- Opportunities to Help
We are so thankful for our dedicated staff members at Fellowship Missions. One of the ways we show our appreciation is to occasionally feature them here on our blog. Today we’re shining the spotlight on Ashlee Kreft, the Catalyst Program Director at Fellowship Missions.
Ashlee has been a part of Fellowship Missions since 2012 when she began working as an intern. She’s held the position of Catalyst Program Director for the past 5 years.
We hope you enjoy our interview with Ashlee!
What does a typical day look like for you as an employee of Fellowship Missions?
One of the fun things about my job is that I might have a plan for the day, but God has something else in store. That is one of the beautiful things about working at Fellowship Missions! God is always at work, and has something every day for us to take on.
One of the things I do is walk alongside residents who are in the Catalyst Program. I get to meet with them and help them create the goals they want to accomplish to get back up on their feet. I help them organize and prioritize and make a plan to better themselves.
I also work alongside of our disciplers. Disciplers are volunteers who come alongside of a resident who is in our Catalyst Program . A discipler will meet once a week with their resident and work on case management, helping residents work on their goals. They will also do a mini Bible study/devotion during their weekly meetings.
As a discipler, you become a listening ear, an encourager, a mentor, a friend, and someone who is there and willing to help someone walk through the messiness of life. My job is to work with disciplers to help guide and motivate them as they work with residents in our program. I absolutely love working with both the disciplers, and with the residents!
How long have you been working for Fellowship Missions and what drew you to it as a place where you wanted to work?
I have been working for Fellowship Missions for about 5 years, but I have been with them for about 8 . What drew me to working here is honestly all God’s doing. When I was working on my undergrad degree I was getting ready to enter into an internship working with kids. At the very last minute my internship fell through and I had no idea what do to for school.
Eric Lane had come and talked to one of my classes about needing some interns. My thinking at the time was very much “ I need an internship because I am not repeating the class, so I will just do the internship at Fellowship and then move on”.
Little did I know that God had something else major in store for me. I ended up falling in love with the people who came through those doors of the shelter. I love hearing their stories, their visions for the future, but most importantly watching their growth. I love watching them grow from no hope, to so much hope nothing would stop them from moving forward.
It was during my time interning that I realized that I wanted to stay. I wanted to continue loving on the people that came to Fellowship Missions. I wanted to continue being their motivator when they could not be their own. I wanted to continue helping residents see the hope that God has to give, and help them see all the potential, and help them see that God is still walking along side of them in the messiness of life.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
My favorite thing about my job is watching the beauty that God has in store for them start coming out as the residents take on their trials head first. I love seeing residents take ahold of the hope that God has in front of them, and watch them start transforming, and changing . Sometimes it blows my mind how clear God is at work. I can sit there and almost see Him working first hand in their lives. Now there are days where it is hard. And it hurts to see the tears, and the frustrations.
However, for that transformation to take place, sometimes those tears are necessary, and when I see those tears, I know change is going to take place. I love that I can sit and be with the residents. I love that I can pray with them, take them to coffee, and I love that I can give them a hug when they most need it.
I love listening to their life stories, and I love watching the look of defeat and anger slowly disappear and turn into the look of confidence and hope as they tackle the trials of life with God and their support group!
What do you think you’ve gained from working for Fellowship Missions?
Photo was taken prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
I’ve gained so many amazing friendships! One of the things that help in the transformation that God has in store for people is having a support group and learning how to form those healthy relationships. I love gaining those friendships with the residents and being a part of their support group!
What has been your proudest moment while working for Fellowship Missions?
This is not necessarily what you would consider a proud moment. But one of my all time favorite things is when the kids at the shelter ask to come hang out in the office with us. Or they ask for us to come play in the play room or outside with them. I love when they ask to play a game, or color at our desks. I love when they finish the picture they are coloring and they ask for us to hang it up!
I have learned how to play Pokémon. I have lost countless games of Candyland and Memory matching games. I have gone to a pretend tea party many times, and I have learned the power of playing with play doh. Working with the kids has a special place in my heart, so when they come to my desk asking for me to play, it’s almost like a proud moment to me!
How do you enjoy spending your time when you aren’t working?
When I am not at work, I love spending time with my family. We have two little ones, one who is a little over the age of one, and a newborn. They keep my husband and I extremely busy! I also enjoy being outside. When I have some down time, just sitting outside and soaking up that sun is a way for me to re-group and relax.
If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?
I have so many things that I would love to learn. I want to learn how to perfect the art of hand lettering ! I also really want to learn how to sew, and how to ice skate like a professional. I also would love to learn and become fluent in sign language. I hate cooking and baking, so I would not mind learning how to love cooking also.
If you could have dinner with any fictional character, who would it be and why?
I would love to have dinner with Jo, Meg, Beth, Amy, and Marmee March in the movie/book Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. Growing up, this was the movie that my mom and I would watch together. We could pick any movie to watch, and it would always be Little Women.
But the reason as to why I would love to have dinner with them, is because I always wanted to be one of their sisters. I really liked how they did life together, how they loved each other, and how they were always going on adventures together. I want to hear Jo talk about her writing, and look at Amy’s paintings, talk about life with Marmee, listen to Beth play her piano, and eat Hannah’s amazing meals!
Where is your favorite place to be?
My favorite place to be is by the ocean. Anything sea is where I would love to be!