Ministering around the clock

Ministering around the clock

Ministering around the clock
October 30
18:09 2015

Kayleigh Bywater | Senior Staff Writer

@kayleighnic0le

Nathan Sarvis has taught first and second graders, volunteered at his church and fostered 13 children at different times with his wife Sherry.

Now he is adding even more on his plate. Since 2012, he has owned and managed a massage therapy business called Ministering Touch out of his home in Sanger, helping adults relax and rid themselves of pain.

Sarvis realized he wanted to give massage therapy a shot after hearing about the mother of one of his students, who did it for a living and gave him a massage one Christmas as a gift. After retiring as a teacher, he found a massage school and immediately jumped in, learning the mechanics and details he needed to become a massage therapist.

“I think of myself as a health care provider,” Sarvis said. “It’s something that so many people think of just as a luxury, but there are so many people who actually need it. I have people tell me that they can go through everyday life because of the help I’ve provided them with.”

Nathan and Sherry Sarvis run a massage therapy practice out of their relaxing country home on the outskirts of Denton, Texas. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

Nathan and Sherry Sarvis run a massage therapy practice out of their country home on the outskirts of Denton. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

Sarvis provides Swedish massage therapy to his clients for $40 per appointment, which he said is cheaper than the majority of massage studio chains in the area. He typically schedules appointments to be after 4:30 p.m., when Sherry, his wife and business partner, gets home from work.

Although his clients feel comfortable receiving massages from Sarvis, Sherry is there to make sure new clients and even returning clients feel safe and secure in the environment. She also books most of the appointments and shows clients around the house before they receive their massages.

“Women in particular, I feel, may be kind of hesitant to come to a house with just a man there to get a massage,” Sherry said. “Men have a lot harder time building a clientele in this business. However, almost everyone who comes once to Ministering Touch comes back.”

Amy Holt, educational director of the Texas Municipal Clerk Association at UNT, is a regular client of Ministering Touch. She said she gets massages from Sarvis to relieve the stress she feels builds up over the course of a long day or week. Holt said unlike a lot of chains that seem to rush customers in and out, Sarvis takes the time to get to know his clients and learn exactly what is afflicting them.

“Nathan and Sherry always welcome you with a pleasant attitude and the desire to help out,” Holt said. “He… does everything he can to help. Some may be nervous to go to a man’s house and get a massage, but I have never given it a second thought.”

Ministering Touch is located west of Sanger and north of Krum. The quietness of the country helps their clients relax and enjoy their massages. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

Ministering Touch is located west of Sanger and north of Krum. The quietness of the country helps their clients relax and enjoy their massages. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

Sarvis has also been helping Claudia Rudloff, a dental hygienist in the area, with her medical issues. Her workload puts a large strain on her back, and she said she experiences numbness in her hands and arms. When she goes to Ministering Touch, however, Rudloff said Sarvis helps her feel whole again.

“He is so knowledgeable in what he does,” Rudloff said. “He literally keeps me working every day, because the work he does helps me therapeutically.”

As well as ministering to his massage clients, Sarvis works four days a week as a substitute teacher for elementary school students, is a leader for special needs children in Bible studies at Denton Bible Church and is active in the church’s music scene.

His days are packed, but he said it’s all a part of life.

“If you’re doing something you enjoy, it really isn’t work,” Sarvis said. “Teaching and massaging, to me, kind of have the same premise, which is nurturing people. And that’s what I love to do.”

Sherry said the busy schedule has become second nature to her. Although the couple has a lot going on, both individually and as a pair, she said she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Any time you are responsible for anything, it puts on a bit of stress,” Sherry said. “It’s something that you get used to. We have also just always been hospitable people. We have always opened our home up so people could feel welcome.”

At the end of the day, after teaching children and helping his clients with various issues, Sarvis said he pushes all the physical work and long days to the back of his mind. He’s happy he has had the opportunity to go through his life ministering to everyone he meets.

“I consider any work helping other people a ministry,” he said. “I think of it more as an honor that people trust me enough to come into my house to let me help them. I love it, and I just love that I am able to help.”

Featured Image: Nathan and Sherry Sarvis run a massage therapy practice out of their country home on the outskirts of Denton. Hannah Ridings | Senior Staff Photographer

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