Persistence Pays Off for Tutor & Student

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It was beginning to look like Elijah Scott’s plan to graduate high school on schedule might get derailed. But that was before the tutors at Jericho’s after-school program had anything to say about it.

After the 17-year-old failed geometry in his sophomore year and then missed one deadline that was part of his summer school make-up course, S.A.Y. Yes! Learning Center tutors kicked into high gear to help Elijah complete the intense web-based test regimen that would, hopefully, result in a “Pass” and put him back on track… and achieve one of Jericho’s main objectives: to ensure students graduate from high school.

Tutor Dewey Strohmeyer spent many hours with Elijah, a Danbury High School junior, working through geometry problem after geometry problem – and coping with frustrating website crashes that resulted in Elijah having to retake large chunks of the assignments and tests. But even with that stressor, the duo forged on – working together up to four hours a day, twice a week since October 2017 (with a holiday break) – until Elijah completed the final test a couple of weeks ago.

“Even when S.A.Y. Yes was closed, or school was closed, we still met, trying to get it all done in time,” Elijah said.  

Their persistence paid off. Elijah scored a solid B in his course.

“We were all doing the happy dance when we heard he passed!” said Tutor Sue Lamb, who spent time working with Elijah on the days Dewey wasn’t at the Center. “Obviously we wanted Elijah to be successful. Everyone was very excited and proud of him for all his hard work.”

Dewey also praised Elijah’s persistence in working through a high volume of work. “I don’t know how they expected anyone to plod along without help,” he said.

Elijah, who wants to study computer science in college, said he was very grateful for the way his tutors supported him. “I appreciate them a lot,” he said. “I’m glad they were able to help me understand things I didn’t understand. Some people wouldn’t be able to take their personal time to help. They took time out and managed to make sure I succeeded.”

Dewey has been tutoring at S.A.Y. Yes! since 2014, when he retired from his job as a high school math teacher in Weston.  “After I retired, I thought the Lord had continued to bless me with gifts and energy and experience,” he said. “There was an expectation that I would use what He’d given me.”

Reading Buddy Program Expands

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We have a fantastic new volunteer opportunity for those who have a heart for kiddos! 

We've expanded our CityServe Reading Buddy program into Great Plain Elementary School in Danbury. 

We're seeking volunteers to work with very small groups of students - in the classroom under the teacher's guidance - in grades K, 1, or 5, in one-hour blocks between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm, on Wednesdays or Thursdays. You choose how many hours!

Want to learn more? Read more about our CityServe initiatives HERE. Contact cityserve@jerichopartnership.org or volunteer@jerichopartnership.org or call (203) 791-1180.

When the Patient is the Doctor

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There some days working at Samaritan Health Center where I receive lavish, yet simple gifts that fill me with joy. When that happens, it’s almost as if the patient makes the doctor feel better.

The other day, a six year old came in for a physical exam, equipped with his play doctor kit that he made from his "Thomas the Tank" box.  He had his play stethoscope around his neck as he greeted me, and he was so excited to show me his medical items as we talked. 

The blessing, of course, was that we actually had the time to talk. One of the things that makes SHC so special is that we get to spend time with our patients, forming these sweet relationships that forge a bond, and give us the opportunity, whenever needed, to pray and encourage a patient.  This time, though, it was the patient that absolutely made my day.

 

Greetings for a New Year

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Dear friends,
Happy New Year to you and yours! 
As we begin a new calendar year of ministry, we’re planning to run the next leg of this journey full of enthusiasm! Supported by regular and focused prayer, we are expectant that, with God’s leading and provision, the Jericho Partnership will increase its impact in the city of Danbury in 2018.

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Our commitment, as stressed so often by Chairman Emeritus Bill Beattie, is to “keep the mission the mission.” So, in 2018, we’ll sharpen our focus, and look at transformation through the lens of strengthened relationships – with those we serve, with our church partners, our ministry leaders & staff, our volunteers, and our gift partners - and discern how we can be even more effective together. Our role models remain, first and foremost, Jesus, who modeled love in relationship, and second, the Good Samaritan, who wouldn’t walk by anyone in need. 
We’re expectant that this year will be a significant year for our Partnership, and invite you to lock arms with us in our journey!

- With every blessing, Carrie L. Amos, President

Made in the Image of God: Treating the Homeless as Valuable

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Once, while walking down the street with someone from our homeless community, someone drove past shouting, “you bum, get a job!”  In an instant, I felt the dagger of disparagement in my own gut.  But how did Melvin feel?  When we talked about it, he said he hears that daily.  Imagine, hearing that every day! What impact that must have on a person.

The homeless often stand out as the lowest, the loneliest and the misfits of our communities. Some have been in homelessness for weeks, even years. They have lost jobs, families, and all sense of self-respect or worth.  It’s reinforced by every shout of “get a job, you bum.”

Genesis 1:26-27 declares that God created mankind in His image and likeness.  That alone places value on every human being, whether they have a home, or a job, or they don’t. That is why one of Jericho’s main objectives is to serve the homeless and needy of our city.

So, how do we let homeless people know they have value? How can we make a difference in their lives? The short answer: Get to know them.

Develop a relationship. Consider bringing someone meals on a regular basis. Talk with him or her and find out who they are and what led to their status. Ask about their hopes and dreams. Once you develop a relationship, trust the Holy Spirit to lead about whether this might flourish into a discipleship relationship.

Be brutally honest, but lead with understanding and love. This helps build trust in the relationship. When someone senses that you authentically care about them, so much so that you might have to say difficult things to them, they begin to feel a sense of self-worth -- that their life matters. That leads to a rebirth… and change.

Recognize changes. When someone makes genuine strides in his life, even makes small positive changes – recognize it, with the appropriate accolades.  This builds more self-confidence, bestows more value, and leads to more change.

We see this regularly at Jericho’s Good Samaritan Mission. Men arrive in all sorts of brokenness. But when the staff treats them as valued people, and gets to know them – and ascribes God’s love onto them - through the power of the gospel and the dedicated work of staff, a transformation takes place.  A healing begins. Hope is resurrected and opportunities begin to be revealed. 

We all can be part of this road to restoration. This journey that Jericho Partnership allows us to go on with a person of circumstance will be a long one. It will be tiresome, with ups and downs.  But we must become like the hound of heaven who walked and chased after us.  So, let’s chase the ones who have been left behind, and really invest in the worth and value of everyone within our city.  We can help be the change catalyst in someone’s life.

My prayer is that we will serve our city like Jesus did … as Pastor J. D. Greear said, “not by foraying into the community and sprinkling blessings in neat, hermetically sealed packages, but by incarnating ourselves in their lives.  We’ll never go as far with someone else as Jesus did for us.”  - Pastor Jim Wiley, First Assembly of God, Brookfield