Wednesday, February 19, 2014

God Is Our Valentine All Year Long

As we get ready to celebrate the day when we tell the ones we hold dear that we love them. We may give our wives or girlfriends something shiny, if we have been in the dog house, or flowers, if we waited until the last minute. Even kids may give a Batman or Cinderella valentine with some Sweet Tarts attached to every kid in their class, even the icky boys.

Friday the 14th is a great day to do something else—no, not go see that movie that will make your wife fall in love with you like when you were first dating until you forget to bring home the tool you need to hang some picture. Instead, how about loving God for His providence and sovereignty every day? Need a visual? Let me tell you about the last two weeks.

On Wednesday, I drive middle schoolers from BCCS to the high school so they can stretch their legs at Mrs. V’s gym class. During my up and back runs on 37th street, I saw a lady with two small girls walking on the road since snow was piled up on the sides of the road. I stopped to see if she was alright and she told me that she had run out of gas and was on her way to Sheetz. I told them to jump in. I must have looked safe despite my Angry Birds hat, because they did get inside. As I neared the high school and saw that the Beaver Valley Credit Union sign read –3o, I told the lady I would take them to the school and have Mr. Bryan get some gas for her. As we waited in the lobby of the school, we began that old, familiar banter of “I know you because I’m from Beaver County” 6-degrees of separation talk.

I tell her that I’m from Tiger Pause and she laughs. Earlier that morning she called the Furniture Bank to have us pick-up some scrap metal at her house. Small world, huh? As she went to fill up her car, I waited with the girls until she got back. As a father of a very special princess, I felt great about the day ahead as it was only 9:15 a.m. That was until about 11:00 when I got a call that there was no water at the church except that which was all over the floor. However, Tim Bonomo, who has a huge heart and is always there in case of emergency, was on-hand to save the day for the kids at the after-school program.

Finally, my son Caleb, who has had breathing issues since birth, was scheduled for a cat-scan at Children’s Hospital for a suspected blockage in his left nostril. A peace that passes understanding came upon me and I told my wife that it was going to be alright. And, you know what? It was! We went to Pittsburgh and, what was to be an all-day affair, took less than three hours. We didn’t have to sedate him for the cat-scan and it only took two minutes to complete. The doctor on the third floor had a couple of cancellations and we were able to get the results quickly: whatever was there before was gone! After a few “praise the Lords” and “thank you, Jesuses”, the only people that felt uncomfortable were probably some unbelievers on the medical staff. On the way home, my wife was so happy that she let me stop at Chipotle to eat. Feed my sheep, Matt Nance. No problem, Lord. No problem.

Semper Fi,

Matt Nance

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow!

At the beginning of the school year, I spoke with our director, Mr. Matt Nance, about how many children we would be able to serve during the 2013-14 school year. Because of limited staff and volunteers from Geneva College, we agreed that 12 students would be a good number. We were all set, right? On September 17 at 3:35 p.m., I pulled up to the front of the Morado Community Center. As I patiently waited, I reflected on the previous school year and remembered the “cast of characters” the Lord blessed me with. I was anxious, happy, and anticipating the greeting I would receive from the children.

At 3:45 p.m., the bus unloaded and the students came running across the grassy lawn, laughing, chasing each other, and anything else elementary students do after a long school day. Then, they spotted me! Wow! I cannot describe the feelings we felt as we hugged and said hello. I had missed them and they missed me! And, there were more than 12. There were 19, to be exact. But, there was no way I was going to turn any of them away.

Think about Matthew 9:37-38: “Then saith Jesus unto His disciples, ‘The harvest is truly plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord will send fourth laborers into His harvest’.” Although the staff may be few in number, we trust God. He is a great provider and HE has never come up short. God is supplying our needs, He is energizing our Spirit, and He is blessing our children and their families. We will continue to be that light on top of College Hill, letting our light shine in the community of Morado Dwellings!

Mrs. Sabrina Tench
Morado Center Supervisor

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

2013 Annual Report

Dear Friends,

I am pleased to report that this past year, compared to the previous two years’ tragedies, has been full of huge successes. Senseless violence has dropped and, after our 14 Blocks prayer initiative, Mark Ongley from Ashes to Life has gathered the pastors in the city to meet and pray for each other regularly and with fervency. Look for another 14 Blocks campaign to occur this April as we will be praying for students as they leave for Easter break – that their eyes and hearts will be open to the true power of His resurrection.

Despite being defrauded by our previous payroll company, we have paid half of the back taxes owed and saw justice served as the culprit, Richard Zakarian, was sentenced to 17 years in prison. We were able to gain such ground mainly due to you, our donors, but also thanks to the growth of our Eye of the Tiger work program earnings, which have grown steadily over the last three years. As always, if you really want to bless us, hire our work crew.

Our main street buildings transformations have hit a full head of steam. Now that the coffee shop is finished and our partnership with SOMA and the 1611 7th Avenue property is underway, by the end of 2014 our total development progress will include: the building or remodeling of eight houses and four main street properties (taxable), one community splash pad park, one garden, and a church. During the last four years alone, we’ve created 97 jobs and employed countless volunteer hours from church and community participants, all in an effort to help revitalize our community.

Click here to keep reading the full Annual Report

Semper Fi,

Matt Nance