After a weekend when we gave kids the opportunity to make the decision to follow Jesus, a single mom pulled one of our Kids Directors aside. With excitement and tears in her eyes, she told him how her son made a decision to follow Jesus just days before. Over and over, she thanked our Director for every person that serves on the kids’ team! She was so grateful to our staff, volunteers, and those who give to our church—she knew that they had helped change both her life and her son’s life forever.
We have a wonderful guy, Jeremy Hovey, who has been coming to our youth group for several years. While has Down Syndrome and is non-verbal, he loves to worship up front with the worship team. And he joins the senior guys' group for Life Group study. After he had a rough summer when his mom suddenly passed away, he and his dad have been alone, and Jeremy’s dad says church is his happiest place.
My friend Christina invited our group to attend the wonderful sermon series called “All You Need is Love.” The sermons were very helpful, and I could apply the wisdom to my life through the suggested practices. As I practiced patience, I slowed down the rhythm of my life and it softened my heart to see the beauty in others and build better relationships with them. I also learned more deeply about the meaning of God’s love, that it is patient, kind, envy-free and always trusts. I have surrendered my life to follow Jesus, and I am letting His light and love into my life as I experience baptism today. Thank you, God! - Peng (Doris) Xu, on the day she was baptized
Remote learning has created a lot of anxiety for children and parents. An example of one child who faced challenges is a girl who met Suzie Hughes, Executive Director at One Life Counseling, in the girl’s 2nd-grade classroom. They started working together before COVID-19, when her goals were to improve her ability to focus, regulate, and learn about her emotions. Then their in-person time was abruptly interrupted due to shelter-in-place. But through Zoom meetings, they were able to continue weekly sessions and remain connected.
As the months passed and the girl’s needs increased, One Life was able to provide supplementary sessions to maintain a sense of normalcy and routine and provide a connection to the school. The child and her family are grateful for the care, constant communication, and support.
Due to funding from Menlo Church, this girl and her family are not the only ones who are benefitting from extra support during this anxious time. One Life has been able to support the mental health of 40 high-needs, low-income families or individuals who would otherwise not have access to care. Each individual or family served by the grant received an average of 10 mental health therapy sessions at no cost. “We could not do our work without the help of Menlo Church,” says Suzie Hughes, Executive Director at One Life Counseling. “Your gift continues to provide stabilizing services to individuals who normally cannot afford treatment. Our staff at One Life will continue to be available for those you know who need individual, group, or family support!”
At age 76, Grandmother Chee lived with her son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren in a small home walled with tarp and roofed with corrugated metal in Soeng Sre, Cambodia.
She did all the household chores, including fetching water from the unprotected natural spring near her village. “It is far and heavy to carry the water,” she said. “My feet sink into the mud.” She and the children regularly suffered from diarrhea, a symptom associated with waterborne illness, but they had no other choice but to drink the unsafe water. Grandmother Chee lost four of her seven children over the years, and she suspected that the contaminated water was to blame for their untimely deaths.
Menlo Church helped change the future for Soeng Sre. Thanks to generous gifts from our congregation, Menlo Church was able to sponsor a Village Water Project through our partner Lifewater with a gift of $12,000. This money provided health training for each household, plus a new, safe water source near their village that will last for generations to come. "If we have clean water near our home, I can work in the field, rather than spending time fetching the water,” Grandmother Chee said.
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