Grant and Shannon’s Mission Year Newsletter for July
Following Our Dreams, Achieving Our Goals
by Grant Jenks
In January and February, when we returned from Winter Break, Mission Year challenged us to study the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. We were all, of course, inspired and encouraged by his “I have a dream …” speech. In that context we were challenged to look also at the life of Nehemiah in the Old Testament. With these examples, I developed and pursued my own dreams for the neighborhood.
My first dream was to raise up young engineers through inspiration and learning. My goal, as I have described in previous newsletters, was to take our Robotics Club on a tour of a college robotics lab. We were fortunate to receive and take the opportunity to do so in April this year. Our club spent a day inspired and instructed by brilliant research. It’s my hope as the students continue through High School that they feel a call to University and pursue engineering further.
My second dream was to see our neighbors be healthy, physically. In practice, we set about to distribute fresh fruits and vegetables. We’re proud to see the garden, producing a harvest now every day, has realized that goal. We’ve been excited to share the harvest with our neighbors and they have been receptive to receive and contribute to our labors. Though we faced theft, our several BBQs out at the garden have helped to “break the ice” with neighbors and share with them our vision. Soon, Emmaus House will begin a seminar for parents that educates them on nutritious cooking and provides them with fresh produce from local gardens.
My third and final dream was to see Mission Year supported by a successful Good Shoppr campaign. Though we did not reach the ambitious goal of $1,000, I’m glad that the site, in its first year, raised over $550. These funds have benefited other Team Members who have needed help to be fully funded in their year. Next, Good Shoppr will support the Alzheimer’s Association from August through January.
We end the year on a high note. Though we have not ended any of the social ills that plague our neighborhood, we have made a difference. Our neighbors have appreciated and expressed gratitude for our presence. We too are thankful to them for all that they have taught us along our journey. Thank you for your support and encouragement throughout our year.
For your generosity, your support, your prayers, your encouragement, your letters, your phone calls, your care packages, and most importantly your belief in us and in the work God has given us.
We have felt so loved by our friends and family this year.
May God bless you with abundant life!
Praises & Requests
- Pray for peace during the final craziness of packing and moving.
- Pray for smooth transition to our next jobs.
- Continue praying for the Peoplestown community after we leave.
By Shannon Jenks
After Mission Year I will be pursuing a dream that I’ve had for a while. When I went to school to become a teacher I did so because God had given me a heart for those in need. Even though I didn’t at first pursue teaching at a school with students with a low socioeconomic status or of color, I always told myself that after I learned the basics of teaching I would love to work at a school that was reaching the underprivileged. When we decided to do Mission Year, I hoped that it would give me the experience I needed to confidently take on a difficult student demographic. My work with the kids at the Emmaus House afterschool program has been challenging, but I have seen the reward in patiently and consistently working with troubled youth. It is because of this that I have decided that this is the year to pursue my dream. I have accepted a position teaching chemistry and physics at Downtown College Prep School in San Jose, CA! DCP is a school whose mission is simple: take students who have been failing Middle School and prepare them for college. Most of the students are from low income, Latino families and are the first in their family to go to college. I am so excited about this opportunity! Thank you so much for your support through our Mission Year as it has given me the skills and confidence to take on my dream! Please pray for me in this next phase of my life!
How to Make a Donation
You may either use the enclosed envelope or you can donate securely online. Whenever you make a donation, be sure to include our Team Member Name and Support ID Number. Those are:
- Team Member Name: Grant and Shannon Jenks
- Support ID Number: 11-9031
Visit https://www.missionyear.org/support/jenks in your web browser to make a donation online. Make checks payable to “Mission Year” and include our Support ID Number in the memo line. Donations are tax deductible.