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Winter Newsletter 2012
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Winter Newsletter 2012

 December 20, 2012 

Merry Christmas everyone!  As you can tell by the date, I am writing in the very heart of the Christmas season.  I pray you and your families are enjoying this time of year.  We have so much for which to be thankful.  I am excited about the prospects S.O.S. has for ministry and outreach in 2013, and I wanted to tell you about them. 
 
I mentioned in the annual newsletter that our S.O.S. Girls mentoring and community service program was off to a roaring start.  The monthly discipleship lessons that I teach have focused on developing an empathetic heart, discovering your “voice of influence,” being willing to sacrifice some of your own agenda to minister to others, and determining your motivation behind serving, just to name a few. I’m always thankful for the opportunity to share my salvation testimony during these meetings, and God has really blessed our group as we have laughed and learned together.  These young women are incredible!  They are slowly (but surely) discovering the joy that is found when you work hard and put the needs of others ahead of your own.  For the past six months we have had the opportunity to minister in creative ways to a diverse demographic in Jacksonville, Florida that includes the elderly, the homeless, and those in crisis pregnancy situations.  We have tried to provide practical, outreach opportunities for the girls to put “hands and feet” to the principles that they are being taught at our monthly meetings.  They have worked so hard and been very active in their outreach.  They have made “tokens of encouragement” that have been given to women who are considering the fate of their unborn child, they have handed out bottles of water to those that are thirsty, and they have sorted  maternity clothes that will be given to women in need.  This past fall, our group adopted a dorm room at our local women and children’s homeless shelter, and the girls raised more than $1100 through their bake sale and car wash efforts!  100% of the net proceeds from both fundraisers were used to purchase paint, storage units and all the necessary fabric and accessories to make handmade quilts for the beds in the room.  For eight straight weeks the girls and I met at our weekly sewing circle, and they sewed together more than 3500 fabric squares to make the quilts.  I am so proud of them – for their sweet attitudes and their willingness to fundraise and see the project through to the end.  Praise the Lord! 
 
contents of the Leadership Training Kit
Lord willing, our ministry efforts with S.O.S. Girls will continue in 2013, and we really hope to multiply the effectiveness of this outreach by inviting others to join our ranks. I mentioned to you before about our “50 in 5” recruiting campaign with the goal of starting 50 chapters of S.O.S. Girls in the next 5 years.  We have developed a Leadership Training Kit that we hope to make available to women who have a heart to minister to teen girls and would be willing to start a chapter of S.O.S. Girls in their community. The kit includes our Leader Guide, promotional flyers, posters, outreach cards, S.O.S. Girls tote bag, t-shirt, craft sheets, and sample craft items.  It’s really “S.O.S. Girls in a box!”   One of the wonderful aspects about a young non-profit ministry, such as ours, is the fact that we have very little overhead costs.  We have no paid staff and our office/operational expenses are minimal.  More than 90% of your donation is used directly in the field of ministry to others.  It is the desire of our Board of Directors to see this outreach program expand, and we will be putting together as many of these kits as we can afford.  We cherish your prayer and financial support in this endeavor. 
 
Lastly, I wanted to get you excited about an international outreach opportunity that has been brought to our attention.  First, I need you to imagine yourself living in a remote area in a third world country with no modern conveniences before you read this part of the newsletter.  Doing so will help you empathize with those to whom we hope to minister.  I wrote to you this past June about our partnership with missionary Kevin Pestke.   Kevin ministers in Chipata, Zambia, Africa and is doing a great work sharing the gospel to a growing flock of believers.  God birthed the vision of Sisterhood Of Servants after my missions trip to that country in 2008, and my heart leaps with joy every time I read of the work God is doing through Kevin and his family.  It has always been part of our vision to have an impact internationally in the lives of women and children beyond our borders through our Global Sisterhood Initiative, and the Lord has dropped an opportunity to meet a need right in our lap.  There are many members of Kevin’s congregation who are coming to faith in Christ, but they are illiterate.  You can imagine how difficult it would be to grow as a Christian when you can’t read the word of God for yourself.  However, the Lord has seen fit to help alleviate this problem by sending a young, Zambian woman who has taught others to read.  She uses a literacy program that teaches adults to read at the 5th-6th grad level within a year’s time.  The program is set up to for the attendees to take classes several times a week.  There are currently 20 adults from Kevin’s congregation who have committed themselves to the program and are well on their way to literacy!  The annual cost for the each attendee is approximately $25.  The young women that is teaching the course has to travel into the African bush to meet her students, and she is in need of reliable transportation.  The cost for a dependable motorcycle is approx. $1200-2000 (depending on what’s available).  Would you prayerfully consider supporting this work?  I would be glad to answer any specific questions you might have.  I feel very confident about supporting this endeavor because we know exactly how the money will be spent.  Kevin is our accountability partner on the ground in Zambia, and I have complete faith in his integrity as a minister and messenger of God. 
 
Thank you again for taking the time to read this lengthy newsletter.  Thank you for your ministry partnership.  Your year-end donation will be a great encouragement to us, and no financial contribution is too small!  All donations are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by the IRS tax code, and you will receive a donation receipt from us that can be used as documentation when filing your personal income tax.  You may donate online via our website; just click the  DONATE button, or you may send a check made out to Sisterhood Of Servants (our mailing address is listed below).   Sometimes it seems like our goals are impossible to accomplish, particularly for a ministry as small as ours, but I have learned that with God, ALL things are possible.  It is our desire to please him in all that we do.  Here’s wishing you and yours a very blessed new year.
Holding down the fort @ bake sale.  Temps were over 90 degrees!
More than $500 generated from the car wash
Having fun @ our weekly sewing circle
"Before" the dorm room makeover
   "After" the makeover

 


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