Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summer Enrichment DayCamp 2013

We normally suspend our regular weekly activities during the summer, to participate in summer camps and to spend time planning the next year.  This year we decided to continue our weekly meetings, but to make them a little extra fun!  Our weekly summer “Enrichment DayCamp" had an emphasis on fun, educational activities such as art, dance, and drama— an exposure to activities not normally available to them.  We also partnered with South Georgia Regional Library’s summer reading program!!
(Scroll Down For Pictures!!)

We had volunteers teach Science, where the kids blew up Ivory Soap in the microwave one day, and made bread AND butter on another.

In Music and Movement, the kids sang and danced until they were exhausted...and so was their teacher!

In drama….oh, the drama!  The kids had so much fun in drama, where they were able to act on a REAL stage.  They practiced their lines and learned two skits, as well as learning the meaning of “stage left” and other terms.

In Art, they created some absolute masterpieces.  Every piece was unique and many were profound expressions of color and beauty.

Home Depot and Lowe’s donated supplies for Construction, where the kids not only had fun building, hammering, and painting their creations, but learned how to read diagrams and follow step-by-step instructions.

In dance class the girls learned wonderful dance to praise and worship God.  They worked hard to learn the routines, and the results are beautiful.

In sports they had great fun, got really sweaty, and learned important lessons in teamwork, strategy, and problem solving.

And in each class, other volunteer read books to the group and tutored individual children in reading.  Altogether, the kids read over 150 books in 3 Tuesdays!  WOW!!!

Since we have never done anything like this in the 13 years of ministry, our Day Camp was an experiment; and we have decided that it was a HUGE SUCCESS!!!

Our DayCamp was definitely a prime example of the verses in Ephesians 4, that every joint supplies a need.  A large group of wonderful volunteers worked together to provide our kids with an amazing experience that they would not have had otherwise.

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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Summer Camp!

Summer Camp is a BIG DEAL for our kids.  They work hard all year to earn the points (through Bible Club attendance and good behavior) to go, and start asking in earnest starting as early as January: "Mrs. Mary, am I going to get to go to camp this year?"

This year we have 14 teens and 15 kids who have earned a week at a wonderful camp hosted by New Life Church in Lake Park, GA.  The leaders of this camp radiate love for our kids, and they do an awesome job making the experience fun AND fruitful.  The camp provides a discounted price for our group, and we have raised $645 toward the total cost.  We need to raise another $1240 by July 6.  God is so faithful to us, and we are confident that the funds will come in!

If you would like to contribute to our Summer Camp Goal, just $65 will send a deserving child to a week full of love, acceptance, peace, and good teaching from His Word.

Donations can be given safely online using the link below, or checks can be mailed to: His Hands, PO Box 3903 Valdosta, GA 31604.

Thank you for Being His Hands!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Been A While

It's been a while since we posted anything here.  OK, it's been a LONG while!

Between an adoption, a move, and lots of other things in between, we have definitely missed the mark with communication.  Thank God for His grace and mercy, right?  We intend to do better from now on to keep our family, friends, and supporters up-to-date with news from the ministry!

Thank you for your patience!

Love, Mary

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A First!

Last week I had the priviledge of being invited to a first for His Hands- a wedding! 
I've attended many funerals.  Funerals for mamas, grandmothers, even children.  But never, before now, a wedding!
Kim's children have been attending Bible Club for a couple years.  She's a hardworking mom who has gone from being homeless to living in the projects to having a little house on a relatively quiet street.  I've always been impressed with her boyfriend, Ellis.  He is softspoken and seems kind.  When they lived in the projects, he would wait outside next to the curb for the children to come home from Bible Club so that he could walk them into the apartment.
Last week, Ellis walked out the van after I dropped the kids off and shyly announced the news: "Mrs. Mary, me and Kim's gettin' married on Friday." 
"Congratualtions!" I cheered as I shook his hand.  He just beamed.  "I want to come!"  He beamed more.
So I went to the courthouse, in the rain, and of course, I took my camera.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Love and Sex

Teen pregnancy is a major component in the continuing pattern of poverty and despair faced by our families.  The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy says the chances of a child growing up in poverty if: (1) the mother gave birth as teen, (2) the parents were unmarried when the child was born, and (3) the mother did not receive a high school diploma or GED are:
• 27% if one of these things happen.
• 42% if two of these things happen.
• 64% if three of these things happen.
• But, if none of these things happen, a child’s chance of growing up in poverty is 7%.
Our teen girls are getting a Biblical perspective on love and sex with Bible lessons from The Mailbox Club. While the lesson content is excellent, the stories are slightly outdated (they refer to boys as "fellows", and talk about "going steady"), and when we went over the first lesson over the nature of true love and the three types of love, it was a disaster.  The girls were giggling hysterically and resistant to the material.  I was so discouraged I planned to stop using the lessons.  I thought for sure that we were completely wasting our time, and was convinced no one was paying attention.  Then as we were eating our snack, one of the girls said this to me:
"Mrs. Mary, when I went home last week, I took that little Bible book home and read it to my boyfriend. And then we read it together, and we said we're gonna have that Agape love right now and wait on that sexual love stuff."
And once again, I was wrong.  Thank you, Lord, for reminding me that His Hands' goal is to transform the neighborhoods one child at a time- one beautiful young woman's decision to wait- at a time.

Thursday, January 28, 2010


Our His Hands Christmas Project went splendidly this year!  Over 200 gift were given to children who may not otherwise have had any gifts!  We had the largest number of children on our list this year, and the fastest, most generous response by donors ever!  Thank you to everyone who made our Christmas a huge success.

The week before our party, we were short-staffed, and my dad helped us out at Bible Club on "Little Kid Day".   On the bus route on the way to Bible Club, one precocious little girl was fascinated with my dad, and noting his similarity to a certain jolly old man, complete with white beard, glasses, and round belly, began to call him "Santa".  She and the other children followed him around like the Pied Piper all day.
Before they left, she pulled me aside, put her hands on her little hips, and with grave concern, informed me: "Mrs. Mary!!  Santa thinks he's your daddy!"

"Santa" and his granddaughters

Friday, May 15, 2009


Tiffany is part of our His Hands ministry team. She is young, energetic, and loves the Lord and the kids (you'd be surprised how many people try to work with us who actually don't!). The kids love her, too.
So it is with sadness that we say goodbye to Tiffany, at least for the summer. She is going to be going on a summer-long mission trip to Houston, Texas, working with a ministry similar to His Hands (if I've understood correctly), only on a much larger scale and with a primarily hispanic population. It is my hope that when she comes back to us in August, she is full of experience and wisdom, and that maybe His Hands will be better equipped to reach out to the growing hispanic culture here in Valdosta.
Tiffany started a blog so that we could all keep up with her over the summer. Feel free to check it out!
Beautifully Broken