- Written by Jerry Jensen
After I returned from St. Vincent and the Grenadines in 2017, I met with my friend Bill Huebsch. I told him about my first visit – my hopes for providing help and my shock of experiencing firsthand the extreme poverty and hopelessness of many children. I will never forget his words to me, "If you want to make a difference, you'll have to move there."
I had every reason to listen. Bill’s family started Common Hope, a very successful organization that works to end the cycle of poverty for children in Guatemala through a holistic, relationship-based model. I’d be overjoyed if we could build a Common-Hope-like program in St. Vincent.
I listened to Bill, but I didn't really hear. Maybe I didn't want to hear. Maybe I don't have enough faith and rationalized that God didn't ask Abraham to move until he was 75 years old. Maybe I’m stubborn and resistant.
Please help us with start-up funding for a Mentor Coordinator in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.
Two wonderful volunteers in St. Vincent and the Grenadines coordinate all our work there. But they each have two full-time jobs, leaving them little time for the amount of work to enroll, train, and coordinate mentors for the program. My visits every few months provide training but not the consistent connection and networking needed to begin a program, and a local person must be available for this work.
You might be surprised to learn that we can hire a full-time coordinator for $6600 per year. We plan to fully fund the position for two years and then gradually reduce our support by 20% per year until funding is absorbed by local fundraising, grants, and donations.
Your donation would fund this position as follows:
one hour = $3.44
one day = $27.50
one week = $137.50
one month = $550
This person would also coordinate the Stephen Ministry volunteers once that tier is implemented.
In June 2023, we're offering our Focus Summer Camp in Minneapolis. Like college, tuition only pays a portion of Focus for Success brain training costs. With your gift, we can help more kids get access to our program.
Your donation will help us:
-Expand our current program to serve more students in need
-Bring our summer camp to Minneapolis in June 2023
-Improve and upgrade our neurofeedback technology
To help children and adolescents who have been traumatized in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, we designed a 3-tiered intervention plan:
1) mentor training,
2) Stephen Ministry training, and
3) mental wellness and spiritual counseling training.
See what Fr. Alando Williams from St. Vincent and the Grenadines has to say about our help.
We have enrolled mentors and initiated mentor training (step 1 of the plan). However, the global reaction to COVID-19 caused us to slow down. We want to pick up with mentor training and have a pilot program for one year, learn and modify the program, and expand to serve more significant numbers of children.
Thanks to a matching grant from a generous family, the Stephen Ministry training is fully funded! We expect Stephen Ministry to serve children and adolescents and then expand to adults.
- Written by Jerry Jensen
Fr. Alando Williams from St. Vincent and the Grenadines was with us in September and October. He preached and presented a mission appeal in Pine City, Moose Lake, and Hinkley. He had some free time during the week to enjoy some fun and hospitality.
Thanks to the following people for making him feel welcome and sharing time with him.
Josh John and Kärsten Jensen picked Fr. Alando up at the airport.
Fr. Mike Joncas hosted him and discussed their common interest in liturgy.
Karen and Terry Hieptas hosted him for a day and went kayaking.
Joanne and Dennis Olson hosted a dinner party and an enjoyable evening.
Rachel Vopatek accompanied him on the Zipline Tour in Brainerd.
Fr. Alando was able to see the Mississippi headwaters,
visit Bishop Daniel in Duluth,
and meet Fr. Mike Schmitz (apparently his Bible in a Year podcast is of international acclaim).
Page 1 of 2