The SGC Blog

Throwback Thursday: Welcoming the Shank Family

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As Steve & Janis Shank leave today for Nashville, TN, we thought it would be fun to throwback to their very FIRST Sunday with us circa August 2003!

Steve & Janis, we miss you already but are excited for all that God has for you on the east coast! Thank you for the YEARS you spent serving us and others here in Gilbert. All our love and safe travels!!!!

 You can listen to Steve's farewell sermon from this past Sunday HERE.

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An Update from the Mouers: The Winds of Change

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We recently received an update from Karen on behalf of herself, Jon and Ellie on some recent changes for them in Haiti. Enjoy and please continue to pray for them.


We have been enjoying some great days of cool breezes and rain. Our balcony is becoming a habit; we start the day there and go up again at dusk to retire the day. I even wore a jacket one evening this week! As much as we enjoy the breeze on the balcony, the winds of change aren’t quite as enjoyable, but those Caribbean winds have made them bearable. We are experiencing change here but hold on to the unchanging God, whose steadfast love never ceases, His mercies know no end.


One big change is that Jon and I both are working with the schools full-time. The clinic and schools were considered too much for us both to cover so we were assigned to the schools and the clinic was reassigned to another team member until another director can be hired. I really miss the clinic environment and staff but I am starting to get my mind thinking about the schools. One of the objectives of the school ministry is to expand from ministering to the school children to ministering to their families. Pray for ways to accomplish this. The Children’s Hope schools educate 935 students (I don’t know how many families that represents) so it is a big task. We are also looking at how teacher training, attendance, and class size impact learning. Our hope is that if we can show a positive correlation, that the directors will be motivated to adhere to some of the school guidelines. It is hard to see past quantity when the need here is so great.


Another change is that the Peters (the orphanage directors) are moving back to Canada in August. Maria will be an off-site director, making quarterly visits, and the current orphanage administrator will become the day-to-day manager. This is a great step of turning over the ministry to a local national believer. Henry (the current administrator) has been with Children’s Hope ever since the Peters started directing the orphanage so he already knows most of the operation and has a good relationship with the staff. One downside of their leaving is that there will be no other kids on the team. Since January, there has not been a school tutor and in February, the schoolroom was converted back into an orphanage cottage so Ellie has been working on school on her own at our house. It’s been a bit lonely around here without kids and off the compound grounds. She starts high school next school year so we are praying what life will look like for her. God loves her more than we do (unimaginable!!) so we are seeking His plan.


Yesterday the school manager, Samuel, called Jon and asked if he could stay in Port-Au-Prince this week. That is where his home and family are and he commutes to Port-Au-Prince on the weekends to finish his education and be with his family. Over the weekend, someone tried to attack his family with a machete. Samuel lives in the school office (house converted to an office) during the week and has started a church there. The office is in an area with a lot of voodoo and he has been ministering mightily to break people from its chains in the surrounding neighborhood. We don’t know if these events are connected since we can’t physically see the spiritual battles fought over lost souls but only know that evil doesn’t like to lose. Please pray for him as he protects his family and expands the kingdom.


Our last change is that we have lost Jackie Chen to doggy heaven. She died mysteriously on the back stoop. She probably ate something toxic as she scrounged around the neighborhood. But the puppies continue to grow, are harder to herd, and still make us laugh.


Thank you for praying for us, especially as we weather the winds of change.

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