Our First Newsletter for 2015

Welcome to a new year of awesomeness!

THE JOY OF MINISTRY IS REFLECTED THROUGH THE EYES OF ITS RECIPIENTS!

In this newsletter, Pastors Tracy and Rhonda would like to share with you the joy that Esperanza’s ongoing expansion of its ministry brings us. The support received from our Moravian brothers and sisters, along with our ecumenical partners like, St. John Windish Evangelical Lutheran Church and The First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, has all been instrumental in bringing this about. The joy we see every day in the eyes of those who receive your gifts is priceless.

I invite you to continue praying for these children and their families here at Esperanza, and for all the kids who walked through our doors looking for a safe space where they can spend a couple of hours away from the struggles of school and spend a couple of hours in the computer room, the music room or the tutoring and receive a nutritious meal.

OUR HOPES FOR THE FUTURE OF OUR FAMILIES AND KIDS

1. Tutoring Program
A hopeful development during the past three years at Esperanza is the expansion of our tutoring mission, which consists of helping primary children with their homework after school and tutoring adults in English as a second language.

Frequently the children have no one at home that can help them with their homework because of language difficulties. A major cause of school dropout rates is rooted in the progressive falling behind because of inability to understand the assignments. The number of children we serve has grown from 5 to 20+.

These children come to Esperanza at 4:30 pm Monday through Thursday for an hour of tutoring, primarily in reading, math and spelling. Then we provide them with a nutritious, home-cooked meal from the church kitchen and a snack to take home.

For some of these children, that is the only food they will receive until the next day at school.

Adult Comments as written:

“I don’t know where I would be without my church family. Ever since I stepped foot into that parking lot which led me into the church doors my outlook of life has changed for the better. My kids love it which was a deal maker for us. Love everything and everyone in the church.” Lucy

“ESPERANZA FOR BETHLEHEM is my home for prayer, smiling, laughing, loving, hugging, talking, crying 4 me at times of true venting and MY PLACE OF WORSHIP with my family…. we are not just a congregation, we are a family… Thank you… I’m truly blessed…” Sandra

“Amazing peoples who came into my life and also my kids love it.” Jessica

“Solo llegas …. Entras … Y te sentiras en Familia …….. Te invito …..” Helene

“Just come….enter and you will feel like in a family….. I invite you……” Helene

Children Comments as written:

Esperanza is a church that worships and gives back to the community by giving things for free that would have cost money and they offer a safe place. Elijah

Esperanza is for me a family. Sometimes you get along, and sometimes you don’t get along. That’s what makes esperanza a family. Josue

Esperanza means a lot to me. Because they took me in from the streets. They as i mean, they Steadman, Brandon, Pastor Tracy, Pastora Rhonda. I love them so much, their my second family. This church means so much. When they let me into their church I felt home. Hannah

What does this place means to me is a place to just relax and being yourself. It also means that all thing you are going to do is going slow. Taking it nice and slow. But time fly when fun is around. Then you have to make people fell like they are wanted or like they are felling like they belong. This place right here is a stress free zone, so we should start acting like it. Love?

Esperanza to me means like family. Because pastor tracy and pastor Ronda both of them treat us with respect and discipline and they teach us the meaning of a family. Dariaus

What Esperanza means to me is a plce where we can have fun while learning about our heavenly father. But Esperanza is a church where friends hang out. And at the same time we have to learn about what Jesus did for us. There like another family to me. Danny

This response is typical of many we hear every day, but it grieves us that we cannot serve the number of children who need our help because we do not have enough volunteers to help with the homework club or feeding the kids. We pray that God will touch the hearts of some of our readers who could spare an hour even once or twice a month to help our children. As the wonderful Moravian hymn says, Do you hear Christ calling? You need no special skills except a desire to help and a little patience.

2. Healthy Food program
Our other need is funding to provide healthy food for our children during their time at Esperanza. You might already know that we do feed over 100 kids during the week from Monday to Thursday, with additional meals on Fridays and on Sunday.

These meals feed both the body and soul and foster a sense of community and caring. Can you help with financial contributions to cover food costs?

Other Ministries at Esperanza

English classes: These classes are made available to all who are willing to improve their communication skills while learning an additional language. We encourage our Spanish speaking members to learn English so that they will be able to community well at their place of work, with their kids and with other agencies in the area, while improving their work skills.

Computer help. Because of faithful donation of computers we can provide a place where our kids and their family who might not have access to a computer or internet are able to come and fill out application for work and to do their assigned work for school. They also have access to a printer.

Music classes: We do provide opportunities for our families to have access to musical instruments as well as an instructor. Keyboard and guitar classes are schedule on Tuesday’s while drum classes are schedule on Thursdays.

Community Service location: Esperanza for Bethlehem at 617 E. 4th Street is considered and approved by the Bethlehem School District as a location where students can come and do their community service projects.

Family Safe Zone: We are also considered a safe place where the kids and families are able to come and have a wonderful and healthy time.

Food pantry: Because of contributions from College Hill Moravian, Moravian Academy, St. John Windish Lutheran Church, Palmer Moravian and others we are able to provide emergency food from our pantry to all families in need and even cook food for our kids while at Esperanza.

Clothing: Because of contribution form Central Moravian Church, Mountainview Moravian Church, Northeast Ministries, Palmer Moravian, St. John Windish Lutheran church, West side Moravian and First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, and other contributors we have been able to provide clothing for our kids and families.

Camp: Because of sponsors we are able to provide a wonderful camping experience for all our kids.

Vacation Bible School: For a whole week we have the opportunity to share the gospel to at least 85 kids with the help of about 8 adults. This coming year we hope to increase this outreach to about 100 kids in our community.

Summer Community Outreach: “Familia” is our summer event, consisting of a gathering of community organization in order to share their services in this community. This all take place in the parking lot. It also includes, games and prizes for the kids. We do provide hotdogs and drinks.

Fall Community Outreach: Our Fall Festival takes place on the evening of Halloween as an alternative gathering for the children in our community with games and prizes music and dances.

Worship: Remember that we do have Children Sunday school 4:30 to 5 and children church from 5 to 6, in English and adult worship at 5 pm in both English and Spanish. All are welcome Please give Pastora Rhonda Bent Robinson and myself a call if you feel that you can help us in anything, from: Tutoring, computer room help, music classes, food, VBS, camp, summer festival, fall festival, etc.

Together We Serve,
Pastors Tracy & Rhonda Robinson

“Dear children let us not love with words or tongue but with action and in truth.” 1 John 3:18

617 E 4th Street, Bethlehem, PA 18015
pastortracy@esperanzaforbethlehem.org 610-504-9127
pastorrhonda@esperanzaforbethlehem.org 484-895-5582
http://www.esperanzaforbethlehem.org
http://www.facebook.com/EsperanzaForBethlehem

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