No Gift is too Small!

Dear Friends,

I come to you today with a request for prayer and for help. Many of you

know that my wife Krista and I have been missionaries in Jamaica for

the Caribbean Christian Centre for the Deaf (CCCD) for nearly a year now.

Throughout our time here we have seen people saved and lives changed,

and we have felt the support of our home church the entire time. I have

transitioned from “work team coordinator” to the “campus manager” of

the Jamaica Deaf Village (JDV) which is part of CCCD. With that title I

am now responsible for all the happenings on campus.

A number of things have happened in the past months that have brought

this campus into a very hard spot financially. The Jamaican government

owes us a large amount of money that is late and that may not even come.

I was counting on that check since it comes every fall, but because

there is a small likelihood of ever seeing that money, JDV will not be

able to pay its bills this month. We have a number of once-a-year bills

due this month as well. We have gone through everything here and

pursued money generating ideas, but we are still falling short. We need

a miracle. I would like to invite you to be a part of the miracle for

JDV. First, could you please pray for us here? We feel very passionate

about the things that are going on here. Without prayer we can’t even

hope to continue our ministry. Also, please consider giving a donation

to help us make it through. You can easily give online, and your gift

will be tax deductible. We have work teams coming in January and

several crops baring that should help us once we make it through the

end of the year. I also believe that JDV will no longer have to worry

about being in this position next year. We are setting things in place

and saving money that will help us greatly next year.

Thank you for taking time to read this and for praying about giving to

the cause. No gift is too small. You can give at www.cccdjamaica.org.

Click on the Donate Now icon, and then after filling out your personal

information put “Deaf Village” in the Designation tab. If you have any

questions for me, please email me at benbeukema@gmail.com.

Thank you so much and God Bless you,

Ben Beukema

 

O Holy Night! The stars are brightly shining…

Most of us look forward to receiving gifts over the holidays. Children especially, dream about the wonderful things they hope to find under the tree on Christmas morning. Unfortunately, some children won’t have a Christmas tree, much less any presents to open. That is where the Angel Tree program comes in to play.  Through this outreach people all across Knoxville have the opportunity to help local families and children in need during the holidays.

Each year Kids Hope is blessed to partner with Faith Promise Missions to sponsor children in need through the Angel Tree program.  Through this outreach, gifts are provided to needy children at Beaumont Elementary who would otherwise be left without gifts on Christmas. Christie Mullins, a Kids Hope mentor and active member of Faith Promise Church had this to say about her experience with the Angel Tree program.

“I have been involved with the Kids Hope Program for 2 years.  My “littles” name is Alexis and I am so thankful for the hour I get to spend with her each week.  I pray for her daily and have been so blessed to be part of her life and this ministry.  She loves to read, do crafts, jump rope and chat.  She talks, I listen…we both leave changed.

Last year I found out that Alexis’ family was part of the Angel Tree program at Faith Promise Church.  Through this platform I was able to purchase gifts for Alexis’s family and help give her a fun Christmas experience. Alexis does not know that it was me that supplied the Christmas gifts, but you can imagine how my heart smiled when she came back from Christmas break and told me all about her new roller skates and clothes. 

This year her family was again enrolled in the Angel Tree outreach program and my whole family has gotten involved in selecting the gifts.  We hung her angel tree card on our family Christmas tree and it reminds us to pray for her. In addition, as we open our gifts on Christmas we think about her and hope she is enjoying her new toys as well.

Thank you, Faith Promise, for stepping out of the box and partnering with Beaumont for this unique ministry experience. This ministry is a very real, hands on mission opportunity that is truly changing children’s lives.”

Angel Tree

It’s that time of year again when Christmas music will soon be played in stores all over the country which means it’s almost time to kick off the Angel Tree program. This year Faith Promise will begin passing out Angels on November 10th and 11th at the Pellissippi, North Knox, and Blount campuses.

The Following Organizations and Schools will be represented/supported by the Faith Promise Angel Tree:

Beaumont Elementary School – Pellissippi Campus

Norwood Elementary School – North Knox Campus

Salvation Army, ROC (Reaching Our Community) – Blount Campus

As a part of this Angel Tree program, we need families, not only to consider adopting an Angel, but also to consider volunteering to help “run” this program.

We need volunteers to serve in a variety of ways including:

Lobby Table Hosts – pass out Angels, take in gifts

Wrapping Party Attenders – attend the wrapping party at their campus on December 2nd to help wrap gifts, make Christmas cards

Wrapping Party Set-up/Take-down

Donate wrapping paper, tape, scissors, gift bags, tissue paper, bows, ribbon, etc. for wrapping party

 

If interested: Click Here to Volunteer for the Angel Tree

Make a big difference in the life of a child!

“Can you imagine loving Monday mornings? For a whole school year I did, and I’m not even a morning person! That’s what being a “Big” can do for you. Funnier than that, an eight year old named Brianna loved Monday mornings too! Her mom said Mondays were the easiest day to get her ready for school. Every Monday morning last year I got to see Brianna’s bright smile and it made my whole week. As we read together, played games and even did a little Math, we got to know each other a little better each week.

This year, Brianna and I were both disappointed that her class schedule wasn’t conducive for our visits to be Monday mornings. We then found out that our weeks were just as awesome meeting on Tuesday afternoons. This new time slot posed a whole new set of opportunities, memories, fun and a friendship that is more unique and special than can be imagined or explained. It’s AMAZING how God loves to work in the details!”

Sixty minutes every week can change the life of a child. As Susan described in the above recount of her past year in Kids Hope, she saw this happen first hand in her “Little’s” excitement to see her week after week. The child’s mother saw the effects in her daughter’s attitude toward school and the teacher saw results within the classroom. Proven through Susan’s story, and many others, one hour every week is the most important hour many of these children have. One hour of one-on-one attention, just for them.

Many of our children face a world full of problems they did not create and can do nothing about. Principals and teachers recognize the Kids Hope mentors as an effective, proven intervention in the lives of these at-risk kids. They know how the one-on-one relationships fostered by the Kids Hope program restore self-confidence and personal security as well as encourage academic excellence in their school. As a result, this sixty minute connection can ultimately make a big difference in the life of a child … and that’s no small change!

You CAN Make a Difference!

KIDS HOPE USA, partnered with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Knoxville, strives to develop a one-on-one relationship with a caring adult and special child at Beaumont Elementary. Our mentors spend one hour each week reading, talking, playing and listening to a child at school. By showing the child love they help that child to learn, grow and succeed.

One of our dedicated mentors, Andrea, has been involved in the mentor program at Beaumont Elementary for 2 years. Here is what she had to say about her time with her “little”, Endia.

“When I first started with Endia she was a little reserved, so we got to know each other by visiting all the different areas of the building.  We practiced dancing in the dance studio, did research in the library, made a “ping pong table” in an empty classroom, painted each others fingernails on the porch, and she tried to teach me to hula hoop in the gym.

We took pictures in each of these locations, and at the end of the year I made her a photo album of our year.  She still has it.  I wondered this year, because she is in the 5th grade if she would feel too grown to have a mentor.  When I asked her if our Thursday time period was going to work well for her this year she said “Yes, but I wish you could come every day”.”

This is just one of the many stories of life change from the KIDS HOPE USA program. It is our goal to help support these children through a critical time in their lives when values are formed, self-esteem is developed and problem-solving skills are acquired. We believe that through the KIDS HOPE USA mentoring process this one relationship can make a difference in the life of a child … and that’s no small change

 

Cape Town Day 5

This morning we headed straight to Mountain View to set up the tents for testing day. Attendance started out slow, but picked up very quickly. We had stations set up for height/weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, and testing for TB and HIV/AIDS. In all, we probably had around 60-70 people show up. It all went off without a hitch!

There were two kids standing next to the table while we were cleaning up and after I picked up the juice container they started running their fingers along the table and then licking their fingers to get the juice off. There was one little girl named Mimi who would not smile at anyone or talk to anyone all week. By the end of the testing day today she was running around, laughing, yelling “Ante, Ante” to every lady and playing hide and seek under the table.

I saw a lady named Anthea in the testing line and asked her where her baby was. For those of you who have seen photos from my previous two trips, I have gotten a photo with this baby named Anica each year. She was at the day care and she asked if I would like to see her. She went to the “kritch” (daycare) to get her so I could see her and asked if I would like to take a photo with her. It is so amazing to watch these kids grow up.

In the evening we did a hygiene day for the parents of the kids. We had stations for foot washing, hand washing and massage, face washing, blood pressure, blood sugar, nail painting and crafts. The first lady that came through was a 60 year old lady. She told Michele how great it was and that in her entire life she had never had a facial, or had anyone care for her that way. And that she felt special.A couple of the support group leaders went through the line as well and loved it. One of them, Bernadette, started giggling as I was watchng her face. I asked her what was so funny and she said “never in a million years would I have imagined that Heather (me) would be washing MY face.” Justin even popped out with his facial skills, and did quite a good job from what I heard. I think that all of us were a bit nervous at first but by the end of the night we all decided that this was the best ministry of the entire trip. Watching these women be loved and pampered and showing them love and Jesus was just amazing. I personally was doing face washing and there was something so amazing about being so up close and personal with them. They would open their eyes and stare straight into mine. It was defintely a connection that was worth something.

Brenda and I spoke to Melissa (one of the life skill educators) about the crafts and asked if they were too hard for the kids. She said no, they weren’t too hard but that most kids wouldn’t even try because they have been told so many times that they can’t do anything. They get that both from home and from school. They can’t keep up with their grade 1, so they fall behind. And then when they get into grade 2 they are still trying to catch up from grade 1, and the same happens every year. By the time they get to grade 5 they drop out of school because they are so behind. The Life Skill Educators have gotten to the point where they have started speaking to the teachers to find out who is falling behind so that they can tutor these kids.

At the end of the evening we gave all of the parents and Living Hope staff goodie bags. There was a gentlemen who was working at the community center where we had the events this week and he was given a goodie bag. He was SO grateful and kept telling us thank you over and over.

We had a woman who told a team member that the only time she has had anything like this done is when Faith Promise comes there. It is cool to see that Faith Promise is making such an impact with these people so far away in the city of Cape Town, South Africa.