Building deep relationships with our global partners is one of Discovery’s core values. Throughout each of our campaigns, we have chosen partners to give a portion of the money to. The two global benefactors of Unfinished are our partners Ylli and Nikki Doci and Bob and Susan Combs. They too have work in their areas of influence that is Unfinished.
The Doci Family
Ylli Doci has a firsthand understanding of what it’s like to be raised in a Communist environment where Christianity is taught to be nothing more than a fairy tale, for that is exactly what he learned in his then-Communist home of Albania. After hearing about Christ in 1992, Ylli accepted the life-changing truth of the Gospel and has been sharing it with others ever since. Joined by his wife, Nikki, the Docis have a unique opportunity to share Christ with the top leaders in Albania as well as ambassadors and ex-patriots living in Tirana and the surrounding communities. Their influence in the lives of the top leaders has deep rippling effects throughout the country. Ylli also pastors a church in Tirana.
The Combs Family
Bob and Susan Combs use a holistic approach of addressing the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of young men and women in Compton. They share the love of Christ through word and deed through initiatives that build upon each other to walk with someone from brokenness to health.
Leadership development is the baseline for their work due to the belief that a city can’t reach its full potential without strong leaders. They help young people develop their full potential and become leaders in their community via a leadership academy, a year-long internship program, youth employment and through mentoring and discipleship. Susan teaches people how to grow their own produce at the community gardens since fresh produce is not readily available. The gardens also provide leadership positions and employment opportunities for youth.
Hearts N’ Hands
Hearts ‘n’ Hands is a local nonprofit that empowers post-high school adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities through personal growth, learning and job readiness. Following a “business for good” model, participants collectively own The HnH Co-op for which they make, sell and market their products. Supported by job coaches, participants operate a dog treat bakery and create handcrafted items, which they sell in local retail shops, an online store, community markets and craft fairs. It’s a business owned and run by adults with special needs, breaking the perception that good quality can’t go hand-in-hand with a good cause.
Hearts n’ Hands recently began using part of Discovery’s building two days each week so their participants have a place to make their products.
“Discovery is by far one of the most welcoming and inclusive churches we’ve ever been a part of. Their desire to work with us and help us grow our program means a lot to us. Not only that, Discovery’s willingness to help us grow our program directly benefits our participants since proceeds from the sale of our goods go back to them, proving that even individuals with developmental disabilities are able to contribute to their daily living expenses as well as to the communities in which they live.
We are so grateful to Discovery for this opportunity.”
Learn More: HeartsNHandsCO.org
Counseling & Mental Health Services
Mental Health Coordinator
Discovery currently has two counselors using office space to provide affordable counseling and mental health support groups to church members and the community at large. Counselors pay a nominal fee for the office space, which is then used by Discovery to provide scholarships for mental health services to those who couldn’t afford it otherwise.
“I’m just so thankful I found you. I’ve been looking for a Christian counselor in the north metro area and haven’t been able to find anyone.” I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve heard this. Others comment about how safe and comfortable they feel having the counseling services located in a church, while others have confided that they’ve been burned by the church and have been too scared to step foot inside it.
I’m on my fifth year of partnering with Discovery and I continue to be floored by the compassion, knowledge, and humility the staff and members provide. Perhaps that is why many of my clients, most of whom came to me through a Google search or word of mouth, now call Discovery home.
Like my clients, I, too, am grateful: grateful that God connected me to a church that continues to understand the needs for people’s mental health.”
Mental Health Coordinator
Children’s Ministry Director
“Unfinished is vital to the health of our children’s ministry for several reasons. Currently we are using a conference room on the second floor as a classroom so we don’t have to turn kids away as often, but that comes with many challenges such as getting little kids from the basement, where the large group activities are, up to the conference room without disturbing other people.
Unfinished is also vital because we lose our effectiveness when rooms are too full. Having too many children squished in one place can easily burn out the people that so generously give of their time. Kids feel the effects, too as it is louder and harder for them to learn the lesson. But worst of all, we start to lose the beauty of our model as volunteers can no longer work in small groups to talk about the lesson on a more intimate level and pray with the children.
As we’ve grown our ministry for children with special needs the past few years, we’ve recognized that the adaptations are allowing these kids to learn about God’s truths in a way that resonates for them, while giving their families the gift few had previously: the ability to go to big church. This unique ministry is capped by space since each special needs child is paired with a caring adult.
Unfinished will overcome these obstacles while letting us achieve additional ways of meeting the needs of our children and those in the community. Discovery’s rooms are full every day and night, meaning we can’t add programs during the week that would partner with other groups or attract kids who normally wouldn’t come to church. As the walls of expansion go up, our barriers for outreach will go down.”
Children’s Ministry Director
Children’s Volunteer Teacher
“Initially, I felt too overwhelmed to help in children’s ministry, but decided to give it a shot and am so glad I did! I am so fulfilled by helping kids learn about our Creator.
My girls are learning so much from children’s ministry. They tell us about each week’s lesson and are applying them to their everyday lives. My four year old best summed it up when I asked her what she’s learned at Sunday School: “that God cares for me and wants to be my friend.” I can’t imagine where I’d be today if I learned those things at their age.
I never expected volunteering would cultivate a servant’s heart in my children. My oldest daughter has asked to volunteer with me so she can also pour the love of Christ into the next generation.
There have been times when my girls have been turned away because their rooms were full. They’re always disappointed since they look forward to going to their classes.
I hope you’ll join me in supporting the Unfinished Campaign so we’ll be able to teach even more kids about God’s love and be able to see the joy in their lives that I get to watch develop in my children.”
Children’s Volunteer Teacher
Discovery’s Youth Ministry
“When we opened the Barn, our ministry grew from 25-30 kids to 100 kids every week. I would imagine we’ll see the same thing once we expand our room, but Unfinished isn’t just about getting more people in the door. For us, Unfinished will allow small groups to be just that. Right now, our groups are so close to each other that youth are distracted or don’t feel safe enough to share their more vulnerable concerns for fear they will be overheard by someone else.
We challenge our students to lead and serve. As a result, many are chomping at the bit to be part of something bigger than themselves. They’re itching to be part of the Unfinished campaign and are especially excited to have a place of their own where they’ll be able to invite their friends to.
Unfinished will also play a huge role in allowing us to enhance our reach to youth with special needs. We know of too many youth wanting to be part of our ministry that can’t. For some, it’s because there are just too many kids in too tight of quarters, a combination that could cause their sensory challenges to flare. Others need a quieter place to retreat to. The expansion will allow for those changes and will give us an opportunity to pour into their unfinished stories.”