Bethesda News

One Step Closer & One Step Away

On September 13, we removed the datestone from the Shamrock Firehouse and Youth Center and discovered some interesting artifacts. Thank you all so much for your patience as we work with several organizations to complete this massive undertaking.

Making an Impact

Bethesda Mission is impact-driven. We strive to make the biggest difference possible in the lives of those we serve. At our Community Center, we provide children and teens in need with positively formative access and opportunities.

During the past few weeks, we’ve offered exciting programs and events for kids to attend, including the MERGE Conference, a trip to the Little League World Series, and professional animal training.

These trips fill the gap between our summer and after-school programs and allow us to maintain and grow our connections with students, even outside of our traditional schedule.
The MERGE Conference was a two-day event, during which we were fortunate to partner with the Center for Champions and Living Water Church.

MERGE provided time to learn about God, play games, sing, and pray. Pastor Mark Turner led discussions and group time, and music was performed by DJ Ant G and Diomer.

One of our students, Peyton, was inspired by her time at MERGE. “I enjoyed nine square, the music, and prayers,” she recalled. She said it also motivated her to work harder in class and led her to join her school’s JROTC program.

Colleen and Alyssa took nine kids to the Little League World Series on August 24. The students started the day at the LLWS museum and the original little league field in Williamsport.

Afterward, they went to this year’s home run derby and two elimination games. They caught baseballs during the derby, which they got signed by players from their favorite team at the event: the Pabao Little League team from Curacao.

The kids were also challenged to positively engage with other audience members, and they tried to get fist bumps and high fives.

Ultimately, one of the girls who went decided to return to playing baseball after taking last year off. The others found themselves willing to readily commit to excellence in their interests, both in sports and otherwise.

Animal training is led by our own Colleen McCallus. Colleen uses the horses as a vehicle to help students reflect on how their actions and outlook affect others.

These animal-assisted life experiences develop confidence and teamwork. They also provide a chance to interact with something new in a safe environment.

It took one girl in our REACH program three or four times at the barn to feel comfortable enough to ride. By overcoming her fear there, she has prepared herself to overcome challenges in other parts of her life.

Another student, Ky’Ler, is now pursuing formal horseback riding training with Colleen’s instructor. His mom and sister also attend these trips to the barn and enjoy the peaceful time they get to spend together as a family.

Looking Forward

We’ve had the vision of a fully transformed and functional Community Center since 2015, when we discussed buying the printing press building located next to our Youth Center.

Eight years later, we are one step away from fulfilling that vision. With the new building in place, we will be able to double our impact on kids, teens, and families in the area as we serve more people more effectively.

We continue to seek funds to support this legacy project from individuals, organizations, and foundations. Board members have donated $50,000 of their own finances to provide an incentive to prospective donors and foundations and demonstrate the value of this legacy project.

Please pray for our Community Center staff and students, especially as we navigate holding after-school programs with limited space.

Look forward to more updates as we continue to build the future of our organization!

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