Students Giving Back

Last week, students from STCH Ministries Homes for Children traveled to the Dominican Republic on a mission trip with STCH Ministries International. The week started with them building bookshelves to deliver to an orphanage. They took turns cutting, drilling and sanding the pieces until five bookshelves were completed and ready to be delivered the following day. They enjoyed seeing their finished pieces installed at the orphanage when they went for a visit which also included activities with the kids at the orphanage and a tea party for the house moms. The rest of the week they spent digging a trench for the foundation of a new house. The house belongs to the family of two Samuel’s Fund students and other mission teams will work to complete the house throughout the summer. Through the heat, the students pushed to finish the trench before they left. Dominican ministry partners commented on how impressed they were by the work ethic of the students. The students also hosted a VBS for a local church and loved getting to interact with the kids despite the language barrier. Throughout the week the students talked about the impact the week had on their lives, from gaining an appreciation for the opportunities they have to learning how to find joy and thank God even for the small things or hard times. All of them were excited to come back home and share how God moved through them and in them. STCH Ministries is thankful for the opportunity for these two ministries to work together to change lives. 

Unforgettable Moments

The Comical and the Inspirational

On a mission trip, God speaks individually to each person—through laughter, in singing or in a child’s eyes, during painting, playing, devotions on the rooftop, or a food delivery.  In early June, Hunters Glen Baptist from Plano joined First Baptist from Kenedy to serve together in the Dominican Republic.
Sunday morning at IBQ church was “a picture of heaven,” reported Marcia.

The Spanish and English words of hymns sung at full volume,
gave new meaning to the ancient words,
“This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long!”
One afternoon the group gathered groceries and visited the humble zinc-roofed home of Meisy Mercedes, a sponsored child living with her grandmother. “How can we pray for you?”  Her response? Not toys, or clothes, or an Iphone. “Pray that my family will be complete in Christ, that my grandmother will accept Jesus.”

Ladies took turns sewing curtains for Raquel’s school.  Some would measure, others would cut, and others would sew.  But no matter how diligently they worked, the curtains weren’t coming out the same size. Frustration turned to laughter when they compared their measuring tapes—tapes marked 60 inches were different lengths!

Meeting their sponsored child in person provided special memories.  Celine Alvarez cried with joy and disbelief when she was told that her sponsors wanted to meet her.  She had been sponsored for 7 years by the children’s ministry of Hunter’s Glen.

On the opposite end of those emotions was Enmanuel.  Tina’s family have been sponsoring for 2 years, and they knew that Enmanuel was misbehaving and failing in school.  Imagine his surprise and embarrassment when his sponsor showed up, speaking Spanish, and talked with him about his behaviors. “I’ll be back next year to check on you!”

The group traveled to the Higuey boys home, and spent two days with them.  Building a porch, painting, sharing devotional time along with a mountain of pizzas—but their most precious memories were loving and playing with 25 boys.
“I was reminded that God is always good, always faithful.”  “I was blessed to see love in action.” “ I was nudged to invest in our youth at home.” “I met a child that needs a sponsor.”  God spoke personally, and willing hearts responded to His call.

One Life

A family group from First Woodway Baptist Church, joined a group of pre-PA students from Baylor to give Spring Break, 2022, a special meaning—for themselves and for over 350 children and families in the Dominican Republic.  Arriving at the Las Americas airport, any lingering COVID-concerns were swept away in the flood of excited, “Welcome!  Bienvenidos!” from the STCH Ministries Dominican partners.  Mountains of luggage were hurriedly pushed through torrents of rain to load on the bus.  The aroma of arroz con pollo, plantains, and salad awaited as they arrived at the Quisqueyana Baptist Church, mission headquarters for the week.

The diverse group was hosted by STCH Ministries (formerly South Texas Children’s Home), a BGCT supported ministry since 1960.  STCH Ministries International has been actively serving children and families in the Dominican Republic for 15 years, and through the heritage of one student’s great-grandparents, they have been connected with the Dominican Republic since 1947.  STCH Ministries customizes the ministry activities of each mission team according to their gifts.  This week included four medical clinics with the pre-PA students, a day at an orphanage, plus repair of a rotting palm-board house, VBS classes, and food deliveries to families and widows living with food insecurity.

Sunday afternoon Maria Luisa, a widow for many years, was surprised and grateful to receive the food offering.  She brushed away tears, took several deep breaths and willingly shared her story.

“I was married, with a baby boy just a little over a year old, when my world was shattered by the accident that killed my husband. I didn’t have a personal relationship with God, although I knew about Him. Darkness closed in. I spent months in deep depression, barely able to care for my son.  Desperate, I asked a distant relative to take me to church. There, at the Quisqueyana Baptist Church, I met the Savior and began a long healing journey. At first, I grew angrier with God as I began to read the Bible. ‘You have all power! You could have prevented the accident and my husband’s death! Why?’ my broken heart continued to cry.
“God’s purpose, I read, was to show the glory of God.  It didn’t really make sense and it didn’t take away the loneliness and pain that filled every waking hour. But somehow, it brought a tiny ray of hope into my dark world.  Maybe there was some purpose for my life?  I began teaching a children’s Bible class in my home.  Children, and then neighbors began to attend.  As time passed, many others became believers.”

Maria Luisa’s eyes were bright with joy as she shared that today almost every home in her neighborhood has passed from death to eternal life by faith in Christ. “My husband’s death brought me to Jesus, and the changes in my life brought Jesus to my neighbors!”

The team also shared the love of Jesus to over 350 individuals through medical clinics. Their medical needs varied from common colds and viruses, high blood pressure and related illnesses, many types of tropical fungi and skin lesions.  Approximately 75% of their needs could be met in the clinics through the doctor’s advice and medicines, while more serious cases were given appropriate referrals to specialists.
The students reported they were impacted by the opportunity to share God’s love through the practice of medicine.  As one student said, “I felt we were showing God off, by the way we loved and ministered to the needs of many who had no other options for medical care.”  Another student reported, “We watched the doctors take time with each patient, and listen compassionately to their complaints.  I want to be the kind of PA that takes time with my patient and shows genuine interest and values them.”
Throughout the week, in many diverse ministries, team members were blessed and challenged in their own lives. They were empowered to see the impact of their efforts in the lives of children and families.
     
Throughout the week, in many diverse ministries, team members were blessed and challenged in their own lives. They were empowered to see the impact of their efforts in the lives of children and families.

“Only one life, twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”
One life.  The impact continues.

Sharing Hope – Christmas on Campus

As 2021 begins, we at STCH Ministries are excited to see how God is going to move through our ministries this year. Sharing Hope will be a way for you to stay connected to all that God is doing through STCH Ministries. We want to say THANK YOU for your continued prayers and support and look forward to sharing these stories with you.

Christmas at Homes for Children

Due to COVID-19, Christmas looked and felt a little different on our Homes for Children campus. Groups that would normally come out and host a party for the children had to get creative. One group from The Church at Creek’s End in Spring, Texas loaded up a charter bus with gifts, donations and youth ready to share the love of Christ. Cottages sat on their front porch and watched as the group sang carols, acted out the Christmas Story and delivered gifts.

Homes for Children was blessed by many different Christmas sponsors this year including Cedar Grove Baptist Church, the VFW and many others. We could not do what we do without the support from all of the amazing sponsors that make Christmas special for the children.

Homes for Families Christmas

Christmas is always full of fun, laughter and excitement for the mothers and children on our Homes for Families campus. In December, the Cub Scouts Pack 226 from Yorktown Christian Academy blessed our families with Christmas gifts and the children enjoyed the opportunity to open the gifts and show off their new toys. Three members of Danbury Baptist Church also brought gifts for our families and enjoyed some time of fellowship with our Phase I and Phase II moms. The moms enjoyed the fellowship as much as their children enjoyed the gifts. 

They were also blessed by gifts from Marathon Oil and the Blanco Baptist Association. We are thankful for all of our Christmas sponsors for making Christmas a special time for these families. 

Homes for Families Childcare

During the day, the younger children whose moms are in Phase I or Phase II, attend childcare on the campus. Recently, two volunteers took time out of their day to put together an activity table for the children. The children couldn’t wait to try it out and to start working on their motor skills by working with whisks and pompoms and learning about healthy snacks. “We learned apples are fruit, some apples are red, apples are good for us and apples taste good!” explains Kathy, the Homes for Families Child Care Assistant.

The new activity table is a great addition to their daily schedule. It provides a productive learning space while keeping the toddlers in one safe spot. “They can focus on the activity and we can focus on them collectively”.

We are thankful for an amazing staff at Homes for Families that love to see the children grow just as much as they love to see the mothers grow.

 

Thank you for your continued prayers, support and commitment to STCH Ministries and those we serve.

Want to get involved? Our website has a great list of opportunities for you – click to see where God leads you: Connect Me!

Thank you for helping STCH Ministries!

Living Intentionally in 2021

Goodbye 2020. Flickering hopes for a better 2021 compete with dire predictions from pastors, politicians, the economy and health officials. How shall each of us respond?

The Houston First Baptist Cypress family mission team, joined by the Kemp family from Allen First Baptist chose not to wait for a future time to serve. Ignoring fearful “what-ifs,” they focused their eyes on Dominican children and families most cruelly impacted by the pandemic. As one participant shared, “I don’t want to put life on hold. In 2021 I want to trust God in new ways and live intentionally for His kingdom.” 

Masked and COVID-weary, the team easily passed through Dominican customs on December 26, 2020. They gave a hallelujah shout-out that not one of the mountainous pile of suitcases was lost or delayed! Mounting their bus, they rode to the IBQ mission compound down streets jammed with cars, as motorcycles zipped dangerously in between. Crowds of people drifted on streets and sidewalks, and clustered on the corners with no apparent destination. People competed for the chance to sell food, water and household items at every intersection. Others desperately squirted water on the windshield of passing vehicles, hoping for a paltry tip of pesos—food for today their vital goal. Unemployment is critically high, largely due to the devastation of the tourism industry.

In spite of negative circumstances on both sides of the Caribbean, the Christmas team purposed to live out the Gospel message, “Joy to the world, the Lord HAS come!” Through words and deeds, and in PRESENCE, they communicated that “neither angels or demons, neither our fears for today, nor our worries about tomorrow (not even a pandemic) can separate us from God’s love.”

During the varied ministries, appropriate COVID-precautions were observed—pre-screening, limited group size, masks and outdoor activities. The team delivered groceries from Texas Baptist Hunger Offering to needy families. Construction of desks and cubbies for the Villa Altagracia school took place in the open-air workshop on site. At Villa Altagracia they participated in an Evangelism walk through the neighborhoods, distributing tracts and rejoicing with those who responded. Children’s ministries included singing, games and the Jonah story shared through drama. After presenting the drama, participants switched places with Dominican children and coached them through the same drama, making the story and the lessons doubly impactful.

We shared our customary meal with Dominican families by inviting them to fellowship with an American family at the IBQ compound. Decorated tables were set up under the zinc roof in separate corners of the church, and the Americans served the Dominicans. The fellowship was delightful and personal.

During the day at the Higuey orphanage, the team rotated between painting walls and building relationships–singing, playing games, baking and frosting cupcakes, blowing bubbles, holding them, loving as Jesus’ disciples. While fitting them with new shoes, they also shared the Gospel with each boy.

At the conclusion of the trip, one mother concluded, “There are many reasons to be discouraged by COVID and current events, but God is greater than all of these things, and our time in the DR reminded us of this.”

STCH Ministries and our Dominican partners are grateful for the investment of this Christmas mission team. Although we face a lot of unknowns, we know God’s Word never fails, and He is ultimately sovereign. May we respond by living intentionally in 2021 as Christ-followers, knowing that whatever we invest in Kingdom ministry is never lost.

 

Bendiciones,

Joanna Berry
Joanna Berry
Vice President of Family and International Ministries
STCH Ministries

Celebrate God’s Faithfulness in Pictures

If I had to pick two words that defined STCH Ministries International during this COVID-2020 year, I would have to choose perseverance and flexibility.  Perseverance to overcome obstacles, take calculated risks while exercising appropriate protocols, replace fear with faith in God’s provision and faithfulness.  And flexibility.  In the past we depended on mission teams to meet many needs of children and families, and to support the ministries of orphanages, schools and churches through our presence, resources and “sweat equity.”  Without mission teams, our STCH Ministries partners stepped forward and organized, distributed responsibilities, substituted in-person for WhatsApp, Zoom, phone, email and text and continued to serve.

At the same time, the STCH Ministries family of donors responded to the increased needs—food to feed children and families, computers to aid distance learning.  Eron Green captured our call to action and service during this time with, “THE MINISTRY CONTINUES.”  Click on the link below to see a short video of all that was accomplished, and celebrate our God who “always supplies our needs according to His riches in glory through Christ Jesus.”

May your Christmas be blessed and the New Year welcomed, with an eternal perspective.  ”God is still on the throne, Almighty God is He, and He cares for His own through all eternity.”

Bendiciones,

Joanna Berry
Joanna Berry
Vice President of Family and International Ministries
STCH Ministries

Click here to view the video!

The Ministry Continues – Peace Like a River

We hope you had a wonderfully blessed and thankful Thanksgiving! We know it may have looked a little different this year – but prayerfully you still remained grateful to the Lord for He is Good! 

“And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name.”
1 Chronicles 29:13

We are gratefully blessed because of you.
Thank you for helping the Ministry Continue!

 

HOMES FOR CHILDREN

Through your generous contributions, our students are able to participate in many different activities in school such as athletics, UIL, showing animals and so much more!

Recently two of our teen students, Laura and Seth, from our Homes for Children campus showed their steer and heifer in Cameron, TX.

We are so thankful for the opportunity our students are given to take part in 4H due to supporters like YOU!!

 

FAMILY COUNSELING

The impact God makes on our lives – when we invite God into our lives – is life-changing.

A client of Family Counseling recently shared an encouraging message with one of our counselors. The client expressed her thankfulness by explaining how God used the counselor’s words as a way for God to intervene and allow healing.

I just wanted to share with you that God spoke through you yesterday.
I really felt His “peace like a river” wash over me by the end of our session.
Thank you for allowing Him to use you.
This is why I feel so strongly that the spiritual aspect of counseling
cannot be left out, and am so grateful to be working with you.

This is a wonderful reminder that God intervenes and speaks by using others to do His Will. And when God intervenes, lives are impacted.

STCH Ministries would not be able to counsel and minister to those we serve, without the help of supporters like YOU!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


GIVING TUESDAY IS HERE!

The stories we share with you, and so many others – are a reminder of how God uses others to carry out His Will

STCH Ministries is thankful for you, your prayers and your support.

As the busy holiday season begins it’s easy to get consumed with shopping, traveling and year-end deadlines.

Will you please consider taking a moment today – out of your busy schedule – and share an act of HOPE? Today is the annual day of giving, #GivingTuesday.

 

Thank you again for your continued prayers, support and commitment to STCH Ministries and those we serve.

The impact you make changes lives, you are helping to share hope and heal hearts through your prayers, gifts, involvement and more!

Thank you for helping the Ministry Continue!

Chosen to Serve Through Technology

As Covid-19 cases diminish in the Dominican Republic, the aftereffects send shock waves through the entire social, economic, and educational systems. The newly elected government threads their way between the needs of school children, panicked parents, unprepared teachers and administrators. They delayed the new school year to November, and mandated distance learning. Paper, pencil, chalkboards suddenly became inadequate tools. Computers, internet access, learning platforms—all inaccessible to impoverished teachers and children.

 

 







STCH Ministries donors became angels, (messengers sent by God). Within a few weeks more than 65 computers and notebooks were in the hands of the teachers, and available for children in the tutoring room and orphanages. Teachers worked to adapt to virtual lessons, and struggled with spotty internet signal, and limited band width when several computers were online at the same time.

 

At Raquel’s school, teachers were grateful for the computers, but definitely frustrated as they tried to meet the needs of their students. They moved around to hallways or perched on stair steps, sat on the floor, or crammed together in one room for best internet reception. 

 

Raquel, never one to stare at a problem for long, began to search for ways to improve the situation. She bought a device that was supposed to boost the signal—didn’t help. She considered a router, but couldn’t afford $35.00. Raquel prayed. She told the teachers that by the following Monday they would have a solution. Her daughter, Michell asked, “But, Mom, how are you going to do this?” More prayer.

In Austin, God was already answering those prayers. Marco Leal and Will Krauss, owner and president of the Loyal IT firm, and STCH Ministries staff boarded flights for the Dominican Republic. We hoped they could review and make suggestions to improve. However, Marco and Will came with two huge bags of equipment to RESOLVE, not just review. Much of the high-tech equipment was donated by Austin Retina Associates and Central Texas Eye Center, who also wanted to help. God never does anything halfway!

 

They toured and assessed the problems, while speaking a third language, besides English and Spanish…granular control, access points, 48 watts to 5.8 gigahertz, 8 Port, 12-Port, maybe a 24-port Switch, Packets, and TCIP/IP Transmission Control Protocol. Russell reported, “We installed outdoor-rated Network cable for durability, one Access Point on the second floor of the school, which will boost Wi-Fi signal to all of the second floor of the main building and some of the second building as well. This was the first of 3 Access points along with a switch that will manage the 3 Access Points. Plus another device that will grant us access to their Network via the Internet….with greater speeds of data transfer and a higher number of devices connected.”

Raquel may not have understood the words or the concepts. What she DID know was that God had answered her prayers. Tears welled up in her eyes, and rolled down her cheeks. Giddy with excitement, the next morning she shared in the teachers’ amazement when they turned on their computers and saw that they had internet access. In addition to the work at Raquel’s school, the team traveled to the school at Villa Altagracia to do similar work, and then returned to the headquarters area at the IBQ church to significantly improve the internet capacity there. We are grateful to Loyal IT and to all of our Ministry Partners in schools, churches and orphanages who do such amazing work for God. An old poem states, “God chooses whom He uses.” We are honored to serve with others whom God has chosen for this work.

 

 

 




 


Bendiciones,

Joanna Berry
Joanna Berry
Vice President of Family and International Ministries
STCH Ministries

The Ministry Continues – We’re Hiring!

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your
good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
” Matthew 5:16

STCH Ministries has a beautiful story with testaments of lives being impacted over the last 68+ years of history. This is only possible due to God’s Favor over our ministry and those He’s placed among the ministry to do His work.

Thank you for being part of our story


It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of former STCH Ministries President, Dr. A.J. “Jack” Green.

Dr. Green was born on August 3, 1931 and passed November 9, 2020. He served as a pastor for many years in churches throughout Texas.


STCH Ministries was blessed by the life and vision of Dr. Green, and his legacy will live on through the ministries he helped create and strengthen.

Dr. Green started working for STCH Ministries in 1973, only the 2nd President in the 21 years since its founding, and he went on to serve for 25 years.

The love and dedication that he had for the organization, the children, the families and God’s Will helped STCH Ministries grow and expand their reach to affect more lives. In the years after he left STCH Ministries, you could find him with a STCH Ministries cap on his head and a smile on his face. He continued to be a presence at STCH Ministries, going to Board Meetings, working with the ministries and praying for the future.

We are deeply saddened by the news but know that Dr. Green’s legacy will live on through the lives that he touched. Please continue to pray for his family


Have a Heart for Kids?

Do you and your spouse have a heart for ministry and a love for children? STCH Ministries Homes for Children is seeking special couples to serve as Houseparents on our beautiful campus located in the heart of South Texas.

Houseparents must understand and support the mission of STCH Ministries and its programs and faith tradition. Houseparents play a front-line role in this ministry.

To learn more about this opportunity click: more information.


‘Tis the Season to Smile!

The holiday season is upon us! If you’re looking for a safe and convenient way to stay away from crowds, but your Christmas and shopping lists continue to grow… Amazon is a great place to start!

When you shop through Amazon Smile, a portion of your sale will be donated back to STCH Ministries. So you can double the gifts you’re giving this year, without hitting the stores!

Click here to shop through AMAZON SMILE and STCH Ministries receives a portion.
(This is available all year long.)


Thank you again for your continued prayers, support and commitment to STCH Ministries and those we serve.

The impact you make changes lives, and there are so many different ways you can get connected and make an impact with STCH Ministries.

Our website has a great list of opportunities for you – click to see where God leads you: Connect Me!

Thank you for helping the Ministry Continue!

The Ministry Continues – Ministry Project Funded by Ladies for the Least

As we begin a new month, November – also the month of Thanksgiving – it’s a great opportunity to express our gratitude and thankfulness, we pray these words over you and those we serve:

” The Lord bless you
And keep you
Make His face shine upon you
And be gracious to you
The Lord turn His
Face toward you
And give you peace
May His favor be upon you

Amen”

and excerpt from the song “The Blessing” by Elevation Worship

Celebrating Over 80 Years of Ministry!

We recently celebrated an amazing woman, Doretta Brown.

Ms. Doretta has been serving in missions since the 1940s with a large part of her and her husband’s service taking place in the Dominican Republic. She played a large part in helping STCH Ministries start our ministry in the Dominican Republic. She also trained the kitchen staff and made the menu that they still use today when feeding the mission groups.

We will never be able to thank her enough for her many years of service and ministry. She continues to show much wisdom, joy, laughs and be a servant for God’s glory. We have been blessed to see her impact on so many lives! Please join us in prayer as we celebrate her as she moves on to her next stage of life. 

Our team celebrates Ms. Doretta (centered in yellow)
with a time of fellowship and gratitude.


We have a special opportunity for YOU to go to the Dominican Republic!

As the Christmas season approaches in the midst of the lingering Covid-19 pandemic, many families may be wondering how to celebrate this year. One tradition that will continue is our International ministry will host the bi-annual Family Christmas Trip to the Dominican Republic from December 26 – January 2.Our team will share the Gospel, deliver food and Christmas packages to families and the boys at Higuey orphanage, dramatize the Christmas story, build furniture for a preschool expansion at Villa Altagracia, and more!

We will not be taking a large group, but we have room for a few families. Would you like to be part of this special trip, and share Christmas with needy children and families in the Dominican Republic? For more information click to email: Amanda Yanez or contact her or Joanna Berry at 361-994 0940.



Ladies for the Least Funds a Ministry Project!

Although our event was held virtually, we enjoyed seeing everyone. We heard an inspiring and honest testimony from one of our moms, Ashley Kaufman; while laughing along with our heart-warming speaker, Melissa Radke.

The women who participated in this event also voted to fund the Homes for Families ministry project of two vehicles. These vehicles will be used by our moms to help take care of their families’ needs such as: to go to work or attend college, take their children to school, medical appointments, buy groceries and many other errands that fill a mom’s life.

These vehicles will remain at Homes for Families, and moms will have accessibility to borrow and use the vehicles.

We received great feedback on the event this year:

   “I really enjoyed the event, it was the first time since May I have not been focused on the next round of chemo, next treatment, or next set of tests coming up. I put on my fancy pajamas, wrapped up in a warm blanket, kicked back on the couch and laughed until it hurt!”

   “Thank you for doing this! I know it was so different than we normally do, but it was just what I needed to see and hear today. I love this ministry so much and so grateful to be a part of it!”

   “I really enjoyed the event! The women who spoke were inspiring and their stories were very much needed. Hearing all that STCH Ministries does really ensures my trust and faith in the ministry – lives are truly being impacted and changed.”


The team which hosted Ladies for the Least.
L to R: Monica Wright, Melissa Radke (speaker),
Jeny Cortez, Shelley Green and Ashley Gordon

 

The Annual Golf Classic had another successful year in spite of COVID! 

Players gathered, played hard, and were excited to be a part of impacting lives through STCH Ministries. We had a record 39 registered teams participate!

Remy Huston, Sr. related the story of how his father had first gotten involved in STCH Ministries years ago. And now it has become a generational event. Remy introduced his son, Remy Huston Jr. who played in the tournament alongside him. The excitement generated by these men was contagious.

We also owe a debt of thanks to all our sponsors and players!

We love the way John Crisp of The Ranches of Echelon, our Title Sponsor expressed it, ”Let’s do everything we can to keep a smile on the children’s faces!”

One of the many golf teams who enjoyed playing
on a beautiful day while helping impact lives!


God sustains our ministry, and He uses people
to help accomplish His Will.
Be part of our

Monthly Giving Program  Sign-Up Today!


Thank you again for your continued prayers, support and commitment to STCH Ministries and those we serve.

Our gratitude can not be expressed enough, you help sustain our ministries… the Ministry Continues through God’s Good Works and through you!

Thank you for helping the Ministry Continue!