First, I’d like to thank you personally for your support of Mendenhall
Ministries over the years. Many of you have been with us through ‘thick and thin’ and we don’t want to take your partnership and friendship for granted.
Just a short while ago, Mrs. Ernestine Skiffer, former GOCS Principal of
the ministry with a true servant’s heart for children, came across a single
mother experiencing a dilemma. She spoke with her and discovered her desire to provide a Christian education for her child. The only problem was her income level. She made too much to qualify for a voucher which would have enabled her to receive free childcare at a local agency, but she made too little to afford to send her child to GOCS. And this is not a unique case. There are scores of single mothers and families in similar situations.
Recently, I was speaking with a few friends about an interesting text of Scripture that’s been on my mind lately. It comes from Nehemiah 6:3 which says “…I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” ESV
I believe the Lord honors that kind of commitment to His work and it is in this spirit that we share with you today. God has blessed Mendenhall Ministries to deliver hope and help to a multitude of families and scores of communities throughout the 49 years of its existence. Next year we will celebrate 50 years of service to Mississippi and other ministries around the country who’ve been inspired by our call to Christian Community Development. Like many community and faith-based ministries we are feeling the pinch of a sluggish economy but we are determined, by the grace of God, to be like Nehemiah, and not allow ourselves to be detracted or discouraged by the forces around us. God has called us to “stay on the wall” and build up His kingdom.
And we need YOUR help!
We’ve done all we can to adjust and tighten our wallets to the tough economic realities of the day while remaining focused on our mission, but the truth of the matter is we can’t do it alone. If there was ever a time we needed you to stand with us it is now!
When it comes to weathering the storms of life, the natural tendency is to focus inward on ourselves. We put up defenses and slip into survival mode. But we, as believers, recognize the spiritual dimension to storms as well. We know that God sometimes uses the trials of life as a test while we seek to live a life of service for Him and the well-being of others.
And this is the approach we’re taking at Mendenhall Ministries…
HERE’S THE PLAN…the Genesis One Child Development Scholarship Program!
We have less than twenty students currently enrolled at Genesis One Child Development Center. This number is far less than our enrollment this time last year. Yet we have scores of families in low-wealth communities around us looking for a safe, secure, Christian learning environment for their child. There is an agency here in Simpson County, Mississippi that offers free childcare to families who qualify but they are already full and are operating with a waiting list. Families are in desperate need of these services. Many families know of Genesis One but simply can’t afford it, even with the sponsorships we offer.
It costs approximately $600 per month to educate a child at Genesis One. We’ve asked parents to pay $200 per month while many of our generous partners like you have underwritten the rest of the costs. Would you consider partnering with us to make scholarship opportunities available for these little ones? Most of us are not in a position to cover the full costs of $600 per month (and if you are, we obviously welcome your support) but maybe you can give $200 or $100 or $50 or $25 per month to help educate a child and provide them with a head start at Genesis One. Our goal is to raise $120,000 to provide a full scholarship for 20 deserving children.
Once we’ve raised enough support to cover full tuition costs for a year, we’ll begin making scholarship opportunities available for the young mother Mrs. Skiffer met and other families in search of a Christ-centered, academic learning environment for their child without the added financial burdens to go with it.
Your faithful one-time or ongoing, regular support will help continue the work of Mendenhall Ministries and provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for families desiring to provide their little loved ones with a Christian education.
Will YOU help us? If you’re already a sponsor and in a position to make a special gift over and beyond your current level of support for our scholarship program we would certainly appreciate it. Simply complete the form enclosed and send it with your gift today! You may already support Genesis One as a sponsor. We appreciate your support. Perhaps you’d like to consider sponsoring an additional child or encourage your friends, family, or church to reach out and touch the life of one or more of God’s children in Mississippi.
If you’re familiar with our current sponsorship program, it works the same way. We’ll send you updates on the progress of the child you sponsor so that you can follow their progress and growth. With Mississippi’s children at the bottom of 7 of the 10 national indicators of childhood well-being as it relates to issues such as education, poverty, and many other social ills…there’s not a more needed place in the United States than here….and there’s no better time than now!
Thanks so much in advance for everything you do to help minister to “the least of these” and for helping us, as Nehemiah so passionately proclaimed, “do a great work for God so we cannot come down!”
Perhaps the greatest blessing of ministry is the wonderful privilege and opportunity to be engage and involved as
co-laborers alongside others. Someone has described the life and work of believers as a wheel. The closer each
spoke gets to the Hub (Christ), the closer we get to one another. I’ve not had the wonderful privilege of becoming
closely acquainted with Carol but I have had the wonderful privilege of meeting her children and extended church family. She has been a faithful supporter of our ministry over the years and has passed the torch of service to her children and others who have been influenced by her life of service.
This past year we were blessed when her children, Trish and Rob came to Mendenhall for a short-term mission trip along with others from their church family at First Presbyterian Church of Downers Grove. We had a wonderful time of sharing, working, and fellowship together.
As I reflect on our time together I can’t help but offer gratefulness and thanksgiving to God for gifting Carol and others like her with a spirit of service and selflessness towards others. And how humbling to see this spirit of service passed along to the next generation!
We, at Mendenhall Ministries, are sad to hear of her loss, yet at the same time hopeful as we anticipate a joyous and wonderful reunion at the return of Christ. What a privilege it has been to work alongside “generational believers.” That is, those who have so embued themselves with the gift of giving and loving others, that it is passed as a legacy to the next generation. Indeed, as the Scriptures remind us…”they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.”
We look forward to that Great Day…even so, come Lord Jesus!
(The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Mendenhall Ministries, P.O. Box 368, Mendenhall, MS 39114. Thank you for your continued prayers and support for the family)
We are excited about what God is doing for us at Mendenhall Ministries. And we want to take the time to celebrate His past blessings. As many of you have already heard, Mendenhall Ministries will celebrate its 50th Anniversary in 2012. We want to encourage you to begin planning early to join, support, and celebrate with us. We will use this as an opportunity to look back AND look forward! Please stay tuned for upcoming 2012 dates. Tentatively, we’ve scheduled at least two celebrations and perhaps a third in connection with our annual Targeting Hope Conference which we host in partnership with World Vision and the Carey Christian Center. The 2012 Spring Targeting Hope Conference will be in March and we’ll give you a firm date as soon as we can. The second celebration will be in connection with the Genesis One graduation weekend which will be May 18-20, 2012. The third and final celebration will be held in conjunction with a rural conference we are hosting in collaboration with CCDA (the Christian Community Development Association) on the weekend of November 2-4, 2012. We encourage you to mark your calendars now and make plans to attend! We hope you enjoy our summer edition of Reflections…
Targeting Hope Conference with World Vision…staff addition…volunteer projects…updates and ministry happenings!
All of these topics and more are covered in our latest newsletter. We are so grateful for you our partners in ministry. Thank you for giving of your time, energy, and resources for kingdom-building work. Your sacrifices are much appreciated. Besides ministering to individuals and families in Mississippi the ministry is interested in exploring ways in which we can provide technical assistance and support services for individual missionary workers, churches, or other ministries interested in making an impact in your respective communities where you serve.
If you currently partner with us in your giving we would like to explore ways in which we can be of service to you and/or your ministry. Just let us know and check the President’s travel schedule to see when he’ll be in your area and we would be happy to arrange a visit or meeting with you or your team!
Mendenhall Ministries is expanding ways in which we can make an impact for the kingdom of God and minister His grace in practical and tangible ways.
May God bless each of you as we take this season to reflect on the sacrifice He made for us…
Mendenhall Ministries initiated a series of community forums out of which was launched a Neighborhood Watch program for residents on the southside of Mendenhall. The Mayor, Randall Neely, city, and county law enforcement officials, two Mendenhall Ministry board members, and approximately 30-plus residents from the community came out to participate in the organizational meeting and clean-up efforts, including three local pastors from area churches who participated their time, energy, and resources for support.
We are thrilled by what we consider a successful turn-out and a renewed energy and excitement in the community!
The day began at 9 a.m. with the third community forum called for the purpose of organizing a community watch program following a suspected drug-related shooting which occured in January. Block Captains were selected for each street in the community and Neighborhood Watch Coordinators were formally selected to lead the new neighborhood watch. This week, information will be gathered from residents in the community to complete the formal organizational work and will be turned over to its newly elected Coordinator by this Thursday.
Prior to the forum, I responded to an invitation to speak with the Jr. High Students for their awards ceremony and a number of the young people came out and participated with the clean-up efforts as well.
As a ministry, we’re also in the process of organizing a drug-free march and rally through the community with the cooperation of our community, volunteers, and community officials.
Following the organizational meeting, the community focused its efforts on cleaning up an area home. After spending some time there, the group panned out and picked up litter and debris in the community.
The group gathered for hotdogs and refreshments following the clean-up at the ballfield, across from Genesis One Christian School.
Mendenhall Ministries is intentional about reconnecting with the community. What a blessing its been to get to know the community and find opportunities to bring hope and inspire indigenous leadership here.
Harvest Chapel~Lake Zurich, from the Chicago, Illinios area, was with us this month and we had a wonderful time with the young people. They were such a blessing to our community and we appreciate their partnership with us. Evangel Covenant~Riverside from Providence, Rhode Island are fast becoming “short-term mission veterans” and we appreciate their assistance as we work towards celebrating our 50th anniversary in ministry next year. Bellevue Christian Academy from Washington will be with us this month as well and we always look forward to reconnecting with them as well.
As of this writing, I am wrapping up a week of ministry training at the Immersion Conference sponsored by the Christian Community Development Association. I also look forward to following-up with visits to our partners and new friends of the ministry. I had a wonderful visit with new friends from Wheaton Bible Church. From here I’m off to Washington, D.C. to visit potential partners in the area. Please remember to keep Mendenhall Ministries in prayer….feel free to follow our volunteer and travel schedule on our website under “Ministry Calendar.”
By the way, Mendenhall Ministries is also on facebook! I picked up a lot of new, young friends from Harvest Chapel! Join us!