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Good Samaritan Outreach Project Exceeds Projected Goal

by Debbie Marini, Interim Executive Director, and Kate Macdonald, GSN Family Treatment Manager

Our Good Samaritan Network (GSN) is an active, growing response to the plight of families and kids in the mid-Atlantic region. The Christmas Outreach Project is just one response to meeting the needs of those who are "materially poor" in our communities and, in so doing, sharing the gift of Jesus.

This dynamic outreach changes each year. Three new host churches (Elders BC, Primera Iglesia Bautista Hispana, and FBC-Upper Marlboro [FBC-UM]) served over

190 children. These churches had been involved in collecting gifts and/or volunteering at another host site and decided, this year, to make it a part of their community outreach. Nine other churches renewed their commitment to host again and served an additional 1,260 children!

Kudos to FBC-UM, who helped FBC-Brooklyn re-launch a store, after a several year hiatus. They provided volunteers, moral support, and expertise to new site coordinators. They helped the event run smoother, as they have done in the past with the now "veteran" store sites at Gethsemane Bible Baptist and the Vision Church. By establishing this continuum of host "store sites" -- from the "rookie" who may require some assistance, to the "veteran" who, in the spirit of cooperation, shares with other sites -- we are able to see our impact grow.

In addition to the numbers served, we at BFCS are committed to the quality of the stores and in their purposeful mission. The host church decides how they want to define this project according to their outreach goals/purpose. For example, one church leader believed that his store had actually gotten so large that the message of Christ was becoming lost. So with help from BFCS, they focused on serving a smaller number of families but with a clearer, more pointed presentation of the Gospel.

We are excited about the outreach opportunities God has in store in 2013! Together we continue to actively and exponentially make a larger impact! Please prayerfully consider partnering with us. Become a Good Samaritan!

PRAYER REQUESTS

...for devastating events that have occurred within a few of our CHOSEN families: for the mother of a foster mom had a stroke late last month; for a foster mom whose brother was struck by a car and passed away earlier this month - the 4th family member she has lost in a year - as well as the unexpected removal of her foster youth at the child's request; for a foster dad whose brother passed away suddenly; and another foster dad who lost his half-brother a couple days after being rushed to the ER.

...for an elderly GSN client who will undergo a kidney procedure, we ask a quick recovery and for her fears about the hospital to be dispelled.

...for an 11-year-old foster child whose biological mother has been inconsistent in her contact with him, leading him to exhibit tantrum behaviors, and for his foster mom as she offers support and care to help him deal with it.

...for a teenage CHOSEN girl who continues to leave home without permission for extended periods. This is compromising her safety and may require that she be placed in a higher level of care.

...for another teenage CHOSEN girl who has left home without permission and has not returned.

...for a former GSN and volunteer family who completed their housing program without success and had to leave with few alternatives. Please remember their 2 high school age children who may be sent to shelters.

...for the husband of a former staff member who has stage II pancreatic cancer and will begin chemotherapy on February 25.

...for the quick recovery of a 3-month-old infant boy who had surgery.

...for a foster mom who is considering whether to take in a difficult placement that was referred to us.

Answered Prayers!

Note: Names have been changed, where necessary, to protect the identities of our kids and families.

We are so thankful for the prayer warriors who have partnered with us! We see His answers every day.

Regarding our prayer for new families to step forward, we had 6 families graduate from CHOSEN pre-service training last month, and 2 families expressed interest in becoming Safe host families after hearing our presentation at Calvary Baptist Church in Bel Air.

We are grateful for a woman who responded to our last Prayer Gram and donated 2 boxes of diapers.

Many thanks to the two who responded to the need of a Safe Families host family who was struggling to pay for car repairs. One of the donors was also a Safe Families host family.

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