Karshner Elementary School
We have a passion at First Baptist Church to love our neighbors…just as Jesus told us to do! Here are some of the ways we have come alongside the school.
Reading and Math Tutors
Our tutors go down once a week to help slower readers to come up to running speed. Our tutors keep a relationship with once child each, and stay with those parings over a three years period. One of our tutors, (Al Cartwright, a veteran educator of the Tacoma schools) said this has been the most rewarding experience of his career.
Karshner Karnival Support
With our enthusiastic volunteers, we rebuilt carnival booths and continue to creatively build more. On the Karnival Day we work with the wonderful Karshner PTA, and set up and put on the carnival games. We have a grand time meeting and developing relationship with kids and families. Check out our 2013 photos.
Landscaping and Karshner “Klean up”
Our volunteers do a special spring cleanup and landscaping project in conjunction with Karshner leadership. It’s great to get elbow to elbow in hard work with our neighbors.
Four years ago ABW decided it wanted to make a difference in people’s lives by doing something besides providing financial support. They settled on becoming involved with the Teen Challenge program in Graham. Teen Challenge is a non-profit program begun in 1958 in New York City by a minister who saw the destruction of lives from addictions. Now nearly 200 centers across the US provide a 12-month residential program for people of all ages (not just teens!). The Graham center has 10-12 women in residence at any time.
By applying biblical principles, Teen Challenge endeavors to help people become mentally-sound, emotionally-balanced, socially-adjusted, physically-well, and spiritually-alive. Students typically rise early and have a busy schedule of devotions, discipleship training, work projects, meal times, chapel services, Bible reading, recreational activities, and secondary educational classes for adolescents.
Upon graduation, students are made aware of educational and ministry opportunities in their local community colleges and churches. Graduates are encouraged to have continuing involvement in a local church, as this is critical to the on-going development of any believer, especially those who have come through the battleground of addiction. Studies have shown an 86% success rate 7 years after graduation from a Teen Challenge program.
Our ABW women have formed loving and supportive relationships with the women at the Graham center. Some of them have legally lost their children. Those who have children are separated from those children during the year at the center. The relationships that women from our church have offered have been a joy to both sides. ABW has been invited to lunch at the center, and throughout the year, especially at Christmas and Easter times, has brought projects to share, including making Christmas stockings and Ukranian eggs. In addition, ABW has given each of the women a hand-crocheted bag with a $5 Target gift and a Bible verse. The women are emotionally very needy, but very appreciative of the time and effort that our ABW have given. ABW shares with them the love of Christ; ABW is making a difference.
As a church we have chosen support Dan & Sarah’s ministry in Lebanon. The Chettis have been serving in Lebanon, ministering during times of war between Israel and Hezbollah, and the continuing challenges of the ‘Arab Spring’ &‘Arab Winter’. They believe these are moments of great challenge, yet opportune times in the Arab World.
Arab Baptist Theological Seminary
Dan is an Adjunct Professor at the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary, Beirut – an institution preparing leaders for ministry primarily across nine countries in the Middle East and North Africa. He teaches History of Christianity & Historical Theology. In addition, he is a member of the Faculty Council, mentors students, and does research & writing on contemporary Christianity. Dan is currently promoting a strategic ministry concept called Arab World Initiative.
Sarah worked as the Librarian at the Arab Baptist Theological Seminary, reviving and reorganizing it after the long Lebanese Civil War. She expanded the holdings, classified and computerizing the entire library. She then trained and turned over the management of the library to a Lebanese lady.
For the last few years, Sarah has been pioneering a ministry among foreign migrant women working as maids in Lebanon. There are 300,000 foreign ‘maids’ labouring in Lebanon, a small nation with just 3 million population. Sarah ministers with the help of 3 other ladies. She visits and ministers at two other prisons, including one in Tripoli. She now runs an integrated Centre for Domestic Workers — INSAAF: Justice and Compassion of Jesus — at Hadath Baptist Church, Beirut. In cooperation with other organizations, Sarah advocates for the rights of the ‘maids’, fighting injustice, and human trafficking.