Report on Mission Trip to Nicaragua with a special poem
St. Andrews Presbyterian Mission, Midland, Texas
St. Andrews Presbyterian Ministry is a unique and vibrant organization serving residents of Midland and Midland County. Supported by the Presbyterian churches of Midland, along with the Presbytery of Tres Rios, individual contributions and grants, St. Andrews has been operating since the 1960s when it was started by volunteers from local Presbyterian churches. It offers preschool programs in the morning for 3 and 4 year olds The cost for these programs per child is $40 per month for 2 mornings per week, $60 for 3 mornings and $100 for 5 mornings. Scholarships are available at the discretion of the teachers. In addition, the Mission offers assistance with food, gas, water, electric and prescription bills. It is an active participant in Agency Crosscheck which is comprised of non-profit organizations in Midland which meet monthly to share information in an effort to prevent people from abusing the system and ensure that the really needy receive assistance. St. Andrews was instrumental in initiating the building of a secure website for the sharing of information between the agencies.
The Board strives to be aware of the changing needs of the community and the Programs Committee meets regularly to discuss these issues. In 2012 a professional grant writer was hired in an attempt to increase income from foundations in the form of grants. In 2010 then Executive Director Pilar Revilla expressed to the board that giving away used clothing was no longer serving a useful purpose, and suggested that the room which had been used as a clothes closet be converted into a library for the children. This well stocked library now also offers the Rosetta Stone program for adults wishing to learn English. In 2013 Maggie Salgado, the current Executive Director, suggested to the Programs Committee that the board approve a pilot program for Senior Assistance. This was designed to offer on-going help for elderly members of the community who are having a particularly difficult time financially. This includes help with utilities and prescriptions up to $1,200 per year. St. Andrews has partnered with West Texas Opportunities in this endeavor and to date 20 families are in the program.
The vision of those who started St. Andrews Mission has been nurtured through the years, and with God’s help staff members, Board members and volunteers have given of their time and talents to ensure that the Mission continues to be a blessing to this community.
If you would like to learn more about St. Andrews, visit stamidland.org, or call Maggie Salgado at 432-682-2351.
The money Grace puts towards different missions does not mean much unless we know how the money is being used to help those in our community. Here are some of those stories:
-From Margarita- ED, regarding the Senior Assistance Program, one senior couple that is currently being assisted through our program that has really touched our hearts. He is 90 and she is 80, they live on SS benefits and they both have a lot of medical problems. He has had 2 heart attacks and she has cancer. It’s sad to know that their families are too busy for them. They either do not have the time or can’t help them, so they are at the mercy of other people. It is so rewarding seeing the joy it brings them when they see what we are able to help them with their utility bills. They tell us it helps them free up some of their money and it gives them a little extra money to pay for their medication & some food. They tell us all the time that if it weren’t for all you do for us we don’t know what we would do or what would happen to us. I truly believe that our mission here is to be able to assist families in these situations because they do not have the capacity to work or care for themselves.
– As a community, we must stand up and be a “voice” for the children in foster care that can sometimes become ‘lost’ in an overburdened child health care system; So they are able to find a safe, permanent home and prevent them from being victimized again. That “voice” is a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate).
-This is coming from a lady who is now 77 years old. “My severely ill husband, my developmentally delayed brother, and myself got on the program in 1998. We were able to regain our health enough to stop the services after three years. In early 2003, however, after a two-year-absence, we found ourselves forced to rely on Meals on Wheels again. We stayed on it, getting three lunches daily, five days a week, until my husband’s death in 2006. Then it was two lunches each day for my brother and myself for nearly four years, until his passing in late 2010 at age 80. Now it is just me. I credit the Community and Senior Services Nutrition Program with extending all our lives. I can’t imagine what we would have done without it. It has been a huge blessing.”
This family, part of the Meals on Wheels family for 13 of the past 16 years, has received more than 6,000 meals from CSS. That represents more than 2,500 daily visits to M.W.’s door with food in hand from our dedicated volunteers.
URUGUAY MISSSION TRIP
It was Saturday, March 15th, 2014, and a handful of us, from Grace, were in a small chapel at Centro Emmanuel, near Colonia Valdense in the country of Uruguay. We were attending our final worship service before taking leave for home, along with Dennis Smith (our PCUSA Presbyterian World Mission liaison), the other mission trip participants, and the director of Centro, Raquel Malan. Reverend Sonia Skupch was leading the service, as she had all week, with the assistance of Jose Luis Casal—and it was with bitter sweetness that we sang in accompaniment with her guitar, one last time. At one point in the service, she had us gather in a circle, around the Lord’s table. I glanced around the circle, assuming that maybe we were to hold hands, and noticed, across the way, that Kevin Miller had thought the same thing, as he was joining hands with his neighbors, prior to realizing that was not the intention. We were all spaced fairly far apart, and I wondered about this until I saw with clarity what was happening: all around the circle, you, members of our congregation were stepping into the spaces between us, to join us. And then I saw the different folks that we had met during the week also stepping up to join us in the circle. You see, you were all so supportive of us, through donations, your time, your hugs, your prayers and through your words, that we were somewhat overwhelmed by your kindnesses… it was only appropriate that you be there, with âall” of us—and around the Lord’s Table, at that. Thus, if you don’t remember your whereabouts in the mid-afternoon hours of March 15th, you just may have been 5000 miles away, without even realizing it. And I will treasure the memory of your presence!
GROWING WITH GRACE
Thank you for all the bags. My favorite thing is the apple juice, cookies and pudding. It makes me happy on the weekends.
I could tell you are kind and you are thoughtful. Thank you for your snack bags. My favorite snack is rice crispy.
Thanks for everything you did for Fannin elementary. My stomach is not empty but when y’all send those bags my stomach gets very full. Thanks again for what you do.
Thank you church for the food bags. My favorite in the food bags is apple juices. I feel happy when I get my food bags.
Thank you for the bag. I really like the rice crispies and the orange juices. My favorite thing to do is back flips and video games. I also like drawing diamonds.
You make the best food in the world. I like my snack bags. I hope you are making more Growing With Grace bags. My favorite thing is raisins, animal cookies, and pudding.
Dear Grace Presbyterian Church Family,
Thank you for partnering with Fannin Elementary again this past school year. Around 21 students were blessed to take home weekly food bags. Your workers faithfully picked up containers and brought them back filled every week. Thank you for the support and prayers you generously give to our school.
Community Children’s Clinic
We recently saw a teenager who has a history of asthma; he was having breathing and was out of his medications. We were able to give him a breathing treatment and be sure he went home with the meds he needed including a rescue inhaler. As the pharmacist was going over medications his mother mentioned his dad had insurance but she was under the impression it wasn’t valid in Texas. He had been out of his medications because she couldn’t afford to pay out of pocket. The pharmacist asked her to bring the information back and together they called the insurance company and found out it was valid and verified which asthma medicines were covered.
Because of partners like Grace we were able to take care of the emergency at hand.