Here's a Fish, or Here's a Pole.
Could it be both?
The relief versus development debate continues. Arriving at a universal consensus of exactly how to balance relief and development efforts in every area and situation is unlikely, but the conversation continues for good reason, because together we continue to seek the best way to work together to serve people in chronic need.
In responding to needs in our community, there is a natural temptation for short term and long term missionaries or agencies alike to be the hero for the moment. There is a sense of immediate impact when money, food, home repair, or toys are provided for a family in difficult circumstances.
Over the years, God has moved us from a crisis/relief ministry to a developmental ministry. That does not mean we don't value crisis/relief ministries, it simply means we now recognize our focus is on development. It also does not mean we don’t act in a crisis but that it is not the bulk of our work. The shift away from relief work was not easy and we still struggle with it emotionally. We are wired to help those in need regardless of our structure or programming. Each of us is responsible to be obedient to our calling.
Development ministries are harder in some ways and easier in others. Resisting the quick fix and working toward long term success is challenging. There is no instant gratification of measuring quick impact. Working towards wholeness is the antithesis of building a relief organization. In the capitalist model to be successful we create clients by creating need. In our non-profit world we don’t have to create need, the need is always there. What we unintentionally do is create dependence. We create a cycle of need/fix/need/fix. That is why development programs are so important. Our goal is to break that cycle. We desire to move people from crisis living to proactive, healthy living. Moving people from dependency to independence to ultimately interdependency is our goal. Instead of adding to the dependency and draining the life out of the community, we want to encourage and revitalize life in a vibrant community.
We question the long term value of free giveaways (essential and nonessential goods) and we see more of our colleagues are moving away from them as well. But the need for crisis/relief ministries will continue as long as intractable chronic issues remain problems in our community. We also need more development ministries. The trick is to know which strategy to employ and when. Agreeing that we need both relief and development efforts is the first step toward a deeper conversation on how best to coordinate and implement these efforts for maximum long term impact in our needy community.
"Come, follow Me," Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” Mt 4:19
“It’s all Greek To Me!”
An IEP team meeting for your special needs child can be very intimidating to parents entering into the school system. What is an IEP anyway?
Estella Crabtree, a mother in our Parents As Teachers program and a Birth-3 coordinator was our guest speaker holding a workshop for parents to better understand what an Individualized Education Plan is and what role they as parents play in their child’s services at school.
Veterans Day Play
Mount View High school drama team put on a play for Veterans Day. The amount of work the students put into the performance was inspiring. Many students contributed to the development and direction it had! They sang, they danced, and they played music (Aron Ludwinski delighted the crowd with playing the piano!) to remind us of what was sacrificed by so many so that we could live in the country we do today. We hope the annual event continues for many years to come.
PAT Baby Shower
Baby Shower Blessings provided to another group of New Mothers! It never gets old to share in the excitement of a new baby on the way. Providing mothers with not only practical gifts but important information on what to expect and how to provide a safe and nurturing environment for their babies is what The Parents As Teachers program loves to do!
PAT Thanksgiving Dinner
The Parents As Teachers staff was blessed to be able to serve and provide a full Thanksgiving Dinner along with take home food for the families in our In Home Visitation program! It was encouraging to see so many fathers joining their families for this celebration. Along with the blessing of having a child is the responsibility of raising them to be all their creator has intended them to be. We consider it a privilege at The Community Crossing to come alongside parents in this incredible endeavor.
The Veterans Day Parade is one of the most amazing events of the year in McDowell County. Some might say it even outshines Christmas. People flock from all over to take part in the occasion as it is the longest running veterans day parade in the whole country!
It was such a pleasure for The Community Crossing to set up a cafe booth selling soup, coffee and hot chocolate . We absolutely loved serving our veterans and neighbors.
We greatly anticipate next year's 100th. Mark the date and come be a part of our ongoing history!
Veterans Day Parade
Welch West Virginia
Should My Child
Be Rear Facing or Forward Facing?
It is hard to keep up with all the new regulations when it comes to car seats and safety on the road. Goodson’s Supermarket provided the right place to conduct our Community Crossing free Car Seat Safety Check station this past month. Corporal Adam M. Ballard, Region 8 Coordinator of the WV Coalfields Highway Safety Program assisted us in providing information, education and practical assistance to families seeking to keep their children safe on the road. This is only the first of more to come as The Community Crossing is now an official Car Seat Fitting Station. We want to help parents keep their children safe!
Womens Book Study
A special thank you to Erin Dougherty for sharing this book, “Woman of Valor” by her pastor's wife, Marilynn Chadwick, with us. We are excited to go on this journey of becoming a world-changing woman of valor!
Thank you Erin and Vince for sending the book, and for everything you have done for us!
We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.
Hometown Health Hero!
In a county plagued by poor health due to obesity, diabetes, substance abuse, and poor nutrition, the McDowell County Health Department has a treasure on staff who truly embodies the selfless spirit of one who passionately serves others in her quest to improve the well-being of everyone around her.
Meet Shannon Hardee, an energetic, bright, and bubbly nurse born and raised in McDowell County, who has recently been awarded the well-deserved honor as Hometown Hero by our local news station WVVA. In addition to her full time nursing career, caring for her family, suffering the recent trauma of losing her mother, and attending to the needs of her father, Shannon continues to lead free fitness dance classes at the Superior Gym she started over 5 years ago.
Shannon and her close friend Wanda Day have given up thousands of hours of their free time and personal monthly expenses for training and certification. They do all of this as a labor of love to build a community around the fitness class. Sharing highs and lows, the participants pray for each other at each class, and deep relationships have been forged through this unique fellowship.
Dozens have lost weight and eat healthier as a result of biggest loser challenges and nutrition classes. The constant and faithful encouragement from Shannon and the dedicated participants has created a positive environment for all who come. In addition to all this, multiple fundraisers have been organized by Shannon and Wanda as they inspire and lead the class to give to others, including Toys for Tots, Back to School drives, Stop the Hurt, Prom Dress Closet, among many other causes and events. Together the class has also raised over $10,000 for Autism Speaks.
What are primary characteristics of a hero? Selflessness, sacrifice, conviction in what is good, perseverance, and determination to inspire. Shannon lives and breathes these qualities.
Do you ever wonder whether or not you can personally make a difference in the lives of others, and have an impact on your community? Just ask Shannon Hardee. She will convince you the answer is "YES YOU CAN!"
The Community Crossing can do so much more with your help. We are very fortunate to have the Parents As Teachers grant through WV DHHS, however the grant does not cover the cost of our key supportive ministries:
Home repairs to ensure children have a safe environment
Black Diamond boxing club to encourage fitness and discipline in youth
Men's basketball and other community sports for all ages
Support and resources for entrepreneurs in our county
Healing for drug and alcohol addiction - presently we are praying for the development of an effective ministry
CCX Missional Magazine covering McDowell County in monthly issues
Would you prayerfully consider giving
$30, $50 or $100 per month
in support of Community Crossing?