A Bridge to Break the Cycle

Celebrating 10 Years of the Path to Purpose Program

Early on as Director, I wanted to address the one question that always made me uncomfortable: “What happens to a child after they graduate?” I knew that Show-Me excelled at giving children a solid, stable home life, and did the best we could after graduation, but I wanted to do better. As a housedad for 10 years, I witnessed too many Show-Me kids stumble in adulthood; they would turn to their old support systems a cycle we worked hard to get them out of or turn to government support systems a cycle we didn’t want them to get into. Houseparents, who are a vital link to these kids, didn’t always have the time and resources to help them. We needed to launch an intentional, targeted effort to resolve this weak area and improve our “restoration” results.

—  Chad Puckett, Director

 

The need for a family doesn’t end when you turn 18 years old; it’s a vital foundation for your whole life. A young person should never “age out” of their primary support system – they should “age into” healthy adults through it. In June of 2012, select Show-Me supporters rallied to set aside resources and create a program that would bridge the gap to adulthood for current and former Show-Me children.

 

A Right-Fit Education and Career

Show-Me alumna, Judi Crawford, immediately accepted the challenge to lead this program as the Path to Purpose Coordinator. “Growing up here, I always had support even after graduation,” stated Judi. “But I knew of other alumni who did not know how to ask for the help they needed. This program was my opportunity to try to change that. My hope is that the relationship we build while they are here continues even after they graduate, so they know they always have a Show-Me family that they can lean on.”

Path to Purpose (P2P) strives to prepare young people for the adult phase of their life and walk with them as they cross that bridge to become stable adults. As they work through the program, they gain the skills, knowledge and insights they need to succeed. Judi works individually with each student to find a career path that fits their personality, capabilities, and goals. Starting in elementary school through hands-on workshops and field trips, students are introduced to economics and the numerous skills each job requires. Students continually dive deeper into their interested fields through job shadows, part-time work, and other career-exploration activities as they progress through P2P.

For Journey, who will graduate in May of 2023 with her Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Design, her career path became clear after P2P gave her the opportunity to attend a week-long camp introducing her to graphic design. She discovered how her racing ADHD mind and high energy could actually be an advantage rather than a disadvantage. As a web designer and graphics artist, her restless creativity and energy can be utilized in a high-demand job that provides support for her future family.

Navigating Financial Aid

One hurdle most young people face is how to pay for the next level of training. The majority of P2P graduates are able to go to college without having to take out large loans. Due to their unique circumstances, our alumni often qualify for numerous scholarships, grants, and other financial aid if they can accurately present their case. The problem is their unique family situations do not fit into the standard categories for most forms. Before P2P, many Show-Me young people missed opportunities; now, they have a 10-year veteran to help them navigate the process.

 

“I would have gone clinically insane if wasn’t for Mrs. Judi,” Brendan, class of 2021, stated as he recounted the four weeks of patience and persistence it took to finalize his aid.  “But, thanks to her help, I was able to receive a full-ride scholarship and even have some money left over for expenses.”

 

Tools for the Journey

Knowledge isn’t the only thing they need for this journey.  From a reliable vehicle to a laptop for classes, Show-Me has committed to equip our graduates with the necessary tools they need to succeed. As a P2P graduate, they have funds available to help when needs arise: textbooks, unexpected repairs, down payments for housing, help with medications and utilities, continued counseling services, and various emergency situations.

“Nothing really prepares you for that moment when you look at your bank account, which only has $3 in it, and realize you have a lot of bills left to pay,” Dante recounted. The extra help came in especially handy for Dante, class of 2019, when his Precision Machining Technology degree program required over $3,500 of work tools or when his car broke down a week before he was supposed to start his new job.

 

Leaning on Wise Counsel

Sometimes all the young person needs is a little advice on this new adulting stuff such as taxes, car repair, or legal issues. If Judi doesn’t know the answer herself, she will lean on other members of the Show-Me family. Thomas Chaney, a Show-Me alumni and former car shop manager, inspects, repairs, and tunes up all donated vehicles. Jacob Crawford and the rest of the maintenance staff can fix almost any home problem. Lori Muhr, our Business Manager, can explain financial and tax issues. Elton Fay, a long-time attorney and Show-Me Board Member, has been there to advise on any legal matters.

 

“I expect all of our kids to work hard through the difficulties that life will continue to throw at them,” stated Director Chad Puckett. “But, just like my parents helped me along the way, when they have a need, I don’t want them turning to other sources for help. I want them to come “home.”

 

By |2022-07-05T10:48:30-05:00June 21st, 2022|Categories: Child's Story, Children, Path to Purpose|

Thank You Song

Thank You!

Composed and written by Taija, a child growing up at Show-Me Christian Youth Home

I was only two, not knowing what to do
Until you came and helped me through
I didn’t know I wasn’t gonna get to see my parents for a long time
You showed me I can have a family here

You’ve played an important role in my life
Teaching me to do right and let me learn about God
I can never thank you enough for all of your love
Thank you, thank you

Now being a teen isn’t so easy
I mean drama and all of those things
But I know that I have a place to call home
And people to call family

You’ve played an important role in my life
Teaching me to do right and let me learn about God
I can never thank you enough for all of your love
Thank you, oh thank you

I can never thank you enough or God
God thank you for my life
For being so nice
For sending me more people in my life that love me

You’ve played an important role in my life
Teaching me to do right and let me learn about God
I can never thank you enough for all of your love
Thank you

By |2022-06-08T10:00:29-05:00June 7th, 2022|Categories: Child's Story, Children, Music, Testimony, Uncategorized|Tags: , |

Winning Life’s Lottery

 

“Show-Me was like winning the lottery,” Tristian Wieboldt explained.

“Out of the hundreds of kids that apply [to Show-Me], only a few are lucky enough to be chosen. Most people hope for a second chance at life; I was blessed to have a third.”

Blessed is not how Tristian would have described his life five years ago. Cursed is more accurate.

Tristian felt no matter what he did, he would always carry the baggage of the dysfunctional family in which he was born. It ran in his bloodline; he could not escape it. It defined him and limited what he could become. He bore a heavy burden.

Life Deals an Unfair Hand

Even before he took his first breath, life seemed stacked against Tristian. Due to his mother’s addiction, Tristian was born prematurely with cocaine in his system. He never knew his father. Shortly after his birth, his mother handed her newborn boy to her sister, Amy, to watch while she went off to a sobriety meeting. When she could not be reached later, Amy was forced to call the authorities, and Tristian was put into the foster care system.

Amy, who had recently graduated with her master’s degree in social work, did not want Tristian to become a number lost in the system. She knew the impact that a loving, stable, Christian family could make. Even though she had grown up with the same addicted mother as her sister, Amy was able to break the cycle. She received love and guidance from her youth pastor and his wife, who “adopted” her into their family. Fresh out of college and with a baby of their own on the way, Amy and James, her husband, began praying and preparing. A year later, their adopted 17-month-old son, Tristian, arrived in Missouri.

Simple Becomes Complicated

“To us, the decision was simple,” Amy remembered. “He was family. If we could take care of him, we should.” Life for the family would become anything but simple. From the very beginning, Tristian had a hard time fitting in. He did not want to be held or touched. He cried continually.

The tantrums as a toddler evolved into fights. Feeling out of place plagued him every day as he grew up. He may be the oldest of his four siblings, but he was not really a true member of the family. He was adopted. He was different. He couldn’t count on anyone but himself.

Parents or Police

To survive, he put on a mask. On the outside, he would go through the motions to get what he wanted. No one could be trusted to see his inner self. “I feared that if people saw who I really was, they would leave me just like my mother did,” Tristian said. The closer someone tried to get, the more he pushed away. He withdrew into himself. He showed little emotion and had few friends.

Tristian struggled at school and at home. He lacked the ability to focus and had little self-control. He developed a habit of lying and stealing. Problems got worse as he grew older. Jealousy of his siblings turned to bottled anger, which eventually would explode. Discipline at home only seemed to aggravate the situation. The more Tristian found himself in trouble, the more he felt he was being singled out. No matter what words were said, all Tristian heard was “…because you are adopted.”

For over 10 years, the family tried everything they knew to help him including specialized teachers and professional counseling. Nothing seemed to work. “We started to feel more like police than parents,” Amy stated. Finally, when Tristian’s behavior escalated to the point of self-harm and threatened to unravel their whole family, they tried one last option: Show-Me Christian Youth Home.

Lifting Up, Not Giving Up

Tristian’s counselor recommended Show-Me, knowing it would give him the structure, stability, and support he needed. Amy and James struggled to make the best decision for their son. “You feel like you are a failure as parents,” Amy stated. “What will other people say or think?”

As they walked the campus and met the families, they saw that Show-Me offered Tristian the opportunities and a wider community of support he needed, which could not be replicated in their home. Most important, he would still be part of a loving Christian family. “If we kept Tristian at home because of our fears, we were being selfish,” Amy remarked. “This was the best place for him to grow.”

Same Kind of Different

Tristian did not see it that way. He did not want to go to a youth home to live with a bunch of messed up kids that were going to judge him. “Just think of it as basic training,” James, his dad, told him. “Give it a year and let’s see where we are at.” Recognizing he had little choice, 13-year-old Tristian reluctantly agreed. To get home, he could go through the motions, again.

To his surprise, life at Show-Me was better than he thought. He liked his new family. No matter where they came from or what they did, his houseparents treated everyone like their own kid. His Show-Me brothers became his first friends and helped him get into the groove. “They were really accepting and didn’t judge me for my past,” Tristian said. “They were kids just like me.” He wasn’t different. These kids were all adopted into the Show-Me family.

Life outside of the home was better, too. The personalized structure of the classroom helped him focus and improve his grades. The smaller-sized school gave him the opportunity to play sports even as a 6th grader. His coaches and teammates encouraged him and kept him accountable.

Breakthrough on the Court

While the school and home life helped Tristian, his biggest growth occurred on the basketball court. The life lessons conveyed at home were reinforced through sports. Whereas Tristian sometimes resisted his parents’ directions, he craved feedback from his coach. He knew that the only way for him or the team to be the best was to learn to trust each other and work together. Trusting his coach’s way over his own produced better results. Practice wasn’t punishment, it was the path to a better you. Discipline and structure were actually love.

Sports motivated Tristian in ways that punishment never could. He knew his team counted on him. If he failed a test or acted out, he wouldn’t be able to be there for them.

From Thriving to Surviving

By his third year, Tristian seemed to be thriving. He caught up educationally. He matured. His behaviors improved. He had grown in confidence and felt in control of his actions. Things went well with the Wieboldts during home visits and holidays. The family was ready to be back together.

“Show-Me not only helped Tristian, it helped us become a healthier and happy family,” stated Amy. “It gave us all time to regroup, rethink, and learn to make better choices.” In April of 2016, Tristian left Show-Me to reunite with his Wieboldt family.

Unfortunately, the reunion failed. Tristian soon found himself floundering in his new freedom. Without the same structure and accountability, he began to revert to his survival instincts and slipped into his old behaviors.

“We told him that we wanted to have him home and be together, but if he thought Show-Me was the best place for him, then his family would support him,” Amy recounted. The decision would be Tristian’s to make.

Four months after he left, Tristian returned to Show-Me. Determined to embrace the opportunities and not just play the game, he started to genuinely mature as a young man and leader. He gave his life to Christ and was baptized in the summer of 2021. This May, he graduates high school and will pursue a career as an Army Airborne Combat Engineer. He also prays God will use him in some capacity to impact the lives of children in need like he once was.

He no longer sees God as an angry, distant, judgmental ruler who cursed him with a dysfunctional family. God is his heavenly father who loved him so much that He blessed him with multiple families.

By |2022-06-06T13:54:23-05:00June 2nd, 2022|Categories: Child's Story, Children, Path to Purpose, Testimony|Tags: |

Where Love Grows: a Tribute to Karen Culler (1947-2022)

Karen Culler’s legacy is not one of perfection; it is of faithfulness. Through many trials and challenges, she prayed, rolled up her sleeves and went to work – uncertain of God’s plan, but confident in His calling. “I learned to trust God each step of the way…not giving in to asking ‘why,’ but simply keeping on keeping on,” Karen said. “They will see us when we fail and fall short, but if we determine every day, anew, to live according to His standards, it will show that our lives are being transformed.”

Living the American Dream

By the world’s standards, Karen Kohn lived a picturesque, American life. She grew up on a farm near Bethel, Missouri, in a strong Christian family. Through her daily life on the farm, she developed a strong work ethic, the courage to try many things, and a deep personal faith.

A month after her high school graduation, she married her sweetheart, Gale Culler. Both had good jobs and looked forward to a house full of children. In 1967, the couple was blessed with their son, Troy.

Karen and Gale yearned to be used more by God, but without having a formal Bible-college education, doubts crept in and they struggled with what their mission was supposed to be. They kept praying for direction and serving where they were.

A Life Spared for What?

In 1971, Karen’s pressure cooker exploded while she was canning peaches in her kitchen. Her body was severely burned, but her face was spared because her double oven had prevented the lid from flying all the way off. During her long hospitalization, she nearly died from infection. Gale and Karen both felt that God had spared her life and He must have a purpose for doing so.

Was it children? For years the couple tried to grow their family without success. They endured several miscarriages, and after the birth of Troy, they had been told by their doctor that any more children would be unlikely. How could God leave this overwhelming desire on their hearts?

Learning of an adoption option at Cookson Hills, the Cullers took a trip to receive a baby that needed a home and family. At the last moment, the baby’s mother changed her mind and canceled the adoption. The Cullers were heartbroken.

Yet, the journey was not in vain. They were touched by how children were being loved for the Lord through Christian childcare families. The seed had been planted. They knew this was something they could do: take care of and love children. This feeling was confirmed when a friend called telling them about a need for houseparents at a children’s home in East Tennessee. Soon after, the Cullers packed their car and headed south to start what seemed might be a dream come true.

“Love Them for What I Can Make Them”

In Tennessee, the dream quickly became a nightmare. The family ministry they envisioned was more an institutionalized setting. Gale and Karen were house parents for 13 teenage girls, all of whom did not want them there. None of whom seemed to have any desire to change. They did everything they could to get the family to give up and leave. It brought the Cullers to their knees.

“I have never been exposed to anything like this in my life,” Karen cried out to God in anguish. “How can I live with them under my own roof?  How can I love them when they are so unlovable?” God’s answer transformed her: “Love them for what I can make them, not for what they are today.”

Gale and Karen came to realize that each of those hurting young people had been through more in their short lifetimes than they could ever imagine. The Cullers’ rules, discipline, and even fortitude would not tear down the walls that the girls had put up to protect themselves. As one girl put it, “I never wanted to love you. Anyone I ever love leaves.” The girls had to choose to lower the walls. By reflecting God’s unconditional love, trust could be formed. With trust, the walls came down, relationships were built, and a family began to bond. Those lessons from Tennessee would prove instrumental in the next step of the Cullers’ journey.

“It’s Got Potential”

Ray Gipson, the Executive Director of Show-Me Christian Youth Home, had for years tried to court the Cullers to come see the Missouri ministry. Finally, on their next vacation, the Cullers visited Show-Me. At first glance, the struggling ministry in La Monte wasn’t much to look at: three facilities that cared for six children, one calf, and a badly built barn. Still, the Cullers both felt with certainty that God was opening another door. Gale phrased it best, “It’s got potential.”

In 1977, they rolled up their sleeves and went to work. In addition to caring for children, Gale oversaw farm operations and Karen did the bookkeeping. Six months later, Show-Me had 18 children in residence and Gale was asked to become the Executive Director.

Their experience in Tennessee had shown them how an institutional setting wouldn’t work as effectively as the rural-family structure in which they had grown up. Working together in a farm setting, the children would be taught a good work ethic, build character, and see God at work in their lives in spite of all the struggles of the past.

From livestock to houses, from children to staff, Show-Me grew and grew for the next 20 years. Each day began early with family prayer and devotions, then out the door to start chores before heading to school. The children were responsible for assisting Gale with the care of the animals, which included cows, chickens, and pigs. Karen worked with the girls throughout the day, cooked and cleaned, and spent late nights doing the book work and publicity.

Things were never easy, but God met them every step of the way. With limited resources, Show-Me tried to help as many kids as they could. Tight finances, uncertain futures, and dealing with kids during their “rough times” were facts of life. “The Lord is keeping it that way so we’ll never forget to totally depend on Him,” the Cullers would say.

Show-Me…Where Love Grows

Nevermore would that statement be personally tested than over the last 25 years of her life. The Cullers leaned heavily on the Lord through the loss of their only biological son, Troy, in a car crash.  Karen would face the failing health of loved ones, Gale’s cancer and dementia, and finally her own battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease. He would be with her as two of her grandchildren and Gale, her dear husband of 54 years, preceded her in death. Through it all, Karen remained faithful.

In 2011, Gale and Karen passed the baton to the next generation, having established a six-home campus with a Christian School, ball stadium and office complex, as well as satellite homes across the state of Missouri. Over 50 children were raised in her home and thousands under her leadership. She remains endeared by the staff, community, children, and the childrens’ children, as well as everyone who knows her simply as Grandma Karen. Through their passion to meet the needs of hurting kids, the Cullers established an extensive network of support and provision of resources.

Ever faithful, Karen pressed on with the eternal work the Lord called her to do to make Show-Me a place “where love grows.”

By |2022-04-18T15:09:50-05:00April 18th, 2022|Categories: Child's Story, Children, Events, Houseparent, Testimony|

A Love that Never Quits

The Miraculous Power of Second Chances

Dante knew something was missing in his life. Every waking moment he had been searching for it because he knew it was the critical piece he needed to fill the empty, painful void that tore at him inside. The void that reminded him of his pain, loneliness, and worthlessness. Watching from afar, he had seen glimpses of people who must have found it: the girl at school who never judged him because of the smell from his clothes, the genuine joy that he saw on the people coming out of the church across the street, and the families he saw laughing as they played at the park. Why could they find it and it remain so elusive to him?

He must be broken. Why else would a 15-year old that so many others called “extremely smart” be such a failure? It had to be the case. His parents abandoned him. Foster families couldn’t deal with him. Even the families that talked about God and His love for Dante still didn’t want him. It was the only reason that made sense to explain the events of his life. Why else could nobody love him?

Now, after they caught him again trying to run away, he found himself in the psychiatric hospital for the third time. Years of heartache, pain, confusion, and instability had driven him to the point where he could no longer find a purpose for life on earth. Then, news came. One hopeless young man would give life one last shot…

Six Months and “Good-bye”

Dante’s childhood was filled with instability. He was born to a mother who was addicted to drugs. Knowing she was unable to raise him, she tried to put him up for adoption. Unfortunately, the mandatory DNA test needed for the process brought into Dante’s life a danger she was desperately trying to keep out.

At the age of two, he and his younger brother were removed from her home and sent to live with their alcoholic, abusive father. Over the next five years, Dante stayed in numerous houses as his father was continually on the move outrunning authorities. Dante took on a parental role, trying to care for his little brother as best he could. At the age of seven, the law caught up and he was placed into foster care. Shuffled between homes, he usually never stayed in a place more than six months.

With each move, each rejection by those who said they cared and would love him, Dante withdrew more into himself. ‘Family’ and ‘love’ were just words, not real things.

“Each place just felt like another four walls,” Dante recounted. “There was no special relationship. I was not their child. Another mouth to feed so they could get a paycheck. Nobody loved or wanted me. Time after time, when I got to be too much to handle, the foster family would just get rid of me.”

Life had taught him that he could not trust others, only himself. That was fine. He would play their game and go through the motions until they were ready to throw him out. He stole food from the kitchen and hid it away in his room or backpack. He acted out, pushing people away before they could reject him. He did not want to interact with other kids at school, fearing that if they got too close they would see how broken and ugly he really was.

In 2009, eight-year-old Dante and his brother were ordered by the courts to live with a relative in Missouri. Things did not get better over the next seven years. Conflict, abuse, and chaos filled the house. As he grew in size and age, the lonely boy spilled over into a depressed and angry young man. Each day left Dante feeling more broken, out-of-control, and worthless. He had thoughts of ending his life and tried to run away multiple times. Counseling. Medications. Hospitalizations. Dante had tried it all and nothing seemed to help.

In 2016, his counselors reached out to Show-Me as a last hope. Even if Dante didn’t believe it, they had faith that this young life could be rescued and restored to a future of success if he had the right supportive environment and a loving family to guide him.

“My first impression [at Show-Me] was that it almost seemed fake because of how well I was treated,” recounts Dante. “I kept watching for the inconsistency. But, it never came. It was the exact same every day. Everyone showed me love and care in this entire community – from my house parents all the way down to the volunteers.”

One Last Chance…Again

The skeptical teen didn’t know how to react in this strange new setting, so he reverted to his self-sabotaging survival instincts: hoarding food, lying, arguing, and closing off. “I was not a pleasant kid,” admitted Dante. “I did a lot of dumb things. I had so much anger about my past. Most of all, I hated myself because I believed the inner voice that told me all the hurt in my life was my fault.”

Dante’s defiance escalated to more dangerous activities. Something had to change. “He was doing everything he could to try and force us to dismiss him,” said Rachel Reynolds, Children’s Services Director and long-time house mom. “But, we all felt like Show-Me could not give up on this kid. We had faith that we could still help him and knew he had nowhere else to go.” Believing a fresh environment could give him a clean slate, the difficult decision was made to have him join the Carman Family at the Drysdale Campus.

Quitting is Not an Option

Things didn’t magically change. “Dante was a difficult kid, but we committed to fight for him so he could have the love and stability everyone deserves,” the Carmans expressed. “The Lord put it on our hearts that giving up on Dante was not an option.”

Like most kids who grow up in chaotic homes, he tested boundaries trying to add instability in order to create a more familiar environment. The Carmans remained consistent: in the way they treated both their biological and Show-Me children, in how the rules were enforced, and in the love they showed.

Dante knew that he did not have to accept the Christian faith to be at Show-Me, but he did need to be respectful of it. Unknown to him at the time, God was planting seeds as he listened about God’s love while participating in family activities like daily devotions, church, and camp. “Before Show-Me, I knew of Jesus and His love, but I didn’t understand it because I had never had an example of it,” stated Dante. “It didn’t change the people who told me about it, so why should I want it.”

The Final Straw

The Son would bring those seeds to life at Dante’s lowest point. A few months into his stay with the Carmans, Dante forged a note and got on a bus prepared to run away. Fortunately, his attempt was derailed when the bus driver, a local youth minister who knew the Carmans, alerted the family. “I just knew this was going to be the final straw,” said Dante. “The moment their love would quit. Instead, they hugged me and told me that I had made a dumb choice, but it doesn’t mean that they love me any less.”

Something inside Dante changed in that moment. “I came to know the true love of God,” Dante stated. “Not just for others, but with the tough and constant love of my mom and dad, I experienced this love personally.”

Secure in that love, he began to embrace the opportunities surrounding him. The Show-Me school helped him catch up and graduate on time. Path to Purpose identified a college and career in precision machining that fit his personality and meticulous nature. The sports and the Leadership U programs grew his confidence. Most importantly, he realized that if others saw something in him to love, then maybe he wasn’t broken after all.

“The more I saw, learned, and felt that love from the Show-Me community, the more I wanted it for eternity, stated Dante. “I wanted that thing that allowed my parents to love me in a way that humans can’t.”

A Forever “Welcome Home”

With hard work and guidance, Dante turned his new found hope into a solid future. In 2018, Dante was baptized. In 2019, he graduated from high school. This spring, he received his college degree in Precision Machining Technology. Thanks to a summer internship, he had a full-time job waiting for him to start in May.

“It seems unreal at times, Dante said standing on the front porch of his house. “If I had not come to Show-Me, I am not honestly sure I would have a life. My second chance gave me more than I could ever repay. It gave everything: a new outlook on life, the family I always wanted, and a love that will never end.”

 

See more of Dante’s story here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cq1f0SZlSnw&t=20s

 

By |2021-07-01T11:04:13-05:00July 1st, 2021|Categories: Child's Story, Children, Houseparent, Path to Purpose|

Students Become the Teachers

The Fires & Refinement of the Class of 2021
How would you survive if you were bounced between 30 different foster care home or had dozens of siblings? Imagine being forced to go to a new country where no one speaks the only language you know. What would you do if you had the responsibility of caring for five children, all under the age of five years, without the most basic of resources? What if, in the blink of an eye, an accident causes you to suffer a near fatal brain injury that leaves the majority of its victims unable to ever speak or walk again? To any adult, these tasks would be daunting. To a child, they would seem impossible to overcome. For the Show-Me Christian School Class of 2021, these are challenges they have faced and came out victorious. Battles that have not broken them. Trials that have strengthened, refined, and inspired them to set out on a mission that God has uniquely designed each to complete.

From a Junker to God’s Classic

For most of his life, Michael thought of himself as a junker car that was ugly, dented, and unwanted. Born to drug-addicted parents, Michael bounced between 30 different foster homes before he was adopted at the age of 5. He acted out trying to be “cute” as he desperately worked to earn his new parents’ affection. His “cuteness” may have gotten him noticed as little child in the foster homes, but his antics created more negative effects as he got older. At school, kids would pick on the childish, short, skinny kid who was always trying to get the teacher’s attention. The bullying made him afraid to talk to other kids or make friends. It led to a vicious cycle of problems and isolation. Michael struggled in school, each year falling further behind. For eight years, Michael constantly worried that his adopted family might not want him either. Instead of taking responsibility for his actions, Michael would lie, telling the adults what he thought they wanted to hear. As he got older, his sadness boiled over into anger, then depression. Feeling lost and without purpose, he tried to take his life in 5th grade. His parents felt helpless. If the years of counseling and trying everything they knew didn’t help, what else could they do? Someone told them about Show-Me in 2014. They realized that the structured daily routine, positive Christian atmosphere, and one-on-one teaching style was an environment in which
Michael could thrive. “I thought it was going to be a vacation from home – boy was I wrong” Michael laughed. “It isn’t easy, but Show-Me is a fresh start for us kids coming here.”

When 13-year-old Michael sat down for lunch on his first day, he realized there was something different about this place. Miguell, an older 8th grader, sat next to him and started to talk with him. Michael didn’t have to do or say anything to earn his friendship, this guy wanted to be his friend. For the first time in a long time, he didn’t feel lost or alone. Over the next few years, Michael learned to accept the love of family. Focusing on his studies and with extra help, he caught up in school. He discovered his mechanical gifts and learned the value of hard work by assisting his houseparents with hands-on projects – gifts he hopes one day to use in his own automotive shop. The biggest change came the day he heard Pastor Alan talk about what Christ’s sacrifice meant. It not only showed God’s love for us, but it was proof that each of our lives have purpose.

Trusting in that love and believing for the first time that his life truly did have purpose, Michael asked to be baptized. Michael no longer worries about earning God’s love or being wanted. He knows that he is a child of the King of Kings. In his senior devotion message this March, Michael used the illustrations of cars to explain to his classmates how God rescues and restores each of our lives. Michael knows that he
is not the worthless junk car he once believed he was. He is a classic Mustang that God is in the process of restoring.

Hope in Hidden Answers

Ever think having a brother or sister can be a lot to deal with, try having 42! Sadie has been a part of Show-Me all 18 years of her life. Never the oldest and rarely the youngest, she learned to be very observant, keep calm, and find organization in chaos. The details of each siblings story’s may be different, but all share a common factor – they are children caught in the crossfire of struggling families. They are broken lives who don’t understand how or why they ended up in this situation. Many are angry because so much is out of their control and fearful their life is destined to turn out like their parents. Sadie saw that the thing her brothers and sisters were really searching for was hope: hope for their future found in answers from their past. It is that hope that compels Sadie to seek a career in criminal justice. “The love, loss, and hope I’ve learned and gone through has taught me to want to fight for hope for others,” stated Sadie. “Working for a federal crime fighting agency, my wish is to give hope to the families and loved ones of the victim by finding answers, solving cases, and preventing the suspect from
destroying more lives.”

Failure Leads to Success

When Jonas arrived in Missouri to meet his adoptive parents, he could only speak and read in his native Ethiopian language of Amharic. Communication was a great challenge since no one else around him could speak it. Without words, how could he let people know how he was feeling or what he needed? Even though over the next few years he would learn English, his difficulty in communicating snowballed into more problems. Jonas began his education three grades behind. The language barrier made
learning extremely slow and frustrating. Despite putting in many extra hours of work, Jonas fell more and more behind in school. His inability to communicate left him feeling angry and alone. He began to believe the lies in his head that he was a disappointment to everyone, he would never be good enough, and he could only count on himself for help. His anger grew more out of control each year, even to the point where he needed to be physically restrained to calm down. Finally, realizing Jonas needed more help than they could give him at home, his parents reached out to Show-Me. The new environment was good for Jonas. The individualized school program allowed him to go at his own pace. The smaller
class sizes and additional help from his teachers gave him the means to understand. He finally had the tools he needed to catch up in school and graduate. Yet, if you ask Jonas what led to his success the most, he will tell you it’s “failure.” In his endless failed attempts to be “good enough,” he realized that no matter how much he accomplished or how many people liked him, he was never going to be worthy in everyone’s eyes. It is an impossible task to achieve. “Nothing matters except how God sees you,” realized Jonas. “God loves us for who we are, not what we accomplish or what we have. If God considered me – flaws and all – worthy, maybe I could, too.” Jonas began listening and trusting the people that God
was sending to help him. In failing on his own, He learned success could be found in trusting God and the community of support He sends for guidance.

A Rough Start for a Greater Cause

Ana never really had a childhood. The oldest of five siblings, Ana became the caretaker early on while her mother was out. There was no time to think about what Ana wanted or how Ana felt, she had a job to do. Her siblings needed her. That all changed in 2010. Two ladies from a Vacation Bible School told her mom about Show-Me. The next thing seven year-old Ana knew, she and her five younger siblings were
living at Show-Me. Her old job was taken away. Her new job was to be a kid. “I was overwhelmed because I didn’t know what to do since they didn’t want me taking care of my siblings,” Ana recounts.
Over the next few years, Ana saw how God had always been watching out for her. She remembered how an unexpected- person seemed to pop into their lives at just the right time when they needed food, a place to stay, or some other kind of help. She realized how God had protected them from the bad people
finding them.

Seeing that the God of the Bible, who was always there for His people, was the same one in her life, Ana accepted Christ. “Jesus used my bad life for a greater cause: my growing and maturing in Him (my Savior),” Ana stated. “Jesus led, not by forcing others to follow, but by being the model that made others choose to follow.” Desiring to be that positive role model, Ana heads this fall to college to become a social worker. She hopes to shows young people, who look like her, that they can beat the odds, too. “I want kids, who feel broken like I did, to see that they can overcome their past,” Ana said. “They can find another way to succeed, and not become the statistics society says they will be.”

Focus on God Can, Not “I Can’t”

Brendan’s life changed in a instant that day in 2016. Playing tag, he ran into a volleyball net, which caught him by the face and slammed his head against the hard floor causing his skull to fracture. He was life-flighted to Children’s Mercy Hospital. The doctor’s warned his traumatic brain injury (TBI) might
cause him to never be able to see, walk, or talk again. His only chance was to have an emergency surgery to remove the blood clot on his brain and put in two titanium plates. Over the following months, the physical pain slowly decreased but the emotional struggles increased. To give his brain a chance to heal, the doctors told him he had to eliminate most physical activity for the next two years. Thinking about all
the things he could no longer do made Brendan become more and more depressed. How could God let this happen? Maybe he should just give up and accept that he could no longer ever have a “normal” life as an independent adult.

Then, Brendan made a decision. He would not give up! He would focus on what he could control and trust God to take care of the rest. Philippians 4:13 became his life verse. Brendan might not be able to do certain things, but through Christ’s strength, he could do what God wanted him to do. He focused on his school work and strengthening his muscles a little every day. Over the next four years, Brendan’s dedication and faith revealed a bigger picture that he had once missed. In rehab, he saw other young men, who had suffered TBI injuries. These men could not talk, walk, or do basic life functions. Seeing Brendan and the progress he was making gave these men hope. Those men helped Brendan realize that God didn’t abandon him in his injury. He shielded him, sent people to encourage him, and be with him
through every step. Instead of being upset about what he couldn’t do, Brendan is now grateful for all
the things that he can do.

Choosing the Refiner’s Fire

A few years ago, the members of the Class of 2021 might have written their life’s stories a little
different if they had the choice. Now, they are grateful for each moment of their testimony. In the
refiner’s fire their eyes were opened. In the flames they saw how they are not alone. God was and will
always be there with them through every step. He uses experiences the world wants us to believe
can only destroy a life to strengthen and refine His children into the change agents He will use to
transform for good their families, communities, and world. As the Class of 2021 has shown, we
only need to be brave enough to trust Him and the work He is doing.

 

By |2021-06-16T17:16:41-05:00May 31st, 2021|Categories: Child's Story, Children, Events, Teen, Testimony|

2021 Troy Culler Memorial Basketball Tournament

We’re BACK!!!!

17th Annual Troy Culler Memorial Basketball Tournament!

We are so pleased to be able to host this annual tournament again! Please be sure to read through the  precautions we are taking to help protect players and the residents of Show-Me at the bottom of this page.

This year’s tournament will be held on March 27th.

Get your teams together and head our way for some friendly competition.

The registration fee is $150.00 per team.

Many of you have participated in this tournament year after year.

It has become a highlight of our Spring here at Show-Me. Don’t wait to register your team, slots fill up fast. We can’t wait!!!

If you have any questions, please email Judi at judi.crawford@showmekids.org.

To register and pay for your team online, go here.

To register your team and mail in your payment, go here.

 

COVID-19 Safety Measures: We will ask that you wear masks when you are not playing, as per our local mandates. To minimize the crowd we are asking that you only bring players with you. We will not have a concession stand, so you will want to bring plenty of Gatorade and snacks with you. You will have access to water and the soda machine. We are going to try to live stream the games on YouTube. We will send a link through email.

By |2021-03-05T15:30:50-06:00March 5th, 2021|Categories: Children, Events, Sports, Uncategorized|

Character Above Championships

Developing the Foundation for Lifelong Victories

Winning will never be the goal of the Show-Me Christian School Athletic program. Angel teams have reached the heights of state championships and the lows of finishing a season without a single win. Yet, every year, players achieve priceless victories.

Sports provide many benefits to any child; for a child growing up at Show-Me, it can be the catalyst to victory over issues they struggle with in school, at home, or in their adult life.

An Ideal Training Ground for Life

Athletic participation breeds success where traditional methods fall short: motivating a child, understanding abstract concepts, and seeing the results of perseverance. As one housedad explained, “My teenage daughter gets frustrated because she can’t always see the gradual growth she is making in her life. Sports gives her a measurable way to see the progress. When she first arrived, she couldn’t dribble a basketball. Now, she is a starting player on the varsity team.”

The structure of team practice and coaching mimics Show-Me’s family model of restoration. At home, the child may still unconsciously revert to emotional barriers to protect themselves. On the court, the player is more open to listen to the coach’s instruction because there is no negative past to overcome.

Sports directly addresses many of the root problems caused by their previous environment. Exercise is a natural way to reduce anxiety and depression. Working out daily, kids eat and sleep better. This leads to better memory and improved concentration. Physical activity provides a child a safe outlet to let out their anger or energy.

Being part of a team gives young people an edge over their peers in areas beyond physical health. Through the discipline of practice, they develop lifelong skills of self-control, responsibility, goal-setting, and time-management. Working with teammates forces them to communicate, trust others, and learn to control their emotions. Each player brings a different value to the team. But, for the team to reach its full potential, each individual must know and do his or her part. Following the guidance of coaches, all players must move in the same direction, toward the same goal.

Games provide a snapshot of the unfair, competitive adult world they will face. Referees will miss a call, people will foul, and they will sometimes miss a shot or fail. Sports is another opportunity for Show-Me to coach and walk our young people through the numerous kinds of challenges all adults must navigate. By experiencing them now, they can safely fail and learn how to overcome them, rather than have them derail their life as they face them alone as an adult.

The Spark To Ignite a Life of Success

Academics, athletics, and the arts are the places most kids first discover they have talents. Once they realize success in one area of their life, it flows into all areas. That first discovery is critical in developing self-confidence and the courage to try new things.

“Before coming to Show-Me, the only place that most of our kids can find these opportunities is at home or in school,” stated Director Chad Puckett. “Unfortunately, there is little chance finding it at home because of the dysfunction. If a child does not find it in academics, they can feel they have no value.”

Part of the restoration process is ensuring each child knows they have value and God-given gifts. The school offers programs in music, arts, drama, and sports to  provide avenues of discovery.

For many, Show-Me is the only chance they have to be part of a sports team. Most kids arrive at Show-Me never having played on a team and without basic skills. Although not mandatory, every child is encouraged to participate in sports and join a team starting in 5th grade.

The sports program has evolved over the decades from pick-up games on the front lawn to informally arranged matches with other small schools. Uniforms consisted of whatever resources could be found. Names and numbers were ironed on to donated jerseys. Games were held at other local schools’ fields or at the Show-Me multi on a hard linoleum floor marked with tape.

In 2015, Show-Me joined the Missouri Christian School Athletic Association (MCSAA). The Angels now compete in a 16-game schedule against six other Christian schools in the MOKAN conference. A state tournament is held at the end of each season in Joplin, MO, to determine the state champion and give out awards.

Transforming Losers Into Champions

Championships once only seemed a dream in 2016. Across every sport, each team has finished their inaugural season with a losing record. The girls volleyball team did not win a single game their first season. Yet, as one player encouraged her coach at the end of season, “winning does not matter compared to the things we have been through in life.”

In fact, losing may be the best thing that could have happened. “You learn a lot more from losing than winning,” stated Director Chad Puckett. “You find out who you are and what you value.”

The experience united and motivated the girls. Many of the older players took on leadership roles and began mentoring their younger teammates. The players used any extra moment they could to practice including during their school breaks. Their determination was rewarded as each season they won more and more games. In 2019, the girls team saw their dream become a reality when they won the state championship in volleyball.

The secret to their success didn’t lie in their individual skills, but in the bond of their team. The more the team played as one, the better the results on the scoreboard. The attitude of one player could build or break that bond.

“Our coaches taught us that we have to be intentional in our encouragement,” stated Sadie, a senior on the team. “This experience has the potential to shape and mold us in either a positive or negative way. We determine if we are going to waste it or use it to turn us into something beautiful. We are going to work hard either way.”

Having an attitude of encouragement has been a hallmark of Show-Me sports. Numerous times since joining the MCSAA, Show-Me has won the MOKAN Conference Sportsmanship award, given to the team whose players have most reflected Christ-like attitude and character both on and off the court.

Angel Pride

The growth of the sports programs not only has impacted the players, but it has become a focal point of pride and motivation for the bigger Show-Me community. “Kids do not always take pride in academics, but they do in sports and for their team,” stated R.J. Bachtold, a teacher at the school and Show-Me Athletic Director. “You can see that sense of pride in the students as they walk past the Angels logo going from their locker to their classroom.”

The benefits of their athletic experience will remain long after they have taken off their Angels jersey for the last time. The challenges they face as adults will not be so daunting as they remember that with hard work, practice, coaching, and a team of support surrounding them, that victory is possible!

 

By |2021-01-31T13:00:04-06:00January 31st, 2021|Categories: Child's Story, Children, Sports, Teen|

Coming Home

Transforming Strangers into Family

Winter is coming! December may not yet be here, but the signs are clear: leaves are changing colors, kids are practicing their songs, and housedad, Ken Parton, has already begun decorating for Christmas. Preparations are in full swing to welcome “home” all of our past and present Show-Me family for the holidays.

This year has special significance for the Parton family. It will be the first time their “bigger family” will gather at their new residence, the newly-completed House #7. They know that not all of the 32 kids who have joined the Parton family over their eight years at Show-Me will make it. Those that do will be welcomed to find their personalized stocking hung, their hand-made ornaments proudly displayed on the tree, presents ready to be traded at the gift exchange, and the traditional family games set out just waiting for the laughter to begin.

Houseparents, Ken and Emilee Parton, may not be their biological parents, but they are family. This may not be the house they grew up in, but it is home because the love of their family is here. God has used that unconditional love to heal and bond this group of strangers into a family.

A Prayer for a “Bigger Family”

The Partons’ life took a very different path from the one they envisioned twenty-five years ago when they married. After attending Nebraska Christian College, they worked their way up the management chain to both have lucrative careers: Ken becoming a district supervisor of a national restaurant chain, and Emilee starting her own business.

They actively served in their church: Ken working with the youth, Emilee organizing bigger events, and both leading the worship team.  Their business backgrounds laid the foundation for the church to open a food and clothing pantry. To outsiders, they were living the American picture of success.

Under the rosy façade, things were far from perfect. They knew that God had a greater mission planned for them, but what? For years, the couple had struggled to grow their family. In 2003, they lost their son, Brock, at birth. A year later they suffered a miscarriage. In 2008, the birth of their daughter, Sophia, seemed to be the beginning of the answer they longed for. Two years later, their prayer would be for a second child. Over time, it changed to adopting a child. Eventually, it simply became “Lord, please give us a bigger family.”

The Partons prayed for guidance and began to look at different options for their life. “We knew we weren’t where we were supposed to be anymore,” Emilee recounts. “We hadn’t quite figured out what or where we were supposed to be.” A few months later that answer would come when Chad Puckett, the Director of Show-Me, spoke at their church and stated that the ministry was in search of new houseparents. As Emilee explained, “in my prayer for direction, I realized that God was going to answer with Show-Me… not quite what I imagined, but we definitely have a bigger family now!”

Trading a Job for a Mission

Stepping out in faith in 2012, the Partons moved to the main Show-Me campus in La Monte, Missouri. From the get-go, they quickly learned that serving as a houseparent is not a job, it is a life. There is very little downtime as kids’ needs do not distinguish personal time and business time. A typical week is similar to most parents: cooking, cleaning, appointments, school, games, church, etc. Just at Show-Me, each family is trying to coordinate up to ten people, all going in different directions. Add to that coordinating volunteer groups, teaching at the school, refereeing basketball games, coaching, leading worship at chapel, and organizing major events for Show-Me.  Added together, you might get an idea of what the Parton’s life is like.

As chaotic as schedules can be, the bigger challenge is building a relationship of trust with each child. Without it, the child will never be willing to accept the resources and help they need.

A New Definition of Family

Most of their kids have come from situations that have led them to believe that they only have themselves to rely on. They have been let down too many times in the past by the family that was supposed to take care of them. “I always struggled with letting people love me and accepting that love from others,” recounted Grace, a child who once lived with the Partons. “I had felt so rejected for so long, I truly believed I wasn’t able to be loved. I was never going to have my picture perfect family.”

Although each child is immediately welcomed, it will take time before they consider themselves part of the Parton family. The Parton’s first step is to meet each new child where they are at, not force them to be part of the family until they choose to be. From the moment they first arrive, Ken explains, “We are Ken and Emilee. We are not trying to replace your parents, we know that we never can. But, our home is your home. Here, all your needs are going to be taken care of.”

It will take weeks and months for the protective walls to slowly be lowered as the child sees the proof in actions. Their fear is that because they are not part of the biological family they will only be accepted and loved up to a certain point. “Our fear stops us from healing,” Journey, an adult who once lived with the Partons explains. “In the back of your mind you are always wondering when will this love stop.”

They wonder: “Do you love me because it is your job or because you really want me?” Knowing this, the Partons are very intentional about treating all their kids the same. It is the little things that make the biggest difference in building trust and making each child feel valued as an individual. This is made especially evident during the holidays.

Building Bonds Around a Tree

Many of the kids at Show-Me do not go to their biological homes for holiday breaks because the situation is still not healthy for them. The kids in the Parton home would travel with Ken, Emilee, and Sophia to Tennessee for Christmas with Ken’s parents. Grandma and Grandpa Parton welcomed them with open arms and spoiled all the children equally.

From the presents under the tree to the stockings customized for each child, Ken and Emilee make every effort to let no favortism show. Together, they play charades, open chocolate advent calendars, and worship as a family on Christmas Eve.

“It made me really feel like I was a part of the family,” remembers Destin. “Growing up in foster care, I lived with people, but it was not family. I was their kid as long as it was convenient. When it became too much of a burden or cost, then off to another home I go.”

The Promise of Christmas

Today, many of those same kids, who piled in the minivan to drive to Tennessee, now live across the country as adults. They may each have different last names, but they are family. “I never would have imagined that my family would turn out being just a group of random people that happened to be needing a family just like me,” stated Grace. “It’s super cool to think about the fact that we all wanted the same thing: a family, and so we just became each other’s family.”

That Parton family only continues to grow, now welcoming grandchildren to its fold. This Christmas, they will travel across the country to come “home” and be with their family in Missouri at the newly finished House #7. The older children will make sure that the family traditions are carried on for the next generation. Grandma will bring the special treats and Emilee makes sure all the favorite foods are prepared. For the Parton children, it is a reminder of Ken and Emilee’s promise to them that they never need to feel alone because you will always have a home and family ready to welcome you.

By |2020-11-13T22:12:53-06:00November 13th, 2020|Categories: Child's Story, Children, Houseparent, Testimony|

What Good Can Come Out of Covid-19?

YOU!!!  How a Pandemic Reveals Blessings of God

Homelessness. Loss of a job. Addiction. Coronavirus. The recent upheaval has brought to light for the country something that every child who comes to Show-Me has had to learn. Since God is a loving Father, all-knowing God and Lord, who only wants the best for us – then, not only did He know of the struggles we would face, but He allowed them for some reason. Crises, unforeseen hardships, and out-of-our-control life events reveal greater truths. Instead of focusing on the darkness, we need to look for the lights He is surrounding us with. The worst of times bring out the best in people. Only if we learn to trust God looking past our current difficulties will we discover these overlooked blessings.

Show-Me was bustling as 2020 kicked off. Schools and homes were near bursting at the seams as we continued to push our capacity. Volunteer groups, staff, and skilled craftsmen flooded the campuses to keep progress moving on the construction of two new houses and site improvements. Volunteers put finishing touches on the interior of the Leadership U Arena. The main campus looked like giant moles had invaded as trenches were dug to update water, waste, and electrical infrastructures. Phase I of the 2020 Vision Campaign to Rescue and Restore Even More was on schedule to be completed in the summer.

Then, COVID-19 happened…

In March, the difficult decision for safety was made to begin to isolate our families and limit any outside contact. Sporting events, the school play, and the Troy Culler Memorial Basketball Tournament were canceled. Volunteer activities, mission teams, and tours rescheduled. All off-campus travel, promotions, and church visits postponed. School continued at each campus, but satellite homes no longer came to the main campus for programs like Leadership U or Path to Purpose. But, for the most part, day-to-day family life still remained relatively “normal” except for maybe not seeing new places or faces.

A New “Normal” !?!
That all changed in April following the governor’s stay-at-home order. Since the physical, emotional, and spiritual mission of rescuing and restoring young lives is considered essential, our staff were frontline workers providing around-the-clock care. The main office remained open only on a limited basis. Staff worked remotely from home, coming in only as needed. Remarkably resilient, our houseparents played the role of teacher, counselor, and recreational director as they balanced the needs of eight to ten kids under the same roof.

School was conducted at home. The flexibility and self-paced format of the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) curriculum adapted well to the circumstances.  Using rotating schedules, each family was able to meet with school administrators for testing. Regular counseling appointments were conducted by video conference. From the gym to the clothing barn, families coordinated ways to share resources and keep the routines as normal as possible for the kids. Minimizing any chance for germs, each area was cleaned before the next family’s turn.

School wrapped up in May with all 46 students finishing their studies and passing their classes. Each of the five seniors received their diplomas. Due to social distancing, this year’s graduation was a small event with only immediate family attending. Those not able to attend in person watched the ceremony online. Face masks were as much in style as the traditional cap and gown.

Now, as restrictions ease, Show-Me is shifting back to traditional routines. Staff resumed full-time on-site operations on June 1st. Families have begun speaking at churches and other promotional gatherings. In July, volunteer groups, tours, and outside contact will gradually start again on campus. At the end of July, Show-Me Christian School students will start their 2020-2021 school year.  And, our families are eagerly looking to reconnect with YOU, our bigger Show-Me family, at the 2020 Annual Open House in September.

Problems…Meet Blessings
Like the rest of the country, we improvised and adapted to ensure everyone remained healthy, basic needs continued to be met, and that there was always enough toilet paper. Yet, in the chaos, God, through His people, continued to meet each challenge with a blessing.

With so many teenagers under our roofs, you might think that food would need to be rationed. But, our food supply was one of the biggest blessings. Each family had plenty of meat due to 12 cattle from our Drysdale campus being butchered in February. We didn’t have to deal with empty store shelves because we utilized the donated items in our food barn. We continued to receive the left-over baked goods from local grocery stores and returned clothing from Walmart. Hiland Dairy provided milk to each of our households. A steady supply of fresh fruit, vegetables, and eggs was brought to us from local farmers. We were even able to share these blessings with former Show-Me families, local ministries, and other non-profits.

There were even benefits to being quarantined at home. No longer having to juggle sports schedules and church visits, houseparents found some much appreciated downtime. The kids helped with projects around the house and campus. Some of the older boys helped Nathan Smith finish putting together horse stalls for Leadership U. The extra time also helped the three new sets of houseparents – the Bowser, Holloway, and Stilfield families –  get settled into their new surroundings.

Families coordinated movie nights on the lawn, pool times, and other activities for the kids. Pick-up games of volleyball, basketball, and kickball were organized. They united around kitchen tables and backyards to play games or talk. Using their musical talents, some kids led worship in the homes on Sunday while others sang or read scripture.

Even from a distance, supporters found ways to encourage and keep spirits high. A church in Nebraska filled our food pantry with 250 boxes of kid’s cereal. An anonymous couple sent each of our staff a letter of encouragement and $20 to do something nice for their family. Two RVs were donated for our families to share. To help remind them of better days ahead, one supporter offered to pay the cost for each family to go on a fun recreational outing together.

COVID Only Confirms the Mission More
Show-Me has not been immune to the effects of the pandemic. Financially, there has been an overall decline in donations as some long-time supporters and churches face financial hardships of their own. God answered our immediate need with a large estate gift, which at this time has made up for the current loss.

COVID-19 may have caught the world by surprise, but not God.  We know that times like this magnify problems and hardships for families. Too often, children are the ones caught in the middle. Situations like this reflect on how crucial our ministry is to take care of these vulnerable lives, and to show Christ’s message of love in action, not just words. In faith, we continue to strive ahead carrying on the mission He has given us. And, thanks to you, we know that we are not alone.

By |2020-11-13T22:14:29-06:00June 25th, 2020|Categories: Celebration, Children, Houseparent|