful to be able to serve alongside a team committed to serving and glorifying our Lord Jesus Christ made up of staff, volunteers, donors and neighbors.  Our staff loves our neighbors every day for Christ.  We are blessed with so many committed volunteers that allow us to serve so many each week. Our donors work hard every day and give generously to the Lord’s work at Urban Vision allowing staff and facilities to extend hope to the hopeless.  Neighbors have become a part of serving our own community or even grown up at Urban Vision showing others the way to a stronger relationship with Christ.  I’m truly blessed to know believers in different parts of the body of Christ working together to impact North Akron for Him!
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Jodi Matthews

I am most thankful to God for the opportunity to be a part of the Urban Vision family!  It is a beautiful, diverse group of people loving God and loving others.  So so thankful for all He has done!  Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!