Monday, October 1, 2012

Disaster Relief....and Other Things

 The week of August 27 was a very busy time for us here at Friendship House. It encompassed the seven-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina (August 29, 2005) and was also was met with Hurricane Isaac that directly impacted our area. Though our area did not suffer from street flooding our building did have some water damage from leaks. We are currently working on replacing floors in 2 bedrooms and the main gym floor.

Some areas were not as fortunate as us. Many, especially in city of LaPlace and in Plaquemines Parish, had flood damage. It was reported that as much as four feet of water were in homes. Feed the Children also wanted to help. They sent us a truck, sponsored by Office Depot, loaded with boxes of food for our community. Crocs also sponsored a truck to take to LaPlace and in to Plaquemines; it was filled with cleaning supplies and MREs (Meals Ready to Eat). Crocs Cares donated shoes to distribute. We were able to take clothing, hygiene items, etc. to the neighborhoods affected. Through the Woman's Missionary Union (WMU) Foundation HEART Fund, we were able to rent a fork-lift and pallet jack to load the Southern Baptist (SBC) Disaster Relief truck to take the supplies. We were also able to take a listening ear and a love from Christ. We wanted those we met to know that they were not forgotten. Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (DR) teams are working to help gut out and repair homes as needed. We are very thankful to other churches and individuals who have given to help in the disaster relief effort and Baptist Friendship House. Your prayers and support are very much appreciated. Please be in prayer for those affected. Pray for the DR teams that will be working.

September 8 we were able to have our annual Back-to-School Bash. We had over 100 backpacks packed with school supplies to give out to our community. Susan, from a local church, also brought her snowball stand. It was a welcomed treat for us all! (Especially for those of us enjoyed 3 snowballs :) ) The weather was perfect for the day. It was a great day in general even though Isaac was still fresh on everyone's mind and heart.

Please continue to pray for us as we minister to our community. Pray for the women that come for GED. We have a few that may be taking the test during October. We celebrate one that did pass the test in August! Pray for her as she seeks to enter college.

In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. (Psalm 4:8)

Friday, July 20, 2012

Never A Dull Moment

It has been a while since we last let you know what Friendship House is up to. Since the last blog we have experienced the Strawberry Festival, more Up2HOPE Fun Days, the start of our summer program for Up2HOPE, the Southern Baptist Convention, and of course......SUMMER! It has been extremely hot and humid this year. We ask for your prayers in a safe, fun and hurricane-free summer.

The fun never stops here - no matter the season. I mentioned to one of our Up2HOPE girls that I was trying to write a blog and she decided that she would write it for me. It was great to see how she views the summer program.  She basically said it was "awesome" and "cool." For those that may not be familiar with our summer program we call Up2HOPE, it is an intensive preventative program geared for girls ages 8 and up. We want to encourage girls in our community to dream and reach beyond their circumstances. We are able to offer this camp for free because of your generous contributions. The HOPE stands for Helping Others Prepare and Equip. We want the girls to be part of a community that assists them in preparing for adulthood in a positive way.

Please continue to pray for the girls that attend, we have registered 62 girls for the summer. Our theme is Fearless. The remaining 3 weeks will discuss the Fear of the Unknown and the Fear of Success and Failure. We want our girls to know that God has a plan for them even if the world tells them otherwise.
Pray also for our other ministries as we continue to serve over 200 people a week through snack packs, hygiene kits, showers, and clothing. Pray that we would be Jesus to everyone who we have an opportunity to come in contact with.
Pray for the families in our transitional housing program. Pray they would be encouraged during this time and would seek the plans God has for their lives.

We always appreciate your support through your prayers, giving, and service.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Special Gift

I've been holding on to this. Below is a brief essay one of our kids wrote in February for school. The question was: "Have you been given a gift before." His initial response was: "Homeless people around my house was." Read below to see his thoughts. It touched our hearts.

"I gave a gift to a homeless person that didn't have clothes to put on. I gave them some clothes and a hygiene kit to take a shower, be nice and clean. Then when when they get out of the shower, I gave them a snack pack to eat. We let them watch t.v. We played video games with them. They had so much fun. 
They felt special, loved, helped and cared for."

[A.T.-9years old]

Through the eyes of a child. We don't typically play video games or watch t.v. with everyone who comes in, but our families who call Friendship House home, do.

A.T. is a hardworking, sweet young man who loves to play with all the younger kids. He is like their big brother. This is home. He feels at home which is our hope and prayer for everyone who comes through the doors. We pray that they feel "special, loved and cared for."

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Family Room

The "family room" of any home should be a place of love, acceptance, and celebration. Ours in no different. We have a refrigerator in our cafe, which acts like a dinning/living room. One of our kids brought home her artwork from school. She went to every person showing them her master piece - much like any kid would do when they came home to a large family. She is five and so much fun. She was so proud of her artwork and so was her Friendship House family. She asked if she could put it on the refrigerator. Of course we said yes. It got me thinking about how much like a big family we come to be at Friendship House. The kids and their moms (and some staff members) call it home.

Like any home should, it is full of celebrations and laughter.  We celebrated birthdays of staff, kids, and a graduation for a GED student that got her diploma. One of the kids shared a birthday with a staff member. She was so excited when she walked in she found that staff member and helped her count down the days until the actual birthday. She enjoyed having someone to share it with.

We also welcomed our girls from the summer to enjoy a day of fun. We love this time with them. They get to experience a day that was designed just for them to relax and have fun with friends. We appreciated having a special guest, Kimberly, from the Louisiana State WMU office to come and share about Acteens with our girls. We, basically, already do Acteens with our girls with service projects, Bible Study, etc. Now we will be able introduce them to the opportunities that Acteens have to offer.

Below are a few pictures from the month of January. Thank you for taking the time to pray with and for our families.