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Volunteer Roles

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Danielle Miller

After-School Mentor

PLI is the most interesting volunteer opportunity I have tried. I enjoy getting to know people different from me, and PLI provides constant opportunities. The results I have seen in the after school program let me know that my time here is well spent.

I enjoy building relationships with the kids, and being able to talk with them one on one. Even though we are working on homework, we are able to have fun every week. My favorite thing about my role is the feeling that I am making a difference. I can see concrete results of how the kids have learned, and I know they will be better students because of this program.

One day during the summer kids program, everyone colored paper flags for the country they were from. As we colored, we talked about the differences between all our countries, and how people so different could all still be friends. When we had finished, we led the kids in a parade, with everyone holding their own flag. When their parents saw the flags, they were happily surprised. Many parents came up to thank us afterward.

This memory represents everything I love about PLI. The excitement of learning about different people, places, and cultures. The hope sparked when people from all over the world can be friends. The difference that a little time, or a small gesture can make.

Sylvia Ellsworth

In-Person Teacher

God tells us to welcome the stranger (Lev. 19:34). Jesus spoke about those who would inherit the kingdom, "I was a stranger and you invited me in..." (Mt. 25:35). I lived overseas for 8 years in Central Asia. I know what it's like to be the "stranger". Moving to a new country and learning a new language in the midst of raising a family is a difficult task. So my heart goes out to these brave women who, for the most part because of difficult circumstances, find themselves trying to make a new home in America on the other side of the world, apart from their families and everything familiar. 

I love visiting my students. It is a way to connect with them in a deeper way. I am able to meet their family members, enjoy their hospitality and understand their lives a little better.

 I think of times when I was astounded at the abilities of these women to express themselves through crafts or cooking. And I love it when they enjoy playing games and see humor in life, or whenever they smile.

Brian Coffman

Men’s Program Volunteer

The call to get involved with PLI's men's ministry is a call to extend love by making new friends, building relationships and serving/helping others. It's really quite simple, and I enjoy making new connections and helping others. So I enjoy the fact that PLI allows me an opportunity to do something that is quite natural, yet with high potential impact.

Meeting my mentee regularly for coffee was a lot of fun, and in the early days it was stimulating to share and learn about each other's cultures. I also loved the deep conversations on family, faith, politics, parenting, etc. Nothing was off limits. Assisting him with obtaining his MBA was huge, as was attending his graduation ceremony in 2019. More recently, the men's Sunday BBQ gatherings have been fun for the food and the conversations involving multiple men from the PLI community.

Angela Miller

Online Teacher

I keep up a weekly video call with about 3-5 of my Level 5 Conversation students and I send text messages to the whole class with information and links to stories and videos they can watch to practice their English. Sometimes they start the call by asking me to further explain what is going on with the Corona virus and around the city. Some of the students say my explanations help them feel better. 

We talk about a variety of topics: children, cooking, funny English words, (one student said she is very boring--I explained she probably meant she is very bored and we all had a good laugh) crafts, housework, what we have heard about the quarantine or other news. This past week we talked about the protests in Houston and the students said it did not seem to be affecting them. None had had any negative encounters with police. 

The students are quite animated and engaging. It has helped us to maintain a relationship and give them a focused time to speak English with each other. On our last call, two students were able to share information about how to apply for a new school for their children. They were both so happy to make that connection.  

All Volunteers

  • Pray for the community
  • Be a learner
  • Attend Volunteer Orientation
  • Complete training expectations
  • Fulfill your commitment
  • Track volunteer hours
  • Keep up communication
  • Dress modestly around students


  • Women only
  • At least 4 hours/week
  • Lesson plan for each class
  • Find sub for any missed classes
  • Communicate with helper
  • Check-in end of semester with Volunteer Coordinator


  • Women only
  • At least 2 hours/week
  • Communicate with teacher
  • Check homework and calendar
  • Update class attendance
  • Check-in end of semester with Volunteer Coordinator

Men’s community volunteer

  • Men only
  • Attend Sunday evening gatherings
  • Keep up relationships with men in the community
  • Communicate with Men's Program Leader
  • Attend Men’s Program meetings each semester

After-school Mentor

  • Men & Women
  • Mondays/Thursday 3-5:30 p.m.
  • Help elementary school students with homework
  • Play games/build relationships with students

Substitute Teacher or Helper

  • Women only
  • ESL or teaching experience preferred
  • Be available to substitute several times per semester
  • Communicate with teacher before and after subbing

Prayer Team

  • Commit to pray 1 hr/wk
  • Pray for community/volunteers/staff and requests from prayer email
  • Prayer walk at/around PLI if able

Special volunteers

  • Database Support
  • Photography
  • Marketing

* Special expertise may be required in a specific area