Week of Hope/Jack Green Counseling Center Open House

Week of Hope

STCH Ministries is very thankful for everyone that made Week of Hope 2023 a success. We had three main goals for Week of Hope, first to raise awareness of who we are and what we do, second to invite new churches, organizations and individuals to partner with us and third to raise $400,000. Not only did we meet and exceed our goal by raising over $455,000, we also built new connections that will continue to grow and help spread the impact of STCH Ministries. We are thankful for God’s provision and cannot wait to see how He continues to use STCH Ministries to heal hearts and share hope.

Jack Green Counseling Center Open House

On Friday, May 5, 2023, STCH Ministries staff members, board members, community members and city officials joined together for an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new Jack Green Counseling Center in Victoria. Two years ago, to the day, many of the same people gathered for a dedication of the land where the new building would be constructed. We are thankful to everyone who made this building a reality, including the Petty family, the Velma Lee & John Harvey Robinson Charitable Foundation, Parkway Church Victoria and the Marsha Shanklin Foundation. The building is a refuge for individuals, children and families as they work through difficulties in their lives. We pray that God continues to touch the lives of those entering the building for counseling services.

The Greatest Relationship

WHEN CHILDREN ARRIVE on STCH Ministries Homes for Children campus, they receive a safe place to call home with warm beds, hot meals and clothes, if needed. More importantly than meeting the physical needs of the children on campus, Homes for Children is helping provide for their spiritual, mental and emotional needs. Caseworkers, houseparents, counselors and other staff work to help the children in care find true healing from their past. In 2022, STCH Ministries saw 193 people accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior through our nine ministries. On the Boothe Campus alone, we saw 14 children dedicate their lives to Christ, and Savannah was one of them.

Savannah moved to Boothe Campus for the first time at the age of 7. Like many children arriving on campus, she did not know what to expect or how her life would change over time at Homes for Children. Over the years, Savannah left and returned to the campus a couple of times and ultimately arrived back in 2021. This time was different for Savannah; she was older, more mature and knew what to expect. There was also a foundation started in her walk with Christ.

Something that makes the Boothe Campus unique is the ability to share about Jesus with the children on the campus. Each cottage attends local churches on Sundays, while Awana and chapel are hosted on campus on Wednesday evenings. More than that, the houseparents work to lead devotionals in the cottages and pray with the children. They live out daily what it looks like to have a true relationship with Christ.

Before coming to Homes for Children, Savannah did not have much knowledge about Jesus or what it meant to have a relationship with Him. “I definitely didn’t know Jesus back then,” Savannah shared. When she returned in 2021 at the age of 12, she was placed in Marshall Cottage. Her houseparents, the Fishers, shared, “When Savannah first came to us, she was enthralled with the world and the pull to follow the lost world’s standards.” Because of this, she acted out and sought attention in unhealthy ways. She needed to find her voice and discover healthy ways to communicate.

Savannah pushed the boundaries set by her houseparents in the cottage. She wanted to make her own path instead of following the one God planned for her. As time progressed, she opened up to her houseparents and their biological daughter, Ruby. Savannah started listening more intently during devotional times and asking Ruby questions about Christ and what it means to become a Christian. She could see something different in the lives of those around her and wanted to know more.

During the summer of 2022, Savannah attended Camp Zephyr, which became her favorite memory while at STCH Ministries. She started to feel God working in her heart during the week. “It was a really good experience, especially worship time, it just really hit me,” Savannah shared. Then, a few months later, Savannah made the life-changing decision to give her life to Christ.

While attending church one Sunday with her cottage, Savannah knew it was time to pray and ask Jesus into her heart. She asked Ruby to walk down with her. As Savannah prayed, Ruby stood there as a supportive friend and cried as she watched her new sister in Christ dedicate her life. “I think that’s just really sweet,” Savannah shared, “she just really helped me through everything.” Before coming to Homes for Children, Savannah struggled with making friends. She never had a true friend to support her, so Ruby being with her in that moment meant the world to Savannah.

At the time, Savannah did not realize how much prayer could truly impact so many different aspects of her life. For the first time, she felt free. “It felt like freedom like I wasn’t held captive anymore,” Savannah shared. “I can definitely do a lot more things now.” Since the day Savannah surrendered her life to Christ, not only has she seen a difference in herself, but her houseparentsand friends have also seen a difference. She now lets people in and shares her feelings, which allows her to heal from past hurts. “I am definitely a lot more honest,” Savannah shared. Savannah struggled with honesty before giving her life to Christ and would lie out of self-preservation. She no longer feels like she has to hide behind a mask and allows people to see her for who she really is, a daughter of the King.

In March 2023, Savannah’s housepop was able to baptize her at their church on a Sunday morning. It meant a lot to Savannah to feel the support of her houseparents and her friends. Savannah no longer feels like she has to be a follower of the world. She is stepping out as a leader in some areas, while in others she is following what is right and just. Most importantly, she is following Jesus wholeheartedly. “I enjoy being a better person and a better influence to other people, it’s better than who I was before I knew Jesus,” Savannah shared. “It’s just a good feeling.” Savannah’s housemom shared, “She is in the process of sanctification like all Christ followers and each day we see her growing more and more to be like Him.”

During the 2022-2023 school year, Savannah decided to show goats as a part of the 4-H program on the campus. She showed her maturity, honesty and determination during the season and because of this, Savannah received the opportunity to raise and show a steer for the 2023-2024 school year. This opportunity is not extended to all students, and it is an honor to be able to do so. This is just one example of how Savannah’s new identity in Christ is affecting other aspects of her life. She is excited to be a leader in her cottage and an example to the younger children on the campus. She wants her life to be an example, just like her houseparents and Ruby were to her.

Savannah is forever grateful for the many relationships she has built over the last seven years because those relationships led to the greatest relationship of all. She is especially thankful to her houseparents and their daughter Ruby for walking with her through this time of her life. STCH Ministries is thankful for the dedication of our houseparents, who work daily to help heal the hearts and change the lives of the children in their cottage. Ultimately, we give God all the glory for the work He is doing not just on our Homes for Children campus but throughout STCH Ministries.

The Profound Impact of Christian Counseling

STCH MINISTRIES BEGAN its counseling ministry in Corpus Christi in the mid-90s. Since then, the counseling ministry has expanded to seventeen locations across five different cities in the state. Since its inception, countless lives have been greatly impacted, and Anjulena is now living proof of that.

In 2016, STCH Ministries expanded its Family Counseling to the Houston area. A few years later, Houstonian, Anjulena, walked into her first counseling session with STCH Ministries alongside her boyfriend at the time to meet with a STCH Ministries counselor. STCH Ministries Family Counseling provides care when individuals, couples and families need help sorting through life’s challenges.

During that time, Anjulena found herself in a relationship she realized was no longer healthy. She and her boyfriend had many ups and downs and began seeking help. Her boyfriend found STCH Ministries Family Counseling online and they started seeing a counselor together. Following a few sessions as a couple, their counselor suggested Anjulena see another STCH Ministries counselor on her own to work through past hurts and trauma in her life. Through both couple and individual Christian counseling, Anjulena sought a better understanding of herself and others. “It opened my eyes to my past, my childhood and my background and maybe how I allowed myself to be susceptible to people hurting me.” Her counselors often recommend Christian books to her to read further. Through each session and her continued reading and researching, Anjulena drew closer and closer to God. As she drew closer to God, she became more aware of how God created her and how He wanted to heal her further and use her to help others.

Anjulena discontinued her counseling sessions after ending her relationship with her ex-boyfriend. Soon after the pandemic hit, Anjulena’s work as a ballroom dancing instructor was on hold, and she began to look inward again, reflecting on her life and the path she wanted to be on. “I knew that I was at a turning point in my life; I was turning 50.” Anjulena admits that during the pandemic lockdowns, “I had more time to ponder these things…where I’ve been, where I’m at and where I’m going.” Anjulena prayed for God to bring people into her life that would help her. She knew instantly she wanted to reinstate sessions with her counselor. Though there was a waitlist to get in, she knew it would be worth the wait.

Anjulena had experienced other forms of therapy before. She had seen counselors through her medical provider and quickly realized they would not give much advice to help guide her. “I always felt like I was running around in circles and couldn’t find answers.” Anjulena felt like her time spent with other non-Christian counselors was leading her nowhere. Her STCH Ministries counselor would share scripture with her and recommend other Christian books specific to her growth areas. Each session ended with prayer, and Anjulena soon began to seek out God more and more.

“I started to change daily habits in my life when I started reading the Bible more,” Anjulena remembers how she would end sessions with her counselor with a desire to pick up her Bible and further read verses and chapters her counselor would share with her. The more she read, the more she gained answers. The more she prayed, the more she could hear God’s voice. “The moment I said, ‘God, I’m ready to commit my life to you 100%…’ everything in my life changed so drastically,” Anjulena said. “There is not a day that goes by that God is not on my mind and that I’m not talking to Him or about Him to others.”

For Anjulena’s 50th birthday, she knew she wanted to do something very special and memorable. God brought baptism to mind; she knew it was the next step she needed to take. Through time in prayer, Anjulena felt God leading her to get baptized in the Jordan River in Israel. “I was not sure how it was all going to happen, but I kept praying for God to guide me.”

Though Anjulena had looked online for tours, groups and opportunities to get to the Holy Land, nothing was lining up. She quickly realized she did not have the money to go, no group or anyone to go with or anyone to baptize her. “I really wanted it to be someone I knew, trusted and loved God and Jesus as much as I did.” Though it all began to seem impossible and very complicated, she could not stop thinking about getting baptized there. Anjulena continued to pray, asking for God’s guidance. “God would not put this feeling and desire in my heart and not help me,” she believed. Then one day, God began aligning Anjulena’s every need.

“A man called me and asked if I had time to do a crash course dance lesson for him to surprise his daughter on her wedding day. He needed me to help him with the father/daughter dance for her wedding. He told me he was driving in from Austin and did not have a lot of time. My schedule was very full, but luckily I was able to fit him in during the daytime.” As their first dance lesson began, Anjulena learned he was a Chaplain for the State of Texas. Through further conversation, the bride’s father shared with Anjulena how he would also be performing the ceremony at his daughter’s wedding.

“As I was teaching him the dance, I would bring up conversations about God. And then I told him I had a wonderful plan to get baptized in Israel during Christmas.” Anjulena recalls he proceeded to ask her how she would do all of that and if she had ever been to Israel before. “I told him I had never gone, but God had put in my heart that I should get baptized there in the Jordan River.” He then looked at Anjulena and said he had a group from his church going around Christmas.

At that moment, both he and Anjulena realized that God had brought them together to answer her prayer. Anjulena shared how God started filling her schedule with work and opportunities that allowed her to save the money needed for the trip. However, she realized she still did not have anyone she knew personally attending with her to witness her miraculous baptism. God left no prayer unanswered, as her childhood best friend, Sarra, and her family were able to go to Israel with her, and they all got baptized together. “I cannot explain all that happened and what a miracle it was!”

Anjulena credits her healing from past childhood traumas and abusive relationships, as well as her newfound nearness to God to the Christian counseling she received through STCH Ministries. “What I have learned and experienced, I now want to teach others.”

Anjulena has implemented much of what she has gained from Christian counseling in teaching dance to her students. Teaching mainly couples, she has been able to share the wisdom imparted to her by her counselors regarding healthy communication, excellent problem-solving skills, working together and the importance of encouragement.

Anjulena began to realize all she had been through had been for a reason and to learn something. Ultimately, she knew all the wisdom she had gained from the lessons learned was to, in return, share with others and help others because most people she comes across are hurting in some way. Anjulena now lives to bring people the truth of God and hope in all she does.

Watching God Work

One mission trip, 3 teams from 3 churches—FBC Kenedy, Trinity Baptist Church in Kerrville, Parkway Church in Victoria.

A video set on fast-forward blurs with any attempt to view all they accomplished! A simple list is inadequate, even the imagination falls short of any attempt to convey multiple co-occurring ministries, with individuals of varied ages and wide-ranging skills. One common thread ran through every activity—relationships. The goal was not to have the perfect medical clinic, the most skillful drama of the Bible story at VBS, the artistic quality of a mural on an orphanage wall, devotionals and singing that inspired and motivated or even an impactful pastor’s conference. The goal was the people, and the relationships created and expanded through the ministries. Getting to know the Dominican pastors—their frustrations and obstacles—and sharing empathy through conversations around the table, as well as encouragement from God’s Word. More than hearing, participants truly listened, past the physical ailments, and connected with the fear and pain that patients shared. They offered love along with medications and advice.

Relationships were made while delighting in moments that matter, whether it was laughing over a game, hugging a child at the orphanage or sharing a meal with a Dominican family. While purchasing and delivering groceries, sharing new clothes and school supplies, sanding and sawing and hammering together with young and old, relationships were deepened. While decorating for ladies’ tea, or a banquet celebration, praying, clapping and singing, relationships were nurtured. In the background of all these activities, almost unnoticed, the REAL work of a mission trip goes on. Sharing love, time for meaningful conversations, encouragement and reconnecting with God’s purpose for our lives. Building relationships.


Faith & Finances at Work

Our Faith & Finances classes are changing lives! Our facilitators across the state have worked alongside pastors and churches to bring people into the classes. The program teaches you to equip yourself through God’s plan for your money. Biblical principles are applied as students learn to make a spending plan, set savings goals and overcome past mistakes. 

Faith & Finances started building a relationship with Alliance Baptist Church in Lubbock in 2021. Shortly after, STCH Ministries was asked to teach a virtual Faith & Finances class and through that, a church member, Joel, decided to become a facilitator for Faith & Finances. Since then, he has facilitated two classes, one in Spanish and one in English for members of the church and the community.
One woman from his most recent graduating class shared, “I was able to meet some wonderful people with Christ in the center. It is an honorable, true, just and commendable program! I’m 60 years old but I learned I could be open, vulnerable and share my good and my bad. These are the people that love me. If you have someone like that in your life, that’s because of Jesus. Remember, there is a lot more to finances than just money.”  
We are excited to partner with pastors, church leaders and other organizations to offer a ten-week Faith & Finances class. Please continue to pray over this program as we follow where the Lord takes us!

Why God?

Why, God? It is a common question surrounding the misfortunes of life—illness, accidents, disappointments, betrayals and any difficulties and obstacles confronted during the course of our journey. Especially, when we are attempting to do good things, it feels that “God should have my back,” as we commonly express between friends.

“Why, God?” was the first thought that arose when the medical and dental team from CMDA arrived in the Dominican Republic. The preparations had begun months before—the team signed up with passports and QR codes for entry visas, licensed doctors and dentists recruited to accompany students from the San Antonio medical center, 11 bright red trunks of supplies carefully packed and inventoried, sites of clinics identified and reserved, transportation, translators, rooming assignments and the ALL-IMPORTANT Dominican health department permission signed and in-hand. Finally, the last item was checked off of the seemingly endless list of details, and the team boarded their flights.

“My ways are higher than your ways,” God reminds us and reminds us again and again, throughout our lives. The team arrived safely in the DR, but as they passed through customs, all 11 trunks of medical and dental supplies were confiscated! In spite of the official legal document giving permission for these clinics, they were informed that now there were NEW regulations, and the trunks would be held until they left the country again. Why, God?

Frustrated, disappointed and anxious, the team tried to adjust, and reconsider,  “What can we accomplish without  our supplies?” Prayer was the first and the only recourse. For many, although faith was an untested resource, they earnestly asked God to intervene. Disheartened, they began their first clinics on Monday morning, determined to do what they could.

For STCH Ministries for over 70 years, God has answered countless prayers in the mission of “healing hearts and sharing hope with children and families.” He is sovereign. God is not taken by surprise by life’s events. He is always faithful. Although His ways are not our ways, He will always make A WAY. 

STCH Ministries is grateful for the friends God has provided through the last 16 years of ministry in the Dominican Republic. As texts, emails and phone calls flew over the ocean, representatives from our staff returned to the customs agents to try and plead our case. At first there was no change, but as the individuals with the necessary authority were contacted, the staff suddenly received a message, “Come and get your supplies!” By the end of the week, over 652 patients were seen and received medical and dental attention.

“Why, God?” is never fully understood from this earth-bound perspective. But through these circumstances, we can be sure of some of His purposes; the power of prayer, the reality that God knows us, and hears us was affirmed; important connections were formed through our Dominican friends; faith-building occurred in many hearts. Above all else, God received the glory and affirmed to all of us that He is sovereign and He is in control.

Homes for Families is Impacting Lives

Jasmyne was wanting to change her life when she learned about STCH Ministries Home for Families and the opportunity it could provide for her and her children. Her goal was to completely change her life and follow Christ wherever He may lead her! She started at Homes for Families almost two months ago. Before coming here, she would fall into a deep depression at times and despair would take over. Jasmyne was constantly worried about the next big problem and carried the weight of the world on her own shoulders. When temptation came knocking at her door, she was game for whatever was being presented to her. Jasmyne didn’t understand the importance of going to church and doing what the Lord required of her from His word! After being at Homes for Families, she says she finally has peace. She’s studying God’s word which gives her hope for her future. Jasmyne is working hard to make the right decisions for herself and her precious baby boy. 

Jasmyne recently went on her first home pass since arriving at Homes for Families and the opportunity presented itself to lash out and argue with family members who are where she used to be; something she has struggled with. Instead of lashing out in anger, Jasmyne was able to turn the other cheek when being provoked and baited into arguments! She loves the change she is seeing in her relationship with her baby and how he is responding to her changes. She adores her baby boy and is enjoying being around for his “firsts”. Jasmyne wants this momentum to keep going. We thank God for His continued work and the changes He’s making in people’s lives! Most often Jasmyne can be found with a joyful countenance and a testimony that she and her boy are doing well as they continue to follow the Lord’s path. 

Sharing Knowledge in the Dominican Republic

On the recent Baylor student Spring Break mission trip, Eron Green, STCH Ministries President/CEO, and John Weber, STCH Ministries Board Chair, joined efforts to empower families and leaders of partnering ministries. One of the most significant partnerships for STCH Ministries is with the Iglesia Bautista Quisqueyana (IBQ). On Sunday morning, Pastor Rudy devoted the entire service to a presentation on Strengthening Families by STCH Ministries Joanna Berry and Eron Green. They were assisted by a family panel of varying ages who shared their real-life examples of family life and relationships.  

Some of the principles shared were the importance of unconditional love between parents and their children. As the principle of sowing and reaping was related to behavior and consequences, Eron Green reminded them that the best discipline was allowing logical consequences to apply. The panel suggested different ways to teach the Word of God at home – reading the Bible together, talking over the day’s events while eating together, motivating children to memorize scripture verses and above all, “Walk the Talk.” 
Afterward, the families of the church brought their lunch and the STCH Ministries staff joined the families to share the meal together.

The following day, the directors of our partnering ministries were invited to a presentation on the importance of a functioning board by Eron Green and John Weber. This concept is not fully understood and practiced in the Dominican Republic. However, for succession planning and sustainability, it is a priority focus of encouragement as STCH Ministries collaborates with the efforts of our faith partners. Interest was very high, and questions came almost faster than they could be translated. The presentation whetted their appetites for more information and more guidance. STCH Ministries will be looking to respond to these requests soon.

Spring Break on Boothe Campus

Spring break on our Boothe campus was an exciting and eventful time for the kids. Our Student Ministry Coordinator planned several theme days throughout the week including water day, arts and crafts, glow-in-the-dark dodgeball and devotions each morning. Everyone also enjoyed the Star Wars movie marathon they had playing each evening. Although it’s hard when some of the kids are not able to go home for spring break, we keep them busy with fun activities!  

The best thing has been God working in the children’s hearts on campus. In the last month, we have seen four students give their lives to Christ through our chapel time on Wednesday evenings. On March 26th, we will have two students baptized with another six waiting to get baptized. Please continue to pray for the children on campus as the Lord moves and wins their hearts! 

Unlikely Heroes

The 2023 Spring Break mission team to the Dominican Republic included an unusual mix of older couples, Tri-Delta sorority girls from Baylor University with three staff sponsors, a couple of teenage boys, STCH Ministries administrative staff and two young women from El Salvador.
Knitting such a dissimilar group into an effective team occurred because each person came with a common purpose…to serve. There was nothing they were not willing to do.
Throughout the week, you could find them in the kitchen chopping vegetables to help the Dominican cooks, sanding, sawing, drilling to build a playground set, attending to the sick at a medical clinic, delivering food to families with empty cupboards, on the floor helping a child with a craft, blowing bubbles to coax a smile or sharing a meal with a Dominican family. Every afternoon, VBS included singing, dramas, crafts and games along with a Bible memory competition. The team began and ended each day worshipping, focusing on a lesson from God’s Word or sharing a special God moment.
They loved out loud with smiles of joy, fitting each girl with a new dress. The ministry, Dress a Girl Around the World, donated 100 dresses of varying sizes, uniquely sewn to reflect the God-created beauty within each girl. Working together, older adults connected with young boys who may never have held a drill. They hammered, sawed and drilled. They took odd sizes of lumber and fitted them together into a playscape that will remain a lasting contribution to the school-children in this impoverished barrio.
Young women, pursuing a path in the medical field through their college classes, joined an experienced medical nurse, Dominican doctors and volunteers to meet both physical and spiritual needs. Clinics were held in two different neighborhoods to serve children and families.
Perhaps the highlight of this week was the day spent with the boys in the Higuey Home. Twenty-five boys of varying ages, beautiful gifts uniquely created in the Father’s heart, live there as brothers. They were born into a dark world that did not value and care for them, yet they were rescued by the same Father’s love. Dominicans joined by STCH Ministries have provided a home, beds, food and care.
Culture, age and life experiences can create an obstacle for an American team to connect with boys. But not for this group of energetic and determined young people. Inter-mixing and grabbing a partner, the music began. Clapping and stepping together to the rhythm, the cultural divide melted as joy-filled music crammed the spaces between them. Although their lives were worlds apart, on this day their joy and joint activities portrayed the unity we all share as children, all created in God’s image.
For all of us who are immersed in a culture that values pleasure and material possessions as primary goals to pursue, it’s easy to say, “Not my child, not my community, not my problem.” Then there are those who see the needs and choose to respond. They ignore comfort, they sacrifice time and resources and bravely step into the unknown to serve others. They follow the supreme example of the One who left heaven, to show us His mercy, His love and His grace.
This varied group became “unlikely heroes” to the many children and families that they served on this 2023 Spring Break mission trip.



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