A Timely Investment

I think we all know that education is critical in our lives. If we don’t learn, we cannot move forward. Think about it. What if we were not taught to walk as a young child? What if we did not know how to read? Not to mention, what if we did not know how to talk or communicate?

LEARNING NEVER ENDS and it is up to each of us to determine the value of the education we receive and how we use it to enrich ourselves and serve others. The value itself is immeasurable and only becomes apparent to others when we move forward using what we have learned.

From the beginning of STCH Ministries, it has been apparent and clear that education is very important. Children living on our Boothe Campus may not have had the chance to graduate from high school if they had not been placed to live in our care. Education is crucial, not just while in care, but when they step into the reality of life beyond the safety of Pettus, Texas.

It is the commitment of STCH Ministries to provide the opportunity for each graduating senior to pursue their dreams and receive the education they desire. This could be going to college, trade school or even choosing to be certified with specific skills so they can grab a hold of life with confidence and stability. Fortunately, in our 68-year existence, donors have been generous with education endowments to provide scholarships. This ensures the resources are available for every eligible high school graduate.

Here are a couple of examples of named endowments:

The Howard K. Joslin Education Fund exists to help graduates who choose to attend a trade school and gain knowledge in fields such as welding, construction, mechanics and more. Before Howard passed away from a plane crash, he and his wife, Cristal had already talked about one day helping graduates wanting to go to a trade school. Howard knew the importance of non-traditional education since he himself went straight into a trade profession. Since its creation, several graduates have been impacted by their generosity.

The Angela Hise Education Endowment exists to help graduates attend a traditional college or trade school. Angela passed away several years ago and her mother, Jo, heard Eron Green, President & CEO of STCH Ministries, speak at a local church describing the importance of higher education and how we are committed to providing this opportunity for every graduate. Jo then decided to endow a scholarship in her daughter’s memory.

Each graduate must comply with eligibility standards required to receive funds from education endowments. These standards include academic and spiritual criteria. The College Transition Coordinator on the Boothe Campus helps to guide each resident during their junior and senior years of high school to prepare a plan for their future. Taking the next step and entering into adulthood is never an easy task for any child. However, STCH Ministries invests in every child in our care, paving the way to a positively supported future.

Due to the sacrifice and foresight of so many to make timely investments years ago and today, STCH Ministries can provide the necessary resources for those choosing to expand their knowledge.

STCH Ministries is forever grateful to those who have established or contributed to endowments to provide education scholarships. If you would like to learn more about how to create an endowment, please contact the Office of Development at development@stchm.org or 361.375.2417.

Shoulder to Shoulder

STCH Ministries reaches hurting children and families with the truth of God’s love through every ministry we pursue. The magnitude and scope of our mission requires us to partner with other organizations, so much so that enabling others to join us in this ministry is written into our mission statement. The Greater San Antonio Church Health Initiative, Unicity and Faith Fosters Texas are some of the groups we serve alongside. These enterprises help pastors, parents and children in the foster care system. Working together, we all extend our reach and bring hope and healing wherever the need exists.

STCH Ministries’ partnership with The Greater San Antonio Church Health Initiative makes a difference in the lives of pastors who bear the burdens of the front lines of ministry. The Church Health Initiative was born out of the desire to help improve community health by addressing the daunting needs of pastors. The Baptist General Convention of Texas received a grant in 2018 from the Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio to do the work.  Ben Hanna, son of former STCH Ministries Vice President Homer Hanna, was selected to lead the effort. STCH Ministries, an early partner in this effort, encouraged several staff members to take part in a steering committee that focused efforts on how to improve the spiritual, emotional, physical and financial health of pastors.

The Church Health Initiative now provides one-on-one coaching relationships, financial help, retreats and groups to encourage pastors to pursue greater health in every aspect of their lives. In November 2019, thirty-two couples attended the first “Pastor Strong Retreat” at Tapatio Springs Hill Country Resort. STCH Ministries Director of Faith & Finances | Faith & Work, Darrell Jackson, led a breakout session on financial health. STCH Ministries Director of Family Counseling Charny Beck and her husband, Randy, led another session on emotional health. Both sessions earned high ratings in the participants’ written evaluations of the retreat. Family Counseling Directors, Dosely Antongiorgi and Lorraine Turner were on hand and available for individual counseling.

Parents operate on the front lines of family preservation. In August of 2018, STCH Ministries Family Counseling San Antonio partnered with the organization Unicity to train others to lead the evidence-based parenting curriculum Raising Highly Capable Kids. Through the spring of 2019, we trained 130 community leaders in churches, businesses, school districts and other organizations as facilitators. Now, in the middle of our second year in partnership with Unicity, we hope to double the number of people trained to teach this curriculum. 

Parenting can be difficult, challenging at best; we want to encourage parents in San Antonio to support each other in safe spaces with support resources from the local community. The Raising Highly Capable Kids curriculum teaches parents to use “The 40 Developmental Assets”, the 40 building blocks every child needs to grow and mature, as a framework for raising their children. Research shows the more of these assets a child has in their life, the more likely they are to engage in healthy behaviors, while moving away from unhealthy behaviors. As parents develop and maintain these assets, they feel equipped to provide their children with the skills to become healthy, caring and responsible individuals. When parents or families need extra help, professional counselors are available to assist the families with the appropriate connections in the community. STCH Ministries’ commitment to strengthening families is carried out through teaching Raising Highly Capable Kids alongside Unicity.

There are over 34,000 foster children in Texas creating a staggering need for more foster families. In 2019, the Baptist General Convention of Texas launched a foster care initiative called Faith Fosters Texas to build collaboration between faith-based, like-minded organizations to recruit foster parents to assist the least of these in our state. Involvement from churches is a key component in finding the families necessary to serve the many children needing a place to call home. Faith Fosters Texas recruits churches and provides the resources they require to build a healthy foster care ministry in their church to help secure foster families.

STCH Ministries’ involvement in the collaboration helps to ensure families and their children receive support, equipping foster families to thrive. Through Family Counseling, Faith & Work and Faith & Finances, STCH Ministries can minister to both parents and children of foster families.   

If you would like to know more about how you or your church can become involved in Faith Fosters Texas, please go to www.faithfosterstexas.org

STCH Ministries endeavors to fulfill our mission engaging in every level of society. Healthy pastors create strong communities which call for healthy families. Parents are the key components to maintain resilient families and we believe every child deserves the love of a committed family. In pursuing our mission, we achieve our vision to show the love of Christ to each child and family to whom we minister. We pray that God empowers these partnerships and brings us more in the future.