Friday, December 12, 2014

Downtown Center Update

What an amazing Fall semester! All of our sites are filled to capacity with students! Four of our sites have gone on field trips to either the Carnegie Science Center or Fun Fore All. Our Geneva staff has brought skills, talents, and gifts that have blessed our programs and children in countless ways. Tiger Pause continues to be blessed with different opportunities that positively impact the lives of the children we serve. This semester Tiger Pause was nominated by the Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) for the Book, Toys, and More program. Two students from each site attended the event where they received gifts, were recognized by the PSEA’s House of Delegates, and were provided a wonderful lunch! The after-school program continues to grow and develop in such remarkable ways! Praise God!

Wonderful things are also happening at the Downtown site specifically. This month we are learning and exploring the story of John the Baptist and the Birth of Jesus. The kids amaze me with their hunger to learn more about the story each day, their thoughtful questions, and application of the story to their own lives. Along with learning these stories from the Bible, we are learning the skill of money management. With the holidays around the corner, the kids realize they may be getting money and it is never too early to learn to manage that money! We have been discussing the differences between wants and needs; short term and long term goals; and how managing money applies to all of this. The kids have taken these lessons seriously and have developed plans for how they will save and spend their future earnings. We have connected the idea of wants and needs to the story of John the Baptist and the simplicity of his life. God has allowed our lessons to flow seamlessly and the way the kids grasp each idea we try to teach is truly the work of the Lord. As we approach Christmas, we are getting ready to say good-bye to our kids for a few weeks until the Spring semester begins in mid January. Over the break, the staff hopes to plan, rest, and rejuvenate to come back full force for Spring semester!

Erica Duffy
After-school Program Coordinator
Downtown Site Supervisor

Prisoner of Sin

Ephesians 2: 8-9 - “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” I got to share this with the crowd at the B.E. Taylor Christmas Concert on December 6 and my daughter started us off with a quote from Haniel Long, “So much of what is best in us is bound up in our love of family, that it remains the measure of our stability because it measures our sense of loyalty. All other pacts of love or fear derive from it and are modeled upon it.”

In these unstable times, it is important to know where our stability, loyalty, and true family come from. It is also just as important to know that those who are without Christ have stability, loyalty, and family ties that help them endure. Our mission as believers is to preach the word because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17) so that those that hear may experience His grace and be forever changed.

I, Matt Nance, could have been a tragedy. I was a wicked man that had no respect for authority, stole what I wanted, and had no remorse for putting my fellow man in the hospital or even trying to take a life. As Clint Eastwood said in the movie Unforgiven, “It’s a heck of a thing, killing a man. Take away all he’s got and all he’s gonna have.” Thanks be to God that a mom prayed, a preacher preached, and godly men stood in the gap.

This Christmas, turn off the news and make your own news by giving that gift we received from our heavenly Father who set the captives free.

Matt Nance