Happy Birthday CWJC

A 20 Year Celebration for CWJC
by Kaylee Poston

Over the last two decades, Christian Women’s Job Corps has empowered women battling emotional and financial adversity by providing job and life skills training. By investing in the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of participants, CWJC creates a platform in which women help women embrace their full potential. CWJC not only supports women in overcoming current obstacles but also instills them with eternal hope in facing the obstacles to come. As we celebrate the 20th year of CWJC, we invite you to reflect on the journey of this ministry and the faithfulness of God in sustaining and prospering it.

What began as a small task force in 1995 quickly evolved into an unprecedented effort to provide women with a path to self-sufficiency in a Christian context. Five states—South Carolina, Florida, Illinois, Alabama, and Texas—accepted the challenge of developing the pilot phase for the project. WMU designed each CWJC site around the unique needs and strengths of its community. Though each site would differ in services, every site would include Bible study and volunteer mentors with whom participants could build lasting relationships. This individualization was a key contributor to CWJC’s success. By March 1, 1997, CWJC closed its pilot phase and embraced its new and thriving role in the WMU organization.

While the numbers of volunteers and participants engaging in the program were astounding, the true success of CWJC was and continues to be the lives transformed by their involvement. “My situation has truly changed my heart and given me a positive outlook on life . . . I am a living testimony,” said Tammy, a 1998 CWJC graduate.

While sites quickly formed all over the country, CWJC decided to extend its hand globally and pilot its first international site in 1999. Graduated participants from various sites soon began reinvesting in the program as volunteers, and CWJC expanded its scope to establish locations specifically for incarcerated women. Women from all walks of life were going from welfare to work knowing that they were supported, valued, and loved.

Then in 2004, a site in San Angelo, Texas, graduated their first class—a class completely comprised of men. This was the first registered site of Christian Men’s Job Corps. Currently, CWJC/CMJC hosts 192 sites across the nation and abroad offering a wide variety of services, such as GED classes, computer skills training, resume development, parenting classes, adult literacy classes, and health clinics.

One participant said, “It means so much to me having so many encouraging and loving people around me at one time. Even my children are seeing the difference and following the difference.” CWJC recognizes that investing in women transforms a community; by investing in women, CWJC can eliminate the cyclical nature of poverty. Mothers, aunts, sisters, and grandmothers are discovering their infinite value and walking through life with infectious grace and dignity because of their participation in this program. While more than 40,000 participants have been impacted by this ministry to date, the effect had on children, grandchildren, community members, and more has been immeasurable. Ultimately, CWJC is a catalyst for total family and community revolution.

While CWJC is known for its focus on education and job skills training, the only way to truly empower women to face inevitable hardships is to help them cultivate a firm foundation in Jesus Christ on which they can build their lives. One 2015 participant said, “I had no idea that all [the lessons] would be learned with Christianity in every word. . . . It is becoming ingrained in every waking moment, in every task, in every thought—even mannerisms that I do and who I am.” Weekly Bible studies are incorporated into the CWJC curriculum so that women may gather together, study God’s Word, and build community with other believers. Since its formation, CWJC has witnessed more than 5,000 professions of faith. This is truly a testament to the willing hearts of volunteers and the almighty hand of the Father coming together to create eternal impact through this ministry.

As we look forward into the next 20 years of CWJC, we ask you to pray with us in seeking new opportunities for this ministry to grow. We ask you to pray with us in seeking how God might use you. Volunteer Cathy Zevac said, “We all have skills to offer. Every woman can find a place at CWJC.”

We thank all of our volunteers and participants, past and present, for your commitment to this ministry and your belief in its mission. We praise God for you, and we look forward to your involvement for many years to come.

Happy 20th birthday, CWJC!

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Eph. 3:20–21).


 Kaylee Poston is a University of Montevallo student and is an intern with the Adult Resource Team and WorldCrafts Team. She is incredibly excited to be sharing the stories of God’s incredible faithfulness through the ministries of WMU. 

 

 

 


 

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