The staff was challenged in this 'Team Building' event at our In-Service, to do the snake, all of us blindfolded except for the last person in line, who directed the group as to how to move and so the person in front could find an item on the ground and get it in our basket. We learned what a great team we have, and as we go through the year, hopefully we will remember that we are a TEAM, and we can do this TOGETHER!
Dear Friends:

While it is difficult to surrender to the fact that Summer is coming to an end, there is something good to be said about getting back into a more structured schedule again!

I have missed reaching out to all of you over the past few weeks as we went through our Staff In-Service meetings, and then starting off the new school year with teens moving into the homes on Sunday, September 6th. We have a blend of returning and new students, both boys and girls, with our current total of 4 boys and 9 girls (as of today). This number changes constantly, as some decide they cannot do this program right now, and new ones choose to begin. Sometimes it’s just easier to say we have about 15 (or whatever the number) students. We also continue to work with those who have left the program, in various ways, to encourage them and their families in the right direction, whether it is providing a mentor, additional counseling, or whatever support is needed.

Praise God For:

~ All the amazing new staff God has brought to us this year: School: Elaine West, Lead Teacher; Stacy Guanci, Teacher Aide; and Jackie Muscia, Office Assistant.
Home: Angela and Michael McIntosh - House Parents for Boys; RAs: Cheyenne Rahn, Lily Kallestad, Deb Garrett, and Katrina Fonseca with Interns: Megan Graessle, Elaine Koker, Michael Blea, and Jalen Dunbar. It has been delightful to get to know everyone and see the gifts/talents they bring to this ministry!!!

~ The blessing to have our lunch volunteers continue to provide lunches for us, as they leave their lunch on the picnic table for us to bring inside and serve. It’s not quite the same as greeting your smiling faces and having you join us for lunch, but hopefully it won’t be long before we can get back to that routine!

~ So many wonderful donations to get our food pantry restocked, as well as meet the needs of items on our Wish List, including personal items for the teens (see pictures below).

Pray For:

~ A hedge of protection around the health of all staff, students, volunteers and families, as we go about serving here. We are offering healthy food, invigorating exercise opportunities, time outdoors, and so much more to maintain a safe and healthy environment at Agape!

~ Our teens to surrender to God, with open hearts and minds, to see and learn what a good, good Father we have, and that He has a purpose and plan for all.

~ Our staff to be led by the Spirit in ALL that we say and do, as we point the teens/families to God for all that they need.

~ Our annual Give Them Hope Informational Night; it will look different this year due to COVID 19, as it will be virtual. We are still working out the details... watch for more information soon.

I'm not sure why God gave me the following scripture for our Praises and Prayers today, as it doesn't exactly fit in with all of the above. But it is a good verse for all of us, on any day of the week. Perhaps it is because we all may be feeling a bit "weary" these days with the adjustments we need to make in our lives, so I hope you are blessed by His comforting words.

"Those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint."
~ Isaiah 40:31

Blessings . . .
Above: Debra and Rev. John Mancusi, on behalf of Lighthouse Church, collected an abundance of food items, as well as some other goodies on our wish list, such as a Keurig coffee maker!

Right: Sarah Reese and family, on behalf of Christian Life Church, collected personal items for the teens, as well as books that were on our wish list.
We never turn a child away because the family may not be able to afford the full cost of this program, and your support makes this possible!

Be sure to check out our FB page for many more pictures and updates; click on this link.