As we anticipate this year’s homecoming festivities, it seems appropriate that a GRACE alumna is in the spotlight. Sarah Jarvis has been part of the GRACE community for more years than most on staff. She attended GRACE as a preschool student and proceeded to complete elementary, middle and high school as a GRACE eagle! Sarah attended Liberty University and graduated with a double major in psychology and family and child development.
It is hard for Sarah to pick one favorite GRACE memory as she has so many to choose from! She has fond memories of the many field trips that GRACE students take including the 4th grade trip to the Outer Banks, a 5th grade trip to the mountains, the 8th grade trip to Washington DC, as well as mission trips to the Bahamas her freshman year and to Appalachia her senior year. Most of all, Sarah remembers when teachers spoke into her life and encouraged her in her work, which motivated her to do her best.
It is the example of personal concern and care that Sarah remembers best from her time as a GRACE student that she strives to impart to the kindergartners in her care. In first grade, Sarah struggled with anxiety related to storms, so much so that her fear impacted her ability to learn. Mrs. Thompson and Mrs. Allsbrook (the principal at that time) let Sarah come into their office when the weather was stormy, which made her feel safe. Years later she learned from her mom that parents who knew of her fear would pray for her when storms were in the area. GRACE’s loving, compassionate, prayerful, and patient community allowed Sarah to conquer her fear such that as a high school freshman on a mission trip she was able to witness the lightning of a distant storm without fear.
It is not surprising that one of Sarah’s favorite Bible verses, Philippians 4:6-7, deals with anxiety and the peace that God can provide in the midst of fear, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Sarah believes that God used everyone in the GRACE community to impart the great wisdom and truth that prepared her for doing life. She has been blessed by the investment made in her life, through each moment and each grade, especially those that took the time to meet with her and work with her through her fears. Without this background, Sarah would not be the same person she is today.
As a kindergarten assistant, Sarah tries to impart to her young students what she received as a GRACE student all those years ago. She considers it a privilege to teach them about Jesus, to build relationships with them, to help them learn about prayer, God’s world, and the appropriate amount of glue to use in a craft project! She delights alongside them as they learn to read and write and she truly loves watching their personalities develop over the course of the year.
Sarah has been married to the boy she set her eye on back in high school for two years and together, they attend the church they both grew up in, Raleigh First Assembly (RFA). At RFA, Sarah is the Boys and Girls Missions Coordinator for ages 3-12. In this role, Sarah helps the children understand what it means to pray for missionaries, give to missions, and to be a missionary. She also interviews missionaries that visit the church.