24 Nov 2022
My name is Joy Worrell, and I’ve been part of Harvest USA’s Parents and Family Ministry staff since June 2022. I work remotely from my home in South Carolina, helping parents and family members of LGBTQ+ identified children and adults through one-on-one counseling, resources, and group sessions. My husband and I first heard of Harvest early in our marriage through our church at the time. We greatly admired their work and desire to reach the LGBTQ+ community.
Over the years, my husband and I continued to keep up with the work of Harvest USA. A few years ago, a couple of staff members visited our present church, First Presbyterian Church of Augusta, Georgia, for a sexuality and gender conference. We were again exposed to this excellent ministry and saw the need for Harvest USA to come alongside the church in this vital area.
Fast forward, and a staff position with Harvest became available. Because of my involvement in biblical counseling over the years with my husband, an ordained pastor, it seemed like a good fit for me. Since coming on staff, I’ve been tremendously blessed by working with the godly parents who come seeking help, support, and encouragement during one of the most difficult times in their lives.
A significant Scripture for me has been Philippians 4:8: “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” When I’m tempted by discouragement from my own sin and this sin-sick world, this verse reminds me that there is beauty—it’s found in the truth of God’s Word and the incarnate Word himself, our blessed Savior, Jesus Christ. I am to dwell on the unfading and beautiful Word of God. He is all that is true and will sustain me through the storms of life.
Tim and I have five children and two grandchildren. I enjoyed being a homeschooling mom for many years and found it rewarding to participate in our local homeschool co-ops by teaching English literature, public speaking, and mock trial. I enjoy reading, walking, biking, cooking, and interior design.
I remember the founder of Harvest USA, John Freeman, sharing with me recently about his call to serve sexual strugglers back in the 1980s. He said had every intention of returning to his home state of Tennessee after seminary. Feeling led by the Lord, however, he approached the leadership of a large center-city Philadelphia church (Tenth Presbyterian) and inquired about being part of a new ministry focus they were exploring to an unreached people group in Philadelphia, the LGBTQ+ community. That really struck me—the idea of LGBTQ+ being an unreached people group. The need was great in the mid-1980s when Harvest USA was founded and is no less today. If anything, the need is greater. I am so honored and privileged to serve the Lord in this crucial ministry.