Committed for His Purpose

Thank you for taking the time to read our Messenger magazine! I hope and pray the stories shared are as much of an inspiration to you as they are to me. What a blessing it is to be a part of the team that is able to witness God working in the lives of those we are fortunate enough to serve! 

Over the past couple of months, part of my personal Bible study has centered around Romans 12. We know that Paul wrote this important book of the Bible to, you guessed it, the community of believers in Rome. The book of Romans is arguably the New Testament’s most structured and most detailed description of Christian theology. Paul lays out the simple gospel message: salvation by grace alone through faith alone. His intent is to explain the good news of Jesus Christ in accurate and clear terms. As is common in his writing, Paul closes out his letter with a series of practical applications. Paul really outdid himself when writing this chapter! As I ponder the meaning of this chapter and how I should apply it to my life, I keep coming back to the ideas of commitment, sacrifice and transformation. In practical terms, to be a success at any endeavor, there must be a commitment. 

One of the most interesting secular studies was conducted over many years by Dr. Lewis M. Terman. Initiated in 1921, the Genetic Studies of Genius was a long-term study of gifted children. He selected approximately 1,500 children (called Termites) with the highest IQs he could find. Terman’s study and interest in genius and gifted children was a lifelong pursuit. He wanted to debunk stereotypes concerning genius children, and he also wanted to design educational systems to make sure they were challenged. It is the longest-running psychological study ever conducted. As of 2020, there were two of the children still alive at the age of 104! 

There are many who point out various issues with Terman’s research and even the data that he reported. When you look at what was discovered, the results are varied. The success of the group as a whole was undeniable. However, two of the children who were left out of the study for not having high enough IQs both won Nobel Prizes in physics. So, what do we make of this study? To answer this question, I refer to the book: Outliers (Gladwell, 2008). What Gladwell found was that there are a series of “advantages” that some are privy to and others are not. But one common theme of success, no matter the IQ, field of study or profession of choice, is commitment. An ability to understand what needs to be done and a willingness to commit to doing it (others have described this attribute as tenacity or “grit”). 

When we think about our faith, commitment is vital. Paul implores us to be dedicated and pleasing to our Heavenly Father. There is something glorious about the kind of commitment that says, “I am turning it all over to you Lord.” If we will go all in, then there’s no limit to what can happen. Here at STCH Ministries, we are looking for those committed to their calling! Without dedicated and tenacious laborers, there would be no stories of success in this Messenger. 

Dedicate Your Lives to God 

Romans 12: 1-3 “Brothers and sisters, in view of all we have just shared about God’s compassion, I encourage you to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, dedicated to God and pleasing to him. This kind of worship is appropriate for you. Don’t become like the people of this world. Instead, change the way you think. Then you will always be able to determine what God really wants—what is good, pleasing, and perfect. Because of the kindness that God has shown me, I ask you not to think of yourselves more highly than you should. Instead, your thoughts should lead you to use good judgment based on what God has given each of you as believers.” 

From Grief to Grace

JUSTIN AND HIS FAMILY HAVE FACED unimaginable heartache and emerged with a story of resilience and hope. From growing up in the small town of Marlin, Texas, to moving to the Valley with his family, Justin’s journey is one of profound loss, unexpected blessings and the transformative power of faith and counseling. 

A dedicated parent educator, Justin spends his days helping families nurture and develop their children. Moving from Marlin to Waco, he met his wife, whose career brought them to the Rio Grande Valley. Justin’s work involves engaging parents in activities that foster their children’s language, motor skills and cognitive development and educating them on family well-being. However, beneath his professional demeanor, Justin’s heart was burdened with profound personal grief. 

Early in their marriage, Justin and his wife faced the heartbreak of two miscarriages. Four years ago, the arrival of their son Josiah brought great joy to their lives. Two years later, the couple was thrilled to learn they were expecting their second son, Everett. However, their excitement was soon overshadowed by a devastating diagnosis: Everett had a rare condition called limb-body wall complex, which caused his internal organs to grow outside his body. Doctors informed them that Everett would not survive, bringing a deep well of sorrow into their hearts. 

Choosing to carry Everett to full term, Justin and his wife sought solace in their faith community, passionately praying for a miracle. On December 4, 2022, Justin received a call at work that something was wrong with his wife. Rushing her to the hospital, they faced the heart-wrenching reality of Everett’s birth via C-section. The trauma of witnessing his son’s condition and losing his son left Justin shattered. 

Grief overwhelmed Justin, and he broke down from the trauma of it all. His friends, trying to be supportive, avoided mentioning Everett, which only deepened Justin’s sense of isolation. He needed someone to talk to, someone to help him navigate his grief and pain. Seeking counseling, Justin first approached his church, but scheduling conflicts made it difficult for him to attend. Then, a church member recommended Caleb, a counselor from STCH Ministries. 

Shortly after Justin filled out the contact form, Caleb reached out to him. What stood out to Justin initially was that STCH Ministries provided counseling services regardless of his ability to pay. With medical bills and funeral expenses burdening his family, counseling would have been impossible without this support. 

Justin grew up in a home with rigid and damaging expectations about masculinity. This environment made Justin feel unsafe expressing his emotions. However, he soon found peace in Caleb’s compassionate and nonjudgmental approach to counseling. Caleb created a safe space for Justin, allowing him to finally express and process the feelings he had long suppressed. 

“I feel so comfortable with Caleb. He gives me a safe place to not worry about being criticized for having feelings and emotions over losing my son. That has helped me tremendously,” Justin shared. 

One of the most significant aspects of STCH Ministries’ support was Caleb’s shared faith. This common spiritual ground gave Justin a renewed connection to God, helping him see that despite his pain, God had never abandoned him. “He’s never left me. He’s never forsaken me. Caleb helped me to see that through his faith and our interactions. That’s beautiful,” Justin said. Through counseling, Justin began to understand that his son Everett was in a better place, surrounded by love and in the presence of God. 

Justin’s son, Josiah, also had to cope with Everett’s passing. During the pregnancy, the family tried their best to prepare Josiah, explaining that his baby brother would not stay with them but would go to heaven. During the singing of a hymn at Everett’s memorial service, a vision of his son in a garden with God brought Justin to tears. Toddler Josiah, seeing his father cry, offered comfort and cried with him, a tender moment that reinforced the importance of expressing emotions. “I thought that was good for me to show him that it’s okay for men to cry. I’m glad we have that experience together,” Justin expressed. 

The family is committed to keeping Everett’s memory alive while helping Josiah process the loss. Every other week, they pick out fresh flowers to set at Everett’s urn, which sits at their dining room table. They also have a little fire truck that they keep nearby for “baby brother”. 

These special moments, along with their mutual support during tough times, have been essential to the healing process. After an EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy session, which is a technique that uses guided eye movements to help people process and heal from trauma more quickly than traditional talk therapy, Justin often returns home feeling sensitive and emotional. Recognizing his exhaustion, Justin’s wife gently explains to Josiah that Daddy is feeling sad. In response, Josiah often gives his father a comforting hug. “Those hugs felt good because it was nothing I ever had growing up in my household. I appreciate my son comforting me when I’m feeling sad.” 

Counseling with STCH Ministries has also improved Justin’s marriage. He has learned to communicate his needs and feelings more openly, preventing emotions from building up and causing strain. This newfound openness extends to his workplace, where Justin has shared his story with his boss, creating an understanding and supportive environment. 

Through counseling, Justin has gained invaluable skills to manage anxiety and emotional breakdowns. He now uses these skills to support families he works with, sharing his story and the tools he has learned with parents who have had similar losses. Justin’s comfort with sharing his experiences has grown, and he can now think about Everett with a sense of peace and love. 

Growing up, Justin knew God was with him and saw evidence of His presence throughout his life. However, during his season of grief, he felt abandoned and struggled to see signs of God’s presence despite his constant prayers. The healing he has gained through counseling has opened Justin’s eyes to see God’s work in his life again. 

Justin also recognized the importance of surrounding himself with supportive, faith-filled friends. After moving to the Valley, the friendships he formed often brought out behaviors in Justin that he did not like. After Everett passed away, none of his previous friends were there for him. Justin realized that God was showing him the difference between the friends he had, and the kinds of friends God wanted for him. 

“Since everything happened, I’ve taken out the things that were toxic, and now my whole life is getting better. I feel that is God moving. He’s in control and still has plans for me, and I have people that support me now,” Justin said. 

Justin believes that Everett’s passing and his family’s grief are part of the larger story of God’s redemption. He continues to attend counseling, hopeful for ongoing healing and eager to help others by sharing his experiences. Recently, Justin shared his story at a work training session without breaking down, evidence of his progress. 

“STCH Ministries Family Counseling is a wonderful ministry, and I’m thankful they were able to work with me when we were financially distressed. I know the positive impact this ministry has had on me, and I want it to be able to help others, so I’m happy to support them now that we can,” Justin concluded. Through the compassionate support of STCH Ministries, Justin has found hope, healing and a renewed sense of faith, empowering him to support his family and others through their own journeys of grief and recovery. 

The Unfinished Mission

“AND THIS GOSPEL of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world,” Jesus said in Matthew 24:14. To the early disciples, Jesus’ words presented a mind-blowing challenge. Although their known world was geographically smaller, a person could only walk 10-15 miles daily, and a normal day’s ride on a horse over hilly terrain might cover 25-30 miles. More than 2000 years later, the world has expanded across the hemispheres and oceans, cultures and languages. Even with modern technological advances of internet, satellites, rockets and supersonic jets, proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom throughout the whole world is a daunting task, an unfinished mission. 

From the early disciples to missionaries who have dedicated their lives and martyrs who have sacrificed their lives, a relentless drumbeat of longing to fulfill that mission continues in the hearts of those who have tasted the joy of knowing Christ, of sins forgiven and of a transformed life. 

The ancient hymn resounds: 

‘O for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer’s praise 

To spread through all the earth abroad, the honors of your name’ 

And the contemporary artist Cody Carnes sings, ‘Christ be Magnified!’ 

‘Were creation suddenly articulate, with a thousand tongues to lift one cry 

Then from North to South and East to West, we’d hear Christ be magnified!’ 

How can the 21st-century family of God respond to this challenge? This is certainly not a task that any one individual, one ministry or even one nation can accomplish. Would multi-level collaboration strengthen and extend our efforts to fulfill Christ’s missional proclamation? 

There is the critical dimension of collaboration between goers and senders. 3 John 1:6 affirms the senders’ role: “You will do well to send them on in a manner worthy of God.” Not everyone can be a goer, but if we are not called to be goers, then collectively, we are charged to be senders of the message and hope of Jesus throughout the world. 

A second and exciting level of collaboration occurs when people of different countries join together in a Kingdom-building effort that expands the opportunities to share the Gospel. Recently, STCH Ministries teams from American churches, Dominican ministry partners and members from the Peniel churches all came together in a collaborative project to expand Kingdom efforts in El Salvador to share Christ, reach children and families and develop disciple-making possibilities. 

Possibly the most important level of collaboration is required between mission teams and the “boots on the ground,” those called to build the Kingdom in the specific area, country and population in which they live. Mission team activities must be aligned with the goals of those that God has called to serve their own culture. 

STCH Ministries International began work in the Dominican Republic in 2006, bringing the light of hope into dark places, enabling children to develop their God-given potential and transforming families. The results motivated us to seek opportunities in other countries to impact children and families in the life-changing invitation to know and follow Christ. After visiting several countries, and surviving the Covid interruption, God pointed His finger south to the tiny country of El Salvador. In 2022, we found a similar heart-calling in Pastor Edgar Borja who leads the Peniel network of churches in reaching children and families with the hope of Christ. After several mission trips, we felt confirmed that God had led us to partner with the Peniel churches. Their priority on children and families, their creative ways of reaching them with the Gospel and their spirit of cooperation formed a common bond with STCH Ministries. 

One of the logistical challenges for our mission groups was housing, which was only available in a hotel some distance away, requiring daily bus travel and eating out. We felt more like tourists than the partner relationship that we valued. Pastor Borja offered the opportunity to build missionary housing at their main Santa Tecla location. The recently abandoned facility needed major renovations with a significant price tag. We would have to wait until God provided for this need. 

As we waited to “go,” God was working, and He soon provided a “sender” in the Bear Creek Church of Katy. “How can we help?” they asked, as they challenged the church to extend the Kingdom “in a manner worthy of God.” Shortly after, we received a significant donation which allowed the renovation process to begin. 

Collaboration reached a new level in the demolition and construction activities. Russell Jerez, the Director of Construction and Projects in the Dominican Republic, along with Robert Alcantara and Algenis Pichardo, arrived to lead the teams. They were joined by a group from Port Lavaca FBC and were followed by another group of men from Bear Creek. Salvadoran workers were also recruited as they engaged in the demolition of concrete barriers, tore down existing walls and built new ones. They stood on ladders, scraped down walls, replaced sheetrock and repaired ceilings. They also worked on building beds for future mission teams. 

The team members reflected diverse perspectives on why they came to serve. Russell saw collaboration in its most practical form as the team adapted Dominican methods of building a bed with available materials in El Salvador. Due to a lack of 4×4 posts, they substituted metal legs and used wood for the bed frame. He was impacted by the eagerness of the Salvadorans to serve, despite few resources, and to use what the team brought to reach others for the Kingdom. 

Some of the Port Lavaca team had previously been to the Dominican Republic. “I saw a picture on the wall in the Dominican Republic of the beginnings, and it looked like just a lot of dirt. We wanted to be a part of the beginnings here in El Salvador.” 

Danny Quintanilla, missions pastor from Bear Creek, stated: “We have partnered with STCH Ministries for many years and we wanted to share in the long-term impact this will have in El Salvador for future mission teams.” Pastor Borja agreed and commented, “I believe that this missionary housing will become a multiplier of all the ministry here in El Salvador, allowing us to be more flexible and less costly.” 

Robert Alcantara from the Dominican Republic said, “I came to work, and the work was very hard although gratifying. But what impacted me the most was when Pastor Borja introduced us to the Salvadoran church as missionaries. It changed my view of my purpose and my identity. I am not just a helper in construction. I am a missionary of the Gospel!” 

Another participant from Bear Creek shared, “I came seeking an opportunity to serve God in a way I haven’t been able to do before. I am close to retirement, and considering how I will spend the next phase of my life. I wanted to feel that I was adding value to myself and to others.” 

Adding value and multiplying Kingdom impact are attainable goals when collaboration is based on common goals, shared vision and respect for the calling God has given to each. These principles guide STCH Ministries as we partner with others to share Christ, strengthen families and enable children to become independent Christ-sharing adults in their own culture. 

Pastor Borja stated, “STCH Ministries teams have changed our perspective on what a mission team partnership can be. Specifically, in the way they integrate into the work we are called to do here in El Salvador. It has challenged us to do the work we have before us with new energy. Having the Dominicans join our work has opened our vision to how in the future we might be able to send our own people to other countries on mission.” 

Sulma Pichinte, who handles logistics for our teams in El Salvador, shared, “Your ministry allows us to expand what God has called and given us to do. It impacts our families and our pastors.” 

Sulma went on to say, “When you leave, we know that it’s not goodbye; it’s hasta pronto! Because you are involved with your hearts, and many more will continue to come, inspire others and form a real bond with us. Ultimately, we are all citizens of heaven. We all speak Kingdom language.” 

In this mission of collaborating to proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom, we catch a glimpse of our ultimate citizenship and hear echoes of Revelation worship, “For you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation!” Revelation 5:9. If you are interested in serving in either El Salvador or the Dominican Republic please visit, If you would like to support the ongoing building project in El Salvador please email, or call 361.994.0940. 

A New Life

“I AM ONLY NINETEEN,” she chuckled, “I have my whole life ahead of me.” When confronted with a difficult situation, a young mother, Jasmyne, had a decision to make. She could keep living life as she had been, or she could move to a new place, in a new town, with new people, and give herself and her son the fresh start they desperately needed. 

At the beginning of 2023, Jasmyne faced eviction from her apartment after an argument with her significant other. Feeling lost with no place to go, she reached out to a local shelter for help. At capacity, the shelter could not accept anyone else, but they told her about STCH Ministries Homes for Families. Jasmyne promptly filled out an application and interviewed with staff. In February 2023, she and her seven-month-old son, Adriel, moved into Phase I on the Marshall Campus and started their path toward healing. 

Before coming to Homes for Families, Jasmyne worked overnight at a convenience store. She struggled to find the time to bond with Adriel. She knew she needed to work to provide for her family but did not know how to balance life with work. Coming to the Marshall Campus meant that Jasmyne’s and Adriel’s needs were provided for, and it presented the opportunity for them to start bonding in a way they never had before. 

Jasmyne did not know what to expect coming to the campus. She knew about the rules and the structure but could not comprehend what it meant for her. She quickly adapted to the day-to-day structure; she even enjoyed it. It allowed her to focus on becoming the best version of herself and being the best mother for Adriel. “My relationship with Adriel has grown so much,” she shared. “I have grown a lot as a mother.” Jasmyne learned about the fruit of the Spirit and how to apply it to parenting. Through their time together, she discovered how to get on his level and talk to him gently and lovingly, instead of yelling when he did not understand her. 

Other aspects of Homes for Families did not come as easily for Jasmyne. She struggled initially with sharing her space with the other mothers and children on the Marshall Campus. She recognized that due to her attitude, she had been labeled as “unapproachable” most of her life and she knew she needed to change. 

The resident coordinators encouraged the mothers to communicate effectively, even during conflicts, and to find healthy ways to resolve issues. Jasmyne saw this as her opportunity to change herself for the better and to approach others differently. “It’s been part of my healing process. Now I can be openly communicative, and encourage others,” Jasmyne shared with a smile. “I learned that here.” She is optimistic about how this change will affect her relationships with others outside of Homes for Families and in her future career. 

In March 2024, Jasmyne moved to Phase II of Homes for Families, known as the equipping phase. In Phase II, the Bible studies and teachings become more in-depth and focus on practical applications for today’s issues. The Bible studies include an in-depth look at Ecclesiastes and the Experiencing God study. The work studies include work ethics, succeeding in the workplace and Excel, Word and PowerPoint classes. 

Since being in Phase II, Jasmyne has learned important communication and career skills. Recently, the mothers finished the STCH Ministries Faith & Work course and Jasmyne walked away with new insights into her personal core values and how she can put God first in her future career. Jasmyne also wrote her own mission statement: 

“My vision and desire is to teach and serve young women and men entering their adulthood. My mission is to be their safe place and help teach them about their emotions and how to communicate their needs to help them build boundaries. I believe in the Word of God and the power that it has to remold our brains and release those negative thought patterns that keep us from being our highest selves. I aim to teach these young adults so they can see themselves and the world around them through God’s eyes and build that love relationship and foundation on God. ‘And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.’ Philippians 1:6” 

Her dream is to become a radiologist, and she is eagerly but patiently waiting to be ready for Phase III, where she hopes to start attending radiology school. When asked if she plans on staying to graduate from Phase IV of the Homes for Families program, Jasmyne emphatically said, “Yes! I am not going back to my old life.” 

While Jasmyne has loved learning to become the mother she always wanted to be and working towards her career goals, the most important aspect of her growth has been her journey as a Christian. Growing up, Jasmyne rarely went to church and never truly learned about God. She was introduced to Christ by Adriel’s grandmother, but at that time she could not even begin to imagine what a relationship with Him could be. 

Since coming to Homes for Families, her relationship with Christ has blossomed. “I know that God is on my side and that God is not a hard hammer. He’s a loving God,” Jasmyne shared. “Jesus has always comforted me in my darkest moments, even when I was a mess. My relationship with God now is much clearer and more alive.” She has fully surrendered her life to Christ and is awaiting the day her mother and Adriel’s grandmother can attend her baptism. 

Jasmyne’s new relationship with Christ has even impacted almost two-year-old Adriel. “He loves Jesus, and he loves to pray and say amen,” Jasmyne exclaimed. Because Jasmyne is living with Christ in her heart, she can love her son the way he was meant to be loved. The way God loves her. She can provide for him a life that would not have been possible without STCH Ministries and the support she has received. 

Jasmyne attributes much of her transformation and newfound hope to the resident coordinators and other staff on the Marshall Campus. “I am grateful to the resident coordinators for loving me. We are not part of their family, and yet they choose to love us that way,” Jasmyne shared. “I have seen Christ in the staff here. I am just thankful for them.” STCH Ministries is blessed to have staff members who selflessly give of themselves to see lives transformed daily. 

Starting over can be difficult, but for Jasmyne, this new life is exactly what she needed. “Before, I was miserable from middle school through high school; I was just miserable,” Jasmyne shared with tears in her eyes. “So now, for me to wake up every day and want to get up and want to live is amazing. This place has given me my joy back. It’s given me my life back.” Jasmyne did not let the roadblocks of her life stop her; she pushed forward and received the help she needed. Now, at nineteen, she is living for the Lord and striving to be the best mother she can be. Jasmyne truly does have her whole life ahead of her and with the Lord by her side, she will accomplish great things, not just for herself but for Adriel as well. 

For more information on Homes for Families, visit, 

An Invisible Thread

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13 

FOR TWENTY-NINE YEARS, STCH Ministries Family Counseling has been providing care, hope and direction when individuals, couples and families need help sorting through the challenges of life. The impact often reaches far beyond the time in counseling as they provide tools and resources for use when needed. Eight years ago, STCH Ministries added Faith & Finances to our list of ministries, teaching God’s principles about money and helping individuals understand their finances better. Over the years, Diane would come across both these ministries as God used an invisible thread to weave her story together. 

In 2016, Diane found her mother unresponsive after suffering a heart attack and brain aneurysm. Her mother remained in a vegetative state, causing anxiety and heartbreak for Diane. On top of these emotions, she experienced guilt as her family shamed her for keeping her alive in her condition. Diane sought encouragement from her associate program director, Melissa, who shared resources available to her through her job. She came across STCH Ministries and decided to schedule an appointment for counseling. 

From the beginning of her time in counseling, Diane felt a sense of peace from her counselor. “My counselor had an amazing and contagious smile, her demeanor was always professional, and she always ended our sessions with prayer,” Diane shared. After three months in counseling, she decided to take a break. In February 2021, her mother passed away and she quickly reached out to STCH Ministries again seeking grief counseling. This was the first time Diane felt the invisible thread as she discovered she would see the same counselor as before. 

As Diane started counseling again, she acknowledged that she carried a lot of unresolved issues. “I was angry, depressed and had an extreme amount of anxiety,” she shared. “I was full of bitterness, and I was very resentful. Some of that was directed towards God.” She attended sessions virtually and loved that every session started with a smile and ended in prayer. She never felt judged and felt the freedom to express herself freely. During the sessions, Diane worked through her unresolved issues and felt the relief of God slowly removing anxiety and depression from her life. 

When it was time for her last counseling session, she expected to feel emotional ending the journey. After her mother’s passing, she felt like she had hit rock bottom. Before Diane left, she asked her counselor if she could share some scriptures that would help with depression or anxiety. Not only did her counselor send scripture, but she also sent the song “JOY” by For King & Country. This simple gesture opened Diane’s eyes to a new world, as she had never listened to Christian music outside of hymns and worship songs at church. She started transitioning her worries into worship and her battles into blessings. 

Growing up, Diane attended church with her aunt and gave her life to Christ at a young age but struggled with truly living for Christ. After her mother’s passing, she felt like she had truly hit rock bottom. Through counseling, the support of those at her church, God’s House Church and Pastor JC and his wife Yvette, she felt her relationship with Christ grow stronger. “Even though I fall short of His glory every day, I feel like He’s a part of my life and I can’t live without Him,” she shared. On July 9, 2022, Diane was baptized in the Blanco River. She felt anxious that day because she was the only one getting baptized. One of the other church members eased her anxiety by sharing that God leaves the 99 for the 1, and in that moment, she was the one. Diane experienced healing that day and gave all the glory to God, but God was not done with her story. 

A couple of years later, Diane decided to attend what she thought was a Bible study with her friend, Linda, at Widow’s Mite in San Antonio. When she walked into the room, she realized it was not a Bible study, but a STCH Ministries Faith & Finances class. She quickly became emotional as she felt the invisible thread continuing to work. Even though she did not fully understand why she happened upon this class, she sat down and took in everything as the facilitator spoke. After the first class, she decided this was where she needed to be and signed up to continue the course. 

The fact that the course was faith-based made an impression on Diane. “It teaches you how to use your money for the glory of God, which to me is super important,” she shared. Diane has always considered herself generous but did not always have the means to be overly generous. Through the course, she learned a different way to handle her finances and how to keep God at the center. 

One of the most impactful aspects of the course was the relationships formed with other participants. Not only did they learn about finances together, but they stayed and worshipped after every class. This allowed Diane to build deeper relationships with the other women and feel safe about sharing throughout the course. Towards the end of the 11 weeks, Diane and the other women even went on a retreat together where the bonds they created during Faith & Finances grew even stronger. 

Diane’s favorite assignment during the course came towards the end. The facilitator presented everyone with a $10 bill and instructed them to return to the group and share how they used it. For Diane, this assignment seemed intimidating at first because she did not like speaking in front of people. “I feel like all this stuff is something God has a bigger plan for. I even stood up and presented for Linda, who couldn’t be there that day,” Diane shared. As she clung to her favorite verse, Philippians 4:13, she could stand and speak in front of the class because she found her strength in Christ. Diane misses the Faith & Finances class but the relationships she built remain strong. She visits Widow’s Mite often and looks forward to the future with them. 

Eight years ago, the name STCH Ministries did not mean anything to Diane. Today, STCH Ministries means hope and healing. 

“STCH Ministries was definitely a blessing sent from God. They provided support and healing through the love of Christ,” Diane shared. “There, I was able to leave all my worries and pain at the foot of the cross, leading me to a closer relationship with God.” 

Through everything, God weaved STCH Ministries into Diane’s story to help her through her lowest moments and reveal that JOY is possible. 

42 Years of Impacting Lives

MARK CHILDS MOVED TO THE BOOTHE CAMPUS in 1982 with his wife, Dru, to become a STCH Ministries Homes for Children caseworker. Now after 42 years of service, working in four different positions and impacting countless lives, Mark is retiring. 

Mark served as a caseworker, Boothe Campus Director, Vice President of Homes for Children, and most recently, Program Specialist, working alongside the state of Texas. Mark led with integrity, compassion and immaculate character in all these positions, “serving the least of these,” which defines him as a leader. Whether at the Texas State Capitol or dealing with a “situation” with a student, he did so with compassion, integrity and Christlikeness. His love for STCH Ministries is evident in the lasting relationships with those entrusted to our care and staff. 

For Mark, the most meaningful aspect of his work was working as a team to break the generational cycle of poverty and abuse. Mark never stopped studying trauma and how to best work with kids affected by it. Mark’s depth of knowledge has been especially evident in his most recent position as Program Specialist, where he has kept STCH Ministries updated on changes from the Department of Family and Protective Services. 

Over the years, Mark has attended countless graduations, officiated multiple weddings and attended funerals for individuals he cared for at STCH Ministries. Caring for the needs of children and families for so long is an incredible legacy, and STCH Ministries has been blessed to have Mark on staff, while those in our care have felt the impact he has had on their lives. 

“Mark’s career can be described as dedicated, heartfelt, self-sacrificing service to children and families in the name of the Lord. On behalf of all those he served in his 42 years at STCH Ministries, I say thank you. His true impact will not be fully understood this side of heaven.” – Eron Green, STCH Ministries President and CEO 

“Congratulations to Mark on his deserved retirement. I will forever be grateful for our friendship. Mark is a genuine and kind person shown by his decency. His servant leadership has been a guide to me and those who have worked alongside him. His dedication and love for those he helped were evident during our 33 years of working together. He taught me not to be so busy to miss those in need around us, our calling. I am profoundly grateful for our friendship.” – Greg Huskey, Vice President of Campus Ministries 

“I appreciate Mark’s wisdom, guidance, dependability, encouragement and loyalty to STCH Ministries. I saw Mark’s care and devotion to STCH Ministries’ children and their families as well as the staff through good and bad times. For a while, Mark’s computer screen said, ‘This Too Shall Pass’ which is much like Mark’s personality. He remains calm during the storm and looks beyond what seem like earth-shattering moments, sharing his steadfastness during chaotic times.” – Ginger Bailey, Quality Improvement Specialist 

As he says his goodbyes, Mark wanted to share, “I don’t remember ever doubting that sense of knowing that we were where we were supposed to be. It has been a privilege and a joy to work alongside so many others called ‘according to the purpose.’ I continue to be amazed at our growth and the life-changing impact at every point of ministry. I feel truly blessed to have been able to play a part in STCH Ministries for so many years.” 

Thank you, Mark, for your 42 years of service. 

Equipping Mothers

IN 2019, STCH MINISTRIES FINISHED WRITING its own curriculum for a ten-week course entitled Faith & Work. The purpose? To help individuals discover God’s purpose for their lives. Through the course, participants are equipped to improve work skills, overcome obstacles, grow as leaders and gain confidence to pursue careers that fully utilize their potential, all while keeping God at the center. 

Over the last five years, Faith & Work has been taught in a wide range of settings. Churches, non-profits and businesses have all taken advantage of the curriculum to help individuals in different stages of life. Recently, the mothers at STCH Ministries Homes for Families were given the opportunity to take the class on the Marshall Campus. Alicia Tijerina, Faith & Work | Faith & Finances Site Coordinator in Corpus Christi, along with her husband, David, traveled once a week to teach these important lessons. 

On Faith & Work graduation day, the mothers dressed up to receive certificates honoring their achievements. They celebrated alongside Faith & Work and Homes for Families staff, with some of the mothers sharing what the Faith & Work class meant to them. 

“Faith & Work has taught me how to put into action my faith in my workplace. I now recognize that all I do is for the Lord and how I am to remain transformed by the renewing of my mind and not to become conformed. I will be holding close to all that I have learned as I continue to grow in my walk with the Lord. My mission statement has helped me recognize my purpose and so much more.” – Jasmyne 

“The Faith & Work program helped me understand the importance of workplace etiquette, and that I am a Masterpiece created to do God’s good works. Using scripture to encourage my walk with Christ in the workplace concreted the importance of my role as a light in the workplace. The one thing that impacted me the most is my mission statement; with this statement, I can better align my life with God’s truth and promises in and out of the workplace.” – Estefania 

“Faith & Work has taught me that I am His Masterpiece and that my work ethic should be the same at work as it is at home. Colossians 3:17 – ‘And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.’” – Kisha 

“Faith & Work taught me how having integrity and being honest in the workplace matters. I did not realize how my faith in God and being a good steward at work went hand in hand. I learned so much about myself and how to be a better employee.” – Destinee 

“It was awesome to come up with core values and a mission statement for myself. It gave me a standard to look to as a Christian and an employee.” – Brandy 

STCH Ministries is thankful for the ability to connect our various ministries, allowing us to impact more individuals. The Homes for Families staff is excited to embrace and expand upon the teachings from the Faith & Work class to continue equipping the mothers for their career journeys. As we look ahead, we see a bright future for them, and we pray for the continued guidance of the Lord in their lives.