Wednesday, February 11, 2015

McLennan County Livestock Show 2015

Thirty students from Methodist Children’s Home (MCH) FFA chapter competed in the 2015 McLennan County Livestock Show Feb. 2-6 at Extraco Events Center in Waco. Out of the 30, only three students had ever shown an animal in a show before.

“This is the largest group of students that we have taken to a show since I have been an ag teacher here,” said Steve Kruse, Ag teacher. “It also was the most inexperienced group of kids with so many first time showman. The teacher in me is extremely proud of what the students have learned and how they represented Methodist Children’s Home.”

MCH entered two steers, one heifer, seven goats, six lambs and 14 pigs into the livestock show. One first-year FFA student, Ema, received Reserve Breed Champion for her Southdown lamb. Ema had never been around livestock before and had to teach her lamb to brace, stand and be led for the show. Below is a list of MCH participants:

Southdown: Iyahnna - 4th, Jessica - 7th
Medium wool:  Star - 8th, Quentin - 9th, Hawa - 11th, Aaron H (participated)

Participants: Kiyanna, Alex, Ladarius, Chris, Tamika, Isaiah, Lane  

AOB heifer:  Star - 2nd
Steer:  Justice - 7th, Star - 11th

Participants:  Sonja - 9th, Diego, Prince, Jaelynn, Justus, Mikayla, Drennon, Edgar, Chayce, Julio, Jayden, Marvin, Nick

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Tyler Outreach sponsors Permanency Values training

MCH Family Outreach in Tyler reached out to their community and sponsored a day of training on Friday, Jan. 23, at Marvin United Methodist Church. Jason Gillentine, Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) permanency practitioner, and Kristi Hatchel, DFPS family group decision making trainer, provided Permanency Values training.

Permanency is defined as the highest level of physical, legal and emotional safety and security that can be attained for each individual child or youth within the context of a family relationship. Eighteen participants including DFPS employees, child placing agency staff, and family court agents and officers attended the training.

Gillentine and Hatchel set out to give participants a better understanding of concepts, related skills and developmental aspects of permanency values and show a link between family engagement and permanency and its lifelong benefits.

“Permanence is NOT a place,” explained Traci Wagner, MCH Family Outreach eastern regional administrator. “Permanency is a state of mind, and not a placement. Permanence is having the feeling that you are connected – that there is someone in the middle of the night who will answer your collect phone call or miss you when you do not show up.

“Another way to think about permanency is a parenting relationship with an adult, a mutual understanding that this relationship is meant to last forever; unconditional commitment by the adult(s); participation by all parties in the relationship; lifelong mutual support and involvement; and belonging.”

The Permanency Values training is being offered throughout the State of Texas and several MCH Family Outreach offices have attended in their areas.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Under 12 youth get time for play

Methodist Children’s Home recreation department staff have the challenge of meeting the unique recreation needs of our youth who range in ages. While the staff do a wonderful job of balancing the needs of the younger youth and the older youth in their home units, they are constantly seeking opportunities outside of the home unit for the younger youth to get out their energy and be able to engage in age appropriate activities.

Monthly our 12 and under youth get to hang out exclusively with their own age group. This month they went roller skating at Skate World.

“This was a great event because it allowed them not only to act ridiculous and play as a 12 and under youth should, but also burn off their unending energy,” explained Kimberly Bobbitt, recreation coordinator. “Once we were on the skating rink, we skated for hours nonstop. Another great aspect of these events is that it creates another space for these younger youth to get more one-on-one attention they need from loving adults. I am so grateful to get to be part of these events and love on these youth.”

Friday, January 23, 2015

Coach Matt Rodgers selected for FCA Super Centex Victory Bowl

MCH Bulldogs head coach Matt Rodgers will join the area’s best coaches and players for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Super Centex Victory Bowl this summer. The Heart of Texas FCA announced the 2015 coaching staffs during a press conference on Saturday, Jan. 10.

Rodgers will join the coaching staff for the Blue Football Team, led by Joey McQueen from Florence. The Blue Team will face off against the Red Team led by Whitney coach Kenneth Gilchrist during the Victory Bowl at the Waco ISD Stadium on Saturday, June 13.  

“This is a great honor for Coach Matt Rodgers,” said Kevin Henry, athletic director for MCH. “I am excited for him to have the opportunity to coach in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Victory Bowl this summer.  When Ben Johnson, executive director of the Heart of Texas FCA, called and asked if I thought Matt would do a good job, I told him ‘absolutely!’”

Throughout the week, players and coaches will participate in community service projects as well as team building events and practices as part of the event. Former MCH player Ty Kinnard participated in the Victory Bowl last year.

Congratulations Coach Rodgers!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Core Value Award for Hope - Ahmad Washington

Each year Methodist Children’s Home recognizes staff members who exemplify the Core Values of the organization. Staff are nominated by their peers and are recognized at an all-staff meeting during which the Core Awards are given.

The Core Awards for MCH are:
Christian Principles

Ahmad Washington, spiritual development minister, received the Core Award for Hope. The recipient of the Core Award for Hope is defined as someone who believes in the possibilities of the future.

According to Washington’s nomination, “Ahmad consistently pursues relationships and strives to build community with every person at MCH. Ahmad’s strong commitment to the Lord serves as the foundation for all relationships he builds with youth and staff. Ahmad serves the MCH community with passion, delivering truth and expressing the love of Christ relentlessly. Ahmad invests in our youth and never gives up on them; he grieves over their pain; and he boldly shares the truth found in the Word of God to help them find freedom. His witness is an encouragement, and a reminder that in building relationships, we can fulfill our mission to offer hope by being a loving Christian community. Ahmad is a leader in helping MCH gain perspective and see that we are all empowered to connect, and through those connections, we can share truth and love and begin to offer the hope found in Christ alone.”

Washington has worked for MCH for 10 years. “When I learned I would be receiving the Core Award for Hope, I was both humbled and grateful to God for this honor,” he said.

Kim Clark, director of spiritual development, and Washington’s supervisor had this to share, “Ahmad is an important part of the ministry at MCH. He is truly invested in the lives of the students and staff. Ahmad is able to offer the hope of Christ to those around him through amazing preaching, music production and genuine relationships. The youth migrate towards him because he is honest and real, always pointing then toward who God created them to be. He shows them daily how they can live for Christ through the ups and downs of life.”

Friday, January 16, 2015

New Beginnings in Corpus Christi

Making the decision to ask for help in times of need is never easy, but for Amy Lutz it was a necessary step in the right direction for her family. Recently divorced, Lutz realized that if she was going to provide a better life for herself and her son, Robby (9), she would need the support of a Christ-centered organization. Lutz reached out to the local MCH Family Outreach office in Corpus Christi for more information on their programs and found the support she so desperately needed.

Lutz and her son were connected with Michelle Gunter, who became their case manager. Over the course of four months, Gunter helped guide Lutz through the Family Solutions program. This program helps families enhance their quality of life by providing weekly meetings with a case manager who works with the family to identify problems and develop goals to improve their situation. The Corpus Christi office is among a network of 12 MCH Family Outreach offices carrying on a 125-year tradition of providing help and hope to children and families in Texas and New Mexico.

Lutz faced many challenges at the beginning of the program, but Gunter helped her see these challenges as opportunities for growth. While learning to parent on her own, Lutz also discovered that Robby is autistic and was subsequently diagnosed with ADHD. Lutz acknowledged she needed a deeper level of support that encompassed more than learning new parenting skills. With Gunter’s assistance, Lutz outlined goals in key areas of her life and began taking steps to make those goals a reality for her and Robby.

“Those goals laid a foundation for a new life,” Lutz said.

In addition to connecting Lutz to local resources for parents with autistic children, Gunter helped Lutz set financial goals. Lutz wanted to feel a new sense of independence in her life and be able to empower herself. Gunter also assisted Lutz in the process of returning to school for massage therapy, an industry that Lutz is passionate about.

“Where I am now is completely different than where I was,” Lutz said as she spoke about the benefits of the Family Solutions program. “I couldn’t have made it where I am now without the help I received.”

Working with Gunter on a regular basis helped Lutz focus on the things she needed to accomplish for her family but didn’t have the strength to do alone. Looking back, Lutz admitted the timing could not have been more perfect. MCH Family Outreach in Corpus Christi was there when she needed them most, preparing her to embark on a new beginning.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Bright Futures in Lufkin

Narasha Adams found herself at a crossroads. As a single mother with two young children living in Lufkin, she consistently struggled to connect with her children. Her older daughter, Brooklyn (5) has developmental issues and Octarien (4) was having trouble in school. Adams knew that in order to be the best parent possible to both her children, she would need help.

Adams found that help and has benefitted greatly from the Family Solutions program offered through MCH Family Outreach in Lufkin, which is a part of a 125-year tradition of providing help and hope to children, individuals and families in Texas and New Mexico.

The purpose of MCH Family Outreach offices is to empower families in their communities and support them during trying times. Over the past few months with weekly support from LaKiesha Chatman, her case manager, Adams said she has been able to work toward goals that will help her family reach new levels of stability.

“Going back to school is important to me,” she said. “I want to provide a better future for my family.”

MCH Family Outreach connected Adams with local resources to help develop her reading comprehension and computer skills. In addition to supporting Adams’ goal of going back to school, Chatman also provided the Adams family with resources on how to get more involved in the Lufkin community. Through the Family Solutions program, Chatman has also provided information on both Asperger’s and autism, as these might be conditions Brooklyn deals with.

“Narasha is a great mom,” Chatman said, as Brooklyn and Octarien played in the living room. “She is protective of her children and only wants the best for them.”

Adams said she is grateful for the support she has felt from Chatman.

“LaKiesha will call me just to ask how I am doing, and that means a lot,” Adams explained.

Though these interactions may seem small, they have meant the world to Adams and her family. She said knowing Chatman cares about her family has helped her cope over the months.

Every day families like Adams’ in Texas and New Mexico reach out for support and our MCH Family Outreach offices willingly offer a helping hand. Looking forward, Adams hopes to begin taking cosmetology classes, as well as learn more about Asperger’s and autism so she can continue to advocate on Brooklyn’s behalf. Adams knows that if she hadn’t had the strength to ask for help, her family would not have had the opportunity to grow as it has.

“I would refer them to anyone,” Adams claimed when talking about MCH Family Outreach. “I feel blessed to have their help.”