Fiscally Faithful

Across South Texas from San Antonio to Corpus Christi to Houston, Faith & Finances graduates celebrate a deeper, richer understanding of personal finances with STCH Ministries Faith & Finances curriculum. The curriculum uses an interactive format to teach Biblical principles about money. The twelve-week course, divided into four sections, builds a strong foundation to create lasting values and long-term changes in students’ lives.

Participants from diverse demographics gather in public spaces such as a neighborhood YMCA in San Antonio or local churches across the Houston metroplex and other churches in the heart of Corpus Christi. The COVID-19 crisis pushed everyone to find a way to move forward while keeping each other as safe as possible. Some groups decided to pause from teaching and wait until safety measures allowed them to reconvene in person, while others continued learning through online classes taught by our STCH Ministries team.

The ministry appeals to young couples wanting to start their lives together with sound financial practices. Families with established careers and growing children discover spending plans which help them to live simply and give joyfully. Business leaders and retirees learn to prepare for emergencies and the correct steps to take leading to long-term change. The first trimester ended with eighty-six graduates. The second trimester, ongoing now, has classes across South Texas.

Jason Hall, a Location Director at Attack Poverty in Houston, attended the class at The Waters Church because he wanted inspiration to pay off debts. In the first three weeks of the class, Jason began laying a new foundation for his future. “I learned so much about how faith and finances tie together. My biggest takeaway was the fact that God owns everything. That idea made me realize I have lived all my life in a scarcity mentality, hoarding everything. Now I understand I am stewarding God’s money, I’ll never be the same.” He ended the class with a better understanding of how the handling of his money can bring honor to God.

In the second section of the study, longtime facilitators Jim and Patty Ferguson led their group to discover how to set goals and build budgets. Ignite Community Church hosted this course at the Thousand Oaks YMCA in San Antonio. Altogether, participating families paid off $30,000 in debt as they applied the skills taught. Jim reports, “Several individuals in the group developed a spending plan for the first time and realized what their credit cards were costing them. They comprehended, many for the first time, how much little things cost in the long run.” Javier’s family planned to attend the class together, but his adult children’s work schedules did not fit with the class time. Javier found the information presented so practical and applicable that he taught each lesson over again to his children.

Another Houston area group met at Grace Fellowship Church in Sealy.  Moving through the third section of the course, Darrell Jackson, Director of the Houston Faith & Work | Faith & Finances ministries taught students how to integrate sound practices into their budgets.  Due to the information presented about managing debt and taking on loans, a couple decided to accelerate their car payments. “I completed paying off my truck in one year, which saves me $750 per month. Now I own my truck outright,” the husband said. His wife added, “I paid off two credit cards!” Another family paid off their home equity loan before the study ended.

In Corpus Christi, at Calvary Baptist Church, students finished the class studying methods to protect their assets and consider their net worth as they planned for long-term change. As the course wrapped up, members shared their testimonies of growth. Waukeen Vinson summed up how God has proved His faithfulness through the years. He described the internal struggle he fought about paying a tithe as a new believer. Every time his pastor mentioned the topic he felt a stubbornness surge through his mind insisting that the money he earned was his alone. Once he made that decision, he stopped receiving calls to go into work. After three months, he felt desperate. The next time his pastor mentioned the importance of tithing in a Sunday evening sermon, Waukeen prayed, “If You’ll give me a job I’ll tithe. I’ll tithe for the rest of my life. I just need a job.” The next morning he applied for and received a job at the local refinery. The Faith & Finances study reminded him of what he learned then, “It might be my money when God gives it to me, but it is His to use and my job is to listen to Him. It is God who gives and takes away.” Waukeen kept his promise to God. He has tithed faithfully throughout his thirty-year career at the refinery and beyond as a retiree. He applied the skills taught in the class to arrange his finances so that he can continue to be able to use the resources God provided to bless others.

Faith & Finances classes are open to the public and often include participants who are multi-racial and multi-generational. Individuals from a cross-section of society, from the financially secure to those living on a limited income, young families and singles as well as older adults all find the information timely and helpful. If you, like Jason, wonder how your Christian faith has anything to do with your finances or perhaps you need help putting together a workable budget; Faith & Finances may be what you are looking for. Please visit our website to find information about a class near you.

For more information on the ministry or where you can join a class, please go to

We Are Zooming These Days

If there were ever a time when we need to fix our eyes on Jesus, it is during these days. When we laser-focus on Jesus, all around us gets a bit out of focus. It fades in the Light of the eternal. Chaos? We know God is still in control. Negative predictions? The Alpha and Omega has always been, and will always be enough. Fears for our health and the economy? There have always been stormy seasons in our country and in our lives. The winds and waves cannot overwhelm God’s promises. “Fear not, I am with you even to the end of the age.”

When we lift our eyes over the chaos and uncertainty, we may see new horizons of opportunity. It was devastating to see the Dominican economy shut down and so many precious Christian families facing extreme hunger. But God, who is rich in mercy, allowed STCH Ministries to be perfectly positioned. You generously gave for those needs. Our Dominican ministry partners were full of joy to be chosen by God to make a difference. Through the darkest times, God’s love can shine through each of us.

Recently we have developed another opportunity for ministry—Zooming! That’s right. Eight of our DR ministry partners took the Faith and Finances class. For eight weeks Darrell Jackson from Houston taught this curriculum to the DR staff. Hopefully a few of them will become certified facilitators to teach these principles to others in the DR. Next month Amanda and Stephanie from our Corpus Christi office (both fluent in Spanish) will be teaching a discipleship class over Zoom to some of our CLEP students.


Now we are offering YOU the opportunity to ZOOM with your Samuel’s Fund or CLEP sponsored child. We will make all of the arrangements, including helping download the Zoom app (it’s free), and having the child ready with a translator at the appointed time. Our US staff will also connect. We have “tested” it with a few individuals, and they report they thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Of course, the children were out-of-this-world joyful to participate.

One more opportunity to pray about. If any of you would like to ZOOM on a plane personally to the DR, we would love to include you in a special mercy mission trip. On August 30 – September 3 our staff is planning a trip to the DR to encourage our ministry partners and to deliver much needed supplies that have been donated for ministry and school needs. We would appreciate any volunteers who would want to make the trip and enable us to take more supplies. We have school supplies and backpacks for schools, equipment such as a computer for medical records, and other resources that are desperately needed. We will be staying on site at the Koinonia, and limiting contacts to ministry leaders and staff, wearing masks, and feel we can do this safely. Please contact Amanda Yanez ( or Mark Lozuk ( 361-994-0940 for more information.



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

The Ministry Continues – with God’s Grace and Mercy

Dear Friends, 
  Thank you for your continued commitment to helping make a daily impact in the lives of those we serve. The stories below and countless others show God’s grace and mercy in the lives of those who serve Him. When we place our trust in God, He can move mountains, restore brokenness and unlock chains that bind us. 

With continued gratitude, thank you for helping the Ministry Continue!

Felessia Galvan, a recent graduate of our Phase III program at Homes for Families, came to our campus after struggling with drug addiction for many years. During those years, she lost custody of her three children. She also went in and out of Restoration House in Victoria twice. Eventually, she got clean and sober and was able to succeed in that program. She was also able to regain custody of 2 of her children when she decided to transfer to Homes for Families.  

Felessia entered our program and continued to heal, grow and restore her relationships with her children and God. Eventually, she was also able to gain custody of all her children. 
When she moved into Phase III, she began working while also attending cosmetology school. Felessia continued to work on her future and her dreams and connected to a local church. Over this past year, she began to prepare herself to graduate from Phase III, which included being able to rent a house. She also met her future husband. After they dated and continued to follow God together, he proposed. They just got married this past week! 
This is a beautiful example of restoration, forgiveness and healing all through obedience, faith and trust in God. 


Our very own, Jeff Brewer, a pastor and also Director of Development, had the privilege to be part of 7 baptisms! These beautiful individuals made an outward profession of their faith through baptism in front of friends and family this past week.
3 Homes for Children alumni, 3 current Homes for Children kids and 1 from a nearby church, all accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior. Join us in praying for them as they continue to grow in their faith.

We can’t wait to see the impact they will make in their community as they live out their “new” life in Christ.

Bobby Brooks is one of our volunteer facilitators for our Faith & Work | Faith & Finances programs in Corpus Christi. He was so inspired by the last class he co-facilitated that he decided, after much hesitation and delay, to finally start a non-profit he’s had on his heart, God for Life. Bobby has been involved in the Kairos prison ministry for over 13 years. His goal for God for Life is to help reduce recidivism rates (a person’s relapse into criminal behavior). And also partner with ex-offenders post-incarceration so they may be able to share their testimonies to others of what God has done for them. We are SO PROUD of Bobby and how his involvement with our program encouraged him to pursue and achieve his dream.

Contributions by donors ensure programs like these are a resource and blessing to others. When Jesus casts a net – an overabundance is always provided!

Our Regional Director of Counseling in Houston, Charny Beck, and another Houston Counselor, Sandra Glover, had the privilege to lead training for parents of special needs children with the Ministry of Education in Antigua, an island in the West Indies in the Caribbean – via ZOOM.
Our team presented on self-care and the importance of keeping your mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health in check so you can better care for your children. We are blessed to be able to provide resources and reach people by ministering to families to the outermost parts of the world, while also partnering with other ministries.

Thank you for helping us spread the love of Jesus across the seas – ensuring the Gospel is brought to the ends of the earth.

We recently had a class graduation for Fe y Trabajo (Spanish Faith & Work Class). Our student, Juanita, shared her vision board with the class, which she displays in her home to remind herself daily of the goals she has made. She also mentioned how the class helped her overcome roadblocks and obstacles. Juanita finally accepted and realized she truly is God’s masterpiece
We are blessed to be part of Juanita’s journey and see how God helps break the chains of false images of oneself.

We continue to be humbled by the consistent love and support of our Lord and Savior as He continues to provide for our ministry. God connects peopleand we are to move into action for what breaks His heart.
Through the generosity of our steadfast supporters, we are able to reach and heal those who have broken hearts.

With continued gratitude, thank you for helping the Ministry Continue!

Kyle Luke
Vice President of Development and Communications
STCH Ministries

Joy in Phases

In an abusive relationship with a brand new baby, Carmen struggled to survive. Her grandmother’s death caused her to fear the future and worry about how to raise her daughter. Carmen slid into depression, until she remembered feeling safe as a young girl living on Boothe Campus and contacted Greg Huskey, Vice President of Homes for Children.

“Thank the Lord for Mr. Huskey’s direction to Homes for Families!” Carmen said, “I needed to change my life to give my daughter a better upbringing than I had.”

After moving to the Marshall Ranch campus, Carmen devoured her latest book. “Humility and Absolute Surrender” by Andrew Murray encouraged her to dig deep and think about her life. She started reading on Friday, and by Monday she gave testimonies of how God used it to change her life! The information in Murray’s book gave her confidence. Before, her shyness kept her from fellowshipping with others at church. Rather than waiting on others to greet her; this Sunday, she got up out of her comfort zone and initiated the connections on her own.

During her time as a Phase I resident on Marshall Ranch Campus, Carmen discovered a deep love for people and a changed perspective on serving others through mundane tasks. She discovered joy in cleaning and doing her chores. Thinking about loving other people changed her perception toward other residents in the house as well. Carmen stopped assuming others intended to irritate her by leaving tasks undone or leaving trash behind. She realized they too are growing and trying to fulfill new responsibilities.

One morning she felt frustrated when she found food left on the floor of a common room. Carmen decided to ask her Resident Coordinator’s advice on how to handle her feelings. Josephine told her to ask the Lord why it frustrated her. Carmen did ask God to help her understand, and she remembered asking God to teach her to love others better. Tears filled her eyes as she identified that if she felt true affection for her fellow residents, then food left on the floor for her to pick up would not frustrate her as much. Josephine encouraged Carmen to keep listening to God and told her God would continue to confirm her feelings.

The lessons in surrender Carmen learned from the book and applied to her life changed how she viewed her housemates and gave her confidence for the future. As she cleaned the living and dining rooms over the weekend, she remembered she followed a similar routine while in college. She now pictured herself in the future going to school, cleaning up after her daughter and prepping on Sundays for the week ahead.

Carmen and her daughter’s move to Homes for Families during their time of crisis enabled the family to stay together. The four phases of the program provide Bible Study, parenting classes, structured daily schedules to teach consistency and balance, the opportunity for biblically-based counseling to begin healing wounds and assistance with job search preparedness all designed to equip Carmen for success in the future.

Phase I: Restoration, has focused Carmen on the restoration of her body, mind and soul through a renewed spirit. This allowed healing for her broken heart to begin and lead her to forgive others as well as herself. She spends time studying God’s word and learning the importance of developing a closer and more intimate relationship with Him.

Carmen has met the goals of Phase I: find solutions to child behavior issues, maintain healthy boundaries with others, take initiative in daily tasks and expectations, keep a schedule and learn how to deal with conflict. Now that she has mastered these goals and completed the study curriculum, she can move to Phase 2: Equipping.

Phase 2 looks toward supplying the necessary tools for Carmen to experience success physically, intellectually and emotionally. Carmen will accomplish these goals by continuing an intimate relationship with Jesus, improving her life skills and removing obstacles from her past which could cause hindrances in the future. Carmen’s focus will be on learning basic computer skills, how to communicate well with others as well a proper etiquette in the workplace.

Each message from the Bible has softened Carmen’s heart toward God and the lessons she applies from the books strengthen her resolve to complete the program and become independent and prepared to care for her family. Carmen asks us to pray with her about the relationships in her life. She strives to keep God first and serve others. Will you partner with Carmen in prayer? 

The Ministry Continues – YOU Are Helping Serve Others

Dear Friends,

 “And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, “Here I am! Send me.” Isaiah 6:8 ESV

He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. – Mark 16:15

Your commitment to STCH Ministries helps live out these words throughout our nine ministries. You help us carry out our mission to honor God, reach hurting children and families with His Love and Truth, and enable others to join us in this ministry. We are grateful for the ability to share the Gospel to all we serve. You are also serving these individuals through your time, prayers, donations and monetary contributions. Thank you for being part of carrying out God’s command to share the love and hope of the Gospel.

We are blessed to share these sweet stories of how the Gospel has worked in the lives of those in our ministry. The Ministry Continues because of YOU!

Donors have helped STCH Ministries International provide food and resources to our ministry partners in the Dominican Republic. We have been able to support many of the orphanages and schools we partner with such as Raquel’s School.

Every year a group of ladies from University Baptist Church, in Houston, make quilts for our high school seniors. As they make the quilts they pray over each senior and their future. It is a treasured tradition for our seniors!

We hosted our very first Faith & Work class in Spanish with 17 students! In one session, we discussed labels people give us and ones we give ourselves. In tears, one of the students shared how she was always called “worthless” and how impactful it was to hear how God truly sees us as His masterpiece!

As government health restrictions begin to be lifted in regards to COVID-19 in the Dominican Republic, STCH Ministries International has resumed medical clinics. Our medical ministry team is diligently working to see patients again in the medical van.

Our Family Counseling ministry gets REAL in a conversation with one of our church partners, West University Baptist/Crosspoint Church, in Houston. We were featured on their podcast to discuss how to manage your life during social isolation, which included mental health and relationships during the pandemic.

The Athletic Director from Pettus ISD delivered awards to the Boothe Campus. Edna was acknowledged for the state Powerlifting Competition.

Drae received the Eagle Pride Award, which is a huge honor for the athletes at Pettus High School. 

We have a grateful and thankful heart as we continue to give God the glory for His protection over our ministry and those we serve. We are graciously humbled to give thanks to you, our supporters – we wouldn’t be able to carry out God’s Will without your commitment.

  With sincere gratitude,

Kyle Luke
Vice President of Development and Communications
STCH Ministries

Ministry (Nearly) Killed our Marriage

Anxious to reconnect and close the distance growing between them, Randall and Jessica Elliott joined the couple’s marriage enrichment class at First Baptist Church Rockport. Sadly, the lessons taught served to highlight everything they had done wrong. Randall and Jessica lost hope of reconciliation.

Through the ministry of the church, they learned about STCH Ministries Family Counseling and called for an appointment, but there was a waiting list several months long. Neither Randall nor Jessica wanted a divorce, and they certainly did not want to tell family and supporters back home—those who prayed, encouraged and believed in them—that the ministry had wrecked their marriage.

God called Randall and Jessica to volunteer missions in disaster relief in 2016. They sold all of their belongings, packed their three kids into a 5th wheel camper and left home, traveling wherever they were needed. They never expected that the close quarters and demands of ministry life would expose disastrous communication issues.

The Elliotts traveled to Rockport, Texas to help Samaritan’s Purse disaster relief efforts after Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Having served on multiple sites for over a year, spending a month on the Texas coast seemed the next step in their journey. In the beginning, everything happened as expected. Randall spent the days on the site and Jessica cared for their three preschoolers. His efficiency and knack for the role led to a full-time offer to work for one year on the Rockport rebuild project with Samaritan’s Purse.

Randall and Jessica prayed about the possibility. They asked their families and prayer supporters to join with them in prayer. The Elliotts accepted the position; a full year in one place with a steady paycheck would benefit their budget and provide valuable contacts for the future.

The days grew longer for Jessica, with no friends nearby and only small children for company Jessica experienced isolation and loneliness. She fought to find her purpose. Randall recognized the change in his wife and also wrestled with what seemed like an unfair situation. “God, what do you have me down here for? Why do I get to have this dream job and she doesn’t?”

The walls of the camper seemed to close in and created a sensation of captivity rather than coziness. The adventure turned to resentment and every conversation appeared to lead to an argument. After one particularly loud disagreement, then four-year-old Mack asked Jessica, “Why do you talk to Daddy that way?” Heartbroken and discouraged, Jessica considered simply staying in North Carolina with the kids after the family vacation rather than return to Texas.

Finally, they received word that STCH Ministries Counselor, Kelly Harris had an opening. At this point, every conversation between the two of them felt like a confirmation that each no longer loved the other. Yet, they forced themselves to attend the sessions. Kelly asked the couple to remember what brought them together and why had they married in the first place. Remembering those reasons and speaking them out loud brought reconciliation. Hearing Randall say he still loved her and wanted to stay married, gave Jessica comfort. She admitted the same.

The work was not easy, the harmful habits and assumptions created patterns, negative cycles of communication, which kept the arguing as their standard form of communication. Kelly gave them a list of fair fighting rules – something they struggled to use because, in the heat of the moment, hurt feelings held priority over fairness and they forgot their good intentions.

Kelly led the couple to recognize cues that sparked offense in the other and challenged them to remember what they loved about one another. That idea allowed them to find a new perspective. They reminded one another neither meant to hurt the other and to choose words that encouraged true communication. Kelly taught them to stop and express, “This is what I heard you say.” Most of the time, the message received had nothing to do with the intent of the speaker.

Jessica realized that she had become anxious over the state of their marriage and that caused her to attempt to control situations in a manner that made Randall sense she did not trust him. Once they recognized how those emotions created conflict and overshadowed the truth of their commitment to one another, a real change took place in their hearts and minds. The two have changed the way they think about, respond to and speak to one another. The fair fighting rules were not necessary anymore once they recognized negative cycles and change their words before saying hurtful things.

The first time they successfully worked through a disagreement on their own, they stopped arguing and shared what they were truly thinking. This allowed them to solve the issue and enjoy the day together as a family on the beach. “We had an ‘ah-ha’ moment! It worked, we had figured it out. For the first time, I had a bunch of hope!”

Recently, Randall and Jessica encouraged a young friend to seek pre-marital counseling and learn to communicate well before their upcoming marriage. “We knew communication was not our strong point for a long time,” Jessica said. “It didn’t get to a point that we couldn’t handle it until we were all stuck in a camper together with nowhere to go. We hope others can learn from our story.”

For more information about STCH Ministries Family Counseling locations in your area, please visit:

The Ministry Continues – The Impact of Homes for Families

Dear Friends,

I hope you are remaining healthy and safe, and are conservatively beginning to get back into some sort of new routine as we start to venture out into public spaces. We all have different thoughts and opinions on COVID-19 and the restrictions it has placed on our lives. But in the midst of it all, I’m prayerful you have had some sort of positive impact in your life. 

We remain thankful and grateful for YOU – as you remain committed to STCH Ministries. Each one of you impacts our ministry, and we are so thankful! 

I’m thankful for all of you every time I pray, and it’s always a prayer full of joy.
– Philippians 1:4
 The Ministry Continues because of YOU!


We currently have 10 moms and 27 of their children in our care at Homes for Families on the Marshall Ranch Campus. It’s been a wonderful opportunity to see the impact in the lives of our moms, children and our staff who work with them – especially
during the COVID-19 season. Homes for Families is designed to be a resource for single mothers and their children who are facing a crisis and need help transitioning into independent living.

Our hope is that each mother will transition into a successful, independent future with her family as well as a more intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.

We recently asked how COVID-19 has impacted the lives of those living and thriving on the campus. 

The generosity of donors and volunteers who pray over this ministry makes these stories a testament to God’s glory and grace.

Julia – Resident
COVID-19 has allowed me to spend more time with my daughter. It allowed me to grow because I wasn’t busy thinking about the next opportunity, such as the next weekend pass or going into town for appointments and errands. I think more personal growth has happened and it’s brought a spirit of gratitude that’s deeper than it was ever before. The virus has affected me in a positive way. Praise God!

Kayla – Resident
I believe God used COVID-19 to grow me as a person. It has reminded me to be more grateful for the little things and what is really important in my life. Also, it pushed me to draw closer to God which resulted in me reaching a higher level of maturity that I have not seen in myself before. It showed me to be content in every circumstance whether good or bad, whether in plenty or in want. I am thankful for the growth I received out of it. 

Felessia – Resident
Before I had multiple break downs due to my schedule being crammed full 7-days a week with no rest. School, gym, boy’s baseball practice, kids’ school, work, etc. I was crying out, even while singing at church – I would break down, I was weighed down by the pressure of life.

I was on the go constantly so when everything got shut down – I was FORCED to be still. The Lord quieted my soul. I got the revelation that He gives us the POWER to do what pleases Him. One of the reasons why I was so weary before was because I was “doing life” without Him. I made my own decisions. It has been a heart change and a new mindset. I am experiencing the blessing and the peace of walking in TOTAL obedience. I am thankful for this time of lockdown.


This time during COVID-19 has worked in our favor! We have been able to be more hands-on with each child and minister to them by walking alongside them; we see them watching and learning throughout this challenging season.

Debbie’s kids went from saying a lazy and nonchalant “Mssssssss….” to a more respectful and personal “Mrs. Kim“.  The children are being more intentional with relationships. This is such a beautiful healing process and it’s just the beginning! 

The children witnessed first-hand how much the other children mattered to them, they were missing one another (due to social distancing) and couldn’t wait to be reunited again!

As we have begun to slowly introduce limited play and school time together – the reuniting of the children and the SMILES returned! The whispers of “I missed you” were coming from all directions. The children realized they didn’t like to be divided, but together as one big family!

We have been able to see some good through this time of uncertainty and we are very thankful for it! 

(How COVID-19 has made an impact)

Debra Rodriguez – Resident Coordinator, Phase I
Personally, I was initially mildly concerned about the virus but overcame that quickly. I was content with the quarantine; not out of fear but finally having a valid excuse not to socially interact outside of the house. My social anxiety calmed down and it was wonderful not having to worry about it. The quarantine gave me a chance to deepen my relationship with Christ and prayed for the same to happen worldwide.

Josephine Nelson – Resident Coordinator, Phase I
The greatest effect I’ve seen during the COVID-19 season has been the stride in which the moms have handled it. They have taken it by the tail and embraced it without complaint. They have utilized this time to grow with God and their children and get grounded more in His love. I have enjoyed walking through this process with them and assisting them in strengthening their relationships with God and their children.

Though some restrictions have been lifted, and people have access to stores and resources, our Homes for Families ministry still has needs.

If you would like to purchase items to stock the Commissary,
please click the link below:


This link is the AMAZON SHOPPING LIST. The item(s) you order will ship DIRECTLY to the campus! We are still not accepting visitors to the campus, therefore we appreciate the shipment of donated items.

Thank you again for your consistent and steadfast commitment to our ministry. You remain vital to sustaining our ministry and those we serve. With sincere gratitude,

Kyle Luke
Vice President of Development and Communications
STCH Ministries

Money Matters

Nikki Bazil, housemom at Homes for Children’s Hope Cottage, realized two things: how fast her high school boys spent their allowances and how fast the few days left before graduation raced past. She knew she needed to do more to prepare them for life after Boothe Campus.

Nikki shared her concerns with other housemoms and Victoria Gordon of Brown Cottage knew her double major of finance and accounting equipped her to meet this need. The two moms brainstormed different ideas, prayed together and a new course for youth emerged. Money Matters is a monthly class open for sixth-graders to seniors.

The ladies presented practical lessons with plenty of hands-on applications to real-world situations. The January meeting focused on introductions and hearing what topics attracted the students’ attention. Subjects such as buying a car, renting an apartment even buying a house topped the list. Victoria focused the February class time on an overview of the actual cost of living prices.

She paced off 450 square feet inside the meeting room to approximate the size of an efficiency apartment in the nearby town of Beeville. As Victoria explained that small space would cost them $675 each month after the initial payment of nearly $1500, the students’ eyes widened and mouths dropped open. Most of them had not thought about adding up the application fees, a security deposit, an administrative fee as well as the first and last month’s rent before they even moved into an apartment of their own. The costs of utilities and convenience charges such as garbage pickup, internet service and cell phone contracts brought further thoughtful looks from the students.

Nikki passed out pencils, notebooks and calculators. She instructed the students to brainstorm menus for meals. Later they added toiletries, cleaning supplies and estimated the total cost. Once they decided on meals, students listed out the ingredients and created shopping lists. Victoria took the lists and approximated what they needed for an entire month. The students’ original estimations for the total price of a month’s supplies ranged from $150-$225 per week.

One weekend, the housemoms took four of the seniors to Walmart and had them price every item on the list. Nikki explained, “Victoria even showed them how to shop using the unit price on the grocery labels. Things we all take for granted but something desperately needed for this generation.” Once all the numbers came together, the final bill amounted to $800.

Victoria remembered the students’ astonishment by the high number and reminded them, “This was for just one person for one month. We had to do it that way so that they could see the numbers I’m giving them are real numbers.”

Addressing the stark truth about the high cost of living, Nikki and Victoria proposed to help the students learn to save money using their allowances as a guide. Using the youngest participating student’s allowance as a starting point, the housemoms explained the process of saving money for the future. They figured he could have a nice sum of money to use toward the costs of living or even his own car by the time he graduated if he set aside half of the allowance he received until that day.

Nikki and Victoria, encouraged by the students’ enthusiastic response to the lessons presented so far, built an outline to cover items specific to situations the students need to know. Nikki’s innate people skills enabled her to reach out to community resources. Nikki spoke with staff at STCH Ministries’ headquarters and discovered employees with banking experience. She requested someone to come and talk about how to open a checking account, what it takes to save money and how to set up a savings account. She contacted car dealerships looking for an expert to explain the process of buying a car – explaining extended warranties, GAP insurance and all the other things that come up when signing the financial paperwork.

The first thing everyone understood they needed to know revolved around how to live on what they earned. Many students on campus did not want to go to college. The housemoms clarified college was only one way to plan for the future; certifications, on the job training or an associate’s degree also sufficed. Each student needed to think now about what they wanted to do in the future and plan for that. Nikki and Victoria reiterated, “Figure out where you want to be and we’ll figure out how to get you there.”

Housemoms on the Homes for Children campus fill every aspect of the role of “mom.” Like every household, moms do more than cook and clean, they prepare their children for a successful life on their own. After only a few meetings, students now grasp that adult life requires more effort than they originally imagined; they also know their housemoms remain committed to ensuring they will be prepared when that time comes.

The Ministry Continues – Meet the Graduates in the Dominican Republic

Dear Friends,

Thank you for your continued support of STCH Ministries – not only through monetary contributions but through prayers, volunteering and donations of food and supplies. We are grateful to you! 

Each one of you impacts our ministry, and we are so thankful!  

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
 The Ministry Continues because of YOU!

We are SO EXCITED to announce with the help of our Samuel’s Fund Sponsors, we have the largest high school graduating class since the inception of the program in the Dominican Republic (DR). 

We have 22 high school graduates!

Many of these young people would not have achieved this goal without the sponsorship funding and the encouragement and support that is invested in each one by their sponsors, the DR Team, church and their families.  

How much better to get wisdom than gold, to get insight rather than silver!” – Proverbs 16:16
Introducing the Graduates from our Program:

What’s NEXT for our Seniors? As our Graduates transition out of the Samuel’s Fund Program, some are eligible to move into the sponsored-college program.

If they are eligible for this program, their current sponsor(s) are given the opportunity to continue alongside their journey and assist in this amazing opportunity. 

If the current sponsor decides not to continue, the student is placed into the Program and waits, by faith, for the opportunity to obtain their college degree by another sponsor.

What is the CLEP Fund Progam?

The Christian Leadership and Education Project (CLEP) is a sponsorship program that matches sponsors with Dominican college students.

The cost of a college education in the Dominican Republic is about $100 a month. You can sponsor this full amount or become a co-sponsor for $50 per month. As a CLEP Sponsor, you help develop independent young adults who impact their culture for Christ. 

Every sponsorship dollar goes directly to meet the needs of our sponsored children (not towards administrative costs).

For more details of the CLEP Program, or to sponsor a student – click here: SPONSOR A COLLEGE STUDENT

What is the Samuel’s Fund Program?

Samuel’s Fund is a sponsorship program named after the Old Testament prophet who heard God’s call as a child and became a great leader, used by God in mighty ways. With the support of sponsors, Samuel’s Fund helps orphans and at-risk children, age four through high school, in the Dominican Republic develop spiritually, mentally and socially, allowing them to one day become Christian leaders in their communities.For $35 a month, a Samuel’s Fund sponsor brings hope and help to a child who desperately needs it.

Every sponsorship dollar goes directly to meet the needs of our sponsored children (not towards administrative costs).

For more details of the Samuel’s Fund Program, or to become a sponsor – click here: SPONSOR A CHILD TODAY!

Thank you again for your consistent and steadfast commitment to our ministry. You remain vital to sustaining our ministry and those we serve. With sincere gratitude,

Kyle Luke
Vice President of Development and Communications
STCH Ministries