Greek gods and lightning bolts: a book review by Taiwan

Each youth in our Independent Living Program works with our Education Coordinator Julie Rogers-Martin to set educational goals. “Since the education center’s mission is to eradicate powerless through education, it is crucial that they are good readers,” explains Julie.


Taiwan is an 18-year-old who has been in our Independent Living Program since December. He plays on the softball team on Thursday nights and is a regular in our GED program. Taiwan’s goals include reading two books every month and writing a review of the books to help others who may be looking for a good read. Taiwan chose The Lightning Thief for his most recent book. We thought you might enjoy his review. Let us know if you end up reading this book as well!

The Lightning Thief
Book by Rick Riordan


The Lightning Thief is a great book about Percy Jackson, a twelve-year-old boy who discovers that his life is nothing like normal twelve-year-olds. One day, on a school field trip, Percy’s life starts to change when he realizes that his teacher is not only a history teacher but also a mythological monster sent from the Greek god Hades (god of the underworld). This is when Percy discovers that he is being framed as the boy who stole the god of gods, Zeus’s, master lightning bolt. He also learns that he is a demigod, the son of Poseidon, the Greek god of the seas. Percy takes on the quest to find Zeus’s master lightning bolt and to find out who framed him. Along with him is his trusted friend Grover, who is a satyr (half man, half goat) and Annabeth who is also a demigod (daughter of Athena). Together Percy and his friends will journey the world, but through the Greek’s point of view.


Review by Taiwan M.

A foster mother sees her prayers answered

Moore familyOne of UMCH’s foster parents, Tracy Moore, shared with us the power of prayer and how she has seen it make a difference in the lives of the children they foster. Tracy and her husband, a church  minister in Covington, have four sons. They have been a priceless addition to our UMCH foster family, not only opening their home to children, but also volunteering at Foster Care events and recruiting new foster families. “Thank you” seems very inadequate to express how we value the Moore family at UMCH. We hope you will be touched by Tracy’s story.


In the fall of 2011, our family was approved as a foster family with UMCH. All of us were excited and somewhat anxious. We wondered what our first placement would be like and if it would be difficult. As we waited, I felt the Lord speaking to my heart in regards to our role as a new foster family. I was somewhat confident with our ability to nurture, love and advocate for a child. But God showed me that we could take part in a ministry to these children that was something beyond what I had originally planned. This ministry would be something that would last long after our foster children would leave our home and would be something that would actually move both heaven and earth for the sake of God’s children. This ministry is intercessory prayer.


About a year before beginning the process to foster, I had completed a Bible study on prayer. Prayer is the discipline that brings us into the very presence of God. While God is sovereign and His will is always accomplished on earth, He uses Christians to help bring about His will. We don’t offer suggestions to Him or give Him new ideas. We simply pray according to His will.


We can do much for our fellow man physically through serving, preaching, teaching, and simply meeting the needs of those around us. But prayer is what allows us to partner with God on a supernatural realm. Prayer does things that we cannot do in our own power and with our own ability; it is the miraculous channel by which God’s will is brought about. According to O. Hallesby, “Prayer is the conduit through which power from heaven is brought to earth.”


As my husband and I had heard stories of the hardships and pain of many foster children — abuse, neglect, poverty — we realized God’s grace and truth would be the most beneficial healing salve for these children. What better way to provide it than by praying for these children’s needs! Perhaps we would be the only contact these children would ever have with the church and with their Creator. And perhaps God had brought them specifically to our home so that they could be prayed for.


When we received our first placement, we immediately began praying for the children’s physical bodies, as they had physical needs that had previously been unmet. We also began praying for the emotional scars that the enemy and sin had inflicted. We prayed they would feel loved, safe and secure. We also began praying that they would one day break the cycle of sin and poverty they found themselves in and that they would be reconciled to Christ and be warriors for His kingdom. And as we met their biological parents and learned their stories of heartache and sadness, we were touched by their need of God’s grace and power too. So our family also began to pray for their parents’ needs.


What was truly amazing is that we began to see these prayers answered in our home! We truly began to see these children receive the healing we’d asked God for, both physically and emotionally.


Now, five months later, the children from our first placement have left. We miss them. They left an indelible mark on our hearts, and we are sometimes tempted to worry about them. But, thankfully, we know that because of prayer we can be confident that God is still accomplishing His will for their lives because the effects of prayer continue. Although our eyes are not on those first children, they continue to be a part of our hearts and we continue to intercede for them and for their families. Since then, God has blessed us with a new child to foster, and we have the blessing of praying for him too. And, once again, we’ve had the privilege of watching God’s power change the circumstances in the life of this child. It’s truly an honor to be able to partner with God as He works His perfect will on earth.


-Tracy Moore

Bouquets of newly sharpened pencils

“I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address.”
-Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) in You’ve Got Mail

colored pencils

There really is something about the smell of pencils, crayons and construction paper that can send one on a trip down memory lane to those first days of schools… the butterflies, the new clothes, the chance to start fresh. You can relive some of the good times by providing those fresh starts to the children and youth we serve at the Children’s Home! Below is a list of the items we most need as we anticipate the long days of summer nearing their end (and hopefully ushering in some cooler weather!). As you see school supplies filling the aisles and dropping in price, please think of us!

UPDATE: Please deliver all school supplies to UMCH by July 31, if at all possible.




2012 school supplies needed for our main campus in Decatur

Thank you for helping our young scholars and budding artists. Our children and youth will return to school in a few short weeks and our fall art programming will begin as well. Below you will find a complete list of items that we need, with messages from our staff about a few special requests. If you can only buy one or two things, our students’ greatest need is flash drives. Thank you!


School supplies:

Flash drives: “We are always in need of flash drives. Can’t seem to get enough of them for our students for reports, projects, resumes, etc.” –Julie, Education Coordinator


Uniball or gel pens: “The students love my Uniball pens!” –Julie, Education Coordinator


Pocket folders – with and without brads

1-inch binders

5-subject dividers


Glue sticks

Scotch tape

Masking tape

Index cards

Paperback dictionaries and thesauruses

Tissues – boxes and personal packs

Hand sanitizer

Note: We do NOT need spiral notebooks and loose-leaf paper. 


Art supplies:

Washable paint

Paint brushes


Finger paints

Crayola markers: “We prefer Crayola, if it’s not too picky to ask for that!” –Alison, Jesse’s House Director (Crayolas do last a lot longer with all the use they get in our art studio.)

White school glue


Construction paper

Drawing pads / sketch books

Children’s scissors: “We need a lot! They have legs!” –Theresa, Religious Life Program Coordinator

Butcher paper roll

Glue gun sticks

Small art canvases


You can drop them off at the Children’s Home during regular business hours. Please contact Alina Crews if you have any questions.  Thank you! Click here for a printable version of this list.



 2012 school supplies needed for the UMCH Rome Office

Thank you for helping our young scholars right here in Rome. Our children and youth will return to school in a few short weeks, and your UMCH Rome Office provides free school supplies to families who receive our other services. Below you will find a complete list of items that we need, based on supply lists from local schools. Thank you!


Scissors (Fiscars)

#2 pencils

Cap erasers


Wide-rule notebook paper

Index cards

Glue sticks

70-count spiral notebooks

Composition notebooks

24-count crayons

Washable markers

Color pencils

Dry erase markers


Hand sanitizer

Boxes of tissues

Pocket folders, regular and plastic (solid colors only)

Pocket folders with brads (solid colors only)

3-ring pencil pouches

Quart and gallon Ziplock bags


You can drop them off at the Rome Office during regular business hours. Please contact Becky Addis for more information. Thank you! Click here for a printable version of this list.



  2012 school supplies needed for the UMCH Gainesville Office

Thank you for helping our young scholars right here in Gainesville. Our children and youth will return to school in a few short weeks, and your UMCH Gainesville Office provides free school supplies to families who receive our other services. Below you will find a complete list of items that we need, based on supply lists from local schools. Thank you!


Sturdy book bags for girls and boys

Wide & College-ruled paper

#2 Pencils




Colored Pencils

Glue sticks


Boxes of tissues

Composition notebooks

Spiral notebooks





You can drop them off at the Gainesville Office during regular business hours. Please contact Cheryl Taylor for more information. Thank you! Click here for a printable version of this list.

Five UMCH college students visit our nation’s capitol

The excited travelers


Five hard-working UMCH residents reached 80 percent of their academic goals this year and thereby earned the privilege to attend a trip to Washington, D.C. with our Education Center’s college group.


Praying for the travelers


A group of our staff gathered to pray blessings over the travelers before they hit the highway.


Leaving in the van for D.C.


Our residents experienced hands-on what we have been studying in our “You’ve Got Rights” civics classes for the past four months: namely, the rough road traversed to create legislation for every citizen to be able to vote and receive equal rights.


Personally meeting Congressman John Lewis and his Washington staff , we were escorted through the capitol where our country’s history is made. We were mesmerized by the White House, the Lincoln and MLK memorials , and especially the World War II war memorial extravagant fountain and light display. The Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum was eye-opening for our students as we heard them saying time and time again: “Are you sure these are real?” “They were really alive at one time?”


Part of the trip was set aside for visiting with the admissions director of American University, who guided us through the application process. As we toured the beautiful campus, we were proud that this Methodist university has similar roots as our campus.


It was a whirlwind trip of learning, inspiration and celebration of the hard work of our residents. We are already planning for next year!


Enjoy some of the pictures from our trip below!


D.C. pictures


D.C. pictures


D.C. pictures


D.C. pictures


D.C. pictures


D.C. pictures


D.C. pictures


-Julie Rogers-Martin, Education Coordinator

Fun times celebrating our foster families!

The month of May was National Foster Care Month, and we took advantage of the opportunity to honor our amazing foster families! Volunteers from All About My Father’s Business brought food and fun to an event hosted by UMCH to celebrate the wonderful gift of foster parenting. The foster families were able to relax and have fellowship with one another while the children jumped in the bouncy houses, did artwork, took funny photos and played games.


Check out some fun photos from the day!


volunteers and staff

Many thanks to the UMCH staff and volunteers who made it all possible…

Always About My Father's Business sign

… especially the volunteers from All About My Father’s Business.

Partygoers enjoying the day

Everyone had a great time hanging out…



girls in front of bouncy house

… being silly with new friends, playing on the bouncy houses…

Children painting artwork

… painting fun art…

Child poses for a fun photo booth shot

… and even taking silly photos at a fun photo booth!


We appreciate our foster families so much for caring for the children at UMCH, and we hope they feel loved and honored by us year-round!

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