WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2020

 

 

12/24/15

Merry Christmas

christmas tree

 

Merry Christmas Family and Friends,

We hope that this letter finds you well as you prepare to celebrate our Lord’s birth. It is during this time of celebration that we would like to share with you the exciting journey that the Lord took us on during 2015.

This year was full of many wonderful surprises and opportunities. The Lord continues to be on the move in and through Step of Faith Ministry for the benefit of bringing the gospel message to many while meeting tangible needs throughout New Jersey, Haiti and beyond.

Our Jerusalem, the town of Brick, has experienced amazing growth for the Gospel this year. The Maple Leaf Tutoring Program that began in 2013 has become a beacon of light in this community. An apartment complex that once only brought thoughts of ‘trouble and tension’ is now receiving positive attention and interest from many local churches, the Brick Police, the Brick PAL and the Brick School System.

We have continued to see between 50-70 children each Tuesday afternoon coming to the Maple Leaf Clubhouse for homework help, something to eat, relationship building and hearing about the love of Jesus Christ. Along with the weekly homework help and once a month Youth Group and Bible Club, our kids have been visited once again by the Brick Police K9 Unit. This year Max and his handler were accompanied by the Brick EMT which allowed the kids to go inside an ambulance and hear about how they could become an EMT. Chief of Police Burgquist also came and spoke to all the kids about making good choices and answered a lot of questions. Volunteers have come to spend an afternoon with the kids doing a cooking class as well as speaking about how they can help an orphanage in Romania.

Kids were encouraged to bring $1 in to provide 1 pair of socks for a child in Romania this winter, who would otherwise not have any socks on their feet. This point was emphasized when the kids had the opportunity to put their foot or hand into an ice bucket and were then told that children feel this type of bitter cold for 4-5 months each winter. A couple of children reached into their pockets right there and pulled out money, while others brought in their dollars the following week.

We had our first Mom’s luncheon along with many other opportunities to build relationships one on one with families that have resulted in families and individual students coming out to the various churches involved with the program.

Our summer was full of opportunities for the kids to once again go to not one but three different Vacation Bible Camps as well as a Soccer Camp that was offered by three of our local churches. Over the summer we were also contacted by the Brick PAL with a very special idea for our Maple Leaf kids. Due to the growing interest in this community and the growing positive feedback that is being circulated, the PAL chose Maple Leaf to launch a new mentor program for the older kids. Over the past several months this has been taking shape with applications being filled out and meetings starting to be planned. One of our partnering churches, Life Chapel of Point Pleasant, has a group of men who are eager to become volunteers for this program. We are so excited to see how this is going to continue to bring hope to the kids of the Maple Leaf community!

Our third annual Christmas Party took place in early December as well as another bus trip to see the Christmas on Silver Pond play put on by the Agape Faithworks Homeschool Group. Many families attended the play and over 60 children came out to the Christmas Party. This year Christmas trees were donated by St. Paul’s Methodist Church and Allaire Community Farm that truly made Christmas special for some of our families. Jesus was so evident in all that took place in and through the volunteers.

Also during the month of December, our first weekly bible study began. With a couple of students, one who put her faith in Jesus recently, and some of her friends who are still searching, are coming out each week learning about Jesus, reading scriptures both at the study and at home, and building relationships with the volunteers. These young ladies have also recently begun going to church and really like it!

In Atlantic City, our partnership with New City Fellowship Church continues to grow with our forth mission trip this past July. We once again took part in helping to rehab various homes while presenting a 3-night Bible Club to one of the poorest areas in Atlantic City. We are hopeful that this summer more of our Maple Leaf volunteers and some Maple Leaf students will join us so that we can all grow deeper in urban ministry discipleship.

This Christmas many unwrapped gifts were provided through Life Chapel Church, and brought down to fill the New City Christmas Store. This store provided the opportunity for local families to come and shop for their own children at a very reduced cost. It was a beautiful day to see Jesus in action.

Our ministry to Haiti continued to grow in many ways as well this year. While we took a year off from physically going to Haiti, it did not stop the ministry from growing. Grace United Methodist Church of Wyckoff collected 65 pairs of new sneakers and they were brought down in January by St. Paul’s Methodist Church of Brick. This was St. Paul’s first trip to the area that we minister in and this coming February we will be taking them down to once again bless the people of Ounaminthe and Lac’ajue. And once again Grace United Methodist is providing new sneakers for the children.

The Grains of Grace Feeding Program continues to flourish and currently supplies food for 92 families, up from 65 families at the beginning of the year. An amazing thing happened with the families of Lac’ajue this summer. A community that was once starving and didn’t know where their next meal would come from, went to Joseph Isreal (the overseer and liaison between NJ and Haiti) and told him that they wanted to share their food with more families. So the original families asked to receive a little less food each month so that others could eat. This is unheard of in Haiti. Yet, through God all things are possible. And through the continued teaching of Jesus, these families are seeing Him in remarkable ways and now becoming His ‘hands and feet’ to those around them.

The Aslan medical clinic is now fully operational. It officially opened for a half a day, 5 days a week, in July.  The clinic is staffed by a Haitian doctor and two Haitian nurses who have been put through school by Aslan Youth Ministries and SOFM. Many patients are being seen and lives are being saved. We are so excited to see how the Lord is moving in this small town of Lac’ajue.

In addition, through your support we continue to bless the children at Danita’s Orphanage through our New Shoe Collection each January, supplying a pair of new shoes to their 100+ children. Also with your help through our ongoing Nutrition Supplement Sponsorship Program we are currently supporting 41 of Danita’s children. This is an increase of 10 children from last year! Through these supplements there has been an incredible difference made in the health and well-being of the children.

Our Education Sponsorship continues to grow too. With 58 Haitian students going to primary school, three Haitian students enrolled in college and two Albanian students enrolled in college in Albania. Lives are being changed!

We are so grateful for your participation in the various ministries and your prayers. None of this would be possible without the generous donations and involvement by people like you. We are so thankful for you and your desire to support the ministry of Step of Faith.

We pray that you would have a joyful Christmas season and look forward to continuing our relationship with you in 2016!

 

 

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Contact Step of Faith

    Step of Faith Ministry, Inc.
    PO Box 805
    Brick, NJ 08723
    United States of America