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THE SAN ANTONIO

D E C E M B E R 2018

Be A Light

The Dream Center Restores

Any Woman Can Offers Hope, Health and Christ.

Teaching coping skills to help women recover and overcome. page 7 D ecember 2018

Giving voice to hungry kids in San Antonio.

Stepping in to provide food to thousands of local children. page 10

Filling Critical Need for Adoption & Foster Families Ensuring foster child placement in the Community. page 12

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Providence Place Returns to Roots

Formerly a brothel, now a home for wayward girls. page 14 1


Matthew 5:16 King James Version (KJV) “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Welcome to the December edition of the Beacon, San Antonio’s only local monthly Christian publication! The Beacon has been hard at work to ensure we provide maximum exposure to difference-makers and their efforts across our community as well as the good news taking place in our city. We are sending weekly e-news out to our growing database. Beacon Radio’s audience is growing as we go deeper interviewing those that head up life-changing eternal efforts. Our social media followers are increasing weekly and sharing posts that matter to our community. We have recently added Beacon TV as our newest media channel so that you can see and hear from heroes in the faith that are leading efforts to transform our city. Our future plans include equipping webinars, search capability to enable you to learn more about ministries that are in need of your unique gifting and social media groups to help you stay informed of all God is doing in our city. God is most definitely on the move. Stay tuned. Our desire is to connect you to opportunities to make a difference as you live a life of purpose and help change even more lives across our city. Our purpose is to bring you the good news on activities, events and stories that will encourage and inspire you. A special thanks to you, our readers and audience, for the high interest and action you are taking in shaping the future of San Antonio and changing the eternal destiny of so many. After all, we are here to serve you. Contact us at info@sabeacon.com if you are involved or aware of a faith based non-profit, church, private Christian school or kingdom minded business that we should add to our reporting. Join The Movement, Be A Light.

Visit Us Online

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INSIDE

DECEMBER 2018

Thank you to our local businesses who have partnered with us on the following Good News Stories.

STORY MADE

POSSIBLE BY:

Dream Center – Loving and Touching People.

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THE CHRISTMAS SEASON brings the hope of a warm house, filled with families sharing a hot meal, memories and good tidings for the coming year. The season also proves difficult for many others who are facing loss, spiritual darkness, disease or financial distress. One local non-profit is making its mission to spark hope.

Anonymous Partners

Any Woman Can Offers Hope, Health and Christ.

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Always there for younger women in crisis since 2013, Any Woman Can expanded services to assist women of all ages coping with lifechallenges, a current crisis or a previous trauma. Counselors teach coping skills to help women recover and overcome life’s hurtles.

Giving Voice to Hungry Kids in San Antonio.

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Every day of the year, including Christmas day, kids and their parents face uncertainty about whether they will have enough to eat. Snack Pak 4 Kids (SP4KSA) is stepping in to provide food to thousands of local children.

Anonymous Partner

Filling Critical Need for Adoption & Foster Families

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Chosen Care seeks to ensure foster child placement and decrease failed adoption placements. To stop the bleeding not easily seen from the outside. Families who have been helped by Chosen Care tend to continue with their child’s placement and healing.

Providence Place Returns to Their Roots

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Formerly a brothel in downtown San Antonio, Providence Place owner Madame Volino was inspired to transform her business into a home for wayward girls. Plot twists and transformation define the beginning and journey of what Providence Place has become today.

Tell Your Story – Faith and Work

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The Mr. W Fireworks family company at risk, Vice President Kelley Martinez started a prayer event called, “Work as a Family, Pray as a Family.” It was meant to encourage employees and their families to come together to pray for the business and help everyone through. God honored those prayers in amazing ways!

PUBLISHER: The San Antonio Beacon PUBLISHERS: Claude Roberts, Duke Jonietz CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Amy Morgan, Inez Kirchner, Dana Michea Marquez THE BEACON OFFICE: 26231 Lost Creek Way, Boerne, Texas 78015 PHONE: (210) 316-8260 ONLINE: www.saBeacon.com PUBLISHED: Monthly (Lord help us!) MISSION STATEMENT: Our mission is to use cause related marketing to promote partnerships between businesses, non-profits, churches and schools by bringing awareness of the “good news” in our community in order to help change our city. D ecember 2018

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WANT TO…

Help

BY INEZ KIR CHNER WRITER

Join The Dream Center

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THE CHRISTMAS SEASON brings the hope of a warm house, filled with families sharing a hot meal, memories, and good tidings for the upcoming year. The season also proves difficult for the many that are facing loss, spiritual darkness, disease or financial strife, and one local non-profit is making it’s mission to spark hope once again. If you happen to be on the Westside or Eastside of San Antonio on any given Saturday, you may see a crowd of Dream Center volunteers walking the streets and going door to door, as part of the ministry’s Adopt-a-Block Partnering agencies work with DreamCenter to fix breakfast and prepare meals on a program. Knock, knock, weekly basis. knock. “It’s the Dream Center, just seeing if you need anything today.” Seeing a need and filling it encompasses what the Dream Center does every day. The mission of the Dream Center, with ministries and local leadership in San Antonio, Los Angeles, and New York, is to help people dream again, and reach those dreams. “It’s hard for people to do the regular, mundane things of life, let alone dream if they don’t have food, housing or clothing,” said Dream Center Founder and CEO, Pastor Warren Beemer. With an encouraging word, hand up, or as Warren says, “a wheelbarrow full of resources,” the Dream Center provides assistance and basic needs, such as food, shelter, medical care, and clothing to help the homeless and struggling families get back on their feet, and live to fight another day. “I believe God has an intersection set in the lives for everyone, and I just want to help them survive until they reach that intersection.” Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” D e ce m b e r 2 0 1 8


Thank you to Anonymous Partners for making this story possible to share.

Restore Dreams? Dream Center provides weekly and emergency food distributions to those in need around in San Antonio.

The Dream Center features an extensive food and toiletry pantry, clothing, diaper wall and more, that provides weekly and emergency distributions to those in need. Through its San Antonio location and clothes and food sites around the city, as well as missionary work in Mexico, the Dream Center helps 900 families, literally thousands of people, each month. The Dream Center emphasizes helping people without “W hen you can judgment, requirements, or the need to pour your life jump through hoops. into somebody, “We want people to see it doesn’t just the homeless and those in need as more than do something just a charity case, but in them, it does as an opportunity to something touch someone else, and share hope,” said in us, too.” Warren. “When you can Warren Beemer, Founder, CEO pour your life into somebody, it doesn’t just do something in them, it does something in us, too.” The Dream Center wants to be a familiar fixture in areas of need and be a resource if and when someone needs it. Adopt-a-Block puts Dream Center volunteers on upwards of 90 blocks every week to meet the needs of various neighborhoods, as well as get D ecember 2018

to know the residents. The team has not missed a Saturday in nine years. “We might find a neighbor needs a car seat or more urgent need like a wheelchair, or ramp built. We see what we can fulfill immediately, and then go to our partners for the more significant needs.” The Dream Center works with various partners, from carpenters to heating and AC companies, who generally help fill requests at little or no charge. Most importantly, the staff and volunteers share the hope of the gospel as the place to start dreaming again. Baptisms are common on a regular basis as the community celebrates together.

Neighborhood events year round help bring the community, churches, police and council members together.

Various neighborhood events throughout the year help bring the community, churches, police department and council members together, to begin the process of trusting one another. The ministry recently hosted a “Funtober” event to give neighborhood children a safe trick-or-treating experience. “We’ve gone from breaking up drug deals at our events to having breakfast together, to taking these people back to our food pantry. We now have that relationship,” recounted Warren. “There’s peace that comes from these interactions, and I know that peace comes from Christ, even if they don’t.” Warren tells a story of a colleague visiting the homeless living under a bridge, and how one man, in particular, met her with hostility and resentment. The Dream Center volunteer explained that her father also had a difficult life. w w w.sa B e a c o n .c o m

Without missing a Saturday in nine years, volunteers get to know neighborhood residents. Whatever the need, volunteers step into action.

After having an affair, he had lost his marriage, and later his job. He found himself living under a bridge, and she told the man, she could only hope someone was praying over and feeding him wherever he was. For 15 years, the volunteer went to the same bridge and fed the same angry man, with little to no interaction. One The man, who had day, he came to her and said he was ready. previously lived He received Christ, under the bridge, went to a program to talked about how help kick his addiction, went on to Bible all it took was one school, and later person who became a pastor. At continually showed his congregations, the up and gave him man, who had previthe opportunity to ously lived under the bridge, talks about change. how all it took was one person who continually showed up and gave him the opportunity to change. Even if 15 years later, Warren said, “we slowly see people change and begin to manifest something different than the previous trappings of their life.” As the Dream Center motto says, “find a need and fill it, find a hurt and heal it,” which is why the Dream Center is known for not only its distribution of food and necessities but also its assistance in a myriad of issues families and those in need face. Services include 5


The Dream Center provides assistance and basic needs, such as food, shelter, medical care, and clothing to help the homeless and struggling families get back on their feet.

services for addicts and the homeless. The Dream Center will also be launching a Juvenile Justice program to help teens in juvenile detention with addiction and counseling. The Dream Center is currently a resource to other non-profits, offering free grant writing services, staff, and office space, and hopes a larger facility in the future will become a one-stop shop for up and coming non-profits and those seeking assistance. “We believe in collaboration; we don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” said Warren. “We want to do our part and add to what others are doing, so we can function as a community.”

• Donate items. From car seats to cribs, to food and clothing, help stock the Dream Center. Contact the Dream Center at 210-570-7137 to donate specific items or for more information. Dreams really do come true. Just ask The Dream Center how their dream, and the dreams of so many others, are coming true everyday through lots of love and intentionally connecting people to the One that gives us the desires of our heart.

Time, Talent, and Treasure

Dream Center motto: “Find a need and fill it.” Pastor (and Barber) Warren Beemer showing the way with donated clippers.

medical clinics, home repairs and renovations, and mentorship and counseling to those coming through the Family Court System and Child Protective Services (CPS). “We were contacted for a specific case for a house that needed to be rebuilt for a grandmother that would be taking in her two grandchildren. The house was unlivable, didn’t have a bathroom, and only had tarps for a ceiling. How could these children learn to dream living in a house like this? They couldn’t,” said Warren. Along with other ministries, $26,000 in donations for materials, 300 volunteers, and more than 15,000 hours of labor, the teams set to renovate the house. “We were able to turn this around, and the judge working on the case was able to come and cut the grand opening ribbon on the house.” Renewed Families, the latest program from the Dream Center, helps CPS families through parenting classes, alcohol and drug addiction, anger management, as well as the various steps necessary to get their children back, including providing witness testimony on the parents’ behalf. Looking forward, the Dream Center sets its sights on expanding locations on the Eastside, to include overnight facilities, shelter, and transitional 6

The season of giving is upon us, and the extensive work of the Dream Center requires the help of the entire community. Learn how you can give your time, talent and treasures so the Dream Center can help those in need continue dreaming. • Donate. Financial gifts are critical in the Dream Center’s plans to expand to new locations and launch new programs. Donations can be made online at www.sadreamcenter.thirddaygeneration.org/get-involved. • Volunteer. Help walk blocks on Saturdays, or sort food boxes and clothing during the week. Contact the Dream Center at volunteer@dreamcentersa. org for more information on how to volunteer and donate your time. • Adopt-a-Block. Individual volunteers, churches and civic groups can reserve and “own” Saturdays every quarter to keep the program continuously running and expanding. • Lend your talents. The Dream Center is always looking for additional resources and experts in construction, plumbing, computer skills and more, to help meet immediate needs. • Become a partner. Have a business that could donate items or services to the Dream Center? Join other partners such as Garcia’s Tamales, Alamo Water, On Time Elmer, Zubi Wear, Plato’s Closet, Thrive Outreach, BluePrint Ministries and Life Restored Ministries and be part of what the Dream Center is doing in the community. w w w.sa B e a c o n .c o m

Contact the Dream Center at (210) 570-7137 to donate specific items or for more information. Be A Light. Give. A year end gift will go a long way in expanding the reach of The Dream Center. Ongoing monthly giving is vital to meet the urgent needs of those they serve. Prayerfully consider one or both to help make dreams come true. Volunteer. Make a difference in someone’s life and your life will be changed too. Pray. The needs of those this ministry serves can be overwhelming. But nothing is too hard for our great God. Pray for our community to respond in order to serve those less fortunate than us. Pray that thousands will come to know Jesus and dream big.

STORY MADE

POSSIBLE BY:

Anonymous Partners Thank you Lord, for this Anonymous Partner who generously gave to DreamCenter so that we could feature this article in our December issue. With this generous gift we are able to help raise awareness for all DreamCenter does to help the citizens in our community.

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invited to be a part of “IAnywasWoman Can after becoming involved with sisters in Christ who have had abortions. I witnessed the incredible lament, sorrow and depression as a fallout to a “choice” that they made to end their unborn baby’s life. Women need to know that they have a choice. They need to hear about Jesus. I serve on the board of Any Woman Can and I am a first-hand witness of the love that is being poured out through this ministry.

Diana Rosenberger, Founder, CEO, Trinidad Realty Partners.

Any Woman Can Offers Hope, Health and Christ BY AMY M O R G AN WRITE R

Like many women’s health centers, Any Woman Can, located in Stone Oak just across from Cornerstone Church, initially focused on serving those who were pregnant or abortion vulnerable when it opened in August 2013. While the faith-based organization still offers help and hope to women whose pregnancy was unexpected, providing sonograms and testing for pregnancy and STIs (sexually transmitted infections), their scope has expanded to assist women of all ages coping with difficulties – whether a current crisis or previous trauma. Executive Director Shan Wiley took the helm of Any Woman Can (AWC) just over a year ago, following 16 years as guest relations pastor at Community Bible Church. She considered a position in the secular world, but AWC tugged at her heartstrings. “It made my heart melt when I asked the board, ‘What would we do if one of the women we counseled went and had an abortion anyway?’ They said, ‘We tell D ecember 2018

her we love her, we have counseling, and she is welcome to come back.’” Recently, a woman who had two previous abortions came to AWC with another pregnancy and choosing adoption for this baby, Wiley said. “God is in control,” she added. “We are going to love them regardless.” Wiley has broadened AWC’s services, recruiting licensed counselors who can teach coping skills to help clients recover from past trauma and address depression, “God is in control,” anxiety, and she added. “We abortion. “We have a are going to love team of six them regardless.” counselors (LPCI’s) and a state supervisor,” she said, “and we opened up the counseling for women for all reasons. We just had an 82-year-old come in for anxiety.” AWC hopes advocacy and mentoring will help women “go way beyond the crisis,” Wiley added. “That they’ll become closer to Christ and educated enough so they won’t go back to the same old bad choices. One client came in six times for STI testing, and she w w w.sa B e a c o n .c o m

was positive every time,” Wiley continued.“ After the last time, she accepted Christ, broke up with her boyfriend and said she was going to make better decisions. It is a matter of continuing the relationship and helping them feel comfortable enough to come back.” Bringing Jesus into the equation makes a huge difference. It is apparent that Wiley and her staff love each woman they see. They provide an environment of grace and truth. AWC counselors ask clients for permission to talk about their religious background, which opens the door for them to talk about Christ. In the last several months, at least 15 professed faith in Christ, including a male UTSA student who was there for STI testing. “They are not going to come in for Christ – but we are going to show them Christ by providing service and support without judgment and with His love,” Wiley said. AWC also has reached out to the deaf community in conjunction with Miss San Antonio 2017 Emma Faye Rudkin, an advocate for the hearing impaired. “The statistics are staggering about 7


Thank you Trinidad Realty Partners for making this story possible to share.

women of all ages and all seasons. Life brings challenges, and people need love and care. You will find plenty of both at Any Woman Can.

Grandmother shows off her grandson, who was first photographed in the womb at AWC.

how many in the deaf community have been abused as kids, because predators know they can’t communicate,” Wiley said. “Deaf people are the third largest undiscipled group in the world.” AWC has incorporated ASL interpreters so the deaf can come for services. “No matter “We want to be what we are there for women at any age or stage in facing – God their lives,” Wiley can use that continued. “There’s really no typical client. for good and We’ve had women does, if you with a nice amount of let him.” income and those who are homeless. Our average age is 22, but many older than 50 are dealing with past trauma.” She also said clients are increasing – up 16 percent since last year. Wiley attributes the uptick partially to AWC becomchallenge every believer to stand for life. We “Ineed to take a courageous stance. Strength comes in numbers and we need believers to stand up for the sanctity of life. This is why I am so passionate about the work of AWC. They stand for truth and offer grace to women facing difficult decisions. Please join me in supporting this ministry.

Diana Rosenberger, Founder, CEO, Trinidad Realty Partners.

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ing more widely known, but also because STIs are increasing throughout Texas – Bexar County ranks third in the state. All services provided at Any Woman Can, including; STI testing, pregnancy testing, sonograms and professional counseling, are FREE to all clients. The ministry is funded by private donors, six faithful churches that undergird with monthly support, and proceeds from several fundraisers. Events like the Designer Purse Bingo held earlier this month and Bexar County’s Big Give in May are helpful, but AWC would benefit from a base of consistent monthly supporters, Wiley said. She hopes to get the word out to pastors and churches that when a woman needs support, whether she’s pregnant or not, Any Woman Can has kind, loving, trained counselors waiting. “It’s so important for pastors to know,” she said. “Not all churches have pastoral care or a place to send their women or teens. They can feel comfortable knowing we are a Christbased center. We are going to love and educate them so they can make the best decisions for their life.” AWC’s social media presence is growing, with 1300 followers on Facebook and Instagram. Wiley also shares the vision with groups across the city. She offers inspiration and hope – citing examples of women in the Bible with far from perfect circumstances whom God used. “No matter what we are facing – even if it is cancer or a divorce, God can use that for good and does, if you let Him,” she said. She was delighted to speak at the Stone Oak Ladies Business Association. “I knew many of them were not Christ followers, but it was an open door to inspire women and then tell my story about how God changed my life to help others.” Shan Wiley has a calling to help w w w.sa B e a c o n .c o m

109 Gallery Circle, Suite 115 Open: Mon. - Wed. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Thurs. 9 a.m. - 8 p.m. Fri. 9 a.m. - 1 p.m. For more information: (210) 370-3939 www.anywomancansa.com or find them on Facebook and Instagram.

Be A Light. Give. Join the ministry as a consistent monthly contributor and help fuel their ongoing growth. Pray. Lift up the staff at AWC for wisdom and boldness as they counsel and share with women in need of understanding and love. Volunteer. Contact the ministry and find out how you can be involved in changing the lives of women.

STORY MADE

POSSIBLE BY:

www.trinidadrp.com 210-828-0635 | info@TrinidadRP.com Trinidad Realty Partners is a Christ-based real estate company dedicating all that we do to the Lord Jesus Christ. Our vision is to bless our clients through real estate. We serve our clients with passion and excellence as unto the Lord. We want to take the church into our workplace and spread heaven through our daily endeavors. All of the partners are actively involved in their churches and give their time and talents in many ways, through music at their church, supporting ministries on the West side of San Antonio, Project Hope, Impact San Antonio, civically through park events at Yanaguana Park, and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Please allow us to serve you.

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Weekend Food Kids are Hungry in our Community

BY AM Y M O R G AN WRIT E R

Most of us look forward to weekends, anticipating family fun – backyard barbecues, soccer games and Little League, It’s hard to comprehend that for many children in San Antonio, weekends represent a food desert, with uncertainty about whether they will have enough to eat. This scenario is the plight of thousands of local children. In fact 10-20 percent of those who receive free D ecember 2018

and reduced school lunch typically suffer from weekend food insecurity, said Leslie Kingman founder and volunteer executive director of Snack Pak 4 Kids (SP4KSA), a ministry providing food every weekend to thousands of students needing supplemental nourishment. It can be because of job loss, a parenting issue, substance abuse, Kingman said, listing reasons children may be food insecure. “We have a lot of grandmothers raising kids. Many of our families are just barely getting by.” Kingman attended a conference whose speaker challenged her to be more intentional in her efforts to share God’s love with others, she explained. “Our church (Grace Northridge) was already in relationship with a school,” she said. “We were doing events and Christmas giving, but we were looking w w w.sa B e a c o n .c o m

for something that displayed a more consistent representation of how God is there for us. He doesn’t just drop by. He’s not there just at the holidays. We wanted a way to convey his consistent love.” She was connected with Snack Pack 4 Kids’ flagship program in Amarillo, which inspired her to replicate their model in San Antonio seven years ago.

Volunteer kid groups like Scouts, church youth groups, and high school service clubs all love to come help.

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Thank you to Anonymous Partner for making this story possible to share.

SP4KSA enlists the help of volunteers to staff the ministry. Once a month, more than 200 individuals meet at the warehouse in Daily Bread Ministries near the AT&T Center to pack thousands of bags. A month’s shipment now entails more than $20,000 worth of product, contained on 15 pallets, Kingman said. Businesses, civic organizations, churches and neighborhood groups commit to “adopt” a school in one of the four districts served – SAISD, NISD, NEISD and AHISD. The partner or church will create teams who deliver the packed bags Friday mornings to the specific school classrooms of the children signed up for the program. They also are responsible to pay for the cost of the food for the students at the school they select. Numbers vary – the largest schools may serve 140 students; their smallest, 11. Grace Northridge funds SP4KSA in their church budget, so only the direct cost of the food is passed on to sponsoring groups. “This is a great volunteer opportunity for a church because it opens the door to create a “When a church or positive relationship with a school group partners using an existing model with strucwith SP4KSA, ture and organiit is not just about zation,” Kingman said. “When a the food. It is church or group with about impacting partners SP4KSA, it is not just about the learning and food. It is about creating a sense impacting learning and creating a of community sense of community as well,” she as well,” added. Once the food has arrived, teachers discreetly place the Snack Paks in the backpack of each student while the class is out of the room. The surreptitious distribution is an important element. “Everything we do is about dignity and respect for the child. We want each child to feel important, valued and cared for,” Kingman said. 10

SP4KSA is blessed by community partners who understand our mission and help with a smile!

SP4KSA surveys teachers involved. Last year 142 of 390 teachers took additional time to add comments to their responses. Examples include: “As a school counselor, I have gotten great feedback from this program. Students feel cared for, and families are very appreciative. This has definitely made a huge impact in our school community. Thanks you for all your caring support and effort.”

“Kids have shared with me that sometimes this is the only food they have when they are not in school.” “Students who had trouble focusing due to hunger issues at home have shown vast improvement. Thank you for the amazing things you do!” “Every time a Snack Pak was handed to them they knew someone cared.” The testimonials from those who daily pour out their lives serving the least of these say it all. Let’s end child hunger with Church involvement. Snack Pak 4 Kids is a great start!

Snack Pak 4 Kids San Antonio

snackpak4kidssa.org 2659 Eisenhauer Rd. San Antonio, TX 78209 Phone: (210) 831-4499 Leslie@Sp4ksa.Org

Be A Light. Join. Get you church or business to adopt a school and supply food for hungry children. Volunteer. Contact the ministry for ways you can volunteer. Provide. Consider a tax-deductible gift to offset the cost of food o to help the ministry expand. Pray. Pray for the staff and volunteers of SP4KSA. Pray for those they serve to break the cycle of poverty in the power of Christ.

STORY MADE

POSSIBLE BY:

Anonymous Partner Thank you Lord, for this Anonymous Partner who generously gave to SnackPak 4 Kids so that we could feature this article in our December issue. With this generous gift we are able to help raise awareness for SP4KSA and all they do to help the children in our community.

Thank you from SP4Ks and the Beacon to the Anonymous Donor that made this article possible.

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December 2018


Thank you to Anonymous Partner for making this story possible to share.

Volunteer? Over 150 volunteers come together one evening a month to pack Snack Paks at the SP4KSA warehouse.

Lack of nutrition creates anxiety, with associated behavior and learning difficulties. SP4KSA currently feeds more than 2,000 chronically hungry kids in 24 schools in San Antonio by providing Snack Paks of name-brand, brand new food every Friday to children identified by teachers as those who lack nutritional resources on the weekend, Kingman said. Snack Paks include 100 percent juice, cereal, peanuts, crackers, a beef stick, milk –all things that can be opened and administered by a child as young as four. SP4KSA has been able to negotiate a very favorable contract with Labatt Food Service to keep contents and pricing consistent. While most of the food is purchased, SP4KSA does accept

Children as young as 4 are welcome at the warehouse, as long as they are accompanied by an adult to supervise them.

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“This is a great volunteer opportunity for a church because it opens the door to create a positive relationship with a school using an existing model with structure and organization” community donations of new 16-18 ounce jars of creamy peanut butter. Snack Paks are supplemented each month with a jar of peanut butter to provide additional protein, which is

not a budgeted item. Peanut butter arrives at SP4KSA’s warehouse in a variety of ways – sometimes a pre-school, neighborhood or community group will sponsor a drive; others donate individually. A surprisingly popular method – Amazon Prime delivery. Kingman is always delighted when the Amazon truck arrives at their warehouse on 3559 Belgium Lane (78219.) Another success story, for the past several years Brandeis and Johnson High Schools have dubbed their first game of the football season as the “Peanut Butter Bowl” and donate thousands of jars from their contest.

Volunteers work together to include 13 name brand, brand new items in each bag, providing weekend nutritional resources.

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“The ultimate goal of this support is that child placement doesn’t break down. We want zero failed adoptions, zero failed placements,” Lord said. “We are trying to stop the bleeding people can’t see from the outside.”

Filling Critical Need for Adoption & Foster Families BY AM Y M O R G AN WRIT E R

It’s a rarely discussed secret in the adoption and foster community – not every “forever home” actually lasts forever. Unfortunately for all involved, sometimes the reality of dealing with the wounds and associated behaviors of an adopted or foster child becomes too much for a family to handle. Love alone is not always enough. Good intentions backfire, the adoption dissolves, the foster child is relinquished. Once again the least and lost are abandoned, re-traumatizing a child already scarred by abuse or neglect. It doesn’t have to be that way. Chosen Care ministry was started a decade ago to throw a lifeline to adoptive, foster and kinship families to keep crisis from escalating. Chosen Care started out offering adoption assistance for families, but identified a much greater need. They noticed a disturbing trend of adoptive parents dissolving placements and foster parents quitting because they were unable to cope with their children’s behavior issues. “We asked the hard question of how can we serve families better, because the current status is not ok,” said Founder 12

and Executive Director Jenni Lord. Lord grew up with a foster brother who was eventually adopted. She saw first hand how extraordinarily challenging it was to navigate through emotional pain tied to the past. She realized parents needed greater support to help children heal from the trauma of their previous family experience and interact in positive, healthy ways. “Our objective is strengthening the families who say, ‘yes’ and helping children heal from trauma,” she said. Trauma affects the brain neurologically and developmentally, Lord said, citing research being done by Dr. Karyn Purvis at Texas Christian University’s Institute of Child Development. Childhood trauma causes nerves in the brain to form damaged pathways. Because an abused child’s raised in a family that believed in giving “Ibackwassacrificially to the community we lived in. I was fortunate to see the fruits of these labors grow from the seeds we planted as a family. Giving back, paying it forward, putting the needs of others before self are important things to do, not just to say.

John Raimondo, D.C. CEO Pulmonair

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experience with No family who has relationships has utilized Chosen Care’s not been healthy, their brain did not services for at least develop healthy six months has quit connections. their placement. A result: an over-the-top fight or flight response to a seemingly innocuous request. Bedtime, bath time, homework can spark a meltdown that does not respond to normal A Chosen family. parenting practices. “Traditional discipline is not effective and can actually be counter-productive with a traumatized child.” If a child has been harmed in relationship, they don’t know how to form a healthy, secure attachment,” Lord said. “Trust has been violated by the person who was supposed to love, support and care for them.” Children who have been traumatized have damaged brains. But, the good news is the brain has plasticity. The past 15 years have seen great advancements in understanding the effect and healing of trauma in the brain, Lord added. With deliberation, new connections can be made in the December 2018


Thank you to Pulmonair for making this story possible to share.

that a united family is the basic “Remembering unit of our society. Chosen Care is not only

A Chosen child.

brain. Evidenced based tools, techniques & curriculum are offered by by professionals at Chosen Care. Families are referred to Chosen Care from other foster or adoptive parents, mental health professionals or child placing agencies. Chosen Care served 350 individuals in 2017, a number which grew to 800 in 2018. Despite being located in New Braunfels, they serve the San Antonio region and plan to open a San Antonio location in 2019. Some of the most difficult situations are kinship placements, where grandparents or other family members are unexpectedly called upon to take in relatives’ children. “It’s just a knock on the door or a phone call saying, ‘we’re dropping them off tomorrow,’ with no understanding how trauma has affected the child and little resources. Ninety percent of the families that come to us are in crisis,” Lord said. “But we are here and ready to help prevent crisis from happening.”

Chosen children.

Each family who comes to Chosen Care is assessed for trauma. The first goal is to understand the child’s story and what is going on, Lord said. Chosen Care’s licensed professionals create a customized Trauma Action Plan® and course of action to meet the needs of the home. A case manager intensively analyzes the complex issues and connects clients to resources necessary to address the holistic needs of D ecember 2018

uniting the fatherless with loving caring parents, but Chosen Care is equipping them with the skill sets to help these innocent children heal from past neglect and abuse. This healing allows the children once destined for despair to have an opportunity to live a fruitful life and break the devastating cycles associated with being fatherless. I personally invite you to join our company in supporting the efforts of Chosen Care.

John Raimondo, D.C. CEO Pulmonair

the child and family. Is there an underlying marital issue? Are the biological kids struggling and need counseling? Is there a sensory processing disorder that would benefit from occupational therapy? Counseling alone is not sufficient in most cases. They also offer parent coaching, providing a mentor who has been there, understands and can specifically equip with the right tools and techniques to help them connect with their children. The Chosen Care website posts information as well as free monthly training webinars accessible to community members. “The ultimate goal of this support is that child placement doesn’t break down. We want zero failed adoptions, zero failed placements,” Lord said. “We are trying to stop the bleeding people can’t see from the outside.” In what she calls “The Chosen Effect,” in the last two years, no family who has utilized Chosen Care’s services for at least six months has dissolved their placement. She defines a “healed” family as one in which the child and the parent both have a secure, healthy attachment. Compelled by Chosen Care’s story? Volunteer, give or contact them if you need help or know someone who does.

Chosen siblings.

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Chosen Care will host a Child Trauma Workshop January 26, 2019, for families and child welfare professionals. Content includes: how a child heals from the heart, sensory processing issues, and how to strengthen your marriage in the midst of trauma. All donations will be doubled through the end of the year. Let’s end the crisis of broken relationships in foster care families. Because a child can never have too many people to love them!

www.chosen.care 351 Main Plaza, New Braunfels, TX 78130 (830) 455-0101

Be A Light. Donate. Every dollar that comes into Chosen Care by the end of this year will be doubled! Prayerfully consider giving on an ongoing basis in 2019 as they open an office in San Antonio. Volunteer. Be a part of keeping a family together. Tell Your Church. Let the leadership of your church know about this amazing resource. Pray. That foster and adoptive parents will find the help they need at Chosen Care to heal and remain a family.

STORY MADE

POSSIBLE BY:

www.pulmonair.org/healthyenvironment 5563 De Zavala Rd, Suite 130, SAT 78249 (210) 923-9500 | info@pulmonair.org

Our focus is bringing new and innovative products to the health care market and to your home. Pulmonair is proud to present our new, safe, and innovative 360-degree disinfectant system for your home or business. A green alternative to the toxic chemicals you may be currently using to kill bacteria, mold, and viruses. Our product is field tested, safe, non-poisonous and effective. To learn more about keeping your home germ free while keeping your pets and children safe, please visit us at www.pulmonair.org/healthyenvironment. Pulmonair changes lives, both in the products we offer, and through our belief and responsibility to give back to our community. We look forward to serving you

Be A Light.

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and the Co m ing here u’ve made decisio ns yo o n e of the may have been nt and mo st mo st sign ifica ents of d ifficu lt mo m yo ur life, e eno ug h to Yo u lo ve d m r ado pt io n. put m e up fo

Providence Place Returns to Their Roots BY INEZ KIR CHNER WRITER

“We help people see they have a future story, and that the earlier chapters of their life do not define them,” said Providence Place CEO, Judith Bell. “They take the lead in transforming their story. We’re the plot twist.” Judith Bell, Providence Place CEO

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Plot twists and transformation define the unique beginning and journey of what Providence Place has become today. Formerly a brothel in downtown San Antonio, its owner Madame Volino was inspired to transform her business into a home for wayward girls after a pastor ministered to her. Providence Place, formerly the Methodist Mission Home, became a place that rescued girls and provided safety and protection to anyone that needed it. Ahead of its time, the home innovatively provided vocational education training in housekeeping, cooking, and sewing, to the women to prevent w w w.sa B e a c o n .c o m

them from returning to the streets. Many of the rescued women were pregnant or traveling with children, which caused hardship for the women who could not provide adequate care or felt the need to return to their former life. As a solution, the home began placing children for adoption in the early 1900s, becoming one of the earliest licensed adoption agencies in Texas. December 2018


Thank you to Covenant for making this story possible to share.

“Our license number is 4,” said Judith. “By the 40s and 50s, we were placing 800 babies a year with families.” Once they outgrew the building, the team moved to a 25-acre campus near the Medical Center, where they are located today. “It became a secure, safe and private haven for these women facing unplanned pregnancies,” said Judith. With the decision of Roe v. Wade, the rise in contracepThese precious girls posing, while their parents shop in the tive use, and the decrease in Blessing’s Boutique. stigma associated with unwed mothers, adoptions declined steadily through the 70s. It was time to reevaluate the organization’s mission. After reviewing a community needs assessment, which outlined the gaps of services in the city, the center set its focus on providing vocational education training to the deaf and hard of hearing. “We went back to the same theme that Volino had started with – vocational education training,” said Judith. Later, the center began offering transitional A new family shops the Blessing’s Boutique to pick out a housing and new outfit for their little girl. independent living “When God skills to all adults Describing it as a “God moment” with varying disabiliJudith was called to a page in a book shuts one ties. The program covering the history of Providence door, you expanded over 44 Place that said, “We rescued two years in what was have to be known as the Center pure souls off the streets today.” Judith knew what they were brave for Higher Indepensupposed to do. As experts in dence (CHI). With housing, and vocational enough to changes in govern- adoption, education training, the agency ment regulations decided to go back to its roots and walk and its impact on rescue people from the streets, and through the Center for Higher specifically survivors of human Independence, the trafficking, domestic violence, and another staff made the diffisexual assault. door,” cult decision to end The inspiration for My Mariposa the program, and Home, an on-site transitional once again reevaluate their mission housing and continuum of care facilin 2017. ity was born. “I truly believe this is “When God shuts one door, you God’s vision for Providence Place,” have to be brave enough to walk said Judith. “We are returning to our through another door,” said Judith. original mission.” With the first D ecember 2018

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resident scheduled to arrive in January 2019, My Mariposa Home will provide safe transitional housing, counseling, and support to women and children to build self-esteem, confidence and long-term, self-sustained independence. “As you can see, we’re a complex organization, but have a single vision and mission,” said Judith. Providence Place’s vision is to create a community without barriers for all of God’s children, which is evident by the diverse populations served through the organization’s work with people “We meet with disabilities, foster-to-adopt people families, parents, where they and now, adult survivors of are on their human trafficking. A core value of journey, grace drives the without center. “We were founded on God’s judgment, grace with and that Volino’s experience, and we defines us as have the responan agency.” sibility to live and provide service with grace,” said Judith. “We meet people where they are on their journey, without judgment, and that defines us as an agency.” Judith tells how an anonymous adoptee recently stopped by Providence Place to take a walk around the campus and visit the chapel. The adoptee said it was her 50th birthday Covenant family is passionate about working “The with innovative and transformative organizations like Providence Place that make a real difference in our community. Impacting lives is at the core of the Covenant purpose and we are honored to be able to support and partner with Providence Place in changing the lives of so many people.

John Eadie, CEO, Covenant.

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Thank you to Covenant for making this story possible to share.

guiding them, Providence Place will grow in their ability to serve more people and transform even more lives. “We’re an agency that stands in the gap between hurting and true healing, and that’s beautiful,” said Judith. Be A Light.

Providence Place has helped create over 6,000 families.

and that she had been adopted there in 1968. She had been born at 5:30PM and wanted to be on campus, in case her birth mother might also show up. “She was reminding me of our purpose. We exist because people have allowed us to be part of their lives, and that’s a blessing.” When the woman left, a letter and single-stem rose was left on the altar in the chapel. With no identifying names, but only addressed to “Mom,” and signed, “Me,” the woman thanked her mother for coming to Providence Place and deciding to give her life when she could have made another decision. “Coming here and the decisions you’ve made Place is an incredible ministry “Providence devoted to community needs in San Antonio. There is little help available for victims of sex trafficking. These ladies need safe places for themselves and their children. I can’t imagine the pain they have been through and the obstacles they are facing. PP will give them a safe place and the help they need for them to get their lives back. I’m truly blessed to be a part of this ministry. I encourage you to learn more about this dynamic non-profit. Take a tour and meet the staff. Then join Covenant is supporting Providence Place to see them transform even more lives.

John Eadie, CEO, Covenant.

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may have been one of the most significant and most difficult moments of your life,” said the letter. “You loved me enough to put me up for adoption.” “Be assured that my new parents take good care of me and raised me to love and care for others. I thank God for whatever or whoever brought you here,” the letter continued. “It can be easy to lose “We’re an perspective of agency that the role we get to play in so stands in the many stories,” Judith. gap between said “The adoptee hurting and probably that true healing, believed we helped her that day, but in and that’s she beautiful,” reality, helped me, she said Judith. helped us.” With a clear vision and the needed financial support, Providence Place will continue to expand its foster and adoption programs, children and family services, as well as services for people with disabilities with their Oasis and Legacy Homes, and open the Mariposa Home. A tall order, but with an exceptional staff and the Holy Spirit w w w.sa B e a c o n .c o m

Donate. Financial support will assist Providence Place in successfully opening the My Mariposa Home, expanding their programs and services, and helping the diverse cross-section of the community that is in need. Please consider a year-end gift and ongoing support. Foster-toadopt referrals. As a pioneer in adoption, the center is always looking for loving families to become trained and licensed in foster care, as well as place children in open adoptions. Sponsor a tour or presentation. Churches, civic groups and other organizations can learn more about Providence Place by requesting a presentation or tour of the facilities. Pray. That Almighty God will continue to direct their steps and allow them to impact the lives of even more people who are hurting!

STORY MADE

POSSIBLE BY:

San Antonio | Dallas | Oklahoma City www.covenantmfo.com Email: webcontact@covenantmfo.com Phone: 210-403-5350 The Covenant Team is deeply engaged in the San Antonio, Dallas and Oklahoma City markets. We believe there is value in sharing our intellectual, social, human and financial capital in ways that drive community and organizational impact. We exist to enable you to live a fuller and more meaningful life. Our team sets out each day to unburden individuals and families from the daily cares of financial management to empower them to pursue their passions and interests. Visit our website or contact us today to begin your journey.

December 2018


Join the Movement. Be A Light The Beacon has a big heart for the amazing non-profit efforts, churches, schools and Kingdom businesses in our community. What would happen in our city if… Non-profits were fully funded and had every needed volunteer. Churches were filled to overflowing. Enrollment increased in private schools that are teaching our future generations a biblical worldview. More Kingdom businesses were market leaders and ministry centers. This is the vision of the Beacon. Please visit saBeacon.com to read, hear and see San Antonio’s heroes of the faith. Then join and support them with your time, treasure and talent in making an eternal difference in our community!

CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS WITH FAMILY-FUN EVENTS. Here are some inspiring Christmas events happening around our community. Find these Events and more @ www.saBeacon.com

FA M I LY

Christmas Events

Sunday, Dec. 23 | 11:15 a.m.

Sunday, Dec. 9 | 4:00 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 14 | 7:00 p.m.

Your family is invited to celebrate Christmas with the University Choir & Orchestra as they perform 2018 Christmas Community Concert Please join us for a joyful Christmas, with time-honored celebration, song, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Sunday, December 23 at 11:15 a.m. Nine Lessons and Carols – an English choral tradition that tells the story of Jesus’ nativity in Scripture and song.

Featuring many beloved sacred and secular songs of the Christmas season. Opportunities for the audience to join in singing some of the world’s favorite Christmas carols. Let’s come together to share the “Hope of Christmas”.

All Saints Anglican Church 11122 Link Drive, San Antonio, TX 78213 Phone: (210) 344-1920 www.allsaintsanglican.net

D ecember 2018

Dec. 9 | 4pm | Sanctuary 4:00 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Contact: Irene Morris (210) 690-7326

Friday, Dec. 14 | 7:00 p.m.

Village Parkway Baptist Church $20 General Admission $30 Gold Reserved $75 VIP (Meet & Greet at 5:15 p.m.) Tickets: Village Parkway Baptist Church Online: www.itickets.com Phone: 800.965.9324

IMorris@UniversitySATX.org | www.universitysatx.org

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“Tell Your Story” Faith and Work, Mr. W Fireworks Mr. W Fireworks was founded by my grandfather, W.A Wildman and his friend Jerry Watson. We know that God really founded the company. The first stand was opened just outside of San Antonio, Texas in 1963 on US Highway 90. This was the sole location for about two years before they decided to open additional locations in small surrounding towns around San Antonio. In 1966, the two men divided the locations between themselves and Mr. W was created. My grandfather incorporated Mr. W in 1972. My grandfather passed the company down to my parents. My parents were youth pastors at First Baptist Church of Lytle for 14 years while they were growing the company. First Baptist Church of Lytle is where I grew up in the Lord. I was 7 years old when I gave my life to Christ and was baptized during this same time. My parents continue to be involved in the business as owners as well as leaders in their present church, FBC Kerrville. I am the Vice-President. Mr. W is still a family owned and operated company with the third generation becoming active. In 2011, the drought brought circumstances that were beyond our control. This could not only negatively impact us but could potentially put us out of business. I started a prayer event at Trader’s Village called, “Work as a Family, Pray as a Family.” This prayer event was meant to encourage employees and their family members to come together, pray for the business and for God to help us get through this trial. We also prayed for each other as well as for rain (which always helps fireworks). The following fireworks season we

Employees joined together in prayer.

were expecting the worse, but it actually turned out to be one of our best. I continued to host our prayer event because if you only pray when you are in trouble…then you are in trouble. We have had three events this year already. We have had about 150 people attend each time. This is the max capacity, so I have to limit my invites. I have seen how powerful prayer is. How we should trust and include God, not just in our daily lives, but in our work as well. We open our event with, “Where two or more come together; He is there with us.” The feeling we get when we pray is amazing. The Holy Spirit is so present. All of our twentyfive plus employees and their families attend, along with some of the churches, other organizations and stands we work with. We gave everyone a shirt that says, “Work as a family, pray as a family.” God has blessed us! Today, we have about 400 stands and approximately 100 indoor stores. The majority of our stores are run by churches and Christian Organizations. God gave us this business, so we keep Him in it and we give back to our community every chance we get. We love to hear the testimonies from the churches and ministries on

how we were able to help send them on youth trips, mission trips, buying new land, or needed repairs, etc. I believe that as The Martinez Family a direct result of putting God first and integrating our faith and our work, we have continued to grow. Mr. W Fireworks may be family run, but we know that God owns our business. Kelley Martinez, Vice President of Mr. W’s Fireworks

Celebrate New Beginnings and the New Year with Mr W Fireworks. Visit: www.mrwfireworks.com S T O R Y M A D E

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AM 630 The Word, KSLR is pleased to partner with the Beacon in this monthly special section called “Tell Your Story”. AM 630 The Word KSLR is your source for equipping, teaching and inspiring your walk with Christ. Please visit our website at am630theword.com to view our program guide for local and national Christian teaching talk programs. We are here to help listeners expand their relationship with Jesus Christ. We partner with San Antonio churches and ministries to bring quality teaching to listeners in our huge listening area. We can work with your church, ministry or business to expand your reach to this important Christian market. Please visit am630theword.com or contact us to learn more. AM 630 The Word – KSLR am630theword.com 9601 McAllister Freeway, Suite 1200 SAT 78216 | 210.344.8481

Real Christmas Music on KSLR AM630. 18

We are playing ‘Real Christmas Music’ beginning Thanksgiving night all the way through Dec. 26th. Go to your App Store and download TheFishSanAntonio.com or get on Alexa by asking to play TheFishSanAntonio.com or on your computer/tablet/smart phone. Great to play in the office. w w w.sa B e a c o n .c o m

December 2018


Anonymous Partners

We at The Beacon, are touched by the number of businesses in our community supporting non-profits. These causes are making an eternal difference in the lives of so many in our city. We encourage you to thank and support the businesses represented in this issue of The Beacon. When you do business with them, you too are a difference-maker in our community! Be A Light. For more information on how you can be recognized as a community-minded company please contact us at info@sabeacon.com.

D ecember 2018

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Full Armor Foundation PO Box 591624 San Antonio, TX 78259

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MERRY CHRISTMAS! Celebrate The Reason For The Season.

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December 2018

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