by Keith A. Josey, Lay Pastor, Mission of the Holy Spirit
Thank you for supporting the Mission of the Holy Spirit with your prayers, gifts and resources. This summer, many of our children were blessed with trips to pool parties, a Tides game, Busch Gardens and the Children's Museum. All these trips were made possible because of the generosity of those who gave out of a love for helping others and a belief in the services we provide at the Mission of the Holy Spirit. As we move into the fall months, our programming has shifted from activity-centered to educational enrichment and healthy living.
Have you ever seen the look on a person's face when they finally realize that they can make a change in their lives? It is so vastly different than the expressions of hopelessness that occur when people are faced with the sad realities that surround so many. Despite all the daily struggles faced in our community, seeds of hope, joy and purpose are planted with your support.
At the Mission of the Holy Spirit, we strive to effectively change lives by nurturing the gifts of the people we serve and offering opportunities for all to experience God's love in multiple ways. Through our efforts, lives are being changed, as evidenced by the many young people in our program who graduate high school and go on to college. When the Mission started in 1993, few participants had hope of graduating from high school; as I write, 8 Mission members are currently enrolled in college and pursuing their dreams. We have also experienced an increase in our Sunday worship attendance from an average of 35 (mostly children) in 2007 to more than 50 children and adults in recent months. We are indeed proud of this growth, coming at a time when many churches are seeing a decline in membership. We have baptized 43 infants, children and adults since 2007, forever bonding them with Christ Jesus. Our growth is a result of quality programs, people and purpose.
In order to sustain our purpose "to effectively change lives" we need your help. Due to the economy, our contributions are down considerably; in order to maintain our worship services and programs into 2013, we are in very serious need of your continued financial assistance. These tough economic times make your giving so much more important than ever before. Please think about asking for donations to the Mission in lieu of birthday and Christmas gifts, and send your own contribution after you consider this ministry for God's children prayerfully.
These times are challenging, but "we can make a difference and we will make a change." Through working together to share God's love and allowing the light of Christ to shine, we can continue to touch the lives of the people we serve.