Congratulations to Misha Aldridge on being named the STEM Teacher of the Year for Phenix Intermediate School in Phenix City, Alabama.
Getting to this point has been an amazing, inspiring story. Misha was baptized in Birmingham, AL in 2013, while she was finishing up her education at Stamford University, where she had been a star pitcher for the softball team. Misha became an integral part of the Birmingham church. She graduated and entered the work force, working for Regent's Bank.
Misha's dream, however, was to be a softball coach on the collegiate level.
So she took a risk. She quit her professional job, secured a position as a volunteer coach on Samford's team, and worked at Publix to make ends meet. But doors to the coaching world didn't open for her as she hoped. She finally decided to move back home to Columbus, Georgia.
It was then that Misha became a member of the Auburn Tuskegee Church, faithfully commuting almost an hour to attend services in Auburn. She cobbled together a living teaching private lessons in softball and doing substitute teaching. As she did so, she began to feel that education was the career field God had in mind for her. The only road block was that she didn't have her teaching certificate.
Then the substitute teaching led to an amazing opportunity. The Phenix City schools hired Misha to teach computer coding part time at their middle school and to be an assistant coach for the high school softball team. It was a dream come true to be able to coach, and to take a step further in her education career.
But it was still hard to make ends meet on a part time salary. The real miracle happened the following fall, when the school board created a full time position, with benefits, for Misha. They made provisions for her to be able to work towards her certification.
Now Misha was more financially stable. That was the blessing. The challenge was, now she was teaching computer coding to 300 students a day. She had a different 6th or 7th grade class every thirty minutes. Some of her students came from rough backgrounds and are difficult to work with. And she was still doing her coaching responsibilities after school.
Misha began to feel like she was drowning. She started to question if teaching was really the field God wanted her to pursue. She asked herself, "Is there a way I can do this and not grumble, but find joy?"
Misha wrestled mightily with these issues. She studied the book of Daniel, and was strengthened by seeing how Daniel allowed God to use him. She opened up to her spiritual sisters about her struggles. "I realized that I didn't have to be tough," she said. "I was honest with them that I felt like I couldn't do it anymore. Having my friends and family hold me up when I felt weak was the best blessing from God."
All of this enabled Misha to persevere in letting her light shine. And the people she worked with took note. She wasn't just putting in time, she was caring about her students and team members, giving to them and encouraging them.
Misha was a new teacher, but her peers held her up as the standard for educators. She was named the Teacher of the Month for October. The administrators voted and gave her the "I Make a Difference Award," as the person who makes the biggest positive impact on the school. And then they awarded her with STEM Teacher of the Year, which also puts her in the running for the "Heart of the Community Award."
"I am now content with where God wants me to be," said Misha. When I was working with Samford, I thought that was where God wanted me, but it took me away from church and it wasn't pleasant." She said she realized that what really makes her happy is being close to her physical and spiritual family, and being a power for good in young lives. "Seeing these kids strive to do good things, being able to make an impact, that makes it worth it," she said. "Now I can see God's plan a lot better. I'm grateful God has allowed me to go through all of that."
Misha receiving the "Make A Difference Award" for her school in Phenix City.
Timira Taylor (right) with her sister, Gabbi.
Timira Taylor was baptized on Wednesday, November 22. Timira is a freshman majoring in biology at Tuskegee University. She is the sister of Tuskegee ministry member Gabbi Taylor.
Timira had other collegiate options, but decided to attend Tuskegee. Gabbi was over the moon when she found out. "I was so excited to find out that Timira chose to come to Tuskegee," she said. "Over the past few years so many friends and I had been praying for her to end up at Tuskegee and become a disciple. This is literally an answered prayer and a dream come true!"
Once Timira arrived at the historic black university, she began attending services at the ATCC . She was was impressed with the disciples in the ministry, and this motivated her to start studying the Bible. "I saw Gabbi and Brielle, and they were so drastically different than the other people on campus," she said.
Timira's spiritual journey had some challenging twists and turns, but she pushed through. "I kept going back to the scriptures, and kept asking the disciples for advice," she said.
"Timira was willing to give up anything for God," said Brielle Bryant-Erales. "Hard situations that usually make people turn away from the kingdom, she quickly realized that it's not worth affecting her relationship with God. She never ran away from the truth but she grew to have a humble heart!"
Now Timira looks forward to growing as a disciple, "I'm excited about growing closer to God and getting to know the brothers and sisters more," she said.
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We are putting on a party for the women and children at the Friendship Mission in Montgomery on Saturday, December 16. This is a great opportunity to give! Come help with the event. If you would like to buy a gift for a child, click here for a list of children and needs. (Highlighted names have someone who is buying for them already.) Click here for a sign up list of food that is needed for the party, and to sign up to bring presents for the women.
Sun. Nov. 26 -- Worship at VFW, HOPE at Monarch at 2 PM Mon, Nov. 27 -- HOPE at Monarch, 6:45 PM Sun. Dec. 3 -- New Christian Luncheon after service Sun. Dec. 10 -- Christmas Show: "The Awaited One," Communion Meal, Nunn Winston House at Keisel Park. ARRIVE EARLY!! Sat. Dec. 16 -- Service Project: Christmas Party at Friendship Mission Women's Shelter in Montgomery
Giving on 11/19/2017 was $1143
Minimum Operating Budget: $2100