Philemon Project Preschool - November 2017
GROW Receives License!
GROW Early Childhood Development Center provides wholistic Christian care for at-risk families by providing a safe, high quality, early childhood development program for one to four-year-olds as well as adult mentoring programs for their parents/caregivers. GROW creates a Christian environment where children thrive and parents become active participants in the success of their child through the love of Christ.
The Philemon Project has grown since our beginning! We have 16 full and part-time staff members and three volunteers committed to carrying out the best Christian early childhood and adult mentoring program. We hired legal counsel and an outside accounting firm to ensure organizational strength, and by God's grace moved the project through various challenges and obstacles. One essential obstacle we needed to overcome was gaining our license with the Ministry of Health. Without our license, we could be closed down at any moment and disrupt a thriving ministry. When we face challenges, God's word encourages and instructs to gain perspective.
Recently, Acts 16:16-40 provided some examples where we see Paul and Silas challenge the status quo and wind up in legal hot water. As Christians, we often think things should go our way without any problems and when they don't, we wonder where is God's favor.
Here's what we learn from the text when facing organizational storms:
• First, Paul and Silas do good work and wind up in jail. We knew we were doing excellent work and had numerous case studies to support our results.
• Second, they prayed and sang songs of encouragement (verse 25). If you think about it, you can't sing encouraging songs if you're anxious and stressed. Leading healthy organizations requires a non-anxious presence in the midst of confusion or troubling times. Our staff members know their role and carry out their day-to-day duties with excellence.
• And finally, Paul and Silas persevered and remained
faithful to the gospel (verse 31). Paul and Silas teach us that good leadership needs faithful perseverance.
I am delighted to announce that the Ministry of Health granted the Philemon Project's GROW Early Childhood Development Center our licensure. We are a legal institution with full rights and privileges to grow our work throughout Lebanon.
The Philemon Project is committed to the central mission of bearing witness to Jesus in our context. We believe Gospel witness is best when we are present and involved in the people’s lives whom we serve. Recently the GROW Center held a graduation ceremony for 28 four-year-olds who are transitioning into elementary school this fall. The ceremony was well-attended by family and friends of the children. The teachers worked together to present a slide show and video of the kids and various things they have learned, such as their numbers, colors, shapes, etc. The children performed several songs for the guests: “This is the Day” in both English and Arabic was a big hit! The ceremony concluded with the kids receiving their diplomas and all sharing refreshments.
According to Early Childhood Development (ECD) experts, working with children in the early years is critical and may impact them and their families for a lifetime. It helps build communities and contributes to wholistic transformation. We know that the 28 children graduating from our Early Childhood Development program have been mentored, educated, and loved. Our prayer is that the seeds planted will produce a harvest in God’s time.
A recent global study found that ECD programs yield immediate results in addition to the expected long-term outcomes for children and communities. For example, in the population we serve 60% had improved nutrition and completed their immunizations and 83% had improved physical and cognitive development.
UNICEF found that every $1 invested in ECD produces a $7 return in the future in societies who invest. Another important reason for investing in ECD is an investment towards breaking
intergenerational cycles of dysfunction and poverty. According to clinical psychologist Edwin Friedmann, family “sins” are handed down generation to generation. Our work introduces biblical healthy patterns into a broad base of families.
As Christians, we see our work ultimately as investing the gospel – the life transforming message that demonstrates the love of Christ in words and deeds.
What Does It Cost?
Our yearly budget to run The Philemon Project’s GROW Early Childhood Development Center is $285,000. Here’s an easier way of thinking about the cost. It costs us $16 a day per child to provide them with the full service ECD program. If you or your church would like to learn more about partnering with The Philemon Project, please contact The Outreach Foundation by either calling the number below or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Read more about the Philemon Project Preschool by clicking HERE.
The Outreach Foundation is seeking $30,000 to assist with scholarships and general operations.