There is a company called Stanley that is a manufacturer of a brand of tools used for building and fixing things. I have known of this tool set since I was kid. My father had some Stanley tools around the house. Most recently I have used quite a few Stanley tools at ASP. I have used them to work on many different project over these last 9 years. They are dependable tools that do the job, but actually they are not the most important Stanley that has been a part of ASP trips or has played a role with the youth of our church.
Greg Stanley is a math teacher at Sanderson High School and a valuable member of the St. Mark's congregation. I met him about 3 or 4 years ago when he first decided to go on ASP with us. I could tell then that I was going to really like working with Greg. Greg has a way with people, a polite smile, a gentle voice, and a calming personality. He is proficient in his knowledge of tools and construction but never downgrades or dismisses those of us who are challenged and lack construction knowledge. He is always willing to lend a helping hand and his heart is full of a need and want to help people.
Recently we had an All Youth Retreat where I asked two youth to speak about their journeys as part of the youth group. I asked them to talk about all the mentors and youth that have made a difference in their lives and express what roles they have played in their lives. I then asked each of them to talk about a relationship with an outside of youth group adult that has made an impact on who they are. One of the youth talked about Wes Hare who I mentioned in another blog post. The other talked about her relationship with Mr. Stanley (which is what they have to call him at school.)
She said that she first met Mr. Stanley at ASP and that he instantly made an impact on her. He was kind and listen to her. Since then she often visits him at school during lunch and after school. She said that he gives up plenty of time to listen to her and help her with some of the issues in her life including some college things that she is having a hard time with right now. He always has a kind word, an open mind, and valuable advice. Mr. Stanley has really made an impact on her. She said that she couldn't imagine going through High School without him.
I don't know that the adults of our church really realize the impact they are making on our youth. Simple things like listening and just being there for them go a long way. Greg provides that for them and for that I am very grateful. Greg is a Stanley that has the tools to fix things and help build up our youth.
Thanks for constructing things more valuable then you will ever know Greg!