August 2018 Barnabas Vision Newsletter

Happy 7th Birthday, Barnabas Vision!

Barnabas Vision celebrated its 7th birthday on August 1!  May God guide us and be glorified as we enter a new year of service at Barnabas Vision.

Seven years ago, July 31, 2011 was my last day working at North Boulevard, after having been there since 1997.  I served first as an intern, then as a missionary, followed by being a minister there for two years.  On August 1, I started my first day with Barnabas Vision.  Where God has led this ministry is incredible.  I am humbled by the generosity and support of this community.

So many things have happened that I could write about.  Seven years ago I would never have imagined being a part of Servant Heart projects where 30 children and parents come together each Tuesday in the summer, would never have imagined that on average we would give out almost $1,000 per week and sometimes more to help with various needs.  I would not have imagined the visits in nursing homes and so many other things that God has accomplished.  I am forever grateful for the people that help make Barnabas Vision a reality.  We continue to look to God as we go forward.

Please pray for those who we will serve, specifically that our clients feel cared for and encouraged by Barnabas Vision.  Please pray for our amazing volunteers, staff, officers and board of directors.  Please also pray that lives will be changed through Barnabas Vision and that we can be a light to the Murfreesboro community.

May God be glorified in all that we do.  We lay this ministry at the feet of Jesus, asking for guidance and protection in what we do.

With many thanks,

Servant Heart Project

This summer we had such a great turnout with our Servant Heart Project.  We served at nursing homes, Meals on Wheels, Stepping Stones and Good Shepherd.  We also went to police stations and brought them cookies, had a picnic with Journeys in Community Living, helped at Feed America First and served Barnabas Vision clients.  It could not have been done without our volunteers, who took time out of their schedules each week to help us serve the community.

We received some thank you notes from the organizations we helped.  Journeys in Community Living wrote:  “Thank you so much for hosting the picnic for our individuals.  Our folks had a wonderful time.  You and all your staff and volunteers were extremely kind and gracious.  We appreciate your generosity.”

The Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office wrote:  “Thank you so much for delivering delicious, decorated cookies to the sheriff’s office.  We enjoyed the sweet treats.”

We hope that it was a summer of growth and learning for the children and adults involved, and that those we served felt “Loved by Jesus and Encouraged by Barnabas”.

Volunteer Open House Lunch

Barnabas Vision is hosting a Volunteer Open House Lunch on Wednesday, September 26 from 11:00am-12:00pm.  This is for all of our volunteers who have helped serve in any capacity.  Whether you brought food for an event, came to our Servant Heart Project, bought school supplies, or anything in between, we would love for you to join us!

We love and appreciate our volunteers, and everything we do would not be possible without your help throughout the year!  This open house lunch will be a great time of fellowship.  A light lunch will be provided and you will get a chance to see our new location if you have not already.  This is a come and go event, but please RSVP if you are able to come.

Benevolence Program

Barnabas Vision, thanks to generous donors, is able to assist those in our community needing help with rent and utilities due to various crises in their lives.  In July we came to the aid of 23 people (57 including their families) with a total of $5,651.

We seek to develop ongoing relationships with our clients and many of their stories touch us personally.  One young man, only 19 years of age, had lost his mother in January and had been living in his car.  We helped him with the deposit he needed to get into an apartment.  He had been through so much, so young, and it was such a blessing for us to help him.

School Supply Give-Away

Thanks to donations, we collected school supplies that have been given to students who live at Rutherford Pointe in LaVergne, as well as some of the children of our clients.  Thank you for helping us get over 100 students off to a great start this school year!

Adopt A Grandparent

Our Adopt A Grandparent program is designed to enhance and enrich the lives of individual residents living in nursing homes, assisted living and senior living facilities.  The mission of the program is to create meaningful, one-on-one relationships with residents that will improve their quality of life.

Volunteers are matched with residents who have similar interests.  A volunteer “adopts” a resident as his or grandparent or friend.  Once the volunteer is matched, the program requires that the volunteer visit or contact the senior citizen a minimum of once bi-weekly.

Coping Skills Classes

We continue to give coping skills classes on Thursdays from 9:30-10:30 am, with good results.  Topics covered include anxiety, depression, stress, grief and anger. Many of our clients have told us how helpful the classes are to them.

Mental Health Court

The Mental Health Court works to assist mentally ill offenders manage their illness, become law-abiding and improve the quality of their lives.  Participants are evaluated weekly for progress.  This program works in tandem with other local mental health and charitable service agencies.  Participants are expected to show improvement in their condition to advance through the program phases while adhering to their clinical treatment plan.  The average duration of the program is 12 months.

We celebrate with the Mental Health Court graduates by giving them Barnabas Vision bags full of thoughtful Christian gifts.  We provide them with a Bible, Bible cover, mugs and T-shirts.  We would appreciate donations of items to add to the bags such as devotionals, journals, Bible highlighters, bookmarks, book tags for their Bibles, magnets, key chains, etc.  We are also always thankful for cash donations.

To Sum It Up

As Barnabas Vision celebrates seven years of service and growth, we are so thankful for your encouragement to us, your prayers, your donations…we could not continue to serve others without them.  Thank you, and may God bless you as He has blessed us.

We celebrate with the Mental Health Court graduates by giving them Barnabas Vision bags full of thoughtful Christian gifts.  We provide them with a Bible, Bible cover, mugs and T-shirts.  We would appreciate donations of items to add to the bags such as devotionals, journals, Bible highlighters, bookmarks, book tags for their Bibles, magnets, key chains, etc.  We are also always thankful for cash donations.

July 2018 Barnabas Vision Newsletter

Encouragement from our Executive Director

This morning as I was reflecting on God’s goodness and mercies and how deeply He loves us, I was reminded of how many people do not know Him. How many people are hurting and have no hope. People who are in despair. Every day I see two things that are very evident: First and foremost, everyone needs the love of the Lord and to be reminded of how much he loves them, and second, people need to be encouraged. Encouragement is something that gets taken lightly, yet it is incredibly vital.

Discouragement tears people down and encouragement lifts people up and His encouraged people are able to accomplish what they thought was impossible. I read somewhere that the Bible uses the words “encourage”, “encouraged”, “encouragement’ and “encourages” 55 times. All mean to comfort or exhort one another. We need to be doing this daily. In 1 Thessalonians 5:11 it says “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing”.

We try to encourage in so many different ways, through visiting and leading devotionals at health care centers, visiting at the hospitals, and helping with utility bills or rent to coping skills classes and the various Servant Heart projects to helping the Rutherford County Mental Health Court with encouragement bags–and several other ways that people come together at Barnabas Vision.

I am reminded of an email that we received from a client who said that they had gotten a new job and were trying to apply what they learned at the Coping Skills Class and put it into practice. Below are various ways that we are involved in the community. Thank you for being a part and making a difference.

Servant Heart Project

Last week’s Servant Heart Project was amazing because we have the best volunteers! We partnered with Journeys in Community Living, which is a non-profit organization that assists adults with intellectual and physical disabilities. Our volunteers and their children interacted with them in a variety of ways: painting rocks, decorating cookies, playing games, and just being a friend. We provided barbecue and had the best time!

In honor of Independence Day, our Servant Heart Project decorated cookies and cards to deliver to our local police officers and firemen! We wanted to serve those who serve and protect us daily. Thank you to all of the volunteers who made this day possible, and thank you to the firemen who came by to give a devotional and also brought by the firetruck!

We had a blast at Good Shepherd Children’s Home playing ball, painting rocks, having a watermelon-eating contest and water balloon fights, eating popsicles and talking about Jesus!

Self Esteem Camp

On the first day of camp we had so much fun during story time, a sponge relay, writing encouraging words on sunglasses, playing with the parachute and more!

On day two the kids had a blast tossing water balloons, painting, making guacamole, and taking a personality test. Our volunteers were awesome and we appreciate every one of you who came to help!
Mental Health Court Graduation

We again attended Murfreesboro’s Mental Health Court graduation and presented the two graduates with gift bags filled with encouraging items. We would like to thank Judge Tidwell for all he does and for letting Barnabas Vision be a part of this amazing program in Rutherford County.

Treatment in the Mental Health Court Program may include taking medications, going to individual or group therapy, substance abuse counseling, weekly visits with the case manager, weekly appearances in court, intensive outpatient services, vocational training, housing support, assistance in accessing public benefits, attendance in sobriety self-help groups and more.

A Special Email From a Client

“Hi, I’m just giving you guys an update. I’m doing great. I have been using the coping skills that I learned (in your classes). I’ve found a better job at a call center as a customer service rep making more money than I was (at my previous job). Thank you guys again for helping me and praying for me.”

Coping Skills Classes

Our coping skills classes continue with OT interns from Greenhouse Ministries. The purpose of these classes is to help people gain insight and gather tools to successfully walk through life. Topics covered will again include anxiety, depression, stress, grief and anger. Anyone is welcome to attend.

Encouragement Bible Study for Women

Maria Coggin is offering a nighttime Encouragement Bible Study for women on Mondays at 7:00 pm. We have had quite a few clients interested in Bible study but unable to come due to daytime jobs, etc.

We do also offer Bible studies on Tuesdays at 10:00 am.

School Supply Collection

We are collecting school supplies for students who live at Rutherford Pointe in LaVergne, as well as some of the children of our clients. We are in need of donations such as:
24-count Crayons
Composition Notebooks
Glue Sticks
Liquid Glue
Folders with Pockets & Prongs
Washable Colored Markers
Notebook Paper
12-Count Colored Pencils

Cash donations to buy needed supplies would be greatly appreciated as well. Our deadline for collecting donations is August 3. Donations can be dropped off at the Just Love Coffee located at 129 MTCS Rd. Please help us get some students off to a great start this school year! Thank you!

Volunteer Opportunities

We have a few volunteer opportunities if you or anyone you know is willing to give a few hours a week. We specifically need help on Tuesdays. Training and assistance will be provided.

One is answering the phone, due to the rising number of calls we are receiving. You could choose a few hours one afternoon a week.

Another is teaching a budgeting class to our clients. This could be done once/week and would meet a great need we see in the people we help with the Benevolence Fund. This fund helps with rent and utilities and we typically see 4-6 clients per week.

Please Continue to Keep The Barnabas Vision in Your Prayers

The Barnabas Vision is based on encouragement, and the best place to receive this is from above, so please join us in being prayer warriors today:
~ Our work: Pray for us as we meet individuals, work in nursing homes, in the hospital and with other organizations, that we will be able to make a lasting difference for the future.
~ Our finances: Please pray we will have enough donations to be able to continue all the good work that has been started and be able to help with the many financial requests we have each week.
~ The people we meet: Please pray that the Barnabas Vision will encourage the clients to move on to a higher level, to be able to get back on track with life, and enjoy the life God has blessed them with.

Our Staff:
David Coggin, Executive Director/Community Minister
Lori White, Administrative Assistant
Laura Minchey, L.I.F.E. Coordinator
Madison Mickle, Intern
Maria Coggin