Building Relationships through Service
Take a look at the way that God is working daily in our community...
Christ's Love and Hope in Our Community
A young woman came into LCM for assistance back in May last year. Christie and her three daughters were homeless, struggling to get back on their feet and without much hope. A ministry staffer learned during the meeting that she was a trained surgical technician who had let her license expire after losing her last job. She felt that Christie was a strong candidate for help through the LCM Work/Trade Program. Christie was accepted into the program and Lighthouse committed to pay for her study materials and expensive test fee if she met certain conditions. Christie kept her word and scheduled her licensing test.
The day before the test, the staffer called to confirm she was ready only to learn that Christie was again homeless, without a car, overdrawn at the bank and had no way to get to Houston for the test. After some discussion, it was decided LCM would provide her transportation to Houston. Upon picking her up, she was very nervous and studied the entire trip. During the trip, Christie was filled with doubt and hopelessness.
Upon arriving, the Lighthouse staffer said, “we have to pray.” They prayed for God to bring all the information into her mind as she takes the exam. The test was scheduled to last four hours, but just two hours later the phone rang. The person on the line was crying hysterically. The staffer knew it had to be Christie and it had to be bad news. She finally gained enough composure to tell her LCM friend she finished the test early. Christie then said, “I passed, God answered our prayers!”
The Lighthouse mentor picked up a changed person that afternoon. She cried more tears of joy than anyone had ever seen, and she kept thanking God. This young woman, who was so hopeless that morning, was now filled with great hope for her future. Please join us in praying for God to continue to guide this family into a healthy future.
For most of us, graduating high school is a right of passage we simply take for granted. But for some students, high school graduation never happened. Life circumstances cut short their educational pursuits and replaced those dreams with a full-time job, an instant family, or a broken home. Rosita Lopez was one of those students who never experienced the joy of walking across that stage and receiving the diploma.
Rosita had to give up her schooling in order to go to work at a young age to help support her family and never graduated high school. But she never gave up her dreams of getting her high school diploma. After working at the same company for more than 20 years, cutbacks dictated layoffs and Rosita found herself without a job. That’s when she realized she needed that high school diploma in order to qualify for a new position. But it was more than that for Rosita.
“At 63 years old, I needed to find a new job,” Rosita said. “but it was also a matter of personal fulfillment and pride for me to finally accomplish something that had been nagging at me all those years.”
Rosita had never given up her dream of finishing her schooling and actively sought out a GED completion program. She found the Lighthouse GED Tutoring program and immediately enrolled. With all her life experiences, she progressed through the program very quickly and took her GED exam within a year of beginning the LCM tutoring program. When asked to speak about her experiences in the program to the newer students, she had this to say.
“First, don’t wait until you’re 63 to begin this program,” she said with a grin. “These teachers gave me their personal time after class, I was able to send them emails on the weekend, and they sat and prayed with me when I needed it most. If you do your part, these ladies will not let you fail.”
Approximately 25 students participated in the Lighthouse GED Tutorial program in 2018, and along with Rosita, three other students graduated from the program and passed their exam. Those students were finally able to experience the excitement of accomplishing something so many of us take for granted.
Lighthouse Christian Ministries offers free GED tutoring services as a component of its Education Ministries. Students can take advantage of three retired educators three days a week, five hours per day at the Lighthouse facility. The 2019 spring semester was a milestone for Lighthouse GED student Ana Peredas. By studying hard and passing her GED exam, she now has opportunities that were once out of reach.
Ana Peredas came to the United States in 2014 looking for better opportunities for herself and her family. She began ESL (English as a Second Language) courses when she arrived and soon learned enough English to set her goal on a high school diploma. Once she felt comfortable with the language, she was ready to accomplish her other goal. Lighthouse was the program of choice for Ana to begin her quest for a high school education. She began the program in January 2018 and persevered until she fulfilled her dream this spring.
“I would recommend this program to anyone seeking a high school GED diploma,” Ana said. “The teachers love you enough to allow you to fail in a safe environment. They support the students with everything you need.”
Ana is no longer disqualified from getting a job because she has no high school diploma. She has acquired the tools to support herself and her family through hard work and dedication, and through the assistance of the Lighthouse Christian Ministries educational ministry. For more information about Lighthouse Christian Ministries GED tutoring program, go to https://lighthousecm.org/services/educational.
Out of the Mouths of Babes: Nataly’s Story
Nataly is a mother of two. A few years ago, although she was a member of a church, she felt there was something missing in her life. Seeking something, but not knowing what that was, she joined a Bible study group for women, and heard the story of David. Like David, Nataly felt the Lord had very definite plans for her life and for her children.
“I was a Sunday Christian,” Nataly said. “I left my old church because I didn’t feel I was growing spiritually, and I began actively seeking God and His plan for my life.”
Nataly and her family visited several churches and by strange coincidence, as she thought, her children were invited to attend the Lighthouse Christian Ministries Kidz Dayz summer day camp at Bayshore Friends Church in Bacliff. When September rolled around and the young family still had not found a church home, her daughter asked, “Hey Mom, do you want to go to my church?”
A bit shocked and confused by the remark, Nataly told her daughter she didn’t know she had a church. She asked, “is this the same church where you went to summer camp?” Fast forward four years and Nataly has found a church home for her family and God’s plan she was seeking.
“I prayed for a church where I could grow spiritually and also where my kids and I could become involved in church activities,” she said. “A big part of my decision to join Bayshore Friends was because the people made us feel so welcome and loved.”
This summer marks the third year she and her children have been involved at the Kidz Dayz summer camp. Nataly has become quite active in the church, acting as a translator for Spanish speaking members of the congregation, cooking meals for the Loaves and Fishes ministry, and working with the youth groups.
“Jesus said, ‘Leave the children alone, and don't try to keep them from coming to me, because the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’" – Matthew 19:14
LCM Volunteers Work Hard to Assist our Senior Neighbors
Lighthouse recently received a call from a local senior to report her central air conditioning unit was not working and it was 89 degrees in her trailer, and 110 degrees in her small bathroom. She also advised she needed assistance with her electric bill which was high due to the use of fans and a small, undersized window unit that barely cooled her bedroom. She had already been rushed by ambulance to the hospital as a result of dehydration three weeks prior.
Lighthouse volunteers from the Senior Program met with the lady and she said she was in need of a new unit since the repair man had told her the A/C unit was not repairable. LCM gave her another fan to at least circulate the air. After making several phone calls to various recreational vehicle vendors, we were advised a new unit would cost more than $700 to repair the unit which did not include installation.
In the meantime, LCM was notified by her neighbors the starter in her car had gone out and she would be unable to talk with anyone to assist with her electric bill. She was on the cusp of getting her electric turned off. LCM contacted a local auto repair shop and the owner repaired the starter at no cost. LCM volunteers located a recreational vehicle repair man who agreed to waive his normal $65 service fee to look at her cooling unit. After meeting with the repair man, he replaced two parts on her A/C at no cost.
Our senior neighbor was able to get her car repaired, have her electric bill paid, and now has central air conditioning, all to the glory of God and the assistance of Lighthouse Christian Ministries senior ministry.