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Rock Hero: Paige and Dan Cohen - August 2011
By Dave Franco - September 1, 2011

Paige Cohen was living in a beach house full of college buddies, having an impromptu BBQ on a Sunday afternoon. It was something they did with some regularity and people from the neighborhood frequently stopped by to join in.

And on this day, when their across the street neighbor popped his head in to say hello, it was certainly nothing out of the ordinary. It was what he said, however— that was out of the ordinary. In fact, it was enough to make Paige’s eyes nearly pop out of her head.

“Hey, I’m going to church at the Rock. Anybody want to come with me?”

It was as if everything stopped. Even the music seemed to turn down. Everybody stared at Dan who just stood there smiling and awaiting an answer.

Dan’s boldness had an immediate appeal to Paige, who was also a regular Rock attender, but had not yet gone on this day.

“I’ll go with you,” she said as she stepped forward. They went to church that day. And they never stopped.

...she started feeling a burden to help people from the Rock find jobs—and felt God was calling her to do something about it.

As they fell in love with each other, one of the characteristics about Paige that Dan fell in love with most was Paige’s can-do spirit. Paige is never one to shy away from a challenge.

In fact, when she got the idea to pursue a theology degree while working 55 to 60 hours a week as a corporate recruiter, she didn’t flinch.

When Dan proposed marriage, the arduous task of planning a wedding was added to Paige’s already outrageous schedule. Even so, she happily dove in.

But when Paige began arriving home exhausted and in tears, they knew that she was pushing herself too far.

That is why it was all the more bizarre that she started feeling a burden to help people from the Rock find jobs—and felt God was calling her to do something about it.

“I think God wants me to start a ministry for people in need of work,” she told Dan.

“You’re out of your mind,” Dan replied.

But soon, Dan began to feel the burden as well.

Three months later—in the middle of the economic slump, the Rock Work Ministry was born—but the first year was a surprisingly steep uphill battle. They were overwhelmed by all that was needed to get the ministry running. Paige recalls it being the most difficult time in her life.

With a jobs fair just around the corner, they were behind in setting up the event. But on the day of the fair, God provided volunteers from everywhere. It was a good thing—more than 2500 people came in search of work creating lines that reached down the street.

With the help of the Business Life Ministry, Prayer Ministry, Share Ministry, Jesus Geeks and 34 employers, dozens of people found work that day. The experience confirmed God’s ability to handle all situations—even when Paige and Dan can’t.

Since then, the work ministry has held two more job fairs and helped hundreds of people find new jobs. Paige and Dan’s selfless service has reached into homes, families and communities. They have touched thousands of lives. Their impact on San Diego cannot be overstated.

In the process, God continues to give them everything they need for the Work Ministry, as well as fill them with joy.

"We know we get to bless people who need work,” says Paige. “But Dan and I feel most blessed of all.”

POSTSCRIPT: Today, the Work Ministry offers one-on-one career coaching ranging from resume assistance and interview preparation to prayer and encouragement. The ministry also offers a 5-week Career Transition Class for job seekers and people who are employed and looking for deeper meaning in their work.

Last year, they launched a website called The Job Connection, http://www.therock.thejobconnection.org, a forum for job seekers and employers to connect.

There job seekers can search jobs, upload resumes, cover letters, video introductions of themselves, and find daily encouragement through scripture, job search tips, and prayer. There are hundreds of job opportunities currently available. Employers looking to hire can also post ads for free on The Job Connection. The Work Ministry will host their 4th Annual Career Fair at the Rock Church this Spring. To get connected, email the Work Ministry at [email protected].

For more information about the Work Ministry, click here »