Ministry Career Highlight

For those of you who know me well. I absolutely love giving gifts. I love organization and details. Well, this past week I had the best experience of my entire ministry career.  

For the past 4 years, I have been a part of organizing the order of school supplies for our ChildCARE Plus sponsor children. I created this crazy database so we could order the supplies. You see each grade receives a list from their teachers of the supplies they need to buy for the new school year. Currently, we are in 3 different schools with over 240 sponsor children. The high school aged children buy their own supplies and we reimburse them, but for the younger children we buy the supplies for them. Without sharing too many boring admin details – that’s 3 different Grade 1 classes… Grade 2 classes… up to Grade 6.

IMG_2804The last 4 years our staff has organized each bag for each child (my parents just ‘happened’ to be here the past few years as well). Our entire office gets taken over for the week and we do our best to make a ‘boy bag’ or a ‘girl bag’. But in reality, when we handed them out a girl might have received a bag with monster truck notebooks and a boy with pink flowery notebooks.

 

DSC04850This past year, God gave me a creative new idea to set up a ‘store’ for our sponsor children to come and pick out their own school supplies. The philosophy behind this was that instead of us giving away the bags like we usually do. The children would get to ‘shop’ and pick out their own things, and in doing so, this would make them feel empowered, valuable and special. And it was a HUGE SUCCESS!!!!

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I loved seeing the joy on the children’s faces. I loved getting their hugs too! It also provided great opportunities for our team to talk with parents as they came with their children. I spoke with one father who was so grateful for our help. His son was recently sponsored so this was his first time receiving school supplies. The father told me that he thought that he would have to find more work to be able to buy the supplies his son needed. He was so grateful for our help. That made my day – and that is just one story of many.


We’ve calculated that it costs approximately $150-200 at the start of the school year. We provide all the needed school supplies, 1 set of everyday uniforms and a set for gym class, shoes, socks, under clothes and backpacks. $200!!! And that is just for 1 child.

Many of the families we work with earn about $5/day, if they can find work.

People often ask, does sponsorship make a difference? Yes. Yes it does. 


Thank you to those who sponsor our kids in Honduras. Your $37/month made this possible. Your continued support allows the children to have hope for a brighter future. These smiles say it all.

Sometimes giving just looks different.
It doesn’t always have to be about ‘us’ doing it.
I loved this way of giving sooooo much!!!

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Categories: ChildCARE Plus sponsorships, missions, Personal, schools, Schools of Hope, team | 4 Comments

Lasting Impact

This may be a generalization, but I believe that all of us in one way or another want to make a lasting impact in this world.

As a child, I remember filling my egg-shaped ‘MAK’ (Missions and Kids) bank with coins for Sunday school offerings. I was 10 years old when I started to write letters to missionaries in Thailand, until they returned home to Canada 9 years later. I remember sponsoring a child through Compassion International, Yisela from Guatemala, when I was 15 years old. I felt God’s call to be a missionary when I was 10. Little did I know that it would actually happen when I was 39 years old.

Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan

When I went on my first missions trip in 1999, to Uzbekistan, I had no idea the lasting impact it would make on my life. Not only did it change me personally, but I also wanted it to impact the lives of the children I pastored (New Life Assembly, Petrolia). It wasn’t just ‘a nice trip’ where I met some great people and helped children in an orphanage for 2 weeks.

It changed my worldview.

It made me want to do more. Give more.

I wanted kids in Canada to know that they could make a difference in another child’s life in another part of the world.

I wanted them to see beyond themselves and see the needs of others.

That became something I was very passionate about as a children’s pastor, and honestly, I still am. That is why I’m a missionary in Honduras today.

As North Americans, we are very blessed to be born where we are and to have all that we have. I don’t want to debate why this is or anything, but I do think that we are privileged and rich, and because of that, we should do more in this world.

The word RICH has different meanings.

The first definition has to do with ‘having wealth or great possessions‘, but it also means ‘of great value or worth; valuable‘. Those I serve and work with may not be people of great wealth or possessions, but they are rich in other ways. They value family and relationships. There is an appreciation for what they have, nothing is ever wasted or thrown away. They are thankful to God for everything. Literally, everything.

I realize that not everyone is called to go and not everyone is able to give great amounts of money. But I can attest, every dollar matters. Every prayer matters. By helping just one. You are making a difference.

I see the lasting impact in the lives of our children we serve through Schools of Hope. I see the lasting impact sponsorship makes on the life of a child and their family. I see the lasting and eternal impact the gospel is making by changing lives, behaviours and attitudes. I see the lasting impact that clean water is making physically in the lives of families.

There are 100’s and 1000’s of ways you can make a lasting impact in this world. Here are just a few that I’d like for you to consider.

Kathy

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Categories: ChildCARE Plus sponsorships, missions, Personal, Schools of Hope, Spiritual growth, Water Project | 5 Comments

Dream Big: New Year, New Possibilities

Between the months of December and January, I have a lot of slow days as most of our programs are done during the school year (which runs from February to mid-November). For me, it’s my time to dream, plan and evaluate – both personally and for our ministry. I actually enjoy these times because I love looking back at where I’ve come from and love dreaming about the future. I’m a natural-born dreamer so that part excites me!!

Over the last week, our team met to do some dreaming of our own and to plan for 2018. I lead our discussions, but I loved being able to hear their hearts for each ministry area. I also took time to meet individually with each team member. Schools of Hope is not just one thing, we have several parts to our ministry. As the Director, it’s my role to lead our whole team, but each team member plays an integral part of leading various areas of our ministry.

Schools of Hope has 4 key areas of ministry:

  1. 20170329_130009Evangelism in the public schools, which is led by Dale Ruttan and his team of volunteers. This is done through monthly bible classes as well as a discipleship program called Seedlings for Grade students.
  2. Increase hope in the life of a childChildCARE Plus sponsorships, which Victor Estrada and his 2 assistants, Delmys and Ariel, oversee and manage. We currently have 240 children who receive the much-needed assistance for education and nutrition. Hope Camp is a fun spiritual retreat we host each year for the kids as well – that’s coming up January 19-22.
  3. In School Feeding Program, led by Damaris Lopez with my oversight. Almost 1,500 children received the nutritional breakfast drink each morning in 2017.
  4. 22141167_10155477606076049_5228133619454618484_nCommunity Development and Special Projects – like our water filter project. Mike Evans has been leading this area alongside Victor.

This does not include all the details of course, but we have dreams to reach into the community more this year and expand our sponsorship program. After 7 years of ministry, we are seeing a lasting impact in these communities. I really feel like God has even greater things in store for 2018, as we continue to build his kingdom. The words ‘building a lasting impact’ are what I feel God has for this year – so I say bring it on Lord! Bring it on!


Please pray for our team as we gear up for a new ministry season. It’s a busy month with lots on the go. There are also some other ‘dreams’ I’m not prepared to share about yet, but I need God’s leading as we move forward.
Thanks for your prayers!


Group 2

Schools of Hope Team

Categories: ChildCARE Plus sponsorships, feeding program, missions, Personal, schools, Schools of Hope, team, Water Project | 3 Comments

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