Bethesda News

About to Reach the Finish Line

“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden” (Matthew 5:14).

For over 30 years, Bethesda Mission has been building into the lives of impressionable and underprivileged children and teens, going upstream to help youth stay in school, out of the juvenile justice system, and develop and nurture skills and character to help them face life’s challenges. And it has worked.

The seven-year dream to upgrade our facilities began with acquiring the former printing company and renovating it into a beautiful gym and community activity center. Last year, we demolished the Shamrock Fire Station, and we are now working to complete a new and functionally effective structure.

Completing the classroom annex will enable us to realize our vision of a fully functional center. The second-floor mezzanine will allow family and community members to engage with the activities in the gym, and new classrooms will allow us to cultivate 21st-century skills within our students.

Now, we are nearing the finish line. The old Youth Center was demolished last year; the resurrection of the new Community Center structure has begun.

Below is the Community Center budget to finish the vision of a completed second floor. We have already raised the funds to secure the buildout of the first floor with a second-story shell, with an additional $75,000 already raised toward finishing the second story.

Community Center Budget: Finishing the Vision

Total Costs (Second Story):     $336,494

Total Funds Raised:                $75,303

Remaining Funds to Raise:    $261,191

In the Beginning

In one way or another, Reach Coordinator Michael Green has been part of this program since the beginning. He grew up in Allison Hill and attended the Youth Center as a teen.

“We called it the Shamrock Center,” Michael remembered. “[At the time], we had no idea that it was run by Bethesda Mission. I have so many memories: moments of fellowship, basketball tournaments, teen nights on Fridays.”

After he graduated, he moved to California for 10 years before coming back, settling down, marrying Genesis, and being ordained.

“God laid it on my heart to come back,” Michael stated. “Sometimes, we think pastoring only comes from a pulpit, but there are so many places outside of churches to serve. Now, I’m providing kids with the same opportunities that I had.”

While he was sad when the firehouse came down, Michael is looking forward to a brighter future. “You can’t hide a light on a hill. This new building will draw people and be a light in this community. I grew up here, so I can help them find a new way forward. We can build a place where the kids know they are safe and accepted.”

In February, Community Center students and staff had the opportunity to sign the final steel beam. The beam was installed the next day during a “topping off” ceremony.

Please prayerfully consider how you can help these impressionable children and teens by getting this legacy vision over the finish line.

If you would like a tour or have any questions, please contact Cindy Mallow, Director of Development, at cmallow@bethesdamission.org, or call (717) 257-4442, ext. 233. You can also use this link to learn more about this project and donate toward its completion: fireproof-a-life.

Thank you, and may God bless you!

Scott Dunwoody

Executive Director

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