EPIC Table Leaders: Sandra Shepherd and Jeannie Burkhalter

Our EPIC Table Leaders bring something truly special to our ministry. Their passion and dedication to our 1st-6th grade students is evident every Tuesday and Thursday as they help our students work through math facts, homework and one-on-one reading. Jeannie and Sandra joined our team this year and continue to enhance our ministry.

Watch the video above to hear what they had to say about being an FLH Team Member with the EPIC After School Club.


Why Did You Join the EPIC After School Club Team?

Sandra Shepherd: Ok, I had just been thinking I needed to do something. It had been on my heart. I went to the luncheon. Joy spoke, Jill spoke. The next week I was going to a meeting, and Jill was the speaker at the Women's League.

Jeannie Burkhalter: Again?

Sandra Shepherd: She told the story about how she started the after-school ministry. I thought, well I've been thinking and praying about this, so I think God said: "This is where you need to be!"

Jeannie Burkhalter:  I've just retired from teaching for 20 years. Jill asked me to think about it, and I prayed about it. I just love the way we get to interact with them, and we get to be open about our faith with them and share that. I have only been doing it this year, but I've really enjoyed it and loved being with the kids.

Sandra Shepherd: ...and they are so sweet! That's what I have enjoyed — meeting them. They are so excited to see you. They are just such sweet kids. Their hearts are so open.

Jeannie Burkhalter: We are opening up our hearts as well.

Sandra Shepherd: Definitely, I definitely feel like it's opening up something inside of me also.

What is your role at EPIC?

Sandra Shepherd: I like to do crafts and just coming up with ideas that are hands-on for the kids. I like to do things where we make them ourselves.

Jeannie Burkhalter: ...and the kids have LOVED some of the crafts they have done. They are very creative with the supplies that you give them.

Sandra Shepherd: One of their favorites was the paper tissue flowers. They LOVED that! One of the little girls made a unicorn crown and put a unicorn horn on it.

Jeannie Burkhalter: The first few times I was more observant. Then I saw that a student was really struggling with his math and he really needed help. So I was helping him the last few times grouping and learning what multiplication is all about. Today I was helping a student with his reading. His mother is really very appreciative. She really wants him to do better reading.

What Surprised You While Working at EPIC?

Jeannie Burkhalter: They know the Bible! You ask a question, and they know the answer before you even finish asking the question. And they say it enthusiastically!

Sandra Shepherd: I was very surprised at how many pray so openly, and they do a good job with it.

What Makes You Happy About EPIC?

Jeannie Burkhalter: I can see that the kids are getting something out of it. It is not a waste of my time. It is not a waste of their time. They are learning. They are getting an opportunity to be with other adults. I'd never run into these kids on a normal day.

Sandra Shepherd: It is nice when you come in, and they are so happy to see you. They remember your name and they are glad that you are here.


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