In May of 2014, my family and I arrived in Plano. While attending Mendenhall Elementary, my children received an invitation to Chase Oaks Family Center’s ToyZone, a seasonal initiative where parents can shop for their children’s gifts at a discounted price. When we received the invitation, I had no idea what to expect, but I went anyway.
I was amazed at what I found at the Family Center. When we arrived, we met Joyce Harms, David Harms, and Lucia Landino who invited me to have coffee and cookies and provided the connection I needed.
Lucia and David invited my family to a Christmas party that was taking place at my children’s school. And they told me to invite someone, too! I invited my sister and her children, and we had so much fun! At the end, we learned about Chase Oaks Church En Español from Campus Pastor Armando Zuniga.
Before moving to Plano, my family and I had recently begun attending a Christian church. But it wasn’t until we visited Chase Oaks Church En Español and connected to the people there that I encountered the love of God and accepted Christ as my savior.
Soon, I began to go to English classes at the Family Center where I met Director Julissa Estrada. After telling her about a need for a meeting place for our neighborhood Bible study, Julissa opened up the Family Center to a group of ladies that continue to meet for fellowship and Bible study every Friday.
In 2016, my husband and I faced a difficult year. We separated. Our difficult childhoods had finally caught up to us, affecting our marriage. I could not have made it through this time without my Chase Oaks family.
Since I was a stay-at-home mom, Julissa offered me a job at the Family Center. I would take care of the children during ESL classes, which was the beginning of a career at Chase Oaks where I have the opportunity to work with children and invest in the next generation in our church and community.
At the En Español Campus, Pastor Armando helped my husband and me with counseling and encouraged us to keep attending church. A year later, my husband and I reconciled, and today, we are thriving in our home life with our four children.
Through our amazing experience at Chase Oaks, my family has been transformed. My husband and sister were baptized at Chase Oaks. I feel very blessed to be a part of Chase Oaks, but I am especially thankful for all the opportunities and trust everyone has given me and for believing in me.
I’m currently serving at the Family Center’s front desk during ESL Classes on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I love serving there because I love helping others and it fills my heart. I also want to give back because of the impact it had on me and my family.
I am so thankful for the amazing community and connection my family found at Chase Oaks En Español and the Family Center. It has definitely given me hope through difficult times and the opportunity to make a difference right where I am.
Like Ely, you can be here for good right where God has placed you. Check out ways you can do good in our community!