Thursday, June 27, 2013

Glen Lake Camp 2013

Each summer, MCH youth have the opportunity to spend a week off campus for camp where they participate in outdoor activities, meet other youth, make lasting memories and learn more about themselves and their faith. This summer, several MCH youth attended Glen Lake Camp and Retreat Center in Glen Rose, Texas, a Christian summer camp run by the Central Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Glen Lake camp is located on 55 acres of land along the Paluxy River. The mission of the camp is to promote the spiritual, mental and physical development of young people and adults as Christians. During the week, campers had the opportunity to attend worship services and groups as well as participate in activities such as basketball, crafts, hiking, canoeing, swimming and the challenge course.
Grades 6-8 attended the camp from June 9-13 followed by grades 9-12 from June 23-27. MCH’s spiritual development department coordinates the trip for youth.

 “We believe in the camp's purpose,” said Kim Clark, spiritual development director. “This is a great opportunity for our students to be with others their age that are also learning to live out their faith. It is a place that is away from distraction. It provides them the time and space to focus on their spirituality. They are also learning that faith does not just happen in a chapel but that we can honor and glorify God in everything we say and do.”

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Katherine's Story - MCH Family Outreach - Lubbock office

Katherine and her granddaughter Suriah, then 8 months old, instantly bonded when they met for the first time at the courthouse. Katherine’s family didn’t know about their newest member until a few days earlier when they received a court notice to determine paternity. That day would change Katherine’s life forever.

Now at the age of 6, Suriah is in Katherine’s custody full time. Katherine’s son, Suriah’s father, could not care for her due to illness, suffering from epilepsy for most of his life. The mother was unable to provide a stable home for Suriah so Katherine stepped up and became her primary caregiver. While caring for Suriah full time as well as two other grandchildren part time, Katherine’s financial resources from her job in home health care were not enough. She found her saving grace in MCH Family Outreach.

“I stretch everything that I can. But without this agency, I would not survive,” she said.

MCH first provided Katherine with diapers and assistance in getting medical coverage for Suriah. MCH put her in touch with community resources and continues to help her out as needed. Katherine has also found a valuable support system through the outreach staff and regularly attends MCH’s grandparent support group.

“I’ve learned a lot from the other grandmothers and their experiences,” Katherine said. “We share a lot of information. You get to meet other people with the same problem, just in a different way.”

Katherine feels she has been given a second chance and feels hopeful about the future. Her adult children both dealt with illnesses as children and were not able to have all the experiences she had hoped. Katherine said she feels blessed to now have the opportunity to play a big part in her grandchildren’s lives and wants to try to do things with her grandchildren that she was unable to do with her children.

“They’re a handful but I love it,” she said. “I will put Suriah through college. She’s going to succeed and do something with herself. I want her to live a good life. She has already had enough hurt.”

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Foster children visit Dallas Zoo

Dallas foster children had a chance to get together and spend an enjoyable day at the zoo last month. Dallas outreach staff members Tasneem Rajan, Kayla Martin and Karri Luna hosted the field trip for ten foster children from their office.  Rajan came up with the idea of getting the children together after one of her school-aged children on her caseload expressed concern about being a foster child.

“Events such as this field trip are important for our kids, especially our school-aged children, because it allows them an opportunity to develop support systems and friends who are currently experiencing similar situations as their own, “ said Kayla Martin, caseworker for Dallas Outreach. “The trip allowed the children a chance to interact with MCH staff members and get reassurance that we are safe and supportive adults for them to express feelings to.”

The children attending were from ages 3 to 11. They spent a successful day together eating lunch, looking at animals and playing in the children’s area of the Dallas Zoo.  Dallas outreach plans to have more events such as these for their foster children to give them regular opportunities to get together.

See below for more pictures from the event: